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Why do so many guys plow so fast?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by packey, Dec 8, 2007.

  1. packey

    packey Member
    Messages: 97

    I have noticed arund here and on the site that many of you who are plowing seem to be flying though the parking lots. Is that wise or do you just get used to plowing and feel comfortable at the higher speeds. It seems to me the higher speed would be a recipe for an accident and I know it has to be much harder on the equipment. Well I guess I am showing my inexperience now so I will go and see what you have to say
     
  2. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,592

    time=payuppayup
    The payuppayup
    more than off sets the added wear of plowing at speed.
    Another advantage is the plow throws the snow when windrowing or to get it over the snow bank.
    you would not go fast in res drives or lots with obstructions of course.
    but in large open lots you got to move.

    putting across is non productive.
     
  3. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,598

    For new accounts I do go slow...very slow actually. During our first storm back on Dec 2nd I plowed for over 30 hours. 2 days later when it snowed again I was done about 8 hours quicker (of course there was less snow that day but I still felt like I was moving much faster).

    Once you learn where obstructions are located you can fly around pretty quick.
     
  4. MOWBIZZ

    MOWBIZZ Senior Member
    Messages: 500

    I agree...

    There is a happy medium speed for plowing as with anything else...the faster you go the quicker you're going to get into trouble...Murphy's law applies.
    There is sensibility out there as well as the yahoos that give any given activity a bad name...not just plowing but ANYTHING...just my opinion, and not to be taken as a condemnation of how you do your work...
     
  5. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,046

    Well said...............
     
  6. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    agree.

    and just because your going faster doesnt mean the work is getting done quicker. :nono:
    All in how efficient you are.
    turtoise and the hare. remember which one won the race? :nod:
     
  7. Mick

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

    "Going fast" is kind of relative. On driveways, I get speed up to use momentum to push snow back as much as possible. Of course, this has to be balanced with not going so fast, you drive over the edge or onto the grass, hit a frozen pile, etc. On roads, I go relatively fast to get a "rooster tail" going so the snow goes up and over as far as possible for the same reason. Also, on private roads with hills, the more speed, the better, to let momentum get you up the hill pushing a load of snow in front of you - but angled, too. Matter of fact, I did that just last Tuesday. I've got a one lane road with a little hill. On the flat, I plowing at ten or fifteen mph. But when I start downhill before going uphill, I get into it so I was going about 30 when I started up the hill. It didn't slow the 6.0 down, but better that than find out half way up that I didn't have enough "oomph". One other bit of advice on hills - plan it so you don't change direction of angle going uphill. You will likely get stopped and not be able to get going again.
     
  8. Gmgbo

    Gmgbo Senior Member
    Messages: 159

    I try to go slow, but towards the end of a big parking lot you see you only have like 10 more passes and just want to get it done. So then i speed up and end up backing into something.
     
  9. Clapper&Company

    Clapper&Company PlowSite Veteran
    from NE OHIO
    Messages: 4,413

    some times you just have to get that snow moving !!!
     
  10. iowaplowboy

    iowaplowboy Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 37

    Tooooo Slooooowww

    Couple of guys in the Target lot the other night. Talked to one of them, said they had been there for 3 1/2 hours, maybe could use some help.

    I had visions of people pulling up behind trucks, sliding through the lot, that stuff.

    Turns out, they were just "playing" and drinking beer. No customers on the lot at all. I sat there about half an hour watching the guy go over and over the same spot at about 10 mph. Thinking this CAN'T be the boss (he/she would want it DONE).

    When I found out they were drinking I got my truck off the lot!
    :eek:
     
  11. Little Jon

    Little Jon Senior Member
    from Buffalo
    Messages: 139

    It varies, some lots I wont do over 10mph, while others Im constantly doing 25 or 30. High speeds can be done by experianced people in lots that they know very well, with minimal obsticals. Ofcourse if there are cars or poles close or you know there is a manhole cover or something else under the snow, then you will slow down. Some lots just need high speeds, they are big, and if your only doing 10 or 15 then you wont make it half way through, but if you get a running start you can make it. Another reason would be if you are pushing piles. Our company typicaly has more than one truck working a lot, so what will happen for instance is one will push snow into small piles along the back of the lot, then I will be setup back there and just run the piles into the corner and stack them. There have been times that I have a line of 5 or 6 small piles, I get my running start, get to around 25 or 30 and drop the plow (a V plow in the scoop position) by the time I hit that 4th or 5th pile Im down to around 10mph, just from the resistance of the snow. So like Clapper&Company said..."to get the snow moving"
     
  12. makplow

    makplow Senior Member
    Messages: 242

    Snow farmer has been around for a few years and knows the biz. I agree with him totaly as long as you know the route or the area your plowing, time is always money and the faster you get it done RIGHT. it is money in you pocket. Sno farmer said it right if you put speed into the factor the wind rows will become smaller when plowing open areas like parking lots. You will be pushing the same volume of snow , but it will be spread out and not put a strain on the trucks transmition and motor. Like i said know your route though,

    Mak,
     
  13. Duracutter

    Duracutter Senior Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 200

    Well, there is also the flip side of this. Contractors go fast because they are paid a set price to do the driveway. That set price is under downward pressure as homeowners and businesses try to weasle out of paying more every year. It's much like lawncare where the z's are faster and faster. Problem is the homeowner/business is the only winner in this game.

