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New to the forum - Fabrication Q

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by duncanm, Jul 28, 2006.

  1. duncanm

    duncanm Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    Hey guys, I've lurked for around a year and a half but have never posted anything...so I thought I'd start off with a question you guys might be able to help with.

    My gf works at snowbear here in Guelph, ON. Due to her position, she is able to recieve 50% off of the scratch and dents that come out of the factory. This means I'd be paying under 750 Canadian for everything (mount, lights, markers).

    Now I've done my research and I understand that this is a light duty plow and is not meant for anything commercial. At the same time it seems as though a lot of the people who say this are simply "towing the line" and haven't used the plow before. There seems to be a lot of conflicting information about what this plow is and is not capable of.

    Now, Question time...


    With a decent welding torch, what can I do to reinforce this plow to try to give it a bit more beef. The plow will be going on a Jeep Cherokee.


    I do NOT have enough money for a snow-way or equivilant. It will be used for driveways and apartment complexes at levels of no more than 3 inches.

    let's try to have a mature conversation;)
     
  2. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,584

    My advice is to buy 6 or 7 of them and use them as parts plows...

    They Will leave you wanting more if you get 3" or more of snow.

    And glad you got over your shyness and posted:D

    P.S. welcome!!:waving:
     
  3. duncanm

    duncanm Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    I don't imagine parts being an issue...the plant where they are made is less than 20 minutes from my house and I know some of the plant workers...

    Does anybody know the weakpoint(s ) on these plows. Something tells me that it shouldn't be terribly hard to stengthen this setup
     
  4. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992

    Factory direct parts 24/7, that's good, I'm a dealer and I don't get that kind of service from my suppliers. We're open 24/7 in the snow but we have to inventory parts for the midnight repair.

    If you put lipstick on a pig it's still a pig, but if you like to play dress up.....

    The lift unit will only handle so much weight, adding weight could create an issue

    The maker calls it a personal use plow, if they thought it would do commercial work they would advertise it as at least a light commercial plow.

    It never snow more then 3 inches in Guelph, ON?
     
  5. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I'd agree with basher - think before adding any weight to the unit trying to strengthen it. It's designed to lift its present weight. The weak points will be:

    1) Its light weight. If you use it as it was intended, you should be fine. Just don't expect more than you paid for.

    2) Its light weight. The material used is not the same strength as commercial grade or even Light Duty equipment.

    3) Its light weight. To keep the weight (and price) down - they sacrificed some things such as power angle.
     
  6. duncanm

    duncanm Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    I'll be talking to the head of R&D on Monday. I certainly hope he can tell me exactly what can and cannot be done to this plow.

    Is the concern that the added weight would be putting too much load on the winch and also the mounting points? that sounds reasonable. But, again it doesn't seem like something that couldn't be addressed given the proper attention.

    The plow is warrantied up to 6inches of snow (I know that doesn't cover commercial). For your information (if you guys care at all) the previous CEO of the plant was fired for embezellment a year and a half ago, and since then it looks as though the quality of both the trailers and the plows has increased a decent amount.

    If you guys have any other great ideas on the best way to increase profit without spending 3500+ on a plow, I'm open to suggestions. We've already got a truck (4x4 ranger that won't be seeing a plow), two blowers, and 3 bodies. Looking to continue to run the residential in our area and I don't feel comfortable taking on any medium-large commercial contracts until we have atleast a season experience behind a plow.

    From my number crunching, buying a XJ for $4000 in good condition (plenty of them around here), spending another 1000 to make sure it's in excellent condition...and then running the snowbear...this seems to give the greatest potential for profit

    Another snowblower crew seems too labour intensive/slow

    Adding an ATV and trailer seems better than another snowblower crew, but then we'd only have the one truck still...and the ATV sure couldn't knock off the driveways as fast as the XJ...it looks as though the ATV would actually cost more than the cherokee too...

    Buying an old beater truck with a plow already on it seems like asking to have something that will never run. I know my way around a vehicle, but rebuilding a transmission is no fun task. This also looks less professional.
     
  7. Midwest BuildIt Inc

    Midwest BuildIt Inc PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,280

    If you going to spend this much why not put a plow on that ranger, or find a used truck with a plow on it already. There are plenty of them out there for under 5 grand..
    This is true..

    You worry about looking professional in a used truck. Used older trucks are about 60% of the trucks out there plowing. You will probably look worse when you buy that cheap plow and it breaks every time you use it..lol.
     
  8. duncanm

    duncanm Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    The ranger has no balls whatsoever...3.0l V6 and I think it's rated around 150-160hp...

    I have reservations about the truck having the crap beaten out of it if it already had a plow on it. I'd feel more secure if I sold the truck it was on and just took the plow.

    It's not that I feel unprofessional in a used truck, it's that I would feel unprofessional in a beater truck. We plan to buy a used vehicle to put the plow on anyway.
     
