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plow truck

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by fastxcr800, Oct 15, 2008.

  1. fastxcr800

    fastxcr800 Member
    Messages: 87

    i'm looking for a truck to plow with this winter. is it possible to use a 1/2 ton truck for plowing?? it will be used mostly for small commercial lots and drive ways. i'm looking for thoughts on what brand of plow to go with. any ideas???
     
  2. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    my wife says she would never let another ford in the driveway (found on road dead) and she feels that way almost religiously she says.
    So i would recommend maybe a chevy cobalt. good on gas and the seats in the back go down so it is versatile at carrying sand.. You could even mount a tailgate sander if you make a brace to bolt in the trunk floor and if you check with snoway snowplow they might make a light duty plow for this type of application.
    Im considering a setup for a nissan sentra but with the american auto companies having issues if i had to purchase a plow vehicle again i would definatley go with the chevy cobalt.
     
  3. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,598

    Classic bribrius right there :alien:
     
  4. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,552

    A F150 will work fine for driveway (a little big) and small lots. If you wand to plow bigger lots you will need a 3/4 ton truck.
     
  5. fastxcr800

    fastxcr800 Member
    Messages: 87

    when i said 1/2 ton, i meant a real truck, a dodge not an ford f-150!! but thanks for the good advice. i would like to get a bigger truck, but i don't want to spend a lot of money in the first year.
     
  6. I guess you shouldn't get a Dodge if you have no money to fix it..... jks. You should be able to pick up a good 1/2 ton for a good deal now a days. Good luck..
     
  7. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,592

    Ether do as bribrius suggests or save your self some headaches and get a 3/4ton .
    Don't even mess with the 1/2 ton no matter who makes it.

    Yea yea all of you 1/2 ton guys can jump up and down:redbounce All you want your just pounding smoke.....
    Yes some have found niche markets for small trucks.
    They are an exception not the rule.

    They will tell you how they "never" Or " I have plowing for 3 years and no problems with my 1/2 ton" yadda yadda yadda......ALL trucks have problems...
    My reply is then
    1. You don't really plow
    2. That is not very long
    3. Why hasn't your business grown?

    Now selecting the right tool for the job at hand is critical for success.
    You can't drive a spike with a tack hammer.
    A 3/4 ton or larger will allow you to make more money.
    It WILL stand up to the rigors of plowing better that a 1/2 ton will
    With a 1/2 ton you are limited as to what you can do.

    In this economy you can find a better deal on a 3/4 ton than a 1/2 ton.
    I said better deal maybe even cheaper..

    You are buying a tool not a boulevard cruiser.
    chose wisely.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2008
  8. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,552

    Now selecting the right tool for the job at hand is critical for success. TRUE
    You can't drive a spike with a tack hammer. TRUE
    A 3/4 ton or larger will allow you to make more money. FALSE
    It WILL stand up to the rigors of plowing better that a 1/2 ton will TRUE
    With a 1/2 ton you are limited as to what you can do. TRUE
    With a 3/4 ton you are limited as to what you can do. TRUE


    Depends on WHAT YOUR GOING TO PLOW. Driveways and small lots are much faster with a smaller vehicle. Faster means in the same amount of time you can plow MORE driveways, More driveways means MORE payup.

    Lets do some math

    for the sake of argument lets say the truck will never wear out. (Its a TRUCK, plowing driveways).
    cost of truck 3/4 ton and plow ~ 35K
    # of driveways you can plow = 30
    10 storms a year X $35 = $10,500
    profit each year $10,500

    cost of jeep and plow ~ 26K
    # of driveways you can plow = 60 (I plow 76)
    10 storms a year X 35 = $21,000
    repairs annually (because its not a TRUCK = 1,000
    profit each year $20,000

    Ya I know subtract Gas, Ins... About the same for each vehicle (when plowing I get 4 MPG)

    How do a I get my number of driveways? I used to have a F150 and was maxed out with 35 driveways. I have a Friend with a dodge 1500 and 3 Jeeps He plows only driveways. I've read posts from plowers with trucks.

