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Newbie from MD-retirement planning/mid life crisis ??

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by Snowproblems, Jan 6, 2017.

  1. Snowproblems

    Snowproblems Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    I was motivated by my employer of 40+ years to take an early retirement on 12/15/16. I live in Howard County MD and have been plowing driveways with my ATV for ten years. I have been plowing part time for the last 4 years for a friend (with his truck) and just decided to buy a truck as part of my sudden retirement planning.

    I'm pretty sure I'm about to take something that has been FUN and turn it into WORK but I can't help myself ! I'm not going to be good at sitting around the house and since I can't afford to go skiing every day I thought this would be a good plan. I spent the last 40 years in maintenance at a manufacturing plant so I've seen a lot of carnage along the way and broken stuff doesn't scare me that much any more.

    I lust bought a 2000 GMC C6500 and am having a 9' H.D. Western plow installed on it next Saturday. The GVWR is under 26K so I don't need a CDL even though I've had one since they were introduced 10-20 years ago. I've got a spotless driving record and this will be a one man / one truck operation.

    I totally understand the commercial policy on the truck but the additional General Liability that covers the plowed area after I leave boggles my mind. I suppose if someone slips on an unplowed lot they could not sue for as much money ?? I imagine this started about the same time that lawyers started advertising on TV ?

    I have spent the better part of a week trying to get my arms around the insurance requirements. I'm pretty sure it would be easier to insure a Brinks Truck in Maryland than a snowplow ! I've already been through Encompass, Progressive and Allstate as well as all of their affiliates and have been told everything from I'm not insurable (WTF?) to $7500/year and thought I had a real break coming at $3000 but that has been held up for the last two days in some sort of limbo.

    I've been telling them for years at work that I really don't have time to go there anymore and suddenly - I don't have to ! For the last 3 weeks I've been crazy busy trying to figure all of this out and get something going before winter is over. As you are all aware there a lot of details , loose ends and stuff that you don't even know that you're supposed to know.

    I just discovered this site a couple of days ago and reading through a lot of these forums has helped me immensely and will surely save me at least a little bit of pain and suffering !!
    So thanks to all of you for sharing your experiences and thanks even more for the feedback you'll be giving me all winter as I learn a whole new career ( or not ).

    BTW-it snowed an inch here last night so schools are closed and there's no milk , bread or TP to be found anywhere :)

    Brian in Highland MD 20777

    Sorry if there are any lawyers on this board.
     
  2. FredG

    FredG 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,722

    Congratulations on your retirement, Why are you not insurable? You got :terribletowel:out there with bankruptcies, bad credit, criminal records etc. So this confuses me.:confused: Why did you buy such a big plow truck? Do you plan on summer work? Of course you got to earn some money retired or not plus to keep your mind and body active.

    You should be able to get a GL 1mill. for under 3k per yr. You won't need workman's comp because your a sole operator but some may request it anyways depending what your after. With the size truck you got you have to be after small commercial? No? Let us no about your GL cause I'm confused. Good Luck
     
  3. Randall Ave

    Randall Ave 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,640

    Welcome aboard, now first why the bigger truck? And usually I would think a ten footer. What motor, auto or stick, air or juice brakes? If juice, give those lines a real good looking, especially in the frame by the transmission. But good luck!
     
  4. Snowproblems

    Snowproblems Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    No skeletons in the closet-the "uninsurable" was from two different online esurance sites and I think they had a problem with the brand new business aspect. I had little patience on the phone with them and have since tried to deal with agents I already do business with.

    I got a great deal on the truck at a Government auction. It's a Topkick so it has a crazy box on the back and looks like an industrial ambulance. It was once a Mobile Command Center for the Weapons of Mass Destruction project so it's full of electronics,generators and a/c units. The only thing that shows any wear in the back are the two captains chairs the guys were glued to !

    I'ts small enough (borderline) to do driveways but large enough to go up a notch or two and hopefully I can do some sub work in the area. After the last snow of the season I plan install a dump bed on it for mulch etc in the spring.
    Some friends have already converted two of these trucks but they started in October and I started last Tuesday :)

    I'm thinking when I'm done I'll have about $20K invested-(if I don't destroy too much this winter)

    Winter is coming !
     
  5. Snowproblems

    Snowproblems Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Going with the 9' blade so I can still maneuver around in driveways. It's got a Cat 7.2 turbo and an Allison auto transmission. Friends have already dismantled two of these and there's no rust to speak of. They've been sitting in a government warehouse for 8 years but have still been serviced and every filter and lube point is tagged. I just had it inspected and the only hold up was the horn (bees built a nest in it) and the tag light which never existed since it probably never had a tag on it !
     
  6. ktfbgb

    ktfbgb PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,662

    GL not only covers you after you have plowed. It also covers you while plowing. There is a limit to what commercial auto will cover. Basically it will cover the truck. But your GL will cover damage to property while plowing. Like say you break a couple curbs, and rip out a man hole cover or something on a lot. If you don't have the ability to fix that stuff yourself, if the quote from the contractor to fix it is significantly higher than your deductible, then you might choose to use the GL policy to fix it. Or say you plow through the side of building, same scenario. Good luck!
     
  7. Snowproblems

    Snowproblems Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Wow ! Hope my inaugural season doesn't go like that :hammerhead:

    That makes sense though-thanks

    Maybe I should check with Loyds of London
     
  8. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,238

    9' IS to small for that truck.
    We ran 10' on our 7500s and it was just about right
     
  9. FredG

    FredG 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,722

    Anything under 10' should be on a pickup.
     
  10. Snowproblems

    Snowproblems Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    My main concern is that if I'm going to be doing driveways until something bigger comes along I'm going to find myself in some really tight spots. Will a 9' blade leave my tires in the snow too often ?
     
  11. Snowproblems

    Snowproblems Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    PS- Remember-I am in Maryland
     
  12. ktfbgb

    ktfbgb PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,662

    Walk the lots when dry, mark any areas of concern. Take it easy your first season and you'll be fine. Usually stuff like that doesn't happen but occasionally it will. Usually it's not worth claiming and better to keep the claim off the policy. But in case it's something big you gotta have it. Not worth loosing your retirement check for the rest of your life over 3K per year on GL policy. Find a good broker and let them shop it for you. They will have access to multiple agencies and usually companies you've never heard of that only deal with brokers and commercial work. Let them do it so you don't have to and you'll know you have the proper coverage for your state.
     
  13. Snowproblems

    Snowproblems Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Does $3K sound legit in your guys experience for one man and one plow ? Maybe I'm just looking for a reality check and if that's what it is then I better get busy-because there's no going back to where I just left :drinkup:
     
  14. Randall Ave

    Randall Ave 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,640

    Working on something like that now, an 02, 3126 Cat, with an Allison. C-8500 GMC
     
  15. ktfbgb

    ktfbgb PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,662

    My GL in AZ is about $3,500 per year. Much less regulation here, and much more business friendly. Granted that policy is for all year and covers snow and the rest of my business. From what I have heard 3k is very cheap for your part of the country. At least in my state, there are minimums that you have to pay. 3K is the starting point basically to cover you no matter how small, then depending on what you are doing it starts adding from there. Basically if you a GL policy to cover you to say drive around and take pictures and you do $5000 a year in gross sales because it's just a hobby, you are going to pay 3k. Same if you are a contractor that 3k covers up to a certain amount of work and then it starts going up.