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What type of vehicle for plowing residential

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by The Duke, Feb 6, 2008.

  1. The Duke

    The Duke Member
    from WI
    Messages: 79

    I am selling my F250 because it is too big and I need something fuel efficient enough to be a Daily Driver.

    Next year I will be taking about 6 or so accounts and then either emergency subbing or taking "day of the storm" people.

    I am thinking maybe an XJ, but wanted some suggestions. I will have $3-4000 for the vehicle. It can be older, but needs to be relatively fuel efficent.
  2. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Keep the truck and buy a car!
  3. jkitterman

    jkitterman Senior Member
    Messages: 140

    What are you considering fuel efficient? The Cherokees aren't that good as the 4.0 inline six is thirsty.
  4. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,515

    Plowing and fuel efficient are oxi-morons I use a TJ Fantastic for plowing... on a good day I get 12 MPG driving and 4 MPG plowing. Now in the jeeps defense in the summer I use 33" tires and 4.56 gears with 4 1/2 inch lift. ALL reduce MPG
  5. The Duke

    The Duke Member
    from WI
    Messages: 79

    Well, the truck gets 8-9 MPG highway.

    I guess anything in the 13-17 depending on vehicle would be nice.

    I have also found that the truck is difficult to manuever in driveways.
  6. 03SuperCrew330

    03SuperCrew330 Member
    Messages: 72

    I am going to replace my F150 super crew with a wrangler next year for just that reason, its a PITA on tight resi's and thats all I seem to find around me.

    I will be going with an 08 because it will be a year round vehicle but I have heard conflicting stories of the new frames not holding up to a plow.

    Everyone around here that plows with a jeep I stop and ask and they all say its the best residential plow rig they have had and some run bigger rigs for commercial and keep the jeeps for resi's...thats proof enough for me!

  7. Flipper

    Flipper PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,180

    By a Toyota Tacoma or earlier minitruck and put a 6.5'-7' plow on it. Easily the best driveway rig you can run, is super reliable and gets great mileage (around 18-20mpg)
  8. The Duke

    The Duke Member
    from WI
    Messages: 79

    That was another that I was considering.

    I was thinking about an XJ (Cherokee) because I already have a Wrangler, but it is a well built rig that I am not going to plow with it. Anyone have an opinion on them?

    As far as a JK Wrangler, the frames are twice as stiff as the TJs and YJs, but the engine they put in them is no where near as reliable as the 4.0L straight 6. If I ended up with another Wrangler, I would just end up building it again and not want to plow with it:)

    The problem around here is that alot of the toyota trucks are rust buckets.
  9. SteveJ

    SteveJ Senior Member
    Messages: 141

    I TOTALLY AGREE with you grandview. Not tryin to put this guy down, but do you know how many "day of the storm" yahoo's I pulled out from being stuck? Made payup too!
    Hey, the way I see it is if they are, (I'll be nice) not educated enough :dizzy: to know if you're gonna get stuck trying to cut open a 14" heavy icy snow with a small jeep with a strait blade, then you pay me to yank you out. ;)

    But as for not being able to manuver with a big truck, if my trucks can't fit in your driveway or can't turn around without worry, I DON"T take the account. Let the little jeeps have them. Insurance is high enough!

  10. mnormington

    mnormington Senior Member
    Messages: 156

    Jeeps are great for plowing residentials, but fuel efficient they are not. My TJ has been getting 10-12 MPG this winter.
  11. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,748

    I'm not to tick you off, so don't take this the wrong way. But when you are first starting out, I wouldn't turn down many jobs, I would snowblow a few small residentials. I know that if I turned down a few jobs, I wouldn't have enough this year. I do this and it works out great. I'd recommend this method, until you have a good number of accounts built up. So, If I were you, I'd keep your truck, that way, you can pick up some commercial lots, and still have enough truck to plow them. Good luck to you.
  12. The Duke

    The Duke Member
    from WI
    Messages: 79

    I would keep the truck, but financially I cannot right now. If I had the money to buy a car as well, I would, but for the next couple of years, it will have to be a dual purpose vehicle.

    I am not planning on being a career snowplower. I want to learn the business, take a few accounts, and make some extra cash for when I am back in school. If I thought I would have a chance with some commercial lots, I would be more willing to try to keep the truck, but I doubt that I would get any here. Like I said, I may have 6 or so accounts to start with and go from there.

