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slow new guy

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by yellowsnow, Jan 31, 2004.

  1. yellowsnow

    yellowsnow Junior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 25

    When all you expierenced guys started were you really slow at first? This is my first year plowing, added it to my lawn care bus. Residentials are pretty quick but when it comes to my larger commercial lots it seems to take forever. I need to figure out a way so that I'm not going over the same place more then neccessary. I have one lot that has islands and other obstacles every time I plow I try to do it a different way but it always comes out to the amount of time sometimes longer. Any books or literature on the best ways to attck a different lots.
     
  2. nor'easter1

    nor'easter1 Senior Member
    Messages: 140

    There is a guide to plowing that chuck made you should be able to find it if you do a search for chucks Chevy page. I just advise you really think out the commercial lot. Were is the best place to dump the snow, and remember to windrow the snow on straight runs. New plowers think if they have an eight foot blade they can clear eight feet at one shot. You have to angle and use about half the blade to stop the run off. If there are allot of obstacles have a kid shovel some of the snow out of the islands to you in the truck, this will speed up your time. Get there plenty early if it is possible and take your time. Faster you go more mistakes and loss of money in the long run. Also check out other lots near you on a day off to see what they do, if they are similar. Hope this helps
     
  3. The Boss

    The Boss 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,099

    Don't want to go fast if your getting paid by the hour.:nono:
     
  4. TLS

    TLS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425

    Well, I don't think he'd post about how long its taking him if he's getting paid by the hour. :rolleyes:

    A new lot usually takes a few plows to realize the quickest way. Nothing happens overnite!

    For me, I was plowing since I was 9 on a Cub Cadet tractor, so the "BIG" driveways were comparable to a small lot with my truck!
     
  5. poncho62

    poncho62 Senior Member
    Messages: 431

    And remember, if you try to go too fast, thats when you are going to hit something and break your plow. That, cost more in the long run.
    Go at your own pace.....I used to try to hurry, but it doesn't pay in the long run. Your speed will build up with experience.
     
  6. JMR

    JMR Senior Member
    Messages: 567

    When at a new lot I always stop for a minute a survey the property. I develop a plan of attack. First clear all your back dragging areas. Next I do the entrances and exits. Then I do odd ball areas. Last I get into the large areas of the lot. The thing you won't to avoid most is plowing the same area twice or more. Move snow once and you will be a lot more efficient.

    All to often you see someone do a nice job and make good time, plowing a large open space. They the loose all the time they made by then going and doing those odd corners and entrances last, moving snow across already plowed areas. When plowing, time is money.payup
     
  7. yellowsnow

    yellowsnow Junior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 25

    Ok so do the oddball stuff first. I was going straight to the open area and getting that part out of the way. I was thinking that if I was driving all over doing the tricky stuff first would pack down the snow and not get the lot as clear. I have a small plow to 6.5' so I guess I can only go as fast as my equipment will allow. Thanks for the advice got a storm thats suppose to start sunday 6"-9"
     
  8. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    Practice - Practice -Practice - helps a lot, like they said think of your plan of attack. Where your going to put the snow, how it will get there( full angled sweep or straight push etc.) how much inches and weight of snow. Certain heavy or slushy snow may need more time or you divide up the lot into smaller sections. Don't make exits / entrances / drives "tight" with piles. Don't block access to a dumpster with piles. If you do have piles at entrances don't make them so high drivers can not see to safely exit onto the road. Don't push snow up onto sidewalks. Always look before you backup, car drivers just don't care that you are plowing. Resist urge to drive / plow faster then conditions demand, better to take longer then to ride shot gun in a tow truck.
     
  9. Switchless

    Switchless Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 74

    This is my first year plowing, too. After the first time I went out, I came home and thought I would sell the plow because I couldn't do anything right. I'm on my 4th snow, and everything is changing for the better, minute by minute. Don't give up.......
    Pete
     
  10. bgingras

    bgingras Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    This is also my first year plowing, it was the only was yo justify a second truck for the business, it had to make money when it wasn't needed on a job, and so far so good. Now I'll let everyone laugh a bit at my inexperience...this was also my forst year driving a stick...so picture newbie plowing while still learning the clutch..I stalled at least 10 times on my own driveway...plus all the other accounts...I didn't think it was going to happen. Now, after only a couple storms, I've learned that the clutch is my firend, I've gotten quick with manuevering, however I'm still pushing slow...and I won't change that since I prefer not to beat on my equipment. If I can learn to drive a stick and learn to plow at the same time, I think you can handle it:)
     
  11. gt_racer50

    gt_racer50 Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 484

    Just remember, speed plowing and speed drinking are kind of the same, bad things happen when you do either one of them.
     
