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Noob to the industry

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by AL THE MAN, May 29, 2008.

  1. AL THE MAN

    AL THE MAN Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 43

    Hi, hows everybody doin. Im Big Al from Chicago, just thought I would check in.

    Im new to the forum, and hopefully,.... will be new to the industry.

    I plan on buying a plow truck this summer, and putting in work this winter. One of my buddys told me about the job and I am very interested.

    Im glad to find a forum like this, and am going to look through it alot before I make any huge decisions....

    If you guys have any input or links of old threads about entry into the industry, I would love em. Veterans opinions are very welcome.
     
  2. AL THE MAN

    AL THE MAN Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 43

  3. Mick

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

    Check out the cost of Commercial Vehicle insurance and General Liability insurance. Get a couple quotes from different sources before you decide. The dollar limits for GL will greatly depend on what type accounts you are going for (Residential, Commercial, Municipal or/and Industrial). You will likely need to register your truck as "Commercial". Be sure the communities in which you plow do not require a license or permit to plow. Are you going out with your own accounts, plowing for someone else as a subcontractor or work as an employee? Think about needing a backup truck/plow (breakdowns are common with used equipment, usually right in the middle of a snowstorm and usually at night).

    How much experience plowing do you have? That's not to discourage you, but I'd suggest not getting more than a couple accounts (stick with driveways) the first winter and do a lot of learning and taking notes. Do some "one-time" plows - people who call for plowing heavy snowfalls. Believe me - it may look like big money ( I make equivalent to more than $125 an hour as a solo plower), but everything costs more and the stress can be unbelieveable. Then there's the low-snow years where you can actually lose money.

    Last word - don't even think about going out there without full insurance (Commercial Vehicle and General Liability) - one slip can cost everything you have or ever will have.
     
  4. AL THE MAN

    AL THE MAN Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 43

    thanks for the great input Mick, I am going to do alot of research before I go postal on spending.

    The freind I spoke of told me about a company that subcontracts people to plow. The hourly rate is high, you need to purchase your own insurance, and the hours are 24/7-on call. He told me that if you are dedicated you can pay off a truck in one nice season....


    Im going to wait till gas prices get a little higher to buy a plow truck. ( I like your moto....I spend summers getting ready for winter....)

    Would you recommend buying a rig with a plow on it, or buying a used truck and then buying a plow to put on it later?
     
  5. exmark1

    exmark1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,321

    I would buy a truck and mount the plow on it... buying a used plow truck often is buying someone elses problems!
     
  6. Mick

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

    Second the idea of leaving old plow trucks for someone else to deal with.
     
  7. Sydenstricker Landscaping

    Sydenstricker Landscaping PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,882

    Listen to what Mick has to say closely!!!!!!! He is def. a veteran plow guy and knows his stuff!!!!!

    I would try to get a truck that has not had a plow on it. Less beating so it will have less chance to break at 3am during a big storm at 5 degrees, which is when it always happens, lol. As for insurance, get good commercial auto (at least 500k coverage) and 2 million GL. This is what I run and always will, if not more in the future. As for plows, Meyer is the absolute simplest to diagnose and fix in the field as you can buy parts at the grocery store for it, LOL. But there are plent of others out there that are great plows, it will come down to your closest dealer and what kind of service they provide. Do not be afraid to ask them any kind of questions. That will help you in the long run. Truck wise, try for a 3/4 ton. It will have the right GVWR and power to handle the plow, but smaller trucks are good, just pending what kind of plowing you will do. Dont get something you will outgrow in a year. Subbing or getting a few drives is always a great place to start. Get comfortable before tackling the bigger commercial places or bigger drives. Inexperience on a big job can hinder you greatly on a big place if you get a large snowfall at once. Be prepared to run on limited sleep, but not so much that you are a danger to yourself and others. If you need to, stop and take a nap. A drive or a lot is not worth someone's or your life. There is a great wealth of info here and plenty of great guys here as well, right at your fingertips. And there are quite a few others on here in your area as well. Good luck to you and look forward to hearing more from you once the season is upon us:waving:
     
  8. AL THE MAN

    AL THE MAN Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 43

    Thanks for the sound advice gents....I see alot of plow trucks selling for not much more than same models without plows.....but I defintetly see your point of buying other peoples problems....lol

    I own a 4x2 dakota V6 that I use for my ATV (useless for plowing).... I really like the discussions on this forum reguarding opinions on plow trucks. I am on the wire between an F-series and Ram...mostly reading up on ease of repair and overall reliability.

    Thanks again for the input gents. I will try and search the hell out of this forum before I ask questions that you all have heard a hundred times..:jester: