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Sorry but...

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by FatAl, Oct 11, 2008.

  1. FatAl

    FatAl Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    I just wanted to say hello. Last year Durango(southwestern CO.) had the biggest winter in 20 years and I'm over shoveling my 200' driveway. As many others have asked, am I crazy!? I've got a great little 84 Toyo that runs stronger than one could believe, it's been very well maintained and well, I think she'll do wonders with a snow pusher out front of her. I read on here that one member preferred the itty bitty Toyos for driveways and such. The snow here is mostly fluff, with the occasional mush. I think all I would need to supplement would be 20 clients or so, plus I wouldn't have to spend 2 hours a storm shoveling out my own drive! Feedback please.

    Thanks ya'll.

    Fat Al
     
  2. tom_mccauley

    tom_mccauley Senior Member
    Messages: 465

    By "supplement" do you mean you are going to charge other people to do their drive? If so, you will also have to ad the cost of commercial ins/Gen liab to the equation as well. If you plow for ANY $ you WILL need ins.pumpkin:pumpkin:
     
  3. FatAl

    FatAl Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    I meant supplemental income. Thx.
     
  4. tom_mccauley

    tom_mccauley Senior Member
    Messages: 465

    But you are plowing for $ correct?
     
  5. FatAl

    FatAl Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    Yes, that would be my intention. Am I nuts or what?!
     
  6. tom_mccauley

    tom_mccauley Senior Member
    Messages: 465

    No, I would not call you nuts!, You like the Benjamin's just like the rest of the free world. All I am Saying is you should weigh the cost of Ins & gen liab. before you go out and plow other people. Even with the best of intentions, people are sue happy, and with 1 slip & fall, you could loose everything you have worked hard to get. I just don't want you to make that mistake, by not having ins!:drinkup::drinkup:
     
  7. farmerkev

    farmerkev Senior Member
    Messages: 847

    Now if you want to start plowing for money, you might want to rethink using the small truck you are so proud of.
     
  8. FatAl

    FatAl Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    No, NO, NO, I wouldn't conceive of doing this without insurance. It seems that the inital startup costs are relatively low, considering. Plow, insurance, maintenance, advertising-anything else major I'm missing? I'm perhaps the most anal, most cautious individuals I know. With that said, what am i not considering?
     
  9. FatAl

    FatAl Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    I am proud of me truck, but it is not my daily driver. Besides, if all goes well this winter I could feasibly upgrade the vehicle next winter. I'm just trying to supplement my income and give me something to do through the winter. Like I said, the snow here is mostly fluff, with the occasional 'sierra cement'.
     
  10. tom_mccauley

    tom_mccauley Senior Member
    Messages: 465

    I would tend to agree with that statement. As I have been plowing for almost 25 years I think you have greatly underestimated maintenance cost's,fuel, oh by the way what is your time worth?
     
  11. FatAl

    FatAl Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    Give me an idea of what sort of maintenance costs I could expect with 1 vehicle. Like I said, what am I missing? My goal this season would be 20 residential clients. The cost of my time will be considered once I better understand operating costs. In my contract, I will ad a 'fuel clause' and base my initial fees on what fuel has cost over the past 6-months. I will ad a 'fuel surcharge' if needed. Thankfully, fuel goes down in the winter.

    Thanks for your time Tom.
     
  12. erkoehler

    erkoehler PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,268

    Being that you are out west, but not knowing exactly where your located you may be a bit late in the game to secure 20 residential contracts.

    Also, if you do residential are you prepared to get out of the truck to do sidewalks and doorways?
     
  13. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,556

    if your profit depends on the price of fuel your not charging enough.

    Do you have a plow?
    Do you have 20 customers?
    Do you have commercial liability Ins that covers snowplowing?

    What is your price structure?
    Have you ever plowed commercially before.

    Your toyo may not be the best choice for a plow rig for your arena
     
  14. tom_mccauley

    tom_mccauley Senior Member
    Messages: 465

    give me a minute, i'll be right back!
     
  15. farmerkev

    farmerkev Senior Member
    Messages: 847

    What happens if you try to plow commercialy with a truck not designed for it and it breaks down?
     
  16. FatAl

    FatAl Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    To answer your questions in order:

    Not yet,
    Not yet, but without even leaving my neighborhood I've got 5 clients already-no advertising yet.
    Not yet,

    Price structure will depend on the fixed costs, plus variable costs, plus the unforseable, then profit.

    No I haven't plowed yet. But don't underestimate the power of determination, plus winter experience. I grew up in Lake Tahoe(absurd amounts of snow=crazy driving) then spending another 10-years in Telluride, CO., plus an additional 4 years in Durango, CO. I'm more comfortable in snow country than anywhere.

    I read a post from someone here that their best plow rig for small jobs was a veteran style Toyota.

    This is why I am here guys, keep feeding my mind with some good viddles.


    Thanks again!
     
  17. FatAl

    FatAl Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    Unless your truck is painted orange, has a ginormous bed filled with sand/salt, has circling flashing lights on top of it, and comes with a County employee behind the wheel, then I'd say that any truck isn't designed for plowing.

    What about all the suggestions of using a Jeep of sorts? They can't be any better or worse than a well maintained Toyo, right?

    Keep it coming Gents!
     
  18. tom_mccauley

    tom_mccauley Senior Member
    Messages: 465


    For starters, you would need major suspension mods to your truck, to cope with the weight of the plow (most 7.5 foot plows are in the ballpark of 700-800 lbs which would come close to putting you over the front axle gross weight. You can also count on upper/lower ball joints,shocks/struts,wheel bearings,higher load rated tires. The list goes on and on. If all you want is 20 customers, you would be better served buying an old 3/4 ton plow truck all ready set up
     
  19. farmerkev

    farmerkev Senior Member
    Messages: 847

    I dont want to shoot anything down, it is very doable. And I agree with you that almost no truck is "built" for plowing its just a matter of whats best at holding up with a plow. In the smaller stuff, jeeps come pretty tough stock, but in all honesty, nothing will hold a plow like a 3/4 ton or bigger truck.

    A small truck with a nice Sno-Way with DP can be a pretty nice little driveway truck, but reapirs will be more frequent, and there will need to be more upgraing as apposed to a 3/4 or even 1/2 ton truck.
     
  20. tom_mccauley

    tom_mccauley Senior Member
    Messages: 465

    One more thing to think about is what will happen if your truck breaks halfway through your route? do you have a backup plan in place? As you stated, you will be paid for your services, and people will expect to get them, (are you ready to field 20 phone calls wanting to know when you are going to be there? how come i'm not plowed yet? the list goes on and on as well) Plowing snow is not for every one, if you are prepared to spend ALOT of time in the cab away from your family, then welcome to the biz!!!!!, If not then just get a Homesteader or the like, do your own drive and call it a year!!!!!!:drinkup::drinkup:
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2008