    I believe trucks are some of the reason prices have dropped in the us. If only bobcats were utilized prices would have remained higher. A bobcat is slower and is less accessible than a truck. Everyone has a truck and a blade is pretty cheap...so

    Everyone is going faster and faster to make a buck.

    Here, we get paid by the hour for "every" parking lot we do. We "don't" go fast and the customer darn well pays the price, thank you very much. Of course some don't want to, but that's their choice and most contractors ignore them till they come around. Thing is, here, the trucks haven't never caught on and thank god...we make real money not going 30 mph in a parking lot. :dizzy: :nono:

    :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2007
  14. MOWBIZZ

    MOWBIZZ Senior Member
    Messages: 500

    There have been times that I have a line of 5 or 6 small piles, I get my running start, get to around 25 or 30 and drop the plow (a V plow in the scoop position) by the time I hit that 4th or 5th pile Im down to around 10mph, just from the resistance of the snow. So like Clapper&Company said..."to get the snow moving"[/QUOTE]

    No disrespect, but that just screams not using the proper equipment for the job...if you have to get a running start and end up crawling because of the build up of snow, in my opinion, you are asking that truck to do more than it should be doing...maybe a big ol' front loader should be handling that task of moving those piles...
    And yes I know not all have access to the "right" equipment but are doing the best they can with what they have...and that's ok too, as long as you're not hurting existing equipment by over taxing it.
     
  15. csx5197

    csx5197 Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    I usually plow driveways a slow because of all the obstacles that are there. Once I get into an open parking lot, usually "kick it up a notch" because I have a sno-foil so it helps to throw the snow away from where I'm plowing and over the bank if need be.
     
  16. 92XT

    92XT Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    they probably get a per push price and need to be someplace else before it melts.one thing for sure is they know the grade.could you imagine wacking a manhole at 35 mph???you'd have chicklets all over your dash
     
  17. Little Jon

    Little Jon Senior Member
    from Buffalo
    Messages: 139

    No disrespect, but that just screams not using the proper equipment for the job...if you have to get a running start and end up crawling because of the build up of snow, in my opinion, you are asking that truck to do more than it should be doing...maybe a big ol' front loader should be handling that task of moving those piles...
    And yes I know not all have access to the "right" equipment but are doing the best they can with what they have...and that's ok too, as long as you're not hurting existing equipment by over taxing it.[/QUOTE]

    We do have loaders doing the larger lots. These lots are really just to small for the loaders to be productive in(a komatsu 380 doesn't exactly have a tight turning radius). Do I push the truck to do more than others would? Yes, thats just the way I operate, I push equipment (safely) to the outer limits of what it can do. Do I do this every time? No. And when I do do it, am I always pushing that much? No, it only really slows down when the snow is wetter. The owner knows I plow this way and doesn't mind, he understands that myself & the others at the company plow hard & buys equipment accordingly. And we must be doing something right because there are 4 hourly workers & one salaried worker & we brought in over a million last year. Oh and the truck I use is over 10 years old and hasn't had any major problems & the driver prior to me was really bad on things!
     
  18. Little Jon

    Little Jon Senior Member
    from Buffalo
    Messages: 139

    Yeah the contract is over 10 years running, so we do know it pritty well:rolleyes:. And actualy we have all seasonals, but we do 3 hospitals & need to be done before people start comming in! I never knew people smart enought to be doctors could be so dumb!!:dizzy: (yes, dumby, the big black truck with the big red plow on it, pushing the big pile of white stuff is trying to put it on that big pile you just parked infront of in the back of the EMPTY lot!!:dizzy::gunsfiring:)
     
  19. packey

    packey Member
    Messages: 97

    The reason for asking this question was to see why some do it. I guess it is just because I am new to commercial work but it seems like a lot of risk on some lots. I understand a large open area but what started me wodering was watching two other drivers tear the crud out of their trucks friday because of excess speed. One of the guys hit a concrete curb at 35 with the plow down and destroyed a brand new western plow and his new chevy did not look to hot either. Oh well one more lot for me to plow.
     
  20. Little Jon

    Little Jon Senior Member
    from Buffalo
    Messages: 139

    You are right there. There is ALOT of risk on SOME lots. We do afew lots that have sewer caps & manhole covers that litterly stick up 2 or 3 inches above finish grade of the lot. We have an old cutting edge out back that we keep around to show new guys what can happen if you are being stupid with your speeds, there is a chunk about 3"x4" taken out of this cutting edge because the person was going to fast on a lot that he didnt know and hit one of these covers.

    As far as thouse guys you were watching, that is just being stupid! Its guys like that that give plow drivers a bad rep, and skyrocket insurance rates. Once you plow a lot a few times you will get to know it and will find yourself going progressivly faster and faster. I know this has been stressed already, but just makesure you know the lot and are away from anything that might be there, this way you will not :realmad: your truck up or more importantly yourself!

    If you know there is something slowdown, so far (knock on wood) I havent hit anything over 5mph, accept for 2 curbs. The first one was a circular lot with a big island in the middle. I was plowing in a circle windrowing the snow from the center to the outsides, and after 3 or 4 laps thought to myself "wait, didnt there use to be a stake there?" Thump. Just glanced the plow off a curb that jutted out, it folded in and I didnt even feel it in the truck (10mph). And at another place I was pushing wet snow along a long entrace road to a factory. I was doing about 25mph hugging the curb to try to get the snow up and over the snowbank, and clipped a spot where a chunk of the curb was missing, spun the truck out but nothing else.