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Too many decisions - Help a new brother out

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by Sno ballz, Jul 15, 2005.

  1. Sno ballz

    Sno ballz Member
    Messages: 35

    Hey there all!

    I am new to the site, and new to becoming an entrepreneur in various services.....plowing being the first to pursue.

    I currently have a 03 Dakota Quad Cab 4x4 4.7L 3.92 gears that gets almost 18mpg while I drive to my full time job in corporate America which is about 90 miles a day in commuting. I plan to continue working until I grow my business to the point that it can be my main source of income as opposed to supplementary.

    With all the incentives going on right now at the big 3, I've been looking at F150's, F250's, 1500's and Ram's. I've also looked into putting a plow on my Dakota as an option as well. This is where "too many decisions" comes in.

    I need to get about the same MPG while I continue to work (and drive my truck as my primary means of transportation) and have the ability to do a decent job plowing residential and some small commercial accounts.

    I'd really like to get into a F250 5.4L with a Western 8' plow on it, but I cant find any info on what this beast will get for MPG on the highway. The stickers in the windows dont show since they are above the GVWR required.

    Help! Should I hook up my Dakota for about $4k investment, or should I go for broke with a beefier truck setup??? :dizzy: :confused: :(

    Please Help a brother out :nod:
    Sno ballz
  2. PSDF350

    PSDF350 Senior Member
    Messages: 577

    my 01 F150 xcab 5.4l triton v8 got about 16mpg add the extra wieght of the 250 you will probably get 14
  3. Swinn

    Swinn Member
    Messages: 41

    I get about 15MPG with my 03 F150 5.4L with the heavier Payload package. The gear ratio will also make a big differance. I am not sure what the standard is for the F250. I think around this area the dealers have the MPG posted on the sticker but I am not positive. I will be there next week and take a look.
  4. plowed

    plowed Senior Member
    Messages: 344

    If I keep my foot out of it I'm getting about 10 mpg with mixed local and highway driving. '00 F-250 w/ 5.4L That's with a S/C, short-box. I have an aluminum lumber rack and three boxes somewhat full of tools.
  5. PSDF350

    PSDF350 Senior Member
    Messages: 577

    John thats what i was thinking but didn't want to say it so went alittle high.
  6. Sno ballz

    Sno ballz Member
    Messages: 35

    Thanks for the replies thus far - :)

    What do you all think about putting a 7.5' Western on my 03 Dakota? My hope is to start out fairly small (subcontracting and maybe some sub-division accounts on my own if possible) for this season anyway.

    Sno ballz
  7. salopez

    salopez Senior Member
    Messages: 873

    a 7.5 western sounds a little heavy for a dakota i would look towards the 720 by blizzard for your truck. I have a 7.5 western on my chevy 2500hd and it wieghs over 800 lbs with the wings on. plus i am getting in the low 20's with the duramax.
  8. Ken1zk

    Ken1zk Senior Member
    Messages: 193

    Welcome to plowsite Sno ballz :salute:
    The first thing you must consider before deciding between buying a new truck or purchasing a set up for the Dakota is what and where do you plan to plow. If you are going after residential driveways and a couple of small commercial jobs the Dakota will work out just fine. I know of a guy here in Buffalo with one and he loves it. In fact his struggle is similar to yours in that he needs good gas mileage during the off season due to a long commute, and can not justify a larger truck for his plow business at this time.
    If you have aspirations to be plowing larger parking areas and drives, your going want something along the line of a 3/4 or 1 ton truck with a v blade.
    As an example, my business has been mostly residential driveways and a couple of small (under 15) car parking lots. I own a 95 Nissan pick up with a Snoway and a 95 Suburban with a Meyer. I use the Nissan in my summer business and equipped it with the plow to have a back up plow truck. The Suburban sat all last winter as a back up plow since the Nissan handles plowing just fine and due to the shorter wheel base is easy to maneuver in tight spaces. For this coming season I picked up a 40 car parking lot and 2 gas stations, so I plan an using the Suburban much more this winter.
    I hope this helps you in your decision.
    Good luck, Ken
  9. Kramer

    Kramer Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    I have a friend with the F250 and 5.4 L. He claims to get about 12-13 mpg.

