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Technique for Larger Properties?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by SnoJob67, Sep 13, 2001.

  1. SnoJob67

    SnoJob67 Senior Member
    Messages: 384

    How could I approach a 4-5 acre lot (those of you who have done so with pickups)? I have only serviced small stuff... up to an acre. I haven't had much time to watch how other contractors approach certain accounts I am pursuing. I have seen that most lots this size seem to get serviced by pickups in my area.

    Would it make sense to team up three vehicles (varying opinions encouraged) at an account that size, then have them go to their respective solo stops once the "larger" account is completed?

    I realize there are much more efficient ways of approaching these properties, but the playing field is level since my competition uses similar equipment.

    Thanks for the help.

    JD PLOWER PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 751

    If your certain your only going to be using a pickup (wich I don't recomend) you will have to start at the very back end and push the last 200-300' from there. I'm guessing this a fairly rectangular lot(s). If this is the case you will not want to winrow very much of it since a pickup doesn't have the weight to push back a large row. You may also start at the same location and push in all four directions from the center, doing this from each 200-300' section. Alot of this size is going to put an awful strain on a pickup especialy if you get snow rates at 1-2" per hour for say 4 or 5 hours. A loader or backhoe is well suited for a job like this. P.S. I STRONGLY RECOMMEND A V-PLOW FOR THIS JOB. Good luck.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2001
  3. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    I do a 2+-acre lot with a pickup and straight blade Fisher. With buildings and such the plowable area is roughly shaped like a capital "E". Each leg roughly 60 feet by 300 feet. The dead ends cannot be blocked due to fenced storage areas for the tenants. I do this myself being careful not to let the storm get ahead of me, nor to pile snow in such a way that I cant move it later (ie, from the legs of the E to the main lot).

    It would be much more efficient for me to have a second larger truck moving the snow plowed out to the main area but I dont have that luxury. So any storm over 5 or 6 inches requires extra visits.

    I would strongly suggest you dig deep and find out what the owner/tenant expects and decide if you can handle it. From the limited info provided I would expect at least two trucks tackle this job simultaneously if what you have are pickups.
  4. SnoJob67

    SnoJob67 Senior Member
    Messages: 384

    Five yard dump...

    I have a big dump (~25,000 gvw) with 10' plow, as well. I could work that into the equation. If I have 2 trucks full time on two or three properties ranging from 3-5 acres each, would it be helpful to bring the big truck through for support.

    I may be totally off base here, but this is what I envision. I could have two or three larger properties with two trucks plowing them and dedicated to those properties alone. When they windrow the aisles and cannot push further, I come in with the big truck and push the snow to the end of the aisles.

    Yes, the areas are large and rectangular, for the most part.

    Does anybody do anything like this, or is there a better way to go about it with the same equipment?
  5. SLC1

    SLC1 Senior Member
    Messages: 242

    Lease, rent, or get a sub and buy a sno-pusher then you wont have to worry about handleing the site, it will handle it no problem and you wont have to worry about not being able to keep up with it. Just My two cents
  6. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266


    We handle quite a few lots that size. Now its a catch 22 type of thing. If you rent a backhoe and have a pusher and that there, you aren't verry productive. The lot isn't big enough to use the machine for verry long, and if you don't have some other lots lined up close by. You aren't getting the most of your machine, if you have several lots like this and they are spread out, you won't be able to get the machine there fast enough.

    There for we use either an F 550 with a 9.5' V-plow. Or and F 650 or F 750 with a 10' plow. We have found that either one of these 3 types of trucks can bust out a lot like this quick, and move on to the next lot. Thus making more money than a backhoe, when you factor in the road speed. True a backhoe may have to visit the lots a fix some of the piles after a storm or after a few storms. However that is done at our own pace.

  7. ddm

    ddm Member
    Messages: 57

    Everyone seems to have to have their own way and thoughts about how to go about the task at hand. Without more specifics about the site and how it relates to your other accounts it's hard to say what may be best for you. We do some lots in comparison to what it sounds like you are looking at, and going to a loader w/ protech sno pusher has worked great for me. I was a bit skeptical about the combination at first, but I've went this route now 4 seasons and wouldn't consider any other way. I rent the loader unit (usually about a 3 yd machine) and bought the protech. I feel it easily replaces 3 pickups on what we plow.
    Most of the time all we use trucks for in larger areas are to clear out doors, walks, etc. and to pull snow out away from anything. From there I let the loader do all the work, much easier on trucks now!! To speed up I usually have the same truck clean up around the loader some so it is always pushing big amounts instead of chasing around little trails. And I personally don't think, at least not in what I plow, that any dump unit would be as manuverable or productive as the loader is for most lots, roads or drives may be a different story. So it probably depends a lot on the criteria if it's right for you. I've kind of adapted it to nearly everything I plow even down to small medical clinics and such so it never sits still. Long and short, if its a big job you should expect a good return for doing it or it isn't worth your time, let someone else tear up their equipment for nothing.
  8. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    We break things down almost in an acre system:

    Under 1 acre easly handled by 1 truck.

    2-3 acres 2 trucks, with prefernce to a larger truck ( F 550 )

    5 acres our cut off point with bigger trucks like the F 650 or F 750 used, with one other smaller truck or tractor.

    Over 5 acres, Loader or backhoe with blade or pusher, big truck used for salting and some plowing.

  9. SnoJob67

    SnoJob67 Senior Member
    Messages: 384

    Thanks for the replies, guys. Lots of food for thought. The more approaches I hear, the better I will be able to adapt them to what is appropriate for my final route list. Keep up the great discussion!
  10. SnoJob67

    SnoJob67 Senior Member
    Messages: 384

    I have talked to few more decisionmakers for some large properties. It looks like even if by accident, I may end up with some 5 acre plus properties.

    #1) How wide is too wide for road transport? I am thinking I would not have any problem with my local authorities, but wonder what others of you use as a guideline. Do any of you drive site to site with a 12.5' or wider pusher on a backhoe or loader.

    #2) Also, anyone who has an idea how long it takes to do wide open lots with a pusher would be helpful.

    Example: a 5 acre lot takes me X.X hours with a backhoe and 14.5' pusher during a two inch snow event. Any information such as this would be most helpful just to get a general idea of production versus a truck.

    I know my trucks are generally capable of plowing an acre per hour and need to quantify what a loader or backhoe would be capable of.

    If there is information you don't want everyone to see, feel free to PM or Email me. Thanks.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2001
  11. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    Legally, you cant transport anything over 8' 6 1/2" wide without special arrangements (oversize load) . But you probably would not have a hassle unless you hit something or something hit you.