    It all depends on what your plowing. Most of my drives are 100 feet long L shaped with a 2 car pad in front of the garage. With most of them a full sized truck with plow wont fit between the garage door and the lawn. My F150 with the plow was almost 23Ft long

    If you want to plow Walmart a 3/4 ton truck wont work.


    You are buying a tool not a boulevard cruiser.
    chose wisely.


    It depends.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2008
  9. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    very true. jeep for what you plow. heavier truck for the stuff snofarmer plows. He needs the strength and weight. you need the maneuverability.
    I would like to find something heavy and maneuverable.
    That is why i vote for the cobalt with lots of sand.. :jester:
     
  10. ducatirider944

    ducatirider944 Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 469


    Yep your right, You can plow a lot more drives with a jeep than a half ton. Agreed So a jeep makes a better plow vehicle to plow a Walmart?

    Fastxcr800
    If you are going to do ANY comercial lots, get a 3/4 ton or bigger. If you go comercial the benifit is your billing just a hand full of accounts, not folders full. You get to charge for the time that your plowing. Who foots the bill for the 5 minutes of drive time from one job to the next? So you spend 25-33% of every hour driving and not getting paid for it! If your going to do drives yes, get a jeep or something of that size, and JUST do drives (I would steer clear of Bribrius idea of the colbalt, but his sentra has been working very well for clearing grade school playgrounds!:jester:) If your going to do commercial, get a 3/4 ton or 1 ton and JUST do commercial.

    Trying to do both is like trying to take a knife to a gun fight. Yes, you can do it but the out come isn't going to be what you had in your mind! As far as with what plow to get just make sure it is a commercail grade, giving any suggestion on which plow is best is like pissing in the wind here, everyone here has a different opinion on the brand they like and all others suck. (Notice how I turned to the opposite direction of the wind and just said make sure it is a Commercial plow before pissing?????:D:D:D)
     
  11. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    Don't forget to get that 3/4 ton with a diesel. They can be found cheap lately.
     
  12. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,552

    That is why I think we should ask what the intended use is before we pass judgment on the vehicle to use. there is no vehicle that can do it all. A 1500 is not ideal for anything to big for efficient drives to small for industrial plowing. But usable , and will last for years IF it is used to plow 10 or so drives with a couple of C-stores thrown in.

    bribrius
    A skid steer would be nice for drives, certainly heavy. A little tuff getting from one drive to another.


    ducatirider944

    As for the 5 minuets between drives... That is true when you first start out, but you should be able to fill in the gaps between houses with new customers. I have 96 customers in a 4 mile circle. Do a good job and word will spread. (there are a LOT of lousy plowers out there... for them its beer money not a livelihood so they dont care if the job aint done well.)
    AAA... who pays you for driving between commercial lots or do you only plow one lot?


    If you want to plow Walmart a 3/4 ton truck wont work. I meant 3/4 ton is not BIG enough for Walmart you’ll need a pay loader at least.


    NO.. Jeeps DO NOT WORK well for Walmart... maybe Kmart;)
     
  13. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,592

    Smooth real smooth....;)

    theplowmeister,
    yes I have had a jeep in the fleet at one time also.

    I have all ways said you have a niche market.
    Few can build a route like yours good drives and all close together.
    most will never have this.
    Because of this I can not recommended anything smaller than a 3/4 ton.
    Heck The drives around hear are huge, long and challenge even for a 3/4 ton.
    sur some are to tight but there are a lot of other drives to plow.

    we just have a different view..
     
  14. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    well yeah.

    you plow on a mountain side.

    he plows condensed surburban neighborhoods.


    two different things.



    im somewhere in between the mountain side and the condensed neighborhood.
     
  15. ducatirider944

    ducatirider944 Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 469

    I pay from one lot to the other, it is my dollar, that is why I have one lot that take 7-8 hours (my main account) for two trucks and a skid loader, and my next one is 2 minutes for the trucks and 8 minutes for the skidloader that takes about 1.5-2 hours and my 3rd lot backs up to the second so no travel time takes .75-1 hour with a 2" snow My main account is probably bigger than a walmart in sq ft but has a lot of islands and side buildings and we do just fine with a 3/4 ton,a 1 ton and a skidloader
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2008