Customers or equipment first

I started my business in the fall as a lawn maintenance and snow removal company using only what I have already, namely shovels and a 2-stage snow blower. I used Nextdoor to get all of my customers (22 of them), many of whom didn't want their property plowed for one reason or another. I'm a one-man show that wants to grow but I think the only way to do that is by getting a plow setup to not only help with existing customers (those that would allow) but also to be able to service more properties. The main question comes down to:

Should I market to get more customers first or bite the bullet and go get a plow vehicle and all of the insurance that goes with it first?

It's the age-old "chicken or the egg". I know that we're coming up on the end of winter but this will apply to next year and beyond.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated!

Thank you,
Eric
Klaiber's Klearing LLC
Montgomeryville, PA
 
OP
K

Klaibs27

Member
I modified a hitch-mounted cargo carrier to hold the width of the snow blower. I then have a separate ramp that I keep in the back seat (because I can't get into the bed of the truck with the snow blower on the carrier) to get it off of the carrier.
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thelettuceman

PlowSite.com Addict
I cannot tell if your F150 is 4X4. Having said that, 150 / 1500 series trucks are not recommended for commercial snow plow work. I am looking at the driveway that you are parked in. I can tell you that a snowblower would work better then a plow.
You may want to get another snowblower and helper for next season to get your biz to the next level. You and a helper could lift the snowblowers on and off the bed of the truck.Stick with resi driveways if you go this way.
If you get a 250 / 2500 series truck, you could put a plow on that. You are looking at big bucks. Your F150 looks like a nice truck. The grass ain't always greener on the other side ... Some people have down sized to get rid of the stress.
 
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Klaibs27

Member
It's a '16 F150 4x4 and my daily driver. I looked at putting a Sno-way plow on it as it's the only one that's "approved" but that became a no-no after doing a lot more research on this site. I've got my eye on a '89 F350 with a Western plow setup for ~$2k. The gentleman selling it has owned it for the past 14 years and he's getting too old to use it.
 

Landgreen

Senior Member
It's a '16 F150 4x4 and my daily driver. I looked at putting a Sno-way plow on it as it's the only one that's "approved" but that became a no-no after doing a lot more research on this site. I've got my eye on a '89 F350 with a Western plow setup for ~$2k. The gentleman selling it has owned it for the past 14 years and he's getting too old to use it.
I do not recommend plowing with a $2,000 truck. Youre asking for a lot of trouble. Start making plans for next season so you have the work available to afford a new or slightly used 3/4 or 1ton. Have the $2,000 truck as back up but that might be trouble too.
 

plow4beer

PlowSite.com Addict
Location
The Liquor Store
It's a '16 F150 4x4 and my daily driver. I looked at putting a Sno-way plow on it as it's the only one that's "approved" but that became a no-no after doing a lot more research on this site. I've got my eye on a '89 F350 with a Western plow setup for ~$2k. The gentleman selling it has owned it for the past 14 years and he's getting too old to use it.
I’d get the snowway for your 1/2ton, start hauling the blower in the bed, get a helper to ride along and tag team driveways (and/or real small commercials) as close together as possible.....make some money, and start upgrading/buying more equipment as needed
 
i don't know much about PA weather, but in the pictures it doesn't look like theres much snow. not sure a plow truck would be a wise investment, at least at this point.

if you're getting customers because they don't want plows, maybe you've found your niche. i'd stick with blowing if it were me. buy 2 single stage blowers and another 2 stage. say $2500 investment. determine ahead of time which blowers you need(cold snow up to say 6", both singles. heavy snow up to 6", maybe a single and 2 stage, etc) and have a helper to knock them out quickly
 
OP
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Klaibs27

Member
It's a pick up, why don't you get some ramps and put the blower in the pick up?
Isn't that what a pick up is for?
Or was I doing it wrong 25 years ago?
With the blower being so heavy, I almost killed myself trying to bring it out of the bed of my truck down a dry ramp, let alone a wet one.

I went cheap again and bought a beat up snapper single stage for next to nothing and got it running well. Waiting on a few parts to finish it up but I'll most likely be using that in most cases and it WILL go in the bed of the truck with no need for ramps.

We've had a below average snowfall season here in southeast PA but there's a few storms on their way so hopefully I'll make some money!
 

demetrios007

Senior Member
Location
Morris County,NJ
Idk why ur against the snoway setup but I have the 26R w wings on my personal truck and I often plow my commercial lots w it. Great plow I have run 250/350 trucks and westerns for over a decade and I love this setup. Powered wings are the cats meow for clean passes and no trail offs. Down pressure back drags driveways super nice. If you could get ur acts tight 2gether snowblowing is a good little bizness. I started by doing 2 houses in a wealthy development and ended up w 45 of 62 in there the rest did it themselves and spun that to 2 trucks and a skidsteer a decade later
 
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