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Contractors 25 yrs+

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by fernalddude, Jan 27, 2005.

  1. fernalddude

    fernalddude PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,106

    Hey all i have been reading on this site all the help me calls because guys dont know there equipment or how to fix there trucks. Am I wrong or does nobody read there books anymore or talk to the dealer about there prob?
    When we started this buss we only had our selfs to fix any problem and finish the contract. In this buss you got to spend some money to make money its like these guys just buy the plow and think its going to work forever and it will look just like new after you finish.Guys give me some feed back on this i have some subs that work for me that should know more about there equipment and even when i tell them the prob the dont what to take my advice and spend more money than they should, they run to a shop and wait days to get it fixed and put my ass in a sling because they dont do as i say :gunsfiring: So i guess my question is how do we get the newbies to figure out how to do this the right way and not hear them B%$# when things go wrong? Maybe iam just venting about the same topics that keep popping up over and over again(my plow don't work HELP ME) LOL.. :gunsfiring: :gunsfiring:

    JKOOPERS Senior Member
    Messages: 112

    give each one of them a trouble shooting manual to put in thier trucks.
  3. Turfmower

    Turfmower Senior Member
    Messages: 376

    Maybe some just need to learn how to use the Search key before posting there question.
  4. Jason Pallas

    Jason Pallas Senior Member
    Messages: 662

    I'm with you brother. Been in the biz for more years than most of these guys are old. I've laid on my back so many times in a puddle of melting snow and ice and salt fixing plow trucks that I so comfortable there I could go to sleep. You're right - back in the day, if you owned a plow, you knew how to fix it too (or you weren't long for this business). I see too many guys throw their hands up at the first sign of trouble and head for the dealer/repair shop. If you were stuck in the middle of nowhere and that damm plow and truck were you're only ticket out, you'd bet your a$$ you'd learn to be able to fix it - carry all the tools and spare parts. Sometimes my drivers think I look like a over-prepared junk man with spare parts, compressed air tanks, spare jacks, and a buttload of tools in the back of my truck. But you can bet they don't say crap - because when they're truck goes down, chances are 99 to 1 I'll have them back on the road soon - and the repair guy as lonely as the Maytag Man. Fight the good fight.
  5. Bolts Indus.

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

    This reminds me of how slow the speed of sound is.
    I tell my boys this all the time. The speed of sound is so slow that what I tell you now will reach your ears in 30 years.

    Laying under a truck in minus 20 changing a starter or other. Been there and had to tell my kids what it's like. I'm sure they can imagine.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2005
  6. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation Senior Member
    Messages: 413

    When I moved out of the house and bought my place , the first thing I bought was a welder , air compressor and floor jack. I didnt have manual angle plows at the time . We ran with out heat , and power steering and electric windows, cb radios kept us in touch (barely) . Still had locking hubs and shift linkage for 4wd . If you broke something you did what you needed to do to finish the night . This is year 23 of plowing , still fix all my equip , but in a 36 by 40 heated garage .
  7. fernalddude

    fernalddude PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,106


    ok Iam not alone in this thing you can call me a wet back for all the times i have been under my equipment with the melting crap dripping down on me but my stuff ran all the time so how do the newbies do this and make any money if they cant fix the simple things. i was at the dealer the other day and this guy gomes in and ask why his plow wont move right (meyers) older one no maint on this thing but i am talking to my parts guy and tell him buy the b sol and coil will fix the prob and he wants to get a service guy to check it out, iam like you need it to work spend the buck but he wants to nickle and dime it what a waste of my time should have let him sit in the cold and wait for the service guy to finish lunch and make him wait for a couple hours to tell him the same thing ...GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR Newbies JUst get in the truck and drive LMAO>>>>>
  8. SCSIndust

    SCSIndust Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    Don't give up on us young guys yet... I am 24, but have a nice list of things I have done over the past few years:

    1. I started with a snowblower I financed when I was 18, doing about 12 driveways. Somebody sold me an old plow, and taught me how to plow by subbing me out.

    2. Last year I did a head job for both heads on a 95 ford. It was pretty bad. We didn't have a garage, so we put the hood up, draped plastic over it. We used a space heater to heat our area, since it was about 30 over the course of the 3 days.

    3. All my plows are older. I refurbish all my stuff, since I buy it (usually) beatup. I am planning on buying a new blizzard this upcoming year.

