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Newbie Question?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by AMAC, Nov 28, 2003.

  1. AMAC

    AMAC Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    Experience needed

    JUST BOUGHT A 97 DODGE 2500 W/360 V-8 AND 8FT. PRO PLOW IN GREAT SHAPE AND PAID $6,800, GOOD DEAL OR NOT? I HAVE NEVER PUSHED SNOW BEFORE BUT I HAVE 10 ACCOUNTS LINED UP FOR THE WINTER, I NEED SOME DO'S AND DONT'S FOR PLOWING, ALSO PROBABLY VERY BASIC QUESTIONS FOR YOU GUYS- HOW DO YOU KEEP FROM SCRAPING THE CONCRETE? WHAT IS A GOOD HEIGHT TO ADJUST THE BLADE STOPPERS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PLOW? ANY AND ALL POINTERS ARE APPRECIATED.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2003
  2. imasnowpro

    imasnowpro Member
    Messages: 43

    Set the "shoes" at about 1/4" off the ground . That gives you enough clearance without leaving too much behind. Get familiar with all of your accounts before they are buried in snow. You might think you know them but it wouldn't hurt to walk the boundries. You might see a thing or two that will save you from having to do repairs in the spring.
     
  3. Eyesell

    Eyesell 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,101

    AMAC, Welcome to the site, always nice to see new people. You will find a a ton of information in this site. Just about any question can be answered just by putting a "key" word in the search section and hitting enter. I am like you, totally new this year and feel with all the reading I have been doing, it's unreal, I have printed 100 plus pages of threads and posts.

    As far as the shoes on your plow, I have read that you should leave them off unless your doing gravel lots or brick paver driveways, if your plow is in the float mode it will go up and down with the grade. I have however put in my contract that " I am not responsible for scrape or scratches of any kind to the concrete no matter what condition it is in ". You may want to think of that clause in your contract as well.

    Hope this helped a bit, I could go on forever.

    Best of luck to ya this Year !!!:) :)
     
  4. imasnowpro

    imasnowpro Member
    Messages: 43

    Wearing shoes is a personal preference. I believe in taking care of my equipment, going easy on my truck, not dealing with break-downs and having more up time than down time. That's why I always wear them.
     
  5. Eyesell

    Eyesell 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,101

    iamasnowpro:

    your probably right, I did a search on the question and found there was a lot of personal preference involved, I am most definitely like you, I don't want to put any additional strain on my equipment. I was raised that " if you take care of your equipment it will always take care of you " If your shoes are say 1/4" above the ground and your plow is floating will this save on your plow edge ?? or will it leave a 1/4" snow on the ground ??

    Replies always appreciated :)
     
  6. imasnowpro

    imasnowpro Member
    Messages: 43

    Both.
    When you set the level of your shoes you should have the cutting edge already attached. It will be 1/4" above the bottom of that.
     
  7. Adams plowing

    Adams plowing Senior Member
    Messages: 195

    although i personally prefer not to run shoes on my plow the correct setting for the shoes should be even with the bottom of the cutting edge this way you scrape clean and the shoes will give added support to the cutting edge. One Major thing to remember Especially if your doing commercial lots is there not going to want their lot plowed down to 1/4 inch there going to want it cleared down to the ground. now if your applying salt and melting that last 1/4 inch down you could probably get away with it but if your not that 1/4 you leave will pack down into a nice sheet of ice which then makes for an easy slip/fall lawsuit to come your way. Its stupid in my opinion to leave that lil bit of snow there when you can get rid of it. also if your doing enough plowing to wear that cutting edge out by plowing w/o shoes on your plow they you should have made more than enough to pay to replace it. this is assuming that your charging enough. If you think about it if plows were meant to be run 1/4 inch above the shoes then why would manufactures add cutting edges... they would be a mute point because that point of the blade would never touch the ground... now if your doing a gravel lot or paver's then yes by all means raise the blade a hair or set the shoes a little lower for that. but on asphalt/concrete you should at least be running them even.
     
  8. wolfie

    wolfie Senior Member
    Messages: 174

    I have found that in lose gravel the shoes just sink in and you dig up the stones anyway. and on hard packed snow or gravel I want to scrape it clean just like on asphalt. So I haven't had my shoes on since the first year i plowed... I just raise the blade a bit on stone driveways.
     
  9. ilhmt

    ilhmt Member
    Messages: 70

    Aside from all that I would say you got one hell of a deal depending on the miles. I've got $12,000 wrapped up in my truck/plow and it's a '95 Dodge 1500 4X4 with 80,000 miles on it. I bought the truck two years ago for $9500 and the plow this year for $2500 used.

    10 accounts already and you've never pushed snow?? Talk about jumping in with both feet!! Make sure you get good insurance to cover property damage and take it easy until you get the hang of it. You'll pick it up quick though and be plowing like a pro after the first couple of days. That's the only advice I can think of at the moment.
     