    Personally, I have a toyota with a 6'9" fisher. Its great for residentials. I wouldn't be afraid to do a few small commercials with it either. You just have to stay with the storm.

    If things get too plugged up, I have a small bobcat to answer that end.

    I think the dakota will do fine, but don't put to big a plow on it.
  10. sixspeed

    sixspeed Senior Member
    Messages: 306

    Snoballz, I can tell you from personal experience you'll go broke commuting in a gas powered 3/4 ton. I drive 45 miles each way to the office and did it years ago. It used to kill me gas wise. NEVER got better than 13 1/2 mpg. And a 3 year old 90k mile plow truck is what you have in 3 years with your commuter vehicle.

    On another topic - Just some personal advice: Never lowball, do an honest job and let the quality of your work speak for you. Scary, but with the way corporate America is today, you may have to live off your snow business some day!

    Good luck!
  11. Sno ballz

    Sno ballz Member
    Messages: 35

    Thanks for all the great replies! It's all good information. I'm leaning toward keeping the Dakota now for this venture.

    According to the Western website, they recommend the 7.5' for the Dakota. I have several quotes from local MI dealers all in the mid $3k range. I am also going to look at other brands, with Snoway being one of them.

    Question about Snoway - Is the Down Pressure System effective or hype?

    Please speak from first hand experience on the Snoway :) :cool:

    Sno ballz
  12. PremierLand

    PremierLand PlowSite.com Addict
    from detroit
    Messages: 1,572

    Hey neighbor! Any 3/4 ton will get around 11, unless its a diesel. depending on your accounts, I would put a plow on the dakota, I used to have a dakota, loved it, if it was a 4x4 I would have kept it and put a plow on it. Maintenance is the key. But also, dont forget, they have sweeeeeet deals going on for new trucks right now.
  13. Ken1zk

    Ken1zk Senior Member
    Messages: 193

    Snow Ballz - If you do a search you will find a lot of info on the Snoway here on plow site. The snoway tends to get the "ugly step child" treatment in the industry and I really can not tell you why. The fabrication is superb, and the welding is all done roboticaly, it's really a well made plow. This was my first season with mine, we received an average snow fall season here in Buffalo (90 some inches) and this plow performed superb. I have down pressure on my st 80 and it rocks. Granted this was the first season I had this plow so it's a new cutting edge and all, but when I activate the down pressure I can scrape right down to the pavement every time. When back dragging with the down pressure activated I can pull back a 100 ft driveway in one move and it's done. If you plow anything gravel you definitely want to keep the down pressure off unless the account wants the stone removed from the driveway as well as the snow :eek: Check out www.snoway.com

    Hope this helps, if you have any questions feel free to ask me.
    Good luck Ken
  14. Frozen001

    Frozen001 Senior Member
    from Rome NY
    Messages: 908

    I think sno-way get a bad rap because who has not seen one of their clear lexan mould board either broken or cracked. I know a guy who broke two in 1 week, and he did not hit anything, it was just so cold out it became brittle. I have no experience with them myself, but the seem like a quality plow, but only guys who have them can tell you for sure... I will say though my western pro plow back drags down to the pavement... granted it will not go 100', but if I had to move that much snow I would push it.
  15. TriCountySnow

    TriCountySnow Member
    Messages: 34


    Being that this what i do for a living i would recommend getting a F250 or Even F350, if you are going to expand your business like you say then you will pay for the added cost up front more than twice in a single season. Several other said maintance is key that is very true, Your dodge will work if you really cant bring yourself to spend 36 thousand just for a truck to plow snow, but make sure to keep up on your maintance. a broken u-joint, transfer case or and other problems that may arise will just make you lose money, and even customers you have.