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Advice needed

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by Night_Sailor, Jan 5, 2004.

  1. Night_Sailor

    Night_Sailor Junior Member
    Messages: 28

    I have an extended cab 2001 Silverado K3500. It is stock except for a front hitch receiver which I use to manuever trailers in tight spots. The extended cab and long bed make it a long truck and not very manueverable.

    I'd like to get a plow to clear my blacktop driveway, which is about 900 feet long, steep and difficult, and there is a circle near the house.

    Since there are two entrances to the place, making a single pass through the property is relatively easy for a plow to cruise through--which is what we do when we get clobbered by multiple storms.

    My brother and I have been shovelling about 600 feet of it for many years and the flat remainder is snowblown by the neighbor or packed down by traffic. Shoveling works exceptionally well, even in cold weather, because the extra clean job means the sun hits the blacktop and evaporates what is left over.

    I am strong but shovelling is getting to be too much for my brother and I. It is time to get a machine to do the job.

    I'm considering the following options:

    1. Buy a commerical Plow and try to pick up some business in the future to pay for it. If so, what type and brand?

    2. Buy a light weight residential plow and use it for my driveway only, or light commercial use. This is still not cheap, but cheaper than a hospital stay. Again, what features and brand?

    3. Buy one of those cheap plows without hydraulics that can mount to my front hitch receiver. Are these worth buying?
    I noticed they don't ride on donuts and they look cheezy. Praice I've seen was about $1000. This is something that could be moved easily onto another truck with a front receiver hitch.

    4. Buy a snowblower, about $800 to $1400. What factors should I consider? The max snow depth is about 24". This would be handy to do the front entry and a path between the house and barn--but after all the shoveling we have done in the past, this small bit of work would be nothing to us.

    Any suggestions?
  2. gpin

    gpin Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    I would try the snow blower before a lightweight plow. If you don't like it, it is easier to sell than a plow setup.
  3. Turf Docter

    Turf Docter Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Do you own a atv they have good snow plows.If not buy a good quality plow.
  4. 04superduty

    04superduty PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,354

    do you meant total snow fall or around 24" at a time. I use a toro singe stage, 2 cycle, 6.5 horse snow blower. the thing is light weight, east to turn around, but doesnt throw as far as a 2 stage. for up to 8-10 inches, the toro rocks. otherwise id would get a bigger snow blower. :D
  5. Bolts Indus.

    Bolts Indus. PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,176

    Based on my PERSONAL experiences I have determined that home owners can narrow their choices to two ways for snow removal.

    Snowblower- $1500.00- Buy the biggest you can afford and make sure it's two stage. Single stage is no good in wet snow in CT.
    Cost per year based on ten years life =$150.00
    Gas,oil,maintenance =$100.00
    Repairs =$ 50.00
    Total =$300.00 per year whether
    it snows or not.

    Hiring a plow contractor = $ 30.00 per snow
    x 10 snows per year
    Total = $ 300.00 per year ( Less $30.00 for each time less than 10)

    Therefore. Snowblower you have to do it yourself. A plow would be the most expensive route and you still have to do it.
  6. I'd go for the plow. Maybe just a small one, but it will for sure beat sitting on an atv freezing your butt off or freezing while walking behind a snow blower. My vote: plow. Just my $0.02 tho! :)
  7. Night_Sailor

    Night_Sailor Junior Member
    Messages: 28

    Thanks for the information.

    I don't think a snow blower is a good idea for our very long driveway. Plus it is steep in spots too. I think a plow is the way to go. I've been looking at used trucks with plow and saw a few decent one, but I'll wait until next year. $3500 for a plow, plus I'll need better tires. I'm going to get the tires first and try to budget for a plow also.

    Now, my brother is thinking about buying a new truck and plow. This is after I started talking about getting a commerical plow. He talked me out of it, as too destructive on a truck. Mine is a 1-ton, and he wanted to get a 3/4 ton with a plow. What kind of logic is that? After all the talk about he didn't want to get back into that business, now he wants a new toy.

    Anyway, after two good dumps we have had nothing but flurries. So perhaps it will not be an issue this year.

    Now how about the type of plow. What do you guys recommend?

    Type, size, width, and weight?

    Specifically, what would you get for a one-ton dually, and what would you get for a 3/4 ton.