  9. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992

    You're only buying this as a plow truck and planning on spending $5750 plus insurance, Where's the great profit. At $50 bucks a pop that's 115 driveways before the rig's paid for, then there's insurance, those trips to the factory for parts, fuel and labor. Speed and job quality will suffer. Trying to do driveways where maneuverability is a major requirement with-out power angle. That requires you to get out of the vehicle every time you angle greatly increasing the time requirement. Clean up will be time consuming to do right.

    Why not put a plow on the Ranger? Already bought, and insured. Knock out the main drive and leave the blowers to do the cut in and clean-up

    A year in a Cherokee with a snowbear won't prep you for medium or large commercial.

    Have you searched the site? check out snowbear. Start a thread titled "snowbear for commercial use?" and see what kind of response you get. try the non-commercial site, and the jeep site

    I will be interested to hear of your decision, and experiences. don't let those whom's experiences and training lead to discounting your plan stop your forward momentum. Nothing ventured nothing gained
     
  10. duncanm

    duncanm Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    Basher,

    I understand that you get a whole lot of people on here that simply come on, ask a question and think that all the others will help them for no reason. I am not new to forums, and I'm certainly not afraid of the search function. Like I've said above, I've done the research on the snowbear plow. I understand it's a manual angle. This would be the first thing to change if I were to be fabricating any sort of reinforced mounting unit. The electric winch would also go.

    Like I said above, the ranger is far too gutless for a plow. The 3 litre 6 isn't up to the task.

    Two vehicles is the only way to go as far as I see it. Last year we were seeing $350+ per driveway seasonal and $30-45 on a per push basis. As long as we sell the seasonal contracts like we did last year, we shouldn't have any problem seeing 40+ contracts.

    Profit structure is setup so that the truck and plow will be paid off in three years. I don't at all see that being a difficulty.

    I'll be talking to the R&D guy on Monday and I'll let you guys know what I found out. If it looks as though it will be too much work I'll be in the market for a used plow.

    Try to remember that I've done my research and that I am simply trying to be as efficient as possible given the situation I have. Thanks guys
     
  11. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992

    Enjoy your meeting, but you talking about reinventing the wheel.

    If you're doing drives a wrangler would be a better choice then Cherokee, more maneuverable, better visibility
     
  12. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,584

    The word your looking for is CHEEP!!!not efficient..
    Cheep, will leave you broken down in the storm, It does not matter if you have access to parts 24/7 or are handy with a welder, the bottom line is you are not making money.

    You can build up the plow if you want, but it will only be as strong as the base. The steel used in their plows is not as strong, it will fatigue and fail in a shot time.

    If you want to make it in commercial plowing (I don't care if it is plowing residential drives or lots)

    1. Get a late model 3/4 ton or 1 ton truck.( the best you can afford)
    2. Get a real plow. All hydraulic, 8 foot or better.
    3. A tail gate sander/ salter.
    Remember folks this is commercial plowing, not plowing a couple of drives for :drinkup: money.. lol

    Mick & basher are giving you good info. Don't be so quick to dismiss what they have to say. They probably have more experience than the R&D at snow-bear does. I have over 26yrs my self in the snow business.

    But It sounds like you have made up your mind thought, so why are you looking for our support?
     
  13. Jay brown

    Jay brown PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,783

    if your going to run with the big dogs you can't piss like a puppy. the great depression is over. if you can't afford a real commercial plow and truck save up your allowance and buy one in a few years. good grief,what kind of hard working, grown man can't afford $5k???????? sorry man, if i can't afford $5k i'll work a little overtime and a few weekends.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2006
  14. duncanm

    duncanm Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    a 4th year business student. If I was working full time I'd have no problem coming up with another 5 grand.

    I was asking a pretty simple question. that no one seemed to be able to answer without trying to undercut my business plan. I think you guys need to stop shitting all over people for having an idea that isn't the same as the status quo on a forum. I've been on many other forums and I haven't seen the level of ignorance that appears here.

    Constantly talking down to people is not a way to be productive in any facet of life, be it business or personal.

    I'm also not going to get into the complexities of niche marketing for you guys, but a 3/4 or 1 ton truck isn't going to cut it for the maneuverability required for 80% of the driveways we're dealing with here. I have NO intentions of plowing any large lots or doing any substantial commercial accounts THIS YEAR. Like I said, I need to get experience behind a plow before I step into anything like that. Why must you be so quick to jump on me without reading all of what I have written?

    I asked a fabrication question. I haven't had any answers that have discussed anything from an engineering perspective, and that is what I was looking for. If I didn't have my gf working at the plant this plow wouldn't even be on the table...do you hear me asking about a ******* snowsport?? Have I done my research? Yes. Do I know what I'm getting into? Yes. Am I impressed with how you guys have treated me...not at all.

    Basher, Thanks for the input on the wrangler. If I can find one for a steal I'll be going for that...problem is, is that they go for 2-3k more expensive than cherokees. nevertheless, a YJ seems like it would do well.
     
