1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

New to the forum

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by Misterguy, Dec 10, 2009.

  1. Misterguy

    Misterguy Junior Member
    from NH
    Messages: 3

    Hey,

    I am really considering getting into the plowing business. I've read a lot of the threads here and think I am comfortable with what I am about to get myself into.

    The first thing I have to consider is the truck. I am probably going to go with something that was made in the 90's... Which truck has the best reliability? (and/or is easy to maintain and repair).

    I guess what should I look for in buying the truck? Any modifications to the truck that will be good or bad?

    Finally, I am in college and plan to do this for extra cash. I don't think I will take on more than a handful of customers, if you started the same way let me know how it worked out.

    Thanks,
    Tom
     
  2. MSF

    MSF Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Most trucks in the mid-90s are easy to work on. I prefer GM trucks. 88-98 Chevys are pretty easy to figure out. 1994 and earlier are OBD I (on board diagnostics version 1) and are more simple, but can also be hard to diagnose at times. Around 95 or 96 things became OBD II, and then you'd need a scan tool to pull engine codes, but usually a more detailed code means an easier diagnosis.

    A 3/4 ton or single-rear-wheel 1-ton would hold up the best to the abuse of plowing. A lift kit might be bad as you would have to modify your plow mount so the plow would sit level. Can't think of any other "bad" mods right now.

    I'm also new to the industry, and haven't had enough snow to even start plowing yet, so I can't tell you much about it. The guys on this forum are real helpful, hopefully they'll chime in and give you some good tips. Good luck!
     
  3. Misterguy

    Misterguy Junior Member
    from NH
    Messages: 3

    Thanks. A followup question would be any advantages of buying the truck and plow separately? I can't seem to find the costs of a plow kit.
     
  4. OC&D

    OC&D PlowSite Veteran
    from Earth
    Messages: 3,064

    If I were buying a used truck I would avoid one with a plow already on it, or one that has had a plow on it. Plowing is one of the toughest things to do to a truck, and it's hard to know how the previous owner plowed, what was plowed, how things were maintained, etc.

    I'm partial to Fords, but I would never buy anything smaller than a 3/4 ton, and I've only bought 1 tons (no duals) since about 1996. GM (unless you go way back) uses an IFS front end, the design of which is IMO less robust than the solid front axle found on Ford 3/4 and 1 tons. I also prefer a diesel engine, but I've owned plow trucks with gas engines as well--although engine type would not be my first priority.

    As far as reliability--that's an argument that could go on for days. In the end, they all break down at some point.
     
  5. OC&D

    OC&D PlowSite Veteran
    from Earth
    Messages: 3,064

    Plows and installations vary in price substantially depending on what you buy. You'll need to find a truck equipment distributor/servicer and get a quote. There are probably dealer locators on several manufacturer's websites.
     
  6. MSF

    MSF Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    OC&D isn't kidding about a truck with a plow already on it! I just bought this GMC, and it's a good thing I'm an auto technician because it needed everything. Transmission, whole front end, U-joint, lots of leaks, loose seats, a whole lotta rust, and about 100 other things. Best thing to do with any truck you're gonna use for plowing is check everything, and repair as necessary.
     
  7. Misterguy

    Misterguy Junior Member
    from NH
    Messages: 3

    All good to know, thanks. Finding a truck without a plow this time of year might be easier, so I might go that route.

    Thanks for the quick replies.