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Snow removal from small driveways

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by LarsonLawnCare, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. LarsonLawnCare

    LarsonLawnCare Member
    Messages: 55

    I've been removing snow for about 20-25 customers over the past 6 years. I've used back pack blowers when the snow is powdery, I have a 2 stage snow thrower that is hard to transport but works good, and of course I have shovels including a 36" snow pusher that I just bought before the last snow and it works good. I am looking to save time. The customers that I have are spread out into different areas and driving takes a lot of time. I am looking into a plow of some sort that can fit my 1/2 ton silverado. The only problem is that a plow will not work on small driveways that have garages. I can't pull in and push the snow to the garage. But I do have about 12 driveways that a push plow will be efficient. I was looking into the snow sport and that will be great, but I wish it would back drag so it will work on the other 12 or so driveways that I have. I am looking for something cheap as well, which is why I am a fan of the snow sport (*$1500) anyone have options for me?
     
  2. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,548

    thats why they have backdrag edges and down pressure... for backdraging snow from garage doors.

    I would try to condense your houses, you dont get paid to drive between houses.
     
  3. LarsonLawnCare

    LarsonLawnCare Member
    Messages: 55

    The snow sport has a backdrag edge?
     
  4. LarsonLawnCare

    LarsonLawnCare Member
    Messages: 55

    is there anything comparable to the snow sport in price and design that has back drag?
     
  5. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    Here is the problem, and pardon me for being a little frank. If you can't afford to buy the proper equipment, maybe you shouldn't be doing this. Condense your route and just keep the easy jobs till you have saved enough money to go buy whats needed. When that money is saved, then I guess if I were you I would look for a rear plow, or a sno way with down pressure to pull the snow away from the garages, and then plow out the rest.
     
  6. cssjim

    cssjim Junior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 26

  7. LarsonLawnCare

    LarsonLawnCare Member
    Messages: 55

    Yeah a little too frank there Rc2505. It's not that I can't afford a top of the line plow, it's I can't justify spending the money for one when during most winters here in St. Louis, it may snow 2 times worth cleaning up. Also, I am only cleaning driveways. Why spend 5k or so to just plow 20-25 driveways. I wouldn't do the work as spread out as it is for one if I didn't already have them as lawn mowing customers, also I wouldn't do it if it wasn't profitable. I'm not just some person out there trying to make money, I am making money and I am trying to find a easier way to do it.
     
  8. LarsonLawnCare

    LarsonLawnCare Member
    Messages: 55

    The super plow looks like a good option, thanks
     
  9. Lugnut

    Lugnut Senior Member
    Messages: 250

    Look into used commercial grade plows. I understand your justification for the amount of money you want to spend, however I think you will have more problems with a new homeowner plow than a used commercial one, not to mention being much more efficient. Kinda like the used walkbehind vs. new murray rider comparison for lawns.
     
  10. Lugnut

    Lugnut Senior Member
    Messages: 250

    Also, I think you'll find out that most if not all of your driveways can be done with the plow, some may just need a quick touching up with shovels around garages etc. if thats what your customers are used to.
     
  11. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    buy a used plow next spring when the prices drop
     
  12. LarsonLawnCare

    LarsonLawnCare Member
    Messages: 55

    My problem is I hate to buy used equipment, and I haven't purchased any in years. Reason being that used equipment can break down at any time and I don't know how it was used in the past. I would rather buy something new that would be under warranty if something goes wrong with it. I understand your comparison with the mowers and I am new to plows and haven't done much research until now. My issues with a commercial grade plow are: damage to the customers driveway, and I have a light duty 1/2 ton truck. So I am looking for something that is light weight that might not cause much damage if any to a driveway. I have heard many complaints from current customers about someone using a plow in the past and damaging their driveway. I'm sure it may have been misuse from the contractor or a bad blade that caused the driveway damage. I make about 800 per snow and like I said before it only snows 2 maybe 3 good snows here in St. Louis (some years more some less) for 20-25 driveways and I can't justify needing a top of the line plow even if it is used.
     
  13. Lugnut

    Lugnut Senior Member
    Messages: 250

    Crazy idea that may be practical for you is actually a sweeper. There was just a thread on these where they were mounted on jeeps. Should work well for light snow that you would typically use a blower on and definitely won't scratch driveways. (although I don't really see that as an issue myself) As for the warranty on a new plow, I don't know how many of the $1500 ones would warranty yours under commercial use, just something to keep in mind.

    http://www.plowsite.com/showthread.php?t=107938&highlight=jeep+broom
     
  14. LarsonLawnCare

    LarsonLawnCare Member
    Messages: 55

    The sweeper looks sketchy but innovative. I wonder if a very short brush at the bottom of a typical plow would work. If you haven't noticed, I have no experience whatsoever with a plow and I am only going on what I have heard from customers, but I get nervous when I think about using a plow on a new or very expensive driveway. A customer of mine a few years ago showed me on her fairly recently sealed blacktop driveway and it had evident scratch marks from the plow that was used on it. This is one of the reasons I haven't purchased a plow sooner, but I am looking for something with minimal chance for damage.
     
  15. ajman21

    ajman21 Senior Member
    Messages: 157

    u can buy different cutting edges on plows that will not scratch a drive but they get pricey. i have never had complaints about a scratched drive and mine is a basic steal edge.
     
  16. MeatPlowed

    MeatPlowed Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    To have an effective snow removal from a small driveway you will need a heavy duty plow that is heavy. Fortunately for St Louis the snow is not too deep and you can probably get away with a straight blade from Meyers, Western etc. Of course your looking at close to 4 grand but thats the facts of life. You can definitely go used for 2-3 grand. What I use to do back in the day was to plow out the end and middle of the driveway and have the kid I hired snow blow out by the garage door. I understand budget issues, but in reality if you got 25 accounts than theirs no reason you can't buy a real plow. The problem with the snowport/snowbear is that they are too light and you need something heavy to back drag. Of course the other option is to hire some Mexicans with shovels!
     
  17. LarsonLawnCare

    LarsonLawnCare Member
    Messages: 55

    Unless I'm mistaken, I can't get anything too heavy though because I have a 1/2 ton chevy silverado.
     
  18. Bigrd1

    Bigrd1 Senior Member
    Messages: 136

    Weather you buy a new or used plow your going to have breakdowns. it's just part of plowing. as for the snowbear plows I wouldn't recommend them to anyone even those guys that just do their personal driveways.. I recommend going with a 7'6" meyer or western. used around here they go for around $1500-2000 and you can always find parts for them cause they are a major brand. that's just my thoughts
     
  19. LarsonLawnCare

    LarsonLawnCare Member
    Messages: 55

    Okay, thanks
     
  20. MeatPlowed

    MeatPlowed Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    The big companies all make plows for half tons and the only difference is they weigh 100 pounds less than whats put on the 3/4 ton truck. They add at least 150 more pounds than a snowbear/snowsport and thats all you need to make the difference. If you got some deep packed snow with ice put some Olympic weights on the plow after you lower it just for the part by the garage and your golden. Then back up and push the crap out. I would recommend going used and like Bigrd1 said get a Meyer or Western or what ever has a good quality dealer by your area of operation because you will need good dealer support in case of a break down. There are lots of good used plows out there just look around everywhere. You might get lucky and find one on a truck for a couple grand and then you get a truck also. Look high and low cuz them plows don't last long.