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Would you buy 1 truck or 2?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Mark13, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,719

    I know this sounds like a dumb question, but would you buy 1 truck or 2?

    Little info so you don't think I'm crazy. But some of you probably think I am anyway. :D

    As most know on here I plow snow (obviously) and work at a farm, currently I plow snow for another company using my truck. I also do a little bit of work on my own but not much, just a few driveways here or there. However starting next winter I would like to start doing more of my own stuff but probably will still do some work for another company. The plan is to sell my 98 this spring and find something heavier duty and nicer to replace it with. I do have my eye on another truck that I would like to make my new personal truck and the one I plow with. So the replacement for my 98 would be a 2nd plow truck, and I'd buy another truck much nicer then what would replace my 98 for my daily driver/ truck I'd plow with.

    The 2nd truck I'm looking at would be a 97-00 Chevy/GMC K2500/3500srw. This truck would not be my personal truck, it would be primarily a work truck. If it isn't plowing snow it would sit. I would still drive it here and there to keep everything working well, I'd also drive it if I needed to have use of a long bed (personal truck will be a cc/sb probably), and probably would drive it most of the fall at the farm (lots of dust, dirt, mud,etc) But besides using it here and there March- November it would sit 85-90% of the time.

    Having a 2nd truck would cost me 2x the money in plates, insurance, up keep, etc.

    Having a 2nd truck could also make me considerably more money in the winter. Either have my own route big enough to keep 2 trucks busy for 6-10hrs per storm, or use one truck to do my accounts and sub the other truck out to a company.

    Where as now with a single truck I am not able to do many of my own accounts due to my work for the other company coming first. I never know when they will be done needing my help so I could do my own stuff. I can't keep business owners waiting because I'm still on my route for the other company.

    And for those who are going to suggest I just keep my 98 and make that my 2nd truck here is my reasoning to get rid of it.
    I'd keep my 98 if it was a 3/4 or 1 ton. I'm really pushing it right now being that it's a 1/2ton. I know it's limits and know I won't hurt it unless I do something stupid. But I don't want to put an employee in it and start having stuff go wrong because they are working it to hard. And it has no posi and I'm not putting a posi in the 10 bolt and I'm over the GVWR 24/7 365, before I put my plow, salter, salt on. Then I'm getting into range of a 3/4ton gvwr. I'd just like to find a reliable 2nd truck that isn't being pushed to the limit 24/7 so I can feel confident putting an employee in it and knowing if he isn't nearly as careful as I am that things aren't going to go to hell pretty quick.

    If you were in my spot what would you say is the better choice?
    I would have to take out a loan of approx $8,000 to pay for both trucks after using most of what I have saved up. (I'd keep some money in savings for emergency use.)

    Feel free to add thoughts and comments.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2010
  2. Triple L

    Triple L PlowSite Fanatic
    from Canada
    Messages: 5,976

    I would just buy 1 bitchin nice truck for a personal and plow truck... I see your point on having 2 trucks, but as soon as you get ya-hoo's working for you its pretty simple, your paying them to break your trucks...

    Instead of the second truck I would add a tractor, and have a ya-hoo run that... Atleast its not gonna cost you plates, insurance and the maintenace will be less plus it should take the abuse alot better... Also, add a ebling back blade to your truck to increase your productivity alot, have your boss pay you per plow and then that would give you more time to do your own stuff or just sub the tractor to him and you do your own stuff the whole night....
  3. Stik208

    Stik208 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,316

    I would do one nice one and call it a day.
  4. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,719

    Good thinking Triple L on a tractor or skid. I know of a JD 332 Skid Steer that sits 90% of the time. Has a cab with heat/ac, 2 speed, and a weight kit. Its 4ish years old with 128hrs on it. Yes, 128hrs, up until this summer it had less then 50hrs on it. I could possibly work out a deal with the owner to lease it for the winter and slap a 10' box on it. And the trucks I'm looking at for myself would be able to pull it. (LBZ Dmax or 6.7 cummins)

    I've thought about an ebling on the next truck but without having much thought on what lots I'd bid on I can't say if it would be worth the money or not. You should just trade trucks with me for a storm or 2 so I can test out your combo of blades. :D (A Boss 9.2 is going on my next truck)
  5. WilliamOak