    4. Everyone who works for me is in their 20's. And let me tell you, we really bust our 'butts' to get everything done. I push them good, but I pay them pretty good. We all go out for a big dinner after a big storm.

    5. Let me tell you a little story of not checking your hinge pins on a Meyers... yea, they broke in half. All I heard was a loud pop, and looked in my mirror to see my friends blade in a permanent trip position. All we had was trimmer line and trashbags. We lowered the a-frame, and lifted the blade to it, secured it with our items, and drove it home. Luckily we were almost done, so I finished in my truck, and my friend just went home. Until the new pins came in, I used 7/8" bolts, but the pins are 15/16". It never plowed exactly right after that. Oh well. It was really funny looking back.

    I'm not ranting, just saying not to give up on us just yet. There are a few who are willing to work hard.
  9. PSDF350

    PSDF350 Senior Member
    Messages: 577

    must be nice to be you guys that are gods of fixing things. i sure aint. something breaks i try and fix but if i cant your damn straight i will go to someone that knows how.
  10. fernalddude

    fernalddude PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,106

    way to go jlawn thats what iam talking about push it all the way
    glad to see you got some guy that hump it to the end and finish the job
    WAY TO GO.... :salute: :salute:
  11. Jason Pallas

    Jason Pallas Senior Member
    Messages: 662

    That a boy jalawns! Old school. Hey CB radios - damm that brings back some memories. I remember breaking down in a backyard (behind all that conrcrete/radio wave obstruction), battery going dead - tried to get a hold of another truck. Those radios weren't worth a damm anyway - as I ran out of the backyard, I just caught a glimpse of my last chance for a jump go down the street and off to the other side of town to begin that half of his route. I walked 2 miles in 6" wet snow to get another battery I had on the charger. Then I walked back with it!!!!
    If we only had cell phones and Nextells back then!!!!!! CB radios - Almost like 8-track players.
  12. hesko1

    hesko1 Member
    Messages: 45

    LOL My first bag phone back in 87' was the size of a piece of carry-on luggage.
  13. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,257

    A lot of people can't fix most of the things. But how can you not at least have spare hoses, fluid, solenoid and some wrenches in your truck. The first snowfall this year one of my subs phoned saying he had to quit because he broke a hose and couldn't get it fixed until morning. While I was fixing his one of my experienced guys phoned with the same damn story. This guy used to work for a person who sent them out with every spare part except a complete plow. Did he not learn anything. I had them both back up and running in less then 30 minutes.

    We tend to install our own plows. This way we know some of the places to look when something goes wrong
  14. DuallyVette

    DuallyVette Member
    Messages: 63

    Yea , and I got them to discount my hardcase "bag" phone all the way down to $950 since I was buying two. (1986)
  15. 042500hd

    042500hd Senior Member
    Messages: 251

    Manuals are not always useful

    I hope you're not generalizing all people new to the industry. Let me give you my recent example of where I needed help. My Boss plow was leaking fluid from the breather valve on the lift cylinder before I posted anything I read the manual nowhere in the manual does it even show the breather valve so up to that point I didn't even know what it was. So I posted a question about the leak because it was late and my dealer was closed. Someone on this site told me it was a breather valve. The following morning I call my dealer I told them it was leaking from the breather valve, they tell me I've overfilled my fluid. I've never put any fluid in. So I go and check the fluid so I don't look stupid if that's really the case. After confirming that's not the problem I call the dealer again they tell me if I install a smart hitch it won't leak. Is that fixing the problem? I call another dealer who says they can't look at it for 4 days, but the lift cylinder may need to be replaced. So I update my post with this new info asking for thoughts as we are about to get 6" and I don't want to be stuck but I also don't want to buy a new cylinder if there could be another problem, or if the cylinder is something that should be warranteed. I guess I'm ranting hear but the first post in this thread implies that reading a manual or calling your dealer will teach you what you need to know I know that's not true. I'm with you guys that reading posts about the same topic over and over again is aggrevating. But the way some people come across in threads like this is also aggrevating. I suppose I'm at fault because I'm 26 and you've been plowing for 30 years, some of you guys must have never had to ask a question. This is my first year plowing I have 23 residentials and 1 commercial, I also work fulltime as a life safety engineer. I do a good job of keeping my customers happy, and plan on getting another truck with a salter for next year. I like being able to ask a question hear because I value the experience and advice some people on this site have, but threads like this make me think twice before I post one. If I know what the problem is I'll fix it but if I don't know I'm not going to nickle and dime myself guessing.
  16. REAPER

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,230

    Back in my day tool's wern't invented yet. We used a horse to plow and his manure for ice melt. We had to build a fire and use smoke signals to talk to each other. We got paid poultry. Thats right chickens. Or duck,pig whatever they had. We did this barefoot and mostly up hill to. BOTH WAYS!

