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Project

Discussion in 'Toyota Trucks' started by benscratch, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. benscratch

    benscratch Junior Member
    from France
    Messages: 6

    Hey guys,

    Let me introduce myself, I'm a 17.5 year old French male. I've lived in Farmington, MN for a year in a host family. While I was there, i've worked a bit in the snow removal industry, i shoveled for a company and plowed my host family's farm and my relatives' driveways.

    Now that I'm back in France, I'm thinking about plowing to make some money.
    Here in France, nobody hires contractors to remove snow, nobody offers it though. I'm sure people would be willing to pay for it.

    I'm about to get a Toyota Hilux 2.5L diesel and since I can't find any plow system or mount to buy, I want to build one. My older brother is a welder, my dad an engineer and I'm going to college for mechanical engineering so it should work out.

    Here is my plan for now.
    Let me think what you guys think about it. The picture is still missing some springs, pins and stuff ...

    Thanks,
    Ben

    solidworks1.jpg
     
  2. mnglocker

    mnglocker Senior Member
    Messages: 923

    Here's some things to consider: Can you even get an insurance policy written for plowing in your area? What are regulations on placement of snow piles and so on? Why hasn't anyone else offered plowing in your area?
     
  3. benscratch

    benscratch Junior Member
    from France
    Messages: 6

    I've checked for insurance and yes it's possible.
    Why nobody does it ? Because people here don't have trucks, they're not willing to invest.
    It's a different culture you know ...
    Thanks for your advice.
     
  4. bullettooth81

    bullettooth81 Senior Member
    Messages: 103

    Kind of looks like a BOSS design. What CAD software are you using?

    Some things to think about:
    What will the plow weigh?
    Will the Toyota be able to handle the weight, will Timbrens or helper springs be required?
    What's the typcial snow fall amounts per storm in your area?
    Check the local laws on snow removal, maybe there is a reason no one else offers this service? If there isn't, nice work on being the first.

    Good luck!
     
  5. mnglocker

    mnglocker Senior Member
    Messages: 923


    These are some good points. Have you asked around to see if people would be willing to pay for this service, that's an important part of going into business; have a product that people will pay for. payup
     
  6. bullettooth81

    bullettooth81 Senior Member
    Messages: 103

    I was just going to ask that.
    I've been in parts of the US that get little snow and they are so used to just having it around for a few days, then melting that they wouldn't dream of paying for snow plowing.
     
  7. bullettooth81

    bullettooth81 Senior Member
    Messages: 103

    Have you thought about the electrical side of it? I'm not very familiar with the Hilux (they look like one heck of a rig !) but do they have enough of an alternator to run the plow?

    Also, will you be using the electronics/controls from an existing plow or make them yourself?
     
  8. CarCrazed4Life

    CarCrazed4Life Senior Member
    Messages: 171

    To be honest, shipping things via seamail is not pricey. I've shipped a container for $250. I'd look for a Toyota Hilux (pre 2005 Tacoma for US) and buy a very simple product design. Something like the a 7'4" Fisher Homesteader or a Hitch mounted rear plow...
     
  9. benscratch

    benscratch Junior Member
    from France
    Messages: 6

    According to my calculus, the plow will weigh about 200 kilos, 440 pounds.
    I'm not sure it the toyota will handle it well but if it doesn't, i'll install airbags or timbrens to help.
    So far we've gotten 4 storms, with a 20" (i've pictures if you want guys), and 3 small ones with anywhere from 3" to 8".
    The whole neighborhood is willing to pay and all the people i've talked to would like to be able to get out to go to work ... Here in France we don't have trucks a lot or traction tires. So even with 5" of snow, half the city is down.
    About the electrical part, I'm not sure yet, i'd rather run an hydraulic pump from the battery if that's possible. Wiring is no big deal.

    I appreciate all your incomes ! Thanks a lot !

    Excuse my bad english, i've left the US 5 months ago now and my english is getting worse everyday.
     
  10. bullettooth81

    bullettooth81 Senior Member
    Messages: 103

    With that kind of snow and with businesses losing money, I'd think you have a business there!

    Best of luck!
     
  11. benscratch

    benscratch Junior Member
    from France
    Messages: 6

    You know I don't wanna sound like a kid who knows everything. But since the first storm here in France, i "ve been scratching my head while shoveling thinking there is a service to offer yet.

    Thanks for the income !
     
  12. matts27

    matts27 Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 138

    I've got a 06 Tacoma with the V-6. After mounting my 250 lb plow I quickly realized how soft Toyota makes the springs on the newer trucks. It'll hold the weight but be about an inch or so from the bumpstops. The US offers all sorts of aftermarket companies with slightly lifted springs that'll handle 500 lbs. nicely.

    I would look into a used plow and shipping it over, save a lot of fab time and failures if something isn't sized right. Or at least finding a controller set-up (Isolation Module Unit, etc.) and using that for your controls. The hydro's you can set-up any way you want and save a lot of time on the electric side.

    Also, a trip mechanism would save some abuse or damage to the push plates.

    Nice truck to have with the diesel, too bad it's not offered over here. Good luck and hope this helps, Matt
     
  13. benscratch

    benscratch Junior Member
    from France
    Messages: 6

    Thanks matts27 !
    I wasn't sure about the springs but I'll definitely think about either lifting it or putting timbrens or airbags on.
    Also about the electrical side of it, i'll get a controller set-up from the US. The rest will be homemade.
    There will be extension springs for the trip mecanism also !
    Yep it's nice to have a small diesel trucks ! They get 29-34 mpg depending on who's driving it!
    I still would have liked a 3/4 ton to get into commercial lots but gas is about 2 to 3 times more expansive and you won't find any american trucks under 50 grand (and that's for a half ton)

    Thank you guys for the income.

    I'll post pictures as soon as I start cutting, welding ....

    Ben
     
  14. matts27

    matts27 Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 138

    Wanted to say also, with that diesel motor I imagine Toyota runs a higher rated set-up for the front end due to the weight of the motor, so I'd get it built and mounted before investing in a stronger spring set-up. I went with the springs because Timberns are about $200 US and heavier rated springs are the same, just gotta buy longer front shocks at about $150, just my personal choice. Also, put about 250-300 lbs. back at the tailgate for ballast when you mount your new set-up and see how the front is sitting. Good luck and look forward to see what you come up with!


    Happy Holidays, Matt
     
  15. benscratch

    benscratch Junior Member
    from France
    Messages: 6

    Exactly ! I'll see how it does with ballast in the bed.

    Merry Christmas and Happy hollidays to everyone !