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Plowing Condos

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by GeoffD, Jan 29, 2000.

  1. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    I plow a couple of condo complexes and are asked to bid on others every year. The thing is like most condos they all have short driveways say 50 to 75 feet streight in from the road to the garage. A full size truck, is just two big. I mean a pull plow helps, but you still have to do a lot of turning around with the truck. I wonder if a small tractor would work better, or maybe a truck mounted snowblower, but those are 7K. Do any of you guys do condos? If so what do you use to plow, and what do you think is the most profitable. <p>Note all condos have their own access road, so you could drive from unit to unit with out a problem.<p>Geoff
     
  2. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Mentor, Angel
    from Chicago
    Messages: 239

    You need something like my JD for that. It will turn on a dime and has a 54 inch power angle blade with down presure or the 48 inch blower also with down presure. Works nice. It could handle a bigger blade in most conditions.<p>----------<br>&lt;a href=&quot;http://www.townserver.com/elm/&quot;&gt;Eric@ELM&lt;/a&gt;<br>
     
  3. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Does the JD handle whole driveways. Have you ever battled a big storm with it?<p>Geoff
     
  4. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    Geoff eric has gone to bed, he is getting snow, and needs to start plowing at midnight.<br>However i can say for him that he plowed the blizzard last January(24-27&quot;) he said it did great. A blower on that machine will move alot of snow. I would think that any smaller type loader will do fine in tight spaces, of course they are kinda slow. How about a skid steer, they are very manuverable and very quick,and with the hydro drive easy to reverse directions. I would think that hydro drive would be a must for plowing.<br>Dino<p>----------<br> Professional Ice and Snow Management <br>Products:Services:Equipment www.sima.org
     
  5. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    I could lease a skid steer from a rental yard for like 25 bucks a day, if i lease it from Nov 1 to Apr 1. The thing is i would have to buy a snowblower for it. Maybe that would be the best way to go. Right now i am just trying to think of a better way to do these properties, because they are good money makers.<p>The trouble with the skid steer is you would have to trailer it from condo complex to condo complex. I just wonder how fast you could go trailering something in 8&quot; of snow.<p>Dino we will get our snow and ice sometime sunday/monday. Get ready it could be a big one.<p>Geoff<br>
     
  6. Lazer

    Lazer Senior Member
    Messages: 399

    Geoff,<br>I've got my 14.4' plow mounted on a shortbox (115&quot; wb) pick-up so it's shorter more maneuvable than the long beds.<p>Of course all the new trucks you need to have at least a 3/4 ton so that idea is pretty useless.<p>BTW: I've used those truck-mounted snowthrowers, that's not your solution for this application.
     
  7. bdemir

    bdemir Member
    Messages: 89

    Im pretty new but i plow for a company and they use bobcats to do the droiveways and they have tiny little driveways almost too small for any truck. Exspecially in the corners. I dont know what a skid steer is but it sounds like a bull dozer or something.
     
  8. paul

    paul PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 151

    We use 4 skid steer loaders for our condos, two with plows and two with snow pushers. The ones with plows can get right up to the doors and pull back then turn around and push off, the larger one then come by with the pushers and pick up. they are fast can turn around in their own length and pile snow 10'-15' high. I have found them faster than a truck. We keep ours on site, but in our area alot of snow companys move them around on a trailer with a 1 ton 4x4.<br> <br>I have found with condos walks are the biggest problem, this year 2 atv's handle most of the snow on the walks salt is the hardest part this year.<p>snow coming down now have to leave.<br>paul<p>----------<br>paul<br>
     
  9. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Mentor, Angel
    from Chicago
    Messages: 239

    Geoff, For several years, I didn't use anything but my JD for snow removal. It can handle anything mother nature dished out and I use the 54 inch blade most of the time. If you have deep snow and are running out of places to put the snow, I put the blower on. The blower and blade I have is made by Quick-Tach in Wisconsin and both fit on one mount, so it is fast to change over. I have the bar tires on it and the traction it has is unbelievable. We trailer it to the job, 8 miles away and have never had a problem with trailering it. When I first started doing this, I pulled it with an old Bronco and had no problems trailering. We unload it and do all 61 driveways before we load it back up. We couldn't do as many back when we used it by itself, but it can do 6 huge driveways an hour by itself with a 4 inch snowfall. When I ran it, I could do a driveway as fast as my competitors could with a truck and these are push off driveways I do, so it is neat. When I did back drag driveways, I have a 4' box scraper I can put on the back if needed. Now it is used for cleaning up hard to get at areas and cleaning up corners on circle drives. After doing 61 driveways and running for 6.5 hours last night, it took 2 gallons even to fill it back up when we got in. If you want to see it, it's on my equipment page on my website. <p>----------<br>&lt;a href=&quot;http://www.townserver.com/elm/&quot;&gt;Eric@ELM&lt;/a&gt;<br>
     
