1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Plowing for local city DPW

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by ramair2k, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. ramair2k

    ramair2k Senior Member
    Messages: 239

    Thinking of signing up as a contractor for my local city DPW. My current truck is a 2013 Silverado Crew Cab LT with Fisher HT plow. My first question is, can I expect to really mess up my plow or truck plowing snow for my city? I am hoping as long as I take it slow/steady that all will be fine. The pay rate seems pretty good, $70.00 an hour assuming no taxes are taken out so I will have to put some coin aside for that.

    My current insurance plan covers liability for bodily injury and property damage, I think the agent say I have 100/300. Also, she said I could add the plow on the policy to cover any damage to it, if an accident should happen. Anything else I need to know? The good thing is that you plow if you can, if not, no biggie as I do have a regular Mon-Fri 7-3 full time job. This is really just for "additional" income. Thoughts?
     
  2. wils5150

    wils5150 Member
    from mass
    Messages: 87

    I wouldn't do it. and ya if the roads are not in good shape they will beat the snot out of your truck. when I worked for the dpw the subs had to be on call 24/7. Check with the dpw they will tell you what limits they want insurance wise
     
  3. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    What happens if the truck/plow breaks?
     
  4. ramair2k

    ramair2k Senior Member
    Messages: 239

    Then I go home for the night? lol My city is very lax when it comes to contractors. They would probably just call the next guy on the list. Like I said, I have a full time job so there is no backup truck/plow for me.
     
  5. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Sorry ,wrong attitude.
     
  6. Banksy

    Banksy PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,113

    Your DPW hires half tons? That HT plow will get trashed plowing roads.
     
  7. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 638

    Yes you will pound your truck/ plow and no your insurance ( g/l ) most likely does not cover snow removal on public roads
     
  8. ramair2k

    ramair2k Senior Member
    Messages: 239

    my DPW hires anything with a plow. Jeeps, rangers, etc...I have seen many fisher homesteaders plowing. I kind of figured that the HT wouldn't be able to handle commercial plowing but figured I would ask. I see many Fisher SD plows on the road and those do not seem to be much "beefier" than the HT.

    As far as the "wrong attitude" not really sure what to say about that. I understand your thought process with your comment however I am not a profession snow removal person nor do I have any intentions on becoming one. having said that, I don't think there is anything wrong with a normal joe with a plow making some extra money. No need for a spare truck/plow.
     
  9. leigh

    leigh PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,990

    Might be okay to do parking lots for the city,schools etc. Roads, no way. I drove with my blizzard 810 4 miles to my shop (fried pump) and after 3 big hits broke 3 bolts off frame and the plow was barely hanging on! Still working on it.One night of plowing roads and you won't even have a plow left on your truck!
     
  10. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Not to mention,how many road miles would be plowing? Could cost more in cutting edges then what you'll make.
     
  11. beanz27

    beanz27 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    Sorry but if my local town hired a guy in a half ton with a "weak" plow, especially with a full time job, I'd be pissed. I don't wanna have to plow the road just so I can get somewhere cause your still at work. Wanna make extra money? Get some residential driveways, and tell them you work fulltime, give a small discount for that, and tell them your not a pro snow guy, don't expect the same service.

    Roads are not for half tons, or anyone not doing snow as a profession, sorry. Buy a 3/4 ton, or preferably a 1 ton, and a real plow, then do that as your only job, then you can do it.
     
  12. OldSchoolPSD

    OldSchoolPSD Senior Member
    Messages: 242

    I do municipal roads almost exclusively. I don't know what you guys are talking about it being hard on trucks. It's got to be easier on a truck than going forward and back chasing windrows around a parking lot all night.

    That being said, I wouldn't want to work for a city that hires half tons and jeeps. And for comparison my srw one ton pays $98/hr. $70/hr is too cheap in my opinion.
     
  13. leigh

    leigh PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,990

    You're streets must be in real good shape. Sometimes I think my truck will fall apart just driving with plow up!
     
  14. jim5x5

    jim5x5 Member
    Messages: 32

    Odds are with a 1/2 ton truck they will have him doing schools and municipal parking lots. Unless they get a light dusting, his truck isn't going to do much road clearing.
     
  15. Psdiesel

    Psdiesel Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    I contract my truck to the DPW in the next city over from me. This is my fourth year doing it with my truck and in years past I drove my friends single axle dump that he had contracted with the same city. My srw F350 makes 61 an hour. I'm aware that it is on the low end of the going rate for a truck of that size but that's what they offer so that's what I get. I'll also add that plowing snow isn't my main source of income, but just because its not my main source of income doesn't mean that I blow it off and that my truck isn't always ready to go for when they call. I've noticed that the guys that don't take it seriously or are always broken down always end up with the less desirable routes.

    I'm not sure where the argument that its hard on your truck comes from when it comes to plowing city streets. I think the wear and tear on the drivetrain is far less as about 90% of the time you are going forward. I'm not saying the truck doesn't get a work out as the snow on the mains is usually heavy and slushy from all the traffic. Yea, sometimes you get a street or two thats in rough shape with some nasty manhole covers but usually if you hit them once you remember where they are. Besides isn't that why plows trip? It's not something I would try to do with a light duty truck and plow though. I've seen plenty of guys over the years try and do it with a half ton and light duty plow and things never seem to end well for them.
     
  16. jim5x5

    jim5x5 Member
    Messages: 32

    I'm sure the bad roads depends on the city your in. Here in Chicago I think we have more bad roads than good. I don't like driving down them without a plow, let alone with a plow on the truck.
     
  17. ramair2k

    ramair2k Senior Member
    Messages: 239

    Guys, I appreciate all the input here. I also understand a lot of the concerns that you guys have. The streets are give and take in my city. Some are recently paved and others are typical city streets with potholes and raised manhole covers. Having said that, once you hit that manhole once, trust me you will remember where it is the next time around.

    Seems like most of you guys would revolt against my local city if you lived here because as previously stated, most of the city is half tons. Yes there are your larger trucks but they are far and few between. I don't agree either that in order to plow streets, you need a 3/4 or 1 ton. I DO agree that my fisher HT would probably not fair well against the streets which sucks and will probably sway me not to sign up. Last think I need to do is bust up a brand new plow.

    Here is the truck that is the "main" plow guy for my street. What is he driving? a chevy Tahoe with a Fisher RD? He has been plowing my street, for the city, for the past 5 years or so. He seems to do just fine. The other guy on my route is a 2008ish dodge ram 1500 crew cab with Fisher SD plow. Seems to work fine as well.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2013
  18. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 638

    Do you know why they hire guys with Tahoes? Because the guys with real trucks realize there is no money to be made...........
     
  19. wils5150

    wils5150 Member
    from mass
    Messages: 87

    the main problem I had with smaller trucks was they cant push back when you get a good snow fall
     
  20. leigh

    leigh PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,990

    Getting a little off topic but, The game in my town is to pick up a retired(beat) municipal truck at auction for 5k or so. Get it so it will at least run,plow turns and the sander can at least hold salt! Put in a bid , lowest go out first and then they go up the line as the need arises.If they break down,no biggy, park and fix for next storm.Is it worth it,must be these guys are getting 150hr and up! My friend used to run an old dump back in the 90's and was making 110$ hr back then. Funny thing, even at those rates these guys aren't getting rich!