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Snow Removal Alternative............

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by southsideone, Nov 9, 2006.

  1. southsideone

    southsideone Member
    Messages: 35

    this post is to help make light of a different way to go about snow removal. since it wouldnt be wise to plow w/ my explorer, i decided to go another route being as this is my first season as well as being new to my area. i purchased a new ariens 926
    2-stage blower from home depot. for the blower, a shovel, and a gas can i spent around $975 w/ tax, but i saved 10% since i just opened a c.c. account w/ them. i also told them i want one in the box(not one of the floor models). the reason for this is they charge a "set-up" fee. i saved another $20 or so. the only things that had to be "assembled" was the discharge chute and hand grip bar had to be swung up in place and the hand knobs tightened. thats it. took me 5 minutes or so. so theres my snow equipment. as mentioned above, i drive an explorer, a v6 at that.(but is 4wd) my explorer is also not equipped w/ a tow package or 2" receiver. it has the class II 1 1/4". being that my blowers wheelbase is exactly 24", there arent very many cargo carriers (or cargo trays) that are wide enough to accomondate it. most are only 20" wide. now yes, they do make a many different cargo carriers w/ built in ramps and such, but my initial research into these proved to be wayyy to expensive for the budget that im willing to spend on one. so instead i did alot of searches on various search engines and came across www.bsaohio.com (i am not advertising for anyone) on that site i found a carrier that would suit my needs. it is exactly 24"w by 60"L. like i said before, since i only have a receiver that is 1 1/4" , i also needed to purchase a hitch adaptor so the carrier would transfer into my receiver. 1 1/4" to 2" hitch adaptor. luckily for me, they stocked it.
    shipped from ohio to my old home in chicago, the cargo carrier and hitch adaptor was around $185.(note-most cargo carriers are i believe made of steel, mine is aluminum, which is great for weight savings being as that my explorer really isnt built to handle heavy loads, every pound saved helps) now the only thing left for me to do was do make some ramps so i could load the blower on to the cargo carrier. instead of forking out $75 or more for some ramps, i decided to make them myself. i cant remember all the materials off the top of my head, but i basically went to a hardware store, bought a couple of hinges, some nuts, bolts, screws, some wood planks, and a piece of 1/2" plywood and make them myself.(note-remember also to find some sort of treds to put on the ramp so when youre out in the snow and ice, the blower, as well as yourself, have the traction to make it up the ramp) and it is very sturdy. i tested w/ me, some of my buddies, as well as a little alcohol. so yes, its dummy proof solid. i spent a good half hour or so today practicing loading, unloading, and securing, unsecuring the blower and ramp to the carrier so that now it is second nature and i wont waste valuable time during an event. and w/ everything fully loaded on the on the carrier, my rear suspension only compressed less than 1" from the unloaded height. (i will take some pics of all of this asap but right now im in wisconsin and my camera is in chicago) this post more less to make aware another option to those who want to make money in the snow biz, but dont own a truck and/or plow. (as well as anyone who searches this sort of thing) so basically ive gotten helped w/ info on this site so now maybe i can help someone. steve
     
  2. glenspot

    glenspot Senior Member
    Messages: 255

    And I think that you will be able to secure a portion of home-owners who cannot or would rather not have their driveways plowed.

    Plow operators often damage the grass or perhaps there just isn't room to pile snow with a plow.

    Also, many customers want their walk-ways cleared and plow operators are reluctant to haul around a snowblower or shovel for that.

    Also keep in mind, however that what takes me 3 minutes to plow, will take you 10 - 15 minutes to snowblow. But considering your financial investment vs mine, are in a good position.

    One other aspect everyone is going to throw at you.... is insurance. I only carry commercial auto insurance on my vehicles, but I don't carry a General Liability policy. In some situations a GL policy is a good idea, in others it may be too expensive for your application.

    I found that a commercial auto policy is really no more expensive than a personal auto policy, so cost isn't an issue. But call your insurance agent and present some scenarios to him. First, if you are driving from client to client with the snowblower on the back of your Explorer and ....maybe something went wrong with the mounting or safety harness for the snowblower and it fell off causing an accident. Because you were using your vehicle for business purposes, does your insurance cover you? Likewise, if your vehicle is hit while you are at another persons home doing work, will it be covered then?

    Its better to know up front, rather than find out later.

    But, I say...go for it. Snowblow till your hearts content...and claim all the money you earn on your taxes. I don't see any reason why you won't get a bunch of customers. I'd hire you to do my grandma's house if you were up here.
     
  3. southsideone

    southsideone Member
    Messages: 35

    yes, you can plow a drive in in alot less time than it would take me to snowblow, but as you stated, i do not take the amount of financial risk that a plow undertakes, such as striking objects, plow costs, spreaders, maintence, etc.

    yes, i just signed a commercial policy w/ Progressive Commercial. it was cheaper than regular Progressive.(go figure) and yes youre correct a GL policy is too expensive for me.

    also, in my town it is mandatory for homeowners to clear the sidewalks that occupy their property. so hopefully this will be an added "edge" for me.

    i also have a simple mutual release of liability contract im working on so neither i nor the homeowner will be able to hold each other accountable for any eventualities that could possibly occur while performing a snow service. i know, obviously it could be just as troublesome as well as protective. and if my vehicle is hit by someone else's vehicle, then i would go through the auto insurances.(i will have to word the contract, "except if someone hits my vehicle," something along those lines)