  15. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I started to "quote" and reply to your points, but I decided that would be pointless. You appear to have made up your mind and are simply looking for reinforcement of your ideas. No one is talking down to you. To say "I haven't had any answers that have discussed anything from an engineering perspective" is not accurate - saying you will be putting more load on your equipment than it was designed for IS coming from an engineering perspective. I, for one, am simply not impressed that you are "talking to the head of R&D on Monday".

    But realize that the final advice I always give is to do what you want to do.
     
  16. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,584

    I thought you had been lurking for a while???
    The Kid gloves are off..
    To increase profit you need to increase volume..
    What happens to your accounts if you have a break down and can't service your accounts? A back up plan. Like a back up truck?
    The learning curve is steep, if you can't keep up you will be left in a drift.
    If you spend money on equipment you will out grow or destroy, is just throwing money in the wind.
    Sorry!!!waving: Ive had a couple of:drinkup: :drinkup:
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2006
  17. Jay brown

    Jay brown PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,783

    sorry man didn't mean to bring you down. if you can't take the heat you should get out of business school because it's a tough business world. i guess from your post it sounded like you had a business already going and you could afford not to skimp. i guess i'm being so harsh because i don't believe in putting money into something that is sub grade for your needs. IMO i fell like your business could grow in the future and you'll out grow that plow in one season. and you'll be out the initial $$. my theory is spend extra $$ for something that you can grow into. my first plow truck was(is) a f550 with a commercial 8.5'. i started with drives and moved onto commercial/industrial and this truck still suits me fine. if i would have bought the plow your looking at, it would be sitting in a fence row now collecting rust. just my thoughts, but don't listen to me, i dropped out of college.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2006
  18. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992

    Done with this thread, this bozo is a waste of time. I could be working on my golf game instead of trying to help someone who spends all his time stomping his feet and having a prepubescent temper tantrum
     
  19. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

  20. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,584

    Maybe we got off on the wrong foot???:waving:

    Welcome to plow site...

    So, you have some Budd's that think that snow removal would be some easy cash while you go to school.
    What equipment do you have?
    What kind of service are you going to offer?
    Ie plowing, snow blowing, sidewalks?
    Are your insured? business ins.
    Have you ever done any thing in this field before?

    Why did you get the response you did?
    your still fairly young with no experience, if you did you would not be asking these questions and others.
    The person that is in charge of R&D at snow-bear or any other company went to school!! Holds an Engineering Deg.
    Like basher said your trying to make some thing that is already made. Reinventing the wheel (plow).

    1. My gf works at snowbear here in Guelph, ON. Due to her position, she is able to recieve 50% off of the scratch and dents that come out of the factory. This means I'd be paying under 750 Canadian for everything (mount, lights, markers).

    [COLOR="Is there a warranty on these plows?[/COLOR]

    2. I don't imagine parts being an issue...the plant where they are made is less than 20 minutes from my house and I know some of the plant workers...


    That will not help you in the middle of the night with 6" of snow on the ground and it is still coming down.[/COLOR]

    Does anybody know the weakpoint(s ) on these plows. Something tells me that it shouldn't be terribly hard to stengthen this setup

    [COLOR="black"[B]]Every thing. it is meant to be a HOME OWNERS plow that sees ocashional use. for that application it may work fine[/B].[/COLOR]

    3.I'll be talking to the head of R&D on Monday. I certainly hope he can tell me exactly what can and cannot be done to this plow.

    [COLOR="black"]I'm sure he can't Waite to hear from a 20 something telling him he is going to redesign his plow for commercial use.
    So, he will be your R&D too
    ?


    4.This would be the first thing to change if I were to be fabricating any sort of reinforced mounting unit. The electric winch would also go.

    If you have to spend$$$ for hydraulics, pump, rams, steel,
    new trip springs, stronger mount, your time, etc,etc. Your Better off getting a commercial grade plow.[/
    COLOR]

    5.I'll be talking to the R&D guy on Monday and I'll let you guys know what I found out. If it looks as though it will be too much work I'll be in the market for a used plow.

    Can't Waite...[/COLOR]

    Try to remember that I've done my research and that I am simply trying to be as efficient as possible given the situation I have. Thanks guys

    So? Then why are you so defensive if some one gives you an other idea or opinion?

    6.I was asking a pretty simple question. that no one seemed to be able to answer without trying to undercut my business plan. I think you guys need to stop shitting all over people for having an idea that isn't the same as the status quo on a forum. I've been on many other forums and I haven't seen the level of ignorance that appears here.

    Have you called R&D at snow bear yet?[/COLOR]

    Constantly talking down to people is not a way to be productive in any facet of life, be it business or personal.

    Where talking to you, like you were one of the guys!!
    scenario: where all standing around having our favorite:drinkup: and where all talking plows.
    You would't expect us to treat you like a customer do you?
    Believe me, I can talk to the wealthiest of people in town. If they need sunshine blown up there butts and I want their business I can do itxysport
    But to a fellow plower you can relax and let the expletive's fly.

    Thanks!!! for the Rant guys:realmad: lol

    Hey! I need a good plow for the grandkid's Dora Jeep?

    JMO:
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2006