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Buying used plow trucks

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by lawnkid, Oct 11, 2003.

  1. lawnkid

    lawnkid Senior Member
    Messages: 234

    Hey all, how's it goin? Anyway I just got my license about a month ago and I am looking to purchase a truck, possibly even a dump. Anyway, I have about 20 trucks picked out that I will call about and bring a mechanic out to see if the are worth it but I wanted to know from your standpoint. My real question is, have any of you ever had bad luck with buying used trucks with plows already on them. Most of these trucks are about 7-8 years old and have no more than 70,000 miles on them but my dad seems to be worried that they are extrememly beaten up. He said buy a truck wihtout a plow and them hook one up later but idk, I said I might as well get a plow on it too. I know he's right but I don't wanna have to go find a plow to buy now either. Give me your suggestions.
  2. sno-mover

    sno-mover Senior Member
    Messages: 274

    Listen to your dad. I did the same thing, bought a truck w/plow, and wished I didn't. I ended up replacing ALOT of stuff.payup , I was able to do all of the repairs my self (with the help of my father), and still cost a ton of money.
  3. snowjoker

    snowjoker Senior Member
    Messages: 283

    I agree with sno-mover i did the same thing but bought a truck that was a former highway department truck. Had to replace all the tie-rods, pitman arm,etc. cost about 400 just to make it pass inspection, after the "dealer's inspection ran out" If you do decide to buy one with a plow i would highly check out all of the steering components for wear. Keep us posted on your decision.
  4. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    The benefit of buying a truck with a plow,is it's already set up and ready to go.It will most likely have some extra wear and tear on it though.

    I still prefer to buy a virgin truck,and then put a plow on it.It will probably be in much better shape and have lots of life left in it.
  5. Mick

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

    Buy all 20. Then maybe you'll have one on the road at all times.:D payup
  6. coolgreen

    coolgreen Member
    Messages: 53

    plow truck

    I got a good deal on my truck, which came with a plow. Since that purchase, I've put enough money into it that I could have bought a much better truck that had never plowed, plus a brand new plow.

    My advice is to buy a truck that has never even been near a snow plow, then bolt on a brand new blade. You can never go wrong with new equipment.

    It will save you a lot of headaches, especially if it's a Ford.
  7. meyer22288

    meyer22288 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,003

    Congrats on getting your license:drinkup:

    Buying a truck with a plow on it can be risky. If the old owner of the truck beat the truck up then hte truck may end up in the shop more then pushing snow. Try and a newer used plow truck lets say 2000 and up this way it hasent done all to much plow like a truck 10 years old has. Your beat buying a used Ford so you know the truck can handle anything;)

    Buying a truck that has never plowed is always a better option. The truck most deffenitly has more life in it and the tranny and front end has much less wear on it.:)
  8. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,224

    I would buy with out the plow.The reason most plow trucks are for sale are that the original owners are getting tired of the repairs,or they went out of business,or it was just a spare truck that is not needed anymore.The other thing is you don't know who has drive the truck before some guys will work the hell out of there truck and it may be bad even with low miles on it some guys baby there truck because they don't want to make payment on another and have it last longer.Basically and owner operator truck will most likely be your best bet for used because one driver/owner verses a fleet truck that a million guys drive and who don't care about it.But Listen to your dad on this one .
  9. slplow

    slplow PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 594

    I think you have a 50/50 chance. I have some good luck on buying trucks w/plows on them and I have some bad luck.

    The real good luck truck I had, was the one my wife called the "war wagon" and refused to get into/or be seen with (LOL). I paid $700 and all I did was put new tires and welded the Myers. It was a good truck. Another sample, is bought an 1982 Chevy 1-ton dump, close to 300 miles on it. I put tires on it and body work, truck never gave me a problem. Purchased 98 Dodge 3/4 ton w/plow 68,000 miles and I only put tires and new ball joints. Which was know at the time of sale.

    The bad example: 1985 Chevy 1-ton diesel, which ate transmissions for breakfast. 1 year, ate 3. Everytime I turned around there was something wrong with it.

    Good luck. Some times buying new trucks are not what it is cracked up to be. Its all relative.
  10. Santo

    Santo Banned
    Messages: 255

    Try getting one fresh off a 3 year lease. Usually they are well maintained and serviced. Usually.Pop is right about getting one that has not been pushing OR pulling.

    You still have to do footwork like Carfaxing each one. The CARDOCTOR or any mechanics hear are very knowledgeable in this catagory.
  11. Lawn Lad

    Lawn Lad Senior Member
    Messages: 407

    It depends on your budget. Buying used may not be bad, but you have to anticipate some problems. Don't expect a trouble free truck or become dissapointed when it breaks down. One guy I know buys used trucks and says that he expects to put $1,000 into a truck when he buys it. Buing that $5 or $8 K truck and putting another grand into it is better for him since he buys 'em for cash and doesn't finance.

