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Time Required to clear 18,000 sq ft

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by brentsawyer, Feb 12, 2003.

  1. brentsawyer

    brentsawyer Junior Member
    from KY
    Messages: 10

    I am usually on Lawnsite and am making my way over here as I expand services and acquire new toys. This weekend I will be picking up a 2000 F-350 PSD DRW 4x2. I opted out of the 4x4 since I live in KY and we don't receive alot of snow and figured that I could live with the 2wd dually for plowing snow when I start next winter.

    I have done searches to no success so I need help. I need some way of determining times to do jobs with a truck that I don't yet have and so forth. So, what I need is help with plow selction, tire selection(will only be used for plowing when winter comes), time expected or speeds for parking lots or just past experiences, suggestions with similar truck.

    Most importantly, I am working on a good route for next year and have a serious bid for a parking lot that is close enough to flat as can be. The largest section out front is 220'x47'=10,340' around back and to the sides is approx 350'x12' in narrow areas and 30' along 150'=about 8,000' so total area to be plowed with truck is about 18,000'. Obviously like I stated before, I have no time experience with this. I also understand that depth is a bearing so please include with approx times too. Thanks. Anything I may have left out, plug away all you want, I will help with what I can and want to learn since I feel I'm ready.
  2. wxmn6

    wxmn6 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,037

    I don't have any answer for you, but for other Plowsite members to be able to help you, they would want to know what kind of plow you will be putting on your truck? I think that there would be a difference in amount of time to plow between a 8' straight plow and 9.5' V plow.
  3. BRL

    BRL PlowSite.com - Veteran
    Messages: 1,277

    Basically that small of a lot would fall into the minimum charge you'd have to go plowing, kinda like a minimum mowing charge. Being a beginner, figure almost a solid hour including travel time, taking your time plowing it to be safe & not damage your equipment or their property, and to plan where you want the snow piles to end up, shovel any walks etc. After the third time you get to plow it you'll be in & out of there in a half hour at most. Good luck & have fun!
  4. brentsawyer

    brentsawyer Junior Member
    from KY
    Messages: 10

    Thanks guys. Need suggestions on Plow size if possible or past experiences. Area where I live is relatively flat, definitely not plains but not hilly if you catch my drift. Thanks for info. Keep it coming, I appreciate any and all insight.
  5. bam

    bam Senior Member
    from .
    Messages: 201

    Equipment -

    Is the truck a reg., ext., or crew cab? Does it have the ford plow prep? If it doesn't are you concerned about the remainder of engine/drivetrain warranty 5yr./100,000?

    we run F450 2x4 crewcab diesels and older superduty "ext."cabs.
    Have a mix of 8.5 and 9' blades. I prefer the 9', especially with the lots/road I'm responsible for this year.

    Two of the lots are on a slope and the road winds and has a fair grade to it. With the PSD and length of the crewcab, we need two things on the 99+ trucks-- Traction tires and weight in the back. On mine I load the v box, on others we place 1 or 2 pallets of salt or calcium. That does the trick. During our first storm this year, we got 8" and two of the newer trucks a 2000 and 2001 had ballast but the original general lmt4000's and they sucked. I was loaded down with salt (probably overweight) and kept the 2002 on track, however the 2000 was in front of me on the road and the truck was just pushing sideways, I could literally see the driver thru his passenger side windows. I called the tire company and now have recap tractions on these three newer trucks, they handle so much better.

    Just my experience.
  6. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    You'll want a 9ft blade for that truck,otherwise it won't cover your wheel tracks when turning.A V-blade is also an option,but it's more money,and you may have a hard time pushing with a 2WD.

    That lot would be about a 30 min job,on an average 2-3",for an experienced plower in a good truck,if there are not a lot of obstacles,like curbs,islands or cars..I never bid less than a one hr minimum.Our hourly rate for a truck is $100.00 or more,your market area may differ,ask around

    So if your going per push then $100 per push for up to 3 inches.Up to 6 inches would be 2 pushes,or $200.00.