    Assume it will be used for a dozen or two local jobs in addition to my own driveway. Typically we don't get more than 18-24 inches at a time, except for the rare Nor-easter every 20- years that dumps about 3-4 feet.
  8. DJL

    DJL Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    You said you are settling on a plow. Sorry if this seems like a dumb question/assumption. Does your truck have 4WD? If not, you might want to think about the snow blower option due to the steepness of your driveway. B/c of the wear/tear issue on your truck and you said you have a barn...how about buying an old beat up snow plow truck that will cost less than a new plow and will include an old plow in the cost?
  9. ratlover

    ratlover PlowSite.com Addict
    from IL
    Messages: 1,325

    if you decide you want to do "a few comercial lots" or a few drives for some extra $$$ remember that you need to get extra insurance.

    A lawn tractor with a blade or blower or a atv with a blade are options.

    A comercial grade blade in the new variety is pretty steep to do just your drive and if you are going to pick up some clients you will have to factor in making enough to cover the insurance. Not trying to steer you away....maybe make a post in the buissnes forum about starting a small buissness and do a search too.

    Another option is a used blade......but then you will need to be able to mount it and possibly troubleshoot/fix it. That means you need a basic mechanical understanding, a place to work on it and the tools to do so......and an understanding wife ;) Snowplows are pretty basic and easy to work on.
  10. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    plowing is not too much stress on a truck if you take care of it. you need to make some modifications to the front end timbrens or some kind of load boosters. If your silverado is 4x4 than any of the major plow companys will have a good plow for it cheak out their websites at the top of this page are the links.

    I would not go with one of those "driveway plows" a guy who owns a large lot near me bought a snow sport which mounts to the front reciever hitch. the thing is not worth the 1000+ you pay for it as it is too lightweight and rides on top of the snow leaving about 3" of snow behind. Just not worth the money. Get a plow for the silverado should be about 3500 new 1500 and less used if you can find one. My suggestion would be a new 7'5" plow if you can afford it you won't be dissappointed and it wont be too much stress on your truck if you use it right
  11. I used to do 4 short (60') driveways and 4 long ( approx 125' 2 car wide) driveways.I bought a Toro 12hp 32 " snowblower back in '96 for approx $2000. This would take me about 4 hours to do on an average snowfall (6-8 inches). Worked out real well but there are a few things to consider.
    1 when the snow is light and "fluffy" you get wet after a while from creating your own "blizzard" while snowblowing.
    2. When the snow is heavy the snowblower has a tendency to clog up so you spend a lot of time unclogging the chute and sometimes you give up and shovel by hand.(':(')
    3. If you get the bunched up snow at the end of the driveway from the town plows you are usually shoveling it by hand.(':(')
    All in all a snowblower is a good investment especially if you have walkways and tight spots to do but sometimes it requires a little more work when the conditions are not right.
    I sometimes have to do snow removal at work so I finally broke down and bought my own 8' western ultramount plow this year ($3800). It takes about 2-3 minutes and very little effort to put it on and take it off the truck. Now I do 17 driveways and 3 small parking lots in about the same time. The plow will pay for itself this year and it is a lot nicer doing snow removal in the cab, in a tee shirt, toasty warm listening to the radio.(':D')
    If you are willing to pick up a little work to offset the extra cost of the plow I say go for it.(':nod:')
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2004
  12. TheLawnShark

    TheLawnShark Junior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 11

    I hope that plow guy is being paid in Euros. For $30 I wouldn't even get out of bed. Also CT has money so you can gouge them more:D
  13. snowfighter75

    snowfighter75 Senior Member
    Messages: 124

    I'm not sure what to tell you since you have a receiver hitch on the front of your truck. But I can tell you that a SnowBear plow may look cheap but it will surprise you what it will tackle. I own one and I love it. For less than the price of a snowblower you can buy one. You might want to look at removing your front receiver hitch and going with one. Or if thats not an option buy a front receiver hitch type plow. But I don't have any experience with them. I don't think the price tag is that much more! DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT A BLOWER! You won't be happy!
  14. REAPER

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,230

    Since the 1st post is over 3 years old I hope the guy has it figured out by now.
  15. It would be kinda interesting to find out how he did make out.
    By the way, Mother Nature...thanks for nothing this year!::realmad:
  16. Jettix2

    Jettix2 Member
    Messages: 65

    Edit, I thought the original post was from 2007.......not 2004, oops!