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Type of truck for a strarter

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by drawerz, Nov 16, 2002.

  1. drawerz

    drawerz Junior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 1

    Hey gals and guys. I'm a newbie here. I really like the site thusfar. I am wondering with all of the trucks out there, how do I know what type to get to start a plowing business? I will be handling commercial (rather small dentist-doctors offices)/residential locations. Ford, Dodge Chevy? What types of plows are best? Does a plow fit all models of a truck? Any specific combos? Thanks in advance everyone.
     
  2. Snoworks

    Snoworks Senior Member
    Messages: 466

    Were do I start. Ok, first you say, you are going to be plowing small commercial and residential accounts. What are your needs in the off months? Can you use, say, a pick up in your other occupation? Where do you see your plowing business growing in a year or two? Make sure you buy a vehical that is pratical for all seasons, if possible.

    Most all plow companies make plows for all major brand trucks and suv's. You can go on any particular plow company's web page and check if they have a plow for the truck you are interested in.

    All major, (ie. Western, Meyer, Fisher, Boss) brand plows I have seen and or used are quality products. I choose a Western product for my first purchase, its a highly tested product with suppliers within minutes of most avr. populated cities (In the snow belt of course).

    CGB
     
  3. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    Welcome to Plowsite!!!:drinkup:

    Snoworks makes some great points.

    One side of my business is very similar to what you describe, I plow all residential with two small commercial lots. I also run a landscape business with a mowing trailer full of equipment, for which the same truck is used. I use a Ford F-350 SRW for this work with a Blizzard 810 plow. The Blizzard plow has really made my work more efficient.

    I subscibe to the 3/4 ton HD truck or better theory for plowing and towing, they are less likely to break down from the rigors of this work. My thinking is if a truck is working at 85% capacity vs. a truck working at 50% capacity (hypothetical numbers), the truck working at the lower capacity is undergoing less stress and is less likely to break. Others will disagree.

    I prefer Ford trucks for their solid front axle and leaf spring suspension. This design is simple and as old as trucks are themselves, dating back to horse drawn wagons prior to the manufacture of trucks. The drawback is a bit harsher ride, but I don't buy a work truck for the cushy ride. I've used Fords for over 20 years with very good service histories, except for the TTB front axle fiasco. Stay away from '97 and earlier F-250s for this reason. Again, you will get varying opinions on this.

    I've owned Meyer, Western, Diamond, and now Blizzard and Viking plows since I've been plowing, with varying results. I haven't had the Blizzard long enough to comment on its durability, and I have yet to use the Viking. I had 2 Diamonds which never gave me a bit of trouble except one pump shaft seal, They are a very reliable plow. The Western and Meyers plows required quite a bit of maintenance comparitively.

    If you don't like the Blizzard, look at the V plows available, they'll save you a lot of time clearing parking areas and lots with the scoop feature. When I was shopping for my Blizzard, I had reasearched V plows and liked the Boss V best for my work. Some who actually own them have had issues with them, I can't recall what the problems were, but I feel they are a well built plow.

    Click on the "Search" button at the top of the page and start punching in the various plow manufacturers, there's a lot of reference material available here.
    Happy surfin'!
     
  4. Mick

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

    In my opinion, the "best" combination has three components:

    1. It runs and works (the truck and plow)
    2. It's sitting in your garage
    3. It's paid for

    Does a plow fit all models of a truck - No, you need to consider how much weight the truck can hold and compare to how much the plow weighs. There are wide differences in plow weights of the same width (ie: a 7.5' Fisher or Western weighs more than a 7.5' Snoway). Again, pay attention to your weight, but you're likely to have some problems with some plows on 1/2 ton Crew Cab and Extended Cab models.

    Technically, I guess any plow WILL fit any truck; it's the plow mount that's different with each truck. The frame and moldboard are the same. On the Web Site for most manufacturers, there'll be a place where you can tell if they make a plow for your model truck. Of the three you asked about, you'll be able to put a plow on any of them. It's the Unibody models where you have a problem. You can even get a plow for a car ( usually mounts on the trailer hitch). I saw a plow at Home Depot last night that looked like it'd work on the front of a car.

    Generally, you'll put a 7.5' plow on a 1/2 ton, 8' on a 3/4 ton and 9' on a one ton DRW. If you're buying a new 3/4 or one ton truck, consider a V-plow. They cost more, but are more efficient for lots. Alan on here has an 8' on an S10, however he's "built up" his truck, I don't think it would be your wisest move today to put an eight foot plow on your garden variety S10.
     
  5. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    If I was starting out, doing the accounts you mention, I would get a mid 80's Chevy / GMC short box. Parts are by far the cheapest to keep it going, readily available, and highly interchangeable between years. They have solid front axles, and leaf springs. They can handle a V plow with ease. Turning and maneuvering is easy.

    Many PlowSite members have at least one (if not more) in their fleet.

    Every plow manufacturer makes plows for them. Brand of plow is not as important as dealer service and location. For example, if you have 5 Western dealers, and 5 Meyer dealers within 10 miles of your location, and 1 Boss dealer 40 miles away, Boss would not be the best choice IMO, and vice versa.


    ~Chuck
     
  6. Mike 97 SS

    Mike 97 SS Banned
    from U.S.A.
    Messages: 1,106

    Couple snowplow websites for you to take a look at:
    www.westernplows.com for Western Snowplow Products
    www.fisherplows.com for Fisher Snowplow Products
    I agree with everything mentioned above and dont have much to add except the snowplow site links. Im not sure what the link is for Meyers plows, but i think most here like a Fisher or Western over a Meyers.

    EDIT. Meyers site is www.meyerproducts.com
    www.bossplow.com for Boss Snowplow Products
    www.blizzardplows.com for Blizzard Snowplow Products
    These i think are the top 5 snowplows. Hope i helped some, Mike
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2002
  7. Chief Plow

    Chief Plow Senior Member
    Messages: 201

    I agree with pelican,

    I do alot of commercial 7/11 type places, I have an 02' f250 and an 02' f350. The 250 has an 8' fisher, and the 350 has an 9' fisher. In years past I have always ran meyers equip. I switched because by far the fishers are much more suited to take the abuse that I know they will get doing 12 7/11's and about 12 driveways. I have always run ford trucks with great success. Even when I first started, When i ran 150's. Just my own humble opinion.

    Thanks
    Rick
     
  8. HD61CUIN

    HD61CUIN Senior Member
    Messages: 173

    My .02, get something used, something with a plow attached, something like a 250 or 350. You cant go wrong in most places with any of the big three. Don't go through the expense of adding a plow to your personal truck. If you decide not to continue in this business then you have to sell a plow on your existing vehicle. I bought what you see below ready to go. I did not spend much, and put less than a quarter of what I paid for it into it. I have some things that need to be looked at, but all in all it is a great truck and serves the purpose.