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Residential Snow Blowing Guys (push/walk behind blowers)

Discussion in 'Equipment, Tools & Vehicle Pictures' started by locallawncare.c, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. locallawncare.c

    locallawncare.c Member
    Messages: 78

    Starting a thread for guys who do strictly residential snow blowing with either single stage or two stage walk behind snow blowers. There doesn't seem to be a thread like this for guys like me, and I am sure there are many more who operate this way.

    So I'll start off by saying I currently do 31 residential driveways ranging in size from single car town house style to 6 car driveways and everything in between. I operate solo and only do properties in my town and 1 town over. I have a 2wd truck with an 8 foot bed, so I made a wooden frame to hold a couple large totes with bags of salt for traction and also hold my gas cans and salt bucket very nicely in addition to provide a small area near the tailgate for the blowers to tuck perfectly in to. I also use a homemade wooden ramp to load/unload my Ariens 624 when needed, most of the time I just take my new 621qzr and just lift it on and off as needed. My blowers are a Toro Powerclear r-tek, Toro 621qzr, and an Ariens 624. Anyone feel free to leave feedback or post your own stories about your blowing operation.

    Here is a picture of my current blowers and my truck bed setup. I will try to get some action pictures as the season goes on. Cheers.

    snow3.jpg

    snow.jpg

    snow1.jpg

    snow2.jpg
     
  2. Mike NY

    Mike NY Senior Member
    from zone 5
    Messages: 103

    Looks like a very efficient setup, I'll bet your customers love being done with small snowblowers.
    Do yourself a favor and use a strap around the tailgate and ramp for safety to keep ramps from sliding out.
     
  3. locallawncare.c

    locallawncare.c Member
    Messages: 78

    Thanks for the tip but I already did that thanks, its not in the picture, also I don't walk up the ramp at all, just beside it and then park the blower once it gets on top. Thanks for the comments.
     
  4. CamS

    CamS Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    looks like a good setup

    we(my father and I) were similar to you but we have 60 accounts but this year we finally gave in and got a plow
     
  5. nnusskern

    nnusskern Member
    Messages: 42

    I do the samething and do 18 driveways every storm. I have ariens 2 stage and snapper single stage blowers. Im am going to plow parking lots next winter but plan on doing all my driveways this way still.
     
  6. Fannin76

    Fannin76 Senior Member
    Messages: 731

    Looks fantastic. I plan on running side walk crews and will stealing this set up....very nice
     
  7. dieselboy01

    dieselboy01 Senior Member
    Messages: 784

    Nice looking setup! I bet most people would prefer your service over someone slamming a blade down a few times in there driveway at 2am!
     
  8. locallawncare.c

    locallawncare.c Member
    Messages: 78

    Yeah a lot of customers do not want a plow used, mainly because they fear of damages that could occur to the driveway,curbs, edging, lawns, etc. Then there are some who weren't happy with the previous guy who plowed, and some people could care less what I use as long as it move the snow. Overall I feel really good about the service that blowers provide, there is a market for it for sure, going every year.
     
  9. locallawncare.c

    locallawncare.c Member
    Messages: 78

    Feel free to steal this setup Fannin, more than welcome to, it started as a need to add weight to the bed of the truck and secure the blowers quickly and easily and it all just feel into place.
     
  10. BlueRam2500

    BlueRam2500 Senior Member
    Messages: 765

    I started with my 8hp/27" cut Craftsman snowblower doing driveways, than stepped up to an 8ft Western, now am back to the snowblower and ATV with plow. In today's storm, the snow was heavy and wet and the snowblower proved to be the best asset.

    That's a great setup you have! Best of luck the rest of this winter.
     
  11. m.williams

    m.williams Member
    Messages: 52

    Thats exactly how I got my start. There is a real market for that service if you are willing to work for it. Good stuff. Braver than I was with the 2wd though.
     
  12. locallawncare.c

    locallawncare.c Member
    Messages: 78

    Just finished up from this last storm which was literally 1 foot deep. Whey. The 2wd gets around find, I have about 400 pound of salt in those bins plus about 200-250 pounds of blowers which is at the rear so the traction with good snow tires is excellent, try it with an empty 8ft bed and bald all season tires and no are going no where. On a side note I plan on upgrading my Ariens 624 to a platinum 24" model, has much larger auger/impeller combo and a larger engine, hopefully will eliminate the overflow that happens when trying to move quickly, the Toro 621 has been used and abused this season and keeps on begging for more, I highly recommend them to anyone.
     
  13. locallawncare.c

    locallawncare.c Member
    Messages: 78

    Waiting on my KAGE paddles to come in, the rubbers ones are doing a great job, looking for an increase in paddle life as well as maybe some improved hard-pack scouring ability, although the rubber ones are surprisingly aggressive for being rubber anyways. Both blowers have been performing flawlessly all season, haven't used my 2 stroke all season, just ran it in the driveway and man is it noisy and smelly compared to my 621qzr which is a 4-stroke, glad I made the switch, looking to replace the 2 stroke next season with another 621 or maybe 721 if they come out with quick chute for that model. Also considering re-doing the truck bed setup so that the Ariens can be parked straight in instead of turning it sideways, it's not a huge issue and it tucks in very nicely they way it is, however the ramp I use kind of gets thrown in on an angle over the blower and is not ideal, but 90% of snow events I only use the 621 anyways so not sure if it's worth the effort.
     
  14. CAT 245ME

    CAT 245ME PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,032

    I know an old fella that is retired. He and a helper started three years ago clearing drives with walk behind blowers. They do the drives, walk ways and I'm pretty sure they clean off the cars as well. At the start of the season they had 60 drives and are still adding.

    There price for the season is $600.
     
  15. locallawncare.c

    locallawncare.c Member
    Messages: 78

  16. locallawncare.c

    locallawncare.c Member
    Messages: 78

    Thought I would revive this thread, still going strong, still solo, sold the Ariens 624 and Toro 2-stroke, bought a new 721qzr and looking into a platinum 24 Ariens, picked up some new customers, I had to drop a bunch of ones in another town, simply was too much driving last year, picked up some neighbors and have a few clusters, hopefully this season goes well. Still have the same truck and ramp setup, although the Ariens 624e is gone so I'm just gonna use the 621qzr and 721qzr and hopefully not need another 2-stage. Anyone else doing it this way? I think I'm the only sucker.
     
  17. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,485

    Nothing wrong with what you're doing.Thumbs Up

    Good luck this season.
     
  18. Misch-Rman

    Misch-Rman Member
    Messages: 70

    Nice set up man keep up the good work!
     
  19. rbljack

    rbljack Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 43

    Glad you revived this one. here in texas we don't see a lot of snow, but I thought about investing in a Single stage snow blower for startes if there is some customer demand or interest in this.

    With the predictions for a colder year and more precip, it might be worthwhile, but I haven't jumped in with both feet yet. I continue to read posting here and familiarize myself with the snow removal info on this site, pricing, tips, tricks, reviews, etc.

    Good luck this season, and keep us informed. Hope you do well! Pictures are definily a plus too, especially the how to's and set up pics like you did with the truck set up.

    One suggestion I have would be to add a light bar to that headache rack and make yourself more visible while out there working. I used to live back east (New Jersey) and up north, South Dakota, Idaho, etc, and can attest to how visible those light bars are during heavy snow fall. When your out working in that stuff, staying visible will be important.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2014
  20. locallawncare.c

    locallawncare.c Member
    Messages: 78

    Light bars are super bright and piss off the neighbours at night, especially if you are just parked out front of a house in a tight subdivision. I usually put my 4-ways on, very really thought about it snowing in Texas.