    I may be new to the business part here, but I am by no means an idiot. I know that with an XJ I will have to plow more frequently with large snowfalls, but around here most snowfalls are under 6" except for maybe 1 biggie a year. I think with a Jeep, you will be able to move much faster, too.

    It seems like there are a number of people on here that plow with Jeeps and have no problem.

    I do appreciate everyones opinion though.
  13. BSDeality

    BSDeality Senior Member
    Messages: 736

    I'm with flipper. We both run older Toyota's with fisher blades. I know I do very well with mine in the driveways because of its compact size. From what I gather his is also a good money makin' machine. A lot of people underestimate these trucks. I've plowed every since storm since I got a blade on it last year and that included 7" of snow/sleet last year that was like concrete. Obviously you wouldn't want to use this truck to break open a driveway after an 18" blizzard, but that why we plow in rounds with the storm. Properly loaded with ballast and some snowtires these trucks push like tanks for their size.

    Normally I get 18mpg but I leave it loaded with salt and the two plows pretty much all the time now. during storms I've averages anywhere from 7-14mpg

    My next work truck/personal truck is going to be a slightly nicer toyota Tacoma.
  14. Turf Commando

    Turf Commando Senior Member
    Messages: 567

    Even (BIG) trucks get stuck plowing, don't buy into their B.S.
    Many guys use 4x4 rangers for plowing, might not be the most powerful, but economical ...
    So any 4x4 compact truck, will suit you well for driveways
  15. The Duke

    The Duke Member
    from WI
    Messages: 79

    Depending on how my finances are next year, I may look into getting a Tacoma. If everything goes well for me next season, I may try to get my Dad to drive as well, or maybe get a buddy to do it with me.

    Meanwhile, I found a really good deal on a Cherokee, and bought it:
  16. Prof Touch L&L

    Prof Touch L&L Member
    Messages: 89

    Why not get a couple of parking lots??? I have a x cab and it is a PITA in small drives but I make do.
  17. The Duke

    The Duke Member
    from WI
    Messages: 79

    I'm still playing it by ear, but if I get my asking price on my truck, I will sell.
    If I don't sell within a month or so, I may keep it.

    I am mainly afraid that I will not find any lots who will hire me to do them. Would you? I don't have any plowing experience. I do think I have a little bit of common sense, and have plowed a couple of times, but I'm no veteran. I am just thinking that businesses with lots are going to want someone with a track record.
  18. Plowin in VT

    Plowin in VT Senior Member
    Messages: 233

    I know that some people will disagree with me, but I feel that the most important thing to have as a plower is good common sense. When you are first starting out you take your time, go slowly, and do whatever you can to do a great job and keep the customer(s) happy. You will gain experience in no time, and will have these customers for references for future jobs.

    The most important thing to remember is not to get yourself in over your head and take on too many accounts. If you think a job will take you 1 hour, then book it for 2-2 1/2 hours. Everything takes longer than you think, especially when you are new.

    For what it's worth, I always offer references to customers, but none have ever taken them or contacted anyone. Unfortunately the bottom line is all that most places seem to care about when signing a contract, and not necessarily quality of work.

    As far as fuel efficiency goes, nothing out there will make you happy at the pump at the end of the day. My '07 F250 Powerstroke w/an 8' Fisher and ~ 2,500# of salt in the back is currently giving me about 6mpg. Since I drive a minimum of 100 miles/day, it really hurts, so I just picked up a '95 Geo Tracker 4x4 for driving on days that I don't have to plow. I don't know what I'm going to do w/myself w/a vehicle that gets ~30mpg!!

    Good luck,

  19. NJ Plowman

    NJ Plowman Senior Member
    Messages: 799

    Daily drivers cant be used as plow trucks efficiently. If you plow and that plow truck turns out to be the daily driver, you will kill it. I have some mid-80's GMC Pick-ups that have 65,000 original miles on them. They are used for strictly plowing. If I used them daily, the maintenance would be astronomical! Keep a plow truck and buy a daily driver. Smartcar makes a $11,595 BRAND NEW car that gets an ACTUAL 41mpg!


    You could recoup your expenses in fuel savings alone, and the maintenance you would save each year would pay for the family vacation!
  20. YardMedic

    YardMedic PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    So if money is an issue, why not sell the truck and plow with the 1995 Jeep, saving you coin while you're using what you already have? THEN you don't have to worry as much about fuel economy because you've saved yourself $4000 in whatever you would have purchased (which I assure you would not be as dependable as what you probably have in the Jeep). Never plowed with a Jeep, but people here say they're awesome for driveways.