  10. parrothead

    parrothead Senior Member
    Messages: 157

    barefoot here

    i prefer to throw my shoes in the back of the truck. i feel like it does a better job of getting the snow and ice gone. if you get that little bit thats left, after no shoes, and the sun comes out the asphalt will usually turn black after a few hours , even down to 15 degrees.
     
  11. CPSS

    CPSS Senior Member
    Messages: 334

    We do commercial parking lots and have the shoes adjusted for the 1/4 to 1/2 inch cutting edge clearance. It really doesn't leave that much snow on the lot because the blacktop is not that uniform. It mostly scrapes clean. The shoes take some of the weight of the plow causing less wear to the cutting edge, and less strain on the truck. Lets face it, if they didn't serve a purpose, the manufacturers wouldn't provide them as standard parts.

    Others disagree, but this has worked well for us in the past.
     
  12. imasnowpro

    imasnowpro Member
    Messages: 43

    I'm with CPPS.
    Show me one asphalt parking lot anywhere that's perfectly level.
     
  13. Boast Enterpris

    Boast Enterpris Senior Member
    Messages: 745

    Questions,Questions?

    AMAC,
    I think you have come to right place to get them anserwed. I only wish I had known about this site sooner. I live south of you on I-55 down at steele, mo in the summer and north of you at sullivan, mo in the winter. It seems that I am passing right by you all the time. My Wife and I also like to stop on occasion and visit sams & lowes. If their is anything you might want me to take a look at sometime just let me know, jaredboast@yahoo.com. I may not be of any help, but I do have a few years of experience. A lot of snowplowing is your own style, nobody does it just like the other guy, always learn from your mistakes.

    If you have a winter like you had last year, you will be happy you got in the business.payup BIG PILES EVERYTIME I CAME THROUGH!!! :)
     
  14. kipcom

    kipcom Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 455

    Honestly now people.... I have yet to see any "plow shoes" last a a decent amount of time. I have tried them( and hate it) and everytime after several hours of plowing, I would get out to check things over and the base of the plow shoes would be gone :realmad: Just the post was all that was left :eek: I checked around and I found the same answer from 99% of those I talked to. The plow shoes are to be used for NON-hard pavement application. Having the "cutting" edge on the blade is the intent ..to cut down to the >hard< pavement and clear the snow & ice away. Use the plow shoes for non-hard pavement and remove them otherwise. Like it has been said, if you dont clear it down to the hard pavement the best you can then ??? who knows what could happen.







    :dizzy: :dizzy:
     
  15. CPSS

    CPSS Senior Member
    Messages: 334

    Kip you must be plowing pretty fast to wear the shoes down to nothing. We have 5 trucks, all still have shoes on them, oldest is a 1997. Not even worn 1/2 way.
     
  16. Joey D

    Joey D Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    The shoes take some of the weight of the plow causing less wear to the cutting edge, and less strain on the truck
    How would they cause less strain on the truck?
     
  17. CPSS

    CPSS Senior Member
    Messages: 334

    Quite simple, it takes less force to push a blade that has most of it's weight supported on floating skid points rather than a sharp edge. The sharp edge is constantly striking small irregularities in the pavement. These forces are transfered to the plow frame, truck frame, etc.

    I'm not looking for an argument. Do as you please. I'm simply stating our experience with the shoes during 15 years of commercial plowing. It could be that the plow would work better if you only plowed driveways as the speeds are a lot less.

    Why do you think the big DOT trucks use shoes?
     
  18. imasnowpro

    imasnowpro Member
    Messages: 43

    Kipcom-
    You must get jerked around a lot by all the obstructions you hit. Believe me, I;m not jerking you around when I say I've never lost a shoe since I started plowing in '86.
     
  19. plowguy01886

    plowguy01886 Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    Welcome.

    imasnowpro has a good point about walking the properties *before* they are covered in snow. Here is another idea which comes in handy.

    With a fairly cheap digital camera, take several photos of each customer's driveway (again, before the first snow). Make sure you get the major approaches, going in and out (if you think you will end up plowing in two directions), as well as any features to avoid (parking lot berms, fire plugs, etc). Then you print them and put them in a cheep photo album. I find adding the client name, address and phone number on the page helps when you encounter an emergency at 1:00am :eek: .

    After a few storms, you won't need it, but until you are *very* familiar with each site, it is nice to flip open the book and take a quick look at the layout before dropping the plow!
     
  20. PROPJCKEY

    PROPJCKEY Senior Member
    Messages: 125

    Plowguy....that photo idea is a beute! Funny, even when you may visit these drives all summer, somehow they look much different under white conditions and a strobe!
    -Jeff-:drinkup: