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Newbie here What truck to get?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by dealer374, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. dealer374

    dealer374 Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 30

    So I am looking to get into the snow plowing bussiness for some extra money. I though of going two different routes. Used truck for drives or new for city/state contract. Here's where I stand I live in Mass and own a sedan and drive 50 miles to work round trip. I need to know what I can expect to earn with these proposed ideas, so your help is greatly appreciated. I though 1 keep my car and buy a used pickup f150 or 1500 4x4 and do drives, or 2 sell my car and buy a f250-350 or 2500-3500HD and get a contract. The thing is for me to drive 50 mi a day in a big V-8 is costly so what can I expect to make in the winter with it, as it needs to profitable. Now I know either route is going to take a few years before I actually start to profit (more so with the 2nd vehcile). A buddy of mine said he did 10 drives during a "good" winter and made 2,000. About how many Drives could I typically do? I would like to do more to increase income. Also what do city/ highway guys typically make in a winter? A Small lightwight truck would ideal for me but I can plow this? How good can I plow with a Tacoma V-6 4x4 for driveways as this would the most ideal situation. It would be decent milage for commuteing to work and a bed to move my ATV to different ride spots. As it would replace my sedan with a used 2007+ Tacoma and keep it for quite some time what kind of wear and tear or premature repairs should I expect to see? and what is a good size & brand plow to buy? What is the limit I could plow with a tacoma i.e. drives per year or amount of snow per push?
     
  2. badabing1512

    badabing1512 Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    First of all forget buying a tacoma for plowing but if you ask me id say forget buying an import in general for plowing. Theres a lot more factors in the snow removal business then just buying a truck and plow and landing contracts, you have plenty of costs including truck payment, fuel, plow purchase, repairs, GOOD INSURANCE, permit, taxes, etc... most people dont look at it that way and think its great prophit. Now with your situation your limited to the amount of driveways you can do because of work and the travel distance so thats going to cut into prothit margin and whether you can get the right hours from the state. As for me I like spending more money at first knowing that the equipment im purchasing is reliable and usually under warranty. Also a big question you should think about is a gasser or diesel, im a diesel guy.
     
  3. dealer374

    dealer374 Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 30

    See the problem with buying big new equipment for me is that it would be my primary vehicle and for me to commute 50 mi. round trip all year I would have make a killing in the winter to offset the extra gas during the summer. So what could I expect to earn with say a Highway or city contract?
     
  4. badabing1512

    badabing1512 Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    Alright here it is, this is just not the place to ask things like you did in your first post. There are many factors in your first post that only you can decide for only you know your personal and financial situation. Go thru all the numbers, expected prophit and expeneses and such and see what numbers you come up with, id keep going but im tired of typing.
     
  5. plowguy43

    plowguy43 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,269

    Get a half ton and do drives. The state doesn't just let you plow, there is a long list of other established guys ahead of you. Tacoma is a no go, small trucks get just as bad gas mileage as full size, believe me I know.

    As for the round trip, buy a beater car to drive in the summer.
     
  6. dealer374

    dealer374 Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 30

    See that was part of my problem. I asked what typical earnings are so that I can calulate profits. As for the toyo's using the same amount of gas a big truck is that during plowing or all conditions? I've heard people putting a meyer or snoway on lights trucks doing small resi stuff with success. so even with a 4x4 6cyl toyo I wouldn't be able to to my drive and maybe a few others?
     
  7. plowguy43

    plowguy43 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,269

    Sure you can, people use Jeep Wranglers for drives with no problems. I have a dakota and my good friend had tyhe identical truck but traded it for a 2007 tacoma crew V6 and he's getting the same mileage as the dakota. I average 16-17 without the plow, with the plow its about 10-12mpg. Where in Mass are you? Down there you could charge $25 and up depending where you are. My parents are in Dedham and they are small drives that would be quick pushes and be $25 plus $10 for walkways shoveled.
     
  8. dealer374

    dealer374 Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 30

    thanks, im in tewksbury plowguy, tryin to get setup off of I-93 corridor as I commute to boston. what kind of repairs would see going premature on light duty truck? what are these timbers things and how much do they help? thanks for the mpg #'s that will be helpful. about how many drives can a guy do in a storm or winter? I have a lawn tractor with plow and ariens 27in. snowblower so I could walks with either though the snow blow would be better.
     
  9. Evanbrendel

    Evanbrendel Senior Member
    Messages: 181

    i did 2 trailer parks a food distributor a smaller truckstop a resturant a medical office and 3 driveways in 6 hours but im new and im a sub maybe that helps? this is my first year and i bought a old plow truck to start with im going to upgrade next year. i have a 83 chevy 1 ton with a 1075 snow ex spredder and a 7.5 western cable operated plow and i have 1500.00 in that so maybe you could buy a used rig already set up like i did?
     