    If you buy a one to four year old truck without a plow you've got $12 to $18 K into the purchase plus a minimum of $3,000 cash for the plow. So now you're financing the purchase unless you've got $15,000 K in the bank plus the money for the plow. Buying used trucks/cars and financing will cost you more with the financing.

    Again... it's a budget decision and a determination as to what your time is worth. If you're just getting started, a $7,000 to $10,000 truck ready to go gets you into the game. But if it breaks down you need to have a plan in place to get you back on the road ASAP. Breaking down and being out of commission a day (if you're lucky) may not be an issue with the type of accounts you're signing on. If you're going to play more serious, then you need to find a more dependable truck.
  12. ZR2DK

    ZR2DK Junior Member
    Messages: 29

    Anyone notice that he **JUST GOT HIS LICENSE**? My suggestion...drive a vehicle without a plow on it and get used to that first. Everyone thinks that right after they get their license they immediately get the driving skills of the Earnhardt family, but we soon learn that is not the case. Get some practice under your belt without the plow, then in a year or so, maybe sooner, maybe later, find yourself a good plow and start making some money! Good luck.
  13. wxmn6

    wxmn6 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,037

    I got to agree with ZR2DK - I would wait for at least a year before getting started in plowing. There are alot more to learn even after you got the license. I think that the first couple years is a critical stage in learning in driving. Even the experienced driver are still learning. We are still learning more everyday with driving. Probably not at a large margain as a young drivers would, but we still would be learning something new, until you become really old, which would be another story. :rolleyes:

    But you still would need your own vehicle right? I would suggest going with an used vehicle that never have plowed before. That is how I got started out. Then a year later, I got a good used plow for it.
  14. griffithtlc

    griffithtlc Senior Member
    Messages: 213

    I am going to back everybody else up on this. Buy an unplowed truck, and hang a new blade on it. I just got my liscense a year ago, and now this year is our first year plowing. I saved up all summer, and financed a 94 Dodge Ram 3/4 ton w/Cummins for 7,000 for my daily driver, and plow truck in winter. My Dad paid cash for the plow, and now we have a super-reliable rig. Since I financed a smaller amount, I took the loan for a shorter period. If you can, pay cash for a new plow, and finance your truck for as short of a term as possible. Depending on iterest rates, you will save yourself at least 1500 in financing alone, plus the cost of possible repairs with a beat up truck. Good Luck:salute:
  15. GLS

    GLS Senior Member
    Messages: 248

    I'll agree with the others that you would be better off to buy a truck without a plow on it, but it all depends on the condition.

    I bought a 1995 chevy 3/4 ton with a plow on it (plowed since it was new) and I havn't had any problems with it. I know it was taken good care of, and I knew the owner.

    You could buy a truck with a plow mounted on it that a guy used only for his personal drive, or you could buy a some construction work truck without a plow that had the crap beat out of it. It all just depends.

    Anyways, I have had good luck with my used plowtruck. Here it is:

  16. Mick

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

    Ok, I got my smart aleck answer out of the way. So, a couple of serious suggestions.

    I doubt any mechanic is going to check out 20 vehicles. You need to narrow it down.

    I would agree with not getting a truck that has been used as a plow truck - especially a 1/2 ton. An idea that might work if the dealer has another truck with a used plow on it. Ask him to sell you that plow on this truck. Check the plow out and make sure it doesn't have any leaks and the hydraulics/electric are good.

    If you are looking at a truck that has a plow already on it - assume that the dealer is not GIVING anything away. Figure out what the plow is worth (usually 1/2 to 1/3 of new if in good shape) and deduct that that from the price of the truck. Now look at this truck alone as being worth that amount. Don't look at it as a package deal (truck/plow).

    I also agree that you need some experience driving without the added problems that come with having several hundred pounds hanging off the front of your truck with a big piece of metal stuck out in front of you. But, that wasn't the question.

    Remember that a financed vehicle requires full coverage insurance, which is expensive in the first place. Plowing with it makes it even more expensive. Check out rates with your insurance agent BEFORE getting the truck or plow. I'd be surprised if you can get insurance for plowing anything other than your own driveway (this usually includes not being able to even drive your truck on a public roadway with a plow on it).
  17. BRIMOW525

    BRIMOW525 Senior Member
    Messages: 259

    That is a clean Azz 95 OryanO. I wish I had time to keep mine that clean. I bought my truck with out the plow and pieced it together. (I got lucky!) I think its a 50/50 shot either way you go. But I would expect a little more preventative maintenance for a truck with a plow vs. without one.

  18. landscaper3

    landscaper3 Senior Member
    Messages: 309

    We buy our trucks all set up (used) they are cheaper that way here! then to buy a new plow and install.

  19. GLS

    GLS Senior Member
    Messages: 248

    I don't think it matters how old you are. I'm 17 and I have liability insurance and commercial vehicle insurance. It is actually cheaper for me to have commercial vehicle insurance than the insurance I used to have because they don't look at age. I was very suprised when I found out.
  20. BRIMOW525

    BRIMOW525 Senior Member
    Messages: 259

    hey Ryan.. those wheels are off a 2002 8 lug right?