    And we liked it!!!

    Kids ,sheesh.

    Seriously though. There are some guys I know that I have seen work on their stuff before. Trust me, some are better off at the dealer or garage.

    I learned at the school of have to have none. Had to get it done and had no money to pay for a fix. Best education sometimes. Hands on,have to and have none.
  17. gpin

    gpin Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    Good thread. I am not mechanically inclined but I read all of my manuals and do what I can. All plowers should have an emergency kit, available from CPW and other suppliers for their plows. The price is reasonable. Also, I read threads about getting a plow for the lowest price. My services are expensive as I offer service and the best reliable job possible. I don't expect my suppliers or subs to cut their profits down to zero for me. For plows, I use the closest dealer to my shop who is a quality supplier who provides service. I use a mechanic who is close to my shop. I don't whine about repair costs. I want my mechanic to make a good living so he is dependable and can stay up on new vehicles. If I need something repaired quickly I always throw in an extra $20. Also, if it's not an emergency, I tell him I'm in no rush so he can repair the truck between all the other screamers.
  18. John from OH

    John from OH Member
    Messages: 35

    I was thinking the same thing the other day. There were several electrically related problems. Most of them could have been prevented by a preseason check of the electrical system. A simple volt meter and test light can perform these test, preseason and tell the condition of the battery, alternator, and probably most important, the resistance in you battery and plow cables.

    I've been pushing for over 25 years and can relate to the CB radios, weather guesses at 7AM, noon, 6PM, and 11PM. No weather updates in between, no instant radar, you were at the mercy of the the local TV stations. lol Bag phones, what a great improvement in communications, the weather channel on TV was a giant step forward in tracking a storm (although my wife did get upset about grease pencil marks on the screen to track how fast the snow was progressing). Now we have instant access at anytime to weather radar, private forecasters, instant communications, and some great equipment to use.

    When I get to the shop next week, I'll post one of our preseason checklist. It may be of help for the newer plowers.
  19. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    Are You Kidding Me?

    It is just plain sad that the statement has been made if you can't fix your own stuff your not worthy to be in the business. I'm 33 and have worked hard at what ever I'm into, I can fix most things that go wrong in a house, and if you show me once I can operate any type of equipment. I can design your company logo, plant your yard, fix a leaky roof, babysit your kids, build a loft, put together that new TV stand and plug in your home theater. But if my truck or plow has a problem, I'm going over to the dealer and have them fix it. So this makes me some kind of loser? Go drink another Genny Cream Ale, and hurry up cause Laurence Welk is on in 5 minutes. :eek: :D :drinkup:
  20. alternative

    alternative PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,164

    i with the last two guys... i mean i can fix my shi* ... but why... if you charge enough for your services , why arent you having it done for you.. if you gotta spend 2 hours under the truck or even 30 minutes on the plow.. what is that really costing you.. what are you worth..i can make more working that what i might save by spending time fixing my stuff.. were not mechanics here? If we were we'd be in a nice warm garage fixing every plow operators equipment. Dont get me wrong.. if in a pinch.. you should know some basics.especially if its your ONLY truck.. you should know how to change a hose, selenoid,spring pump, or even just how to fill fluid or replace a pin.. but for most cases.. these guys dont keep up on their equipment anyway... just drop the plow and off they go ....But really...its sometimes a catch 22 .. either you fix it or pay someone to fix it... I think our job are to clear snow.. not repair equip..thats why there are shops.. i am in no way ashamed to take my plow in... i can pay for it.. i m not frugel... but on the other hand.. 9 out of 10 times i could seriously fix it myself. but why?? i've usually got better things to do with my time..like make more money. And if i dont have any work happening.. i by all means will definitely work on my stuff myself.. it only makes sense