  10. dealer374

    dealer374 Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 30

    yeah that's sounds like a good idea I am just worried about getting something too beat up where I will have to sink in all kinds of money to be operational. although that is better than buying a personal use truck then trying to track down a used plow to fit buying one brand new. what kinda of earnings did you get with the spreader on there for the season?
     
  11. Evanbrendel

    Evanbrendel Senior Member
    Messages: 181

    the guy i work for pays 65/hr but like i said thats sub work he is making more but its his insurance and paperwork i have comercial liablity insurnce for my tree company that covers snow removal but it isnt part of the agrement with the guy i work for.
     
  12. dealer374

    dealer374 Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 30

    I've been looking at a few Chevy 1500 6Cyl. as an alternative to the tacoma as i think that V-6 and truck all together would last longer and be heavier duty that the Toyo and with the V-6 still meet my communteing needs. Wouldnt I be able to a "normal" size plow on that rather than a dinky meyer or snoway?
     
  13. plowguy43

    plowguy43 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,269

    No matter what truck you get- ball joints, tie rods, front shocks will go bad sooner than normal when you hang a plow. Timbrens are basically larger rubber bump stops that replace your stock bumpstops. When you raise the plow, your control arms will rest on the timbren rather than letting your spring take all the weight. It helps keep the squat down.
     
  14. dealer374

    dealer374 Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 30

    Great thanks... I think I may go with chevy but still not sure becuase it has a bigger payload so I can put a bigger plow on it. It seems from talking with 2 of my buddy's that while the tacoma is capable I will run into problems with "banking" or stacking the snow on long drives or heavy snow falls. They said because the blade is small its tough to build the mounds high where with the chevy and "regular" size plow I could do that but still may be tough as it only has a 6cyl. Either way I appreciate the help still tryin to figure out what avg. guy makes doin drives
     
  15. Evanbrendel

    Evanbrendel Senior Member
    Messages: 181

    i bet the chevy has 4 low so there is enough power to stack if you have the traction. also if your going with a v6 to save gas id say you are better off with the v8 i know my friend bought a new v8 1/2 ton chevy and it has that thing where it reduces the number of cylinders it runs on at certin speeds and gas pedal position. i really don't know if it helps but know way would i ever have a 1/2 ton with a v6. but that's just my opinion also.
     
  16. plowguy43

    plowguy43 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,269

    I agree a smaller engine will work harder than a bigger engine to push the same size truck using more gas
     
  17. dealer374

    dealer374 Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 30

    Yeah my other buddy says the Chevy 4.8 v8 gets better milage than 4.6 v6
     
  18. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,552

    Most of the answers you get on hear are from guys with to much testosterone. :waving:

    What are you going to plow
    If you want to do "commercial" plowing I cant help you, I plow driveways

    Driveways...

    You do NOT need a full size truck to plow driveways. you do NOT need a diesel to plow driveways. as a mater of fact a full size truck is to big for driveways. Can it be done ,yes is it efficient, no. Using a truck, that is in some cases BIGGER than the driveway seams pretty stupid to me. (would you use a full size tractor to mow a 1/4 acre lawn), it can be done, that does not mean its the best way to do it.

    will the truck wear out faster
    Dah! so will driving it out of the showroom.
    will you make more money than it cost to repair the truck, probably.

    So who you going to get for customers? are they willing to wait for you to return from work (commuting 25 miles in a storm) to get plowed? I know mine wont.

    this is all my $0.02 worth
     
  19. dealer374

    dealer374 Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 30

    Thanks meister. I agree with you as I have heard guys plowing with I-4 Toyo's and Jeeps so I figured a V6 would do it. But like some have told me I would need to be careful or more strategic when banking. As for customer wait time, I would assume most people during the week would want to be cleared by 5am or so to leave work which works great for me as I work 3-11pm. Also I have 1 solid driver (my brother) and another perdiem (a friend) lined up that both work days and could finish any uncomplete accounts during the eve hours, so I'm not too worried about there being a wait for customers to get service. Meister about how many drives you knock out per storm roughly? Also which blade brand do you prefer and why? Ploy or steel? Seems you've been in the "biz" for a while, another $.02 would be nice
     
  20. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,552

    I service about 90 to 100 houses. I like the trip edge plows, I like direct lift, I like V plows. unfortunetly you cant get all that in one plow. (maybe the snoway mega plow, but that aint going to fit on my jeep. Ive used Fisher for 20 years and Boss for 2. I've repaired Meyer plows and think they are crap.

    You will need a backdrag edge or down pressure.