    WilliamOak PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,986

    Maybe drop a check on the personal truck, no loan. Then keep subbing next year, build up the bank account up again and then if you need to get a small loan ($5k tops) for the second truck so be it. I don't think 1 year on the farm and working would ruin your nice truck as long as you stay on top of keeping it clean. With the skid though you lose the ability to salt and you don't have your longbed either.
  6. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,719

    If I went the route of a skid I'd still be able to salt. I'd just have to take my tailgate spreader out and toss it in the bed of the truck or on the trailer with the skid if I used a tag trailer. Or if I used a gooseneck I just couldn't run a V Box. I could live another year or so with a short bed truck, I have plenty of trailers I can use if I need to haul something. I mostly just wanted the ability to have my huge toolbox+ a backrack and still be able to pull a gooseneck. Or have a backrack+toolbox+transfer tank and have more then 2-2.5' of bed space left. But I could live, it wouldn't be the end of the world.
  7. WilliamOak

    WilliamOak PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,986

    True, might be best to follow suit (you know who lol) and have the skid just sit somewhere where it can easil handle everything vs. serving the purpose of a second truck. I'm sure you thought of that already lol.
  8. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Wait till June or July...trucks will be cheaper and then you can decide on 2 trucks or 1 truck and a skid.
    The skid may be handy to have on the farm too.
  9. gas man

    gas man Junior Member
    Messages: 26

    i was in the car business for 8+ years. buy in the spring and sell in the fall. if it's trucks, cars are opposite. y not keep your truck and add a second to that? you know what you have.
  10. sno commander

    sno commander PlowSite.com Addict
    from ct
    Messages: 1,061

    id buy 1 nice truck and use it fo everything. maybe strip your 98 down and use that as your DD when you dont want to drive the nice truck. slap a new blade on your future nice truck and be good to go.
  11. Bird21

    Bird21 Senior Member
    Messages: 532

    1 Truck - Diesel / 9'2" Boss

    1 Skid Steer instead of another truck. For snow and some summer time side jobs etc. Also for stacking and removal.

    If you are serious about getting your own account then I would get a skid,a second truck will not make you any money sitting all summer. I add a skid every year or two for snow and still seem to be short every winter season.
  12. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,719

    Good thinking but the farm I work at already has 1 skid, 3 loader tractors, and we have access to the JD 332 skid I talked about in Triple L's post.
    My reasoning for getting rid of my 98 I put somewhere near the bottom of my original post.

    I have a 91 Chevy S10 that's cosmetically getting pretty rough but mechanically its pretty good. I can use that for the times that I would worry about my nice truck getting damaged. Another dent or scratch wouldn't be noticeable on it, all the rust would make it blend right in.
  13. snowman5313

    snowman5313 Member
    Messages: 86

    Two things. First, biggest mistake I see when people get 2 trucks they really don't no what its going to cost. Insurance, fuel, tires, regular maintenance...you can figure that out fast. The real cost is when you stick a person in that truck. Then its a tranny, brakes, crap like that. Remember its not his truck. The reason I say that is because thats what my buddy did with his brother. He was never going to put a plow on his baby (his truck) but he did. And my buddy and his brother don't talk nice to each other.
    Second, rent a skidsteer your first year. See how that goes. worse comes to worse, springtime it goes back.

    Ok third know what you have for work, money and expenses before you go doing something dumb like starting a snow plow business.
  14. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,107

    When starting out I had one nice truck and a buddy that could back me up if the unthinkable happened. (Never used him, lucky I guess.) That origianl truck is now my backup (which I rarely use) but is keep safetied and plated and cost about $1500 a year to maintain. You'll know when you need the second truck, I would procastinate buying a second before you know what you have for clients.
  15. JoeCool

    JoeCool Senior Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 214

    Don't get the cart before the horse. Upgrade your truck, either to the nice one or to the work one, line up work to keep it busy the first year, then add a second the next year if you can see the potential. Remember the ups and downs in plowing from year to year and don't get caught going big in a bad season. Here in Manitoba we have virtually no snow. Very strange year so far.