    If your going to charge by the inch,you can discount higher amount if you want,and do it in one plow.So up to 3 inches would be $100.00.3-6 inches would be $175.00.6-12 inches would be $250.00

    We use mostly seasonal pricing as it guarantees you money,even if you don't plow.Sell it like insurance,and peace of mind.To quote a seasonal,you take your per push price,and mulitply it by the average number of plowable events in your area.

    Ask around in your particular area and see how others are doing it.
  7. DanG

    DanG Senior Member
    Messages: 240

    Thats kinda small and from how you described it, & pretty easy to plow.

    I'd say 20-30 minutes per push for every time you do it.

  8. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    With the PSD and a plow the front will need air bags in the coils and perhaps timbrens as well. That still uses the twin I beam set up, which do not like plows very much. Anything you can do to help it, will be needed. Because of that you might be better off with a snow way unit. there is local guy here that uses the same truck and the snowway has worked well for him.
    He adds a 1.5 yards of weight in the rear, and he plows pretty well. Keep a set of chains handy, that will help if things get real deep.
  9. Mick

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

    You've already decided on a 2wd, so I won't comment further on that. I'd agree with keeping a set of chains handy; the other thing would be to get a good set of snow tires - one with plenty of sipes. I like Cooper (I think they're called WeatherMasters).
    Unless you're carrying a Vbox, another thing would be to take off one rear tire from each side, turning it into a SRW. The reason for this is it will "sink" into the snow more with one tire - giving more traction. I have a DRW one ton and I hate the way it handles on snow at around 40mph. It feels like it's slipping all over the road. But, boy can it push snow.

    For that parking lot, you want to look into plows like a V plow, a Blizzard 8-10 or a set of wings for a straight blade. There's enough options out there that you could stay busy doing research for the next eight months. In the end, you just pick something and hope it was a good choice.
  10. brentsawyer

    brentsawyer Junior Member
    from KY
    Messages: 10

    Man I can't thank you guys enough. Heres a couple questions answered that were in posts. The Truck is a regular cab, should be a little easier on turning radius. Yearly snow events is about as accurate as picking the Kentucky Derby Winner in consecutive years, we've had probably 5-6 this year all in the 1-2.5" range, hardly worth a big event but its snow and the past 3 years we've usually had 1-2 that are around 4-6". However, every 5 years or so we'll get 12"+, had 17" in 1997. I would hate to be bound to a contract that year, I guess an exclusion of some sort would cover that.

    Minimum price sounds like a winner on something like this but our market is realy all over the place and probably much higher than most peoples due to lack of competition. Was told that lot where I had storage at was $350 per push and took about one hour, which is completely insane and I have been asked to bid it for next year to but I want to keep it simple and work what I can learn from bidding this first.

    Also, on the tires, would it be best to get the fronts replaced for winter to keep the front from sliding sideways. Thanks
  11. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    brent,like others have said keep chains with you ,and a strap in case you get hung up.Always keep at least 2500 lbs i nthe back of that truck when pushing. A lot here that takes 1 hr with a typical 7.5 blade will get about 200 a push in a 3" storm.If someone ele is biddign 350-Id be very careful about underbidding him,there must b a reason its 350 buck.If it was only ah hrs work here its be 200 ish.I bet it takes more than an hr.Dont tkae on more than you can bite off your first yr,and if helps to have a backup plow or the buddy system,a friend with a plow you can help each other in a pinch.
  12. dillyolboy

    dillyolboy Member
    Messages: 97

    Tires are real important IMO. Cooper Weathermasters were already mentioned I think you would actually want the Weathermaster Plus. Also Cooper Discoverer M+S are pretty good in snow. Is the snow real wet or pretty fluffy? Uni directional tires seem to work best in light snow that you would probably have. I have Winter Duelers on my truck. I run my front tires in the opposite direction of rotation and it seems to help when braking. In wet snow everything is pretty slick but a tire like the Weathermasters or Discoverer M+S with the big gaps in tread will probably work best. I would drop one wheel off each side in back cause the extra snow tire would be more expensive and I don't think duals will give you much of a traction advantage. Siping helps a lot and I think it's a necessity. Some people on here use chains or studded tires so they can tell you about them. For me it is not an option so I never tried it.
    Since the parking lots are fairly flat and you aren't doing any driveways I would go with the biggest plow you can - at least 9 feet.