Big Lots


What kind of equipment do you guys use to plow biggger parking lots like a Wal-Mart, K-Mart,Menards,etc. Do you use big dumps, loaders with pusher boxes, or just regular pickups with 8.5 ft plows?



Senior Member
Allendale, NJ
I have no personal experience plowing bigger lots but from what i have gathered from this site most of these guys are going to tell you that a pusher will work the best.


Again no need to reqoute the entire post.

[Edited by plowking35 on 01-05-2001 at 06:54 AM]
In our area if you dont have a 2-medium duty trucks w/ a 10ft'er, they have been known to sub it out to locals so that they can have 4-6 3/4 ton to 1 ton pick-up's on any given site at one time.

These smaller trucks usually have to pile it in the middle of the lots accordingly if they cannot push it to the curbing.

Some companies will lease front loaders with 11 foot pushers if they are receiving x amount of dollars from their customers regardless of snowfall.

Hope this helps.


sam c

southeastern NH.
it depends on the lot configuration ie; islands ect. and where the snow must end up. i used to plow for a company plowing a 30 acre lot with a shopping dead center. we used loaders around the building then started circling using bigger equiptment the further out we got.pickups at first then ten wheel dumps w/ten foot plows and graders with wings. if they coulden`t push it to the end we would break paths purpindicular through the windrow to the end of the lot with large front end loaders so that the plows could continue. Now that lot has changed and is so full of obsticles that no one area is bigger than 2 acres. the company that plows in now uses pickups,loaders,skidsteers ect.,anything they can to make piles that are later loaded into trucks and hauled on sight until space runs out then off sight for an additional fee.

Mark Oomkes

PlowSite Fanatic
Grand Rapids, MI
You CAN plow anything with a 1 ton or 3/4 ton, but is it efficient is the question and will you be beating your trucks up trying to do it. We have a shopping mall with many islands and the snow has to be piled in two areas only. We have found out for the less cost than 3-4 trucks and their operators we can run one 1 or 3/4 ton truck to do small areas and one loader with ProTech and do it in less time, give the customer a better job and do more work with that truck and loader than you can with all those trucks and operators. If you want to own a whole bunch of trucks and employ all the people to operate them and the repairs and maintenance and all the other headaches, then do it with trucks.

If you are going to plow with trucks only, take Geoff's advice and use at least a medium duty truck that will stand up to the abuse.

Our customer with the the large lot did a comparison cost study between us and the previous contractor. They found out that althought the initial price was more for plowing 1", it cost them 33% less to have us do it with loaders the first time because we didn't have to come back and haul the piles away that we couldn't move with our trucks.


Senior Member
I do a KMart a Lowes a Target and a large grocery store and old Target building combined.We use three pushers a tractorhoe with an 11ftr and three dumps(two singles and a tandem)two with 11ftrs and one with a 10ft western.

Alan Addict
Digger, that 10' Western, is that what they call the "Heavyweight Series"? I'm in the process of setting up a 10' HW for my 5 yd single axle. Are you running off the truck hydraulics or do you have a seperate pump for it?


Senior Member
Seperate pump and it is as slow as molasis,we've had it rebuilt they say thats just how they are,so central hydro is the way to go.It is most certainly not as heavy as the DOT blades we use but it is a nice in between blade.I don't know if it is the HD series but I think so,but it is fairly old,like 7 or 8 years.

Alan Addict
The HW series uses a semi-circle that looks like it is a channel iron rolled in the flat with the legs of the channel upwards. In truth it is an angle section rolled and a flat welded to it to make the two upward pointing "flanges". No other Western that I know of uses such an arrangement. Mine was manual angle, but the brackets are there for the angle cylinders. It was run from a seperate pump, tiny thing, about the size of your fist, no way I was going to live with that, so I'm setting it up off the centrals. At the advice of Bill Nero at CPW I'm putting flow restrictors (adjustable) in the lines. Otherwise the full flow of the central pump would make things go way too fast, possibly damaging the cylinders.


Senior Member
My biggest client is a shopping center with apx.160,000 sq.ft.of lot plus service roads and I'm doing it with a 3/4 ton and a bob-cat as a sub,of course look where I'm located...I don't get as much snow or as many moves as you guys up north but it can be done.Sure do hate them 4 am snow falls when things start to open at 6 am...pain in my @#$.


We have a former hospital here that is offices now. We do it with 4 pick ups. Our snows here are generally 2"-4". The pick ups handle it just fine. When we get into the 7+" then it becomes a headache. If we had bigger snows on a regular basis we would buy 1 bigger truck to solve the problem. There is big money in these lots and people that pay on time.

cutntrim - Veteran
Well, my vote definately goes for a loader w/pusher box, plus a pickup, and if possible a skidsteer w/pusher box too.

This year we started out with a shopping plaza on our list for the first time. Our equipment list includes 3 3/4ton pickups and a couple honda snowblowers for walks. There are 4 of us, sometimes 3 if my brother-in-law can't come out. Yes, it is possible to do such lots with pickups, but it's much less efficient. Also, as previously mentioned, the amount of snow on the ground to push can drastically affect the ability of pickups to do the job.

We've subsequently dropped the plaza as a customer. I hate doing that but economically we're better off for it. We'll more than make up for the loss in salting charges, and additional driveways/small lots we've since taken on. I told the property management company they'd also be better off going with a company using larger equipment. Well, I was wrong there. The new guys are doing a brutal job so far. They've obviously assigned a very low priority to the site since it sits unplowed while our entire list is virtually completed. I guess the on-site maintenance guy misses us now, since he's been relegated to sidewalk duty with a handshovel. I don't think the new guys have touched the sidewalks, or the loading docks. Ha, ha.

Anyhow enough rambling, so go with the bigger stuff for the bigger lots. Or, factor in that you'll be onsite for a LONG time, and you'll have to relocate piles later.

GeoffD Veteran
Thats what I do.

Some lots have a loader with pusher and a 1 ton for clean up. It is than treated with an an F 650 or F 750.

Other lots are plowed with the F 650 or F 750 and a 1 ton, and the loader comes along at night and stacks the piles.


Winterworks Veteran
Cutntrim, just curious, why didn't you lease a bobcat, backhoe, or wheel loader for that plaza? Hertz is charging about $4400 per month for a J.D.544 (probably too big), about $2400 per month for a Case 580 4X4, and about $1700 for a Bobcat 763. You could probably get by with one pickup and one of the above with a leased (to own) pusher box. And use the equipment on your other lots to move snow piles,banks etc. on off days (if we get any soon) and bill them accordingly. I just would hate to give up an account.

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