  12. Also do not forget to keep snow well away from fire hydrants and standpipes (hydrant connections that are in the walls of commercial buildings)
     
  13. streetsurfin'

    streetsurfin' Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    Here's another tip to remember for your future in plowing.
    Hopefully you won't need it.

    If your plow ever malfunctions and won't raise any more, and you need to get back to a shop to fix it you can run the plow up into a snowbank, hit float, push the ram down all the way and reset your chain to a shorter length. You should be able to get it high enough to safely transport it down the road
     
  14. gt_racer50

    gt_racer50 Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 484

    Excellant tip!!!!
     
  15. Good thing to know in a pinch. Thanks
    Kev
     
  16. djg0770

    djg0770 Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    I'm fairly new to plowing too. I would recommend you carry some tools, and some of the more popular 'breakables'.

    I carry a small hydraulic floor jack (better than my truck's bumper jack) just in case my hydraulics fail, at least I can raise my plow and shorten the chain and get to where you can fix it.

    Also, do your pm (preventive maintenance) when the weather's warm. I didn't think I'd be plowing this year, so I did no pm in the spring or summer, and well, that was just dumb.
     
  17. yellowsnow

    yellowsnow Junior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 25

    good tip streetsurfing I was wondering what I could do if hydraulics fail. Hope not I only have one truck with a plow on it.
     
  18. SteveVB

    SteveVB Member
    Messages: 66

    poles & islands

    When I plow a lot with poles or islands I usually start on the long side and clear a few passes- big enough for the truck to back into. Then I start pushing perpendecular to my starting strip. I start on one side and work my way to the other. When I get to an Island or pole I push a few short pushes perpendicular to my rows around the pole or island- usually two on each side of a plole- leaving the spoils for my next row push across the lot . Then go back to pushing my rows picking up the spoils from around the pole as I continue to push the rows. If the lot is large Ill turn at each end rather than back up.
    I dont spend a lot of time going over things Ive already done- usually just a little touch ups in the corners.
    Deep snow do the same thing- except run down the middle and push half the distance out to each side .
    Every lot is different, so you have to survey the lot see where the sidewalks and such are and push away.
     
  19. ih82plow

    ih82plow Senior Member
    Messages: 109

    I have found a drawing of the property with lines and arrows a great start to a plan.I also plow into a lot to allow me a way out or at least a clear are to correct a problem on my truck if it apears.

    I also drag out or clean out the problem areas.To better explain it I try to square things out.

    I used to run all of my lots the long way.thinking as much pushing as possible the better. I also used to load my blade with as much as possible before it spilled over the blade.In the heavey snow I would load only a 1/2 or a 1/3 blade any thing not to have to cover the same ground twice because of spilage.

    I purchased a set of turkey wings (see my sig picture) and now I plow entirly different. I now plow with a straight blade always with the therory of just getting as much snow out and off the lot as quick as possible then going back to clean things up. I also have been doing it the short way (instead of lenght ways I do it width ways) Also when I say quickley I dont mean with speed I never plow above 10 mph MAX. Good luck and be safe
     
  20. ebaron

    ebaron Senior Member
    Messages: 110

    hydraulics fail

    Yellowsnow,
    Having a jack or come along is great advice. I lost my hydraulics on a Western, (bolt at bottom fatigued) at 55MPH on the thruway. Yep, that wakes you up! It wasn't a leak, it was a total fluid dump! Closest thing to a 'jack' in my truck was a coffe cup! Scrapin home for 5 miles was not fun.

    Last year, lost hydraulics on my new plow (1 month old) due to bad line crimps from the factory. By the time you catch a slower leak, you could be out of fluid.

    It happens! I now carry spare hydraulic lines, fluid, etc. Learned the hard way.