  10. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    It looks like a great rig. I like the cab, can it stack snow very high? Do you ever use your truck to plow? Or is the truck just for parking lots?<p>Geoff
     
  11. ChucksChevyPages

    ChucksChevyPages Guest
    Messages: 0

    Geoff,<p>Down the road from my house is a modern condo complex. More like townhomes. Anyway, the contractor that has been doing them for the past 10 years has slowly been changing the way he does it. He does the main roads in the complex as well, so has a 5 yd GMC Top Kick plowing the roads. He has used a 5yd dump from day 1. He had a bunch of pickups too. Pickups did the driveways, blowers on the walks. He had a Bobcat skid steer to stack snow and clean things up. That was 10 years ago he started. Now, every year since, I've seen more Bobcats.<br>The night before it snows, he pulls up with a low boy, that has 8 Bobcat skid steers on it. He pulls the lowboy with a Mack, unhitches the trailer, and drives off. Then he comes back with another trailer that has a back hoe on it, hooked up to the Top Kick. He parks it. The next day, if it snows, the guys take the machines, and go to work. If not, he shows up in the Mack with another driver, and they take the two trucks and trailers back to the yard. One thing I did notice, in years past, is the lack of blades. Seems all his machines had the standard bucket on them. Haven't seen what he's using this year.<br>All of the driveways were one car, and 2 car. By that I mean you could fit 2 cars, side by side, nose 6&quot; from the garage doors, and 2 ft from each other. Rear bumper flush with the sidewalk. Not very big, so the bucket may be best. They stacked as they cleared. They don't push into the street, since the road plow would just push it to the curb again., The cycle could go on all night. They also clear the roads curb to curb with the Bobcats. I'm guessing the hardpack is why he uses buckets. These yuppies drive all over it in their SUV's.<br>For the walks I know they have one Steiner mini articulating tractor with a blower on it. It works well. This seems to be the best way to clear this type of layout. I could see a few ATV's cutting down the sidewalk times by a lot. Driveways too.<p>~Chuck<br><p>----------<br>Chuck's Chevy Truck Pages - Snowplowing Central<br>http://members.aol.com/csmith669/plowcentral.html
     
  12. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Mentor, Angel
    from Chicago
    Messages: 239

    Geoff, It will stack snow at least 3 ft, but will push snow back as far as you can. It has traction lock on it which makes both wheels pull, so it has great traction for pushing. I use the truck to make 1 pass on the circular drives and do the big turn around areas, these homes have. It's like a small lot. LOL The JD is used anyplace that I would have to turn the truck around to do. We work together with both and have 2 way radio for communitcations. Works out great.<br><p>----------<br>&lt;a href=&quot;http://www.townserver.com/elm/&quot;&gt;Eric@ELM&lt;/a&gt;<br>
     
  13. mike

    mike Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    I use a F 1145 john deere front mount. It has a 54 inch(angled 46.5inch) hydro. blade on it, a cab with heat and a wester salt spreader on the back of it. I can plow a drive way faster than with a truck becase I can plow going both toward and away from the street, plowing it toward the edges in a oval pattern. I can also go on sidewalks with it. It takes me about 4 min. to do a drive. I also have 425 all wheel steer which is just a little slower.
     
  14. Lazer

    Lazer Senior Member
    Messages: 399

    Mike,<br>I'll hand it to you about a tractor being nicer for sidewalks, but faster for driveways?<p>My average residential driveway takes 1 min 20 seconds INCLUDING travel time.<p>Geoff,<br>What about a TORO dingo with a 5 or 6' front plow on it? You're in the contracting business in the summer, couldn't you use something like that year 'round? I'm sure you could fit a cab to it. They're 4 wheel drive and skid steer. Probably not enough hp, though.<br>