1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Thinking Outloud (Newbie)

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by BrettRoth, Oct 26, 2001.

  1. BrettRoth

    BrettRoth Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    Hello. My post was one the ones lost the other day, I got email notification that 75 had replied to it and would really like to hear what you have to say 75. Here is (Basically) what I wrote the other day.

    Background: I live in Anchorage and am seriously thinking about buying a plow truck for this winter. My price range is between 2000-4000 for the works which pretty much limits me to older trucks. That's okay, I'm fine with working on it and have a place to do so. I've priced insurance (500-700 per 6 mos.) and have talked to a couple of companies about subcontracting ($30-40/hr) Subcontracting would deffinetly be my plan for this year. I am a young guy (24) and basically want to get some experience plowing and make some extra cash. Plus I think it would be sort of fun....but maybe I'm wrong about that :)

    Now for specifics: One option is a 1970 Ford with an Old Meyer plow ($2500)...the plow is so old it doesn't even angle left or right. Adding the angulation later is a possibility. While I'm sure this is a heavy duty set up....the plow looks super sturdy...I wonder if the truck isn't just a little too old particuarly since it hasn't been run in the past two years. I'd have a mechanic look at the truck before I bought it but aside from that what is a contractor going to think of this plow and how important is it that I have a plow that can angulate from side to side.
    The other thing I wanted to ask about is just general info on plowing in Anchorage if any of you are from here. Which companies are allright to work for (Ron Webb etc.) and more importantly which don't pay on time. Also who give the best plow support (Trailercraft etc.)
    As you can see I am just thinking this whole thing through right now and have no plowing experience. If the right truck comes along there's a good chance I'll buy it but I wanted to search for the opinions of any of you wise and kind people that frequent this board. Thank you very much for taking the time to read all of this and sorry it was so long.

  2. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    BrettRoth - Welcome to PlowSite. I think Rob (75) will answer you, too, with a longer reply. I had told you before that I think you're "buying someone else's trouble". That is an old set up and I would think pretty well worn out. You might not mind working on the truck, but how about the plow? Plus putting all your profits and possibly more into the truck for an engine, transmission and front end? Articulating is going to be very important - besides the image you present to potential clients.

    Sorry to be harsh but you need to think this one carefully.
  3. BrettRoth

    BrettRoth Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    Thanks. Your reply probably saved me some problems!!!! I am deffinetly going to forget about the Ford. Just the fact that it hasn't been driven in a couple of years is scary and the plow must be pretty old.
  4. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    That sounds like a lot of money for an old truck and a plow that does not even angle. Admittely I do not live in Alaska so am not aware of prices there. I would look for a newer truck (at least 80's or early 90's) Also before you buy a truck with a specific plow find out if there is a dealer in your area for parts. Living in Anchorage I would assume you have a few dealers as well as good auto parts stores. I am not sure but I would think that Meyer being one of the largest plowmakers would have dealers there. Another may be Western or Boss. Do a little research into what is available to you. Come back and we can help you more.
  5. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    Hi Brett, Mick's pretty well summed up what I had posted: Although I do use an older truck myself ('75 GMC C-35) I've also owned it since 1986 and it had a pretty thorough overhaul in 1996 - everything came off the frame except the cab & rear axle.

    Knowing that the truck you were talking about hasn't run in 2 years I'd definitely be leery of that one! :eek:

    Doing your own repair work is OK - I do a lot of it too - but when it snows, it needs to be plowed NOW, not when you're able to get the truck fixed! Plus, Mick's right when he mentioned major surgery such as engine, transmission etc. Same goes for the plow, even if you can do your own work there you need the parts. At the very least, I would expect the powerpack would need an overhaul.

    Although at one time all plows were manual angle (get out of cab, pull pin, swing blade to desired angle, replace pin, get back in cab.......) there's better ways to do it now! And power angle has been around long enough the bugs are ironed out.

    Can't help you out with any specifics for the Anchorage area, but IMO the idea of subcontracting is a good one, especially if you're just starting out. Also good to hear that you've checked out insurance!

    Keep looking for other trucks/plows, I would imagine there would be a few to choose from up Alaska way! Best of luck with your plans, and welcome to the crazy world of snow! Seems like people either like plowing or hate it - not a lot of middle ground there!
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2001
  6. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    Rob hits a lot of good points. Remember though that he like me and others on this site have some mechanical and welding knowledge. (Rob is a certified welder) This means that we can do many of the repairs that would keep others down for the storm. I keep my shop stocked so that I can repair anything on a plow and a lot of stuff on a truck if there is a breakdown.

    I think that it might not be cost efficient to convert a plow to hydraulic angle from manual angle. It is possible though. I would be very careful about the whole package with a truck that old unless you are into restoring or fixing up.

    Just my two cents but if you are looking to make money plowing I would look for a newer truck/plow package. If you are looking for a project this truck may be the ticket. Let us know what you decide.