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First time plowing, some questions from a newbie

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by 05Ford, Nov 19, 2014.

  1. 05Ford

    05Ford Junior Member
    from VA
    Messages: 2

    Hey guys, how's it going? I've been on LawnSite for a couple years, but I decided to join Plowsite because I had some questions about snow removal and plowing. First post here, but here goes:
    I have done snow shoveling for 4 years now, 10 regular clients, and many one timers. My dentist asked me the other day if I do snow removal and I said yes I do. He asked me if I would plow his parking lot this winter. I initially thought "I'll just buy a big snow blower and snow blow it." But, I was wondering if I could get 10-15 driveways and this lot, would it be worth it to invest in a plow? I drive a 2005 Ford Ranger 4.0 V6, with 4x4. I know its not an ideal plow truck, but could it work to do some driveways and a small lot?
    As far as insurance, I've been checking out policies, and am meeting with an agent soon to talk. I know how I will market and how I'll do billing and such.
    Worse comes to worse, I'll just buy a snow blower and get some shovels and just do driveways that way. Would that be more productive?
    Thanks in advance, and I love this site!

    A pic of my truck:

  2. elitelawnteam1

    elitelawnteam1 Senior Member
    Messages: 164

    A plow is your best bet, I don't know how big that dentist parking lot is, but if its decent sized, you don't want to be stuck with a snowblower. What happens when you get a big storm? Snowblowers aren't designed to plow parking lots

    Check your local craigslist for plows, you can get a small poly snoway or western suburbanite plow, and prices can range from $700-$1500.

    The time you save with the plow will allow you to plow more driveways.
  3. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    If your serious about doing commercial plowing my suggestion would be either trade that truck in or buy at minimum a heavy half ton 4x4. What do you use for your lawn care truck. If that ranger is it....time to step up and do things the right way with the right equipment.
  4. SnowFakers

    SnowFakers Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 944

    That truck will work well for your needs, just make sure to get a metal plow. Meyer, fisher, western, whatever it just needs some weight to it. Or get a snoway unit with down pressure. That truck will work well on driveways and small lots, just be aware that you will need to upgrade next year, but that the ranger will work well as a back up truck!
  5. montec

    montec Junior Member
    from ND
    Messages: 25

    A lot of people give the small trucks a bad rap. I for one will take the smaller size trucks over the full size half ton.

    I applaud this guy for attempting to use the smaller truck.

    I've run S-Series trucks and have hauled and pulled more then most 3/4tons out there and a few 1 tons. They can and will work if you just treat them right and make sure you cover your bases on maintenance and upgrades. 2200lbs in the box of a '83 T10 long box and I could still move town speed with ease, granted 4x4 you can do a little more with. She squatted hard but I had the weight over the axle.

    Now I haven't plowed with one but no one made one for the s-seires till as of late since they are now making them for the smaller vehicles that people drive these days.
  6. JustJeff

    JustJeff 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,480

    Yes, he can do just fine with that truck for a little while. Nice for driveways and small commercial lots. But you HAVE NOT hauled more with your "S" series than a person with a 3/4 or one ton truck. Keep it real, your claim is just B.S., and it makes people skeptical of everything you say once you tell a whopper. The new Ford super duties are rated to tow up to 30K. You telling me that you do that with your "S" series?
  7. jimbo64

    jimbo64 Senior Member
    Messages: 194

    There is a big difference between getting around in the winter with weight in the back of your 2wd truck and snowplowing. Nothing wrong with a 4wd Ranger for doing a few small driveways but if you plan on doing snow removal as a business you should at least have a 3/4 ton with a minimum 8' plow as your main vehicle.
  8. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,391

    I've run S-Series trucks and have hauled and pulled more then most 3/4tons out there and a few 1 tons.

    You know the rules pics or it never happened.
    And I'll say this. As you said, it squated hard,,,,,,,how safe is that?
    I'll agree with H.J....b/s
  9. montec

    montec Junior Member
    from ND
    Messages: 25

    I don't have pics of the loads in the box, never felt I needed to take any. but 2k lbs in the box is what a 1ton is rated for. I know people use the full size as intended but many have too big a truck for what they do.

    I do have picks of my latest '94 s-series blazer hauling another.



    I don't have a picture of this one fully loaded up but I've hauled this one as well.


    Now we can get into the bashing and butt hurt. I didn't mean to call that you don't need a full size. However everyone comfort level and experience levels vary and are different. Would I tell anyone off the street they can or should do what I have, helz no.

    I was applauding the opp for doing what he's doing now. Everyone has to start somewhere with what they have.
  10. montec

    montec Junior Member
    from ND
    Messages: 25

    Well I don't know, but I'd be willing to give it a shot. Pretty sure the 4.3HO in my '94 would be working hard. I'd say if its balanced right maybe. I will say I haven't pulled that much weight 6-7k yes but not that much. I've never needed to.

    Let me get the LSx swap completed and a new strange rear diff in place. :)

    I would say that in this forum that people use the trucks as they are designed for. The rest of the suburbanites not so much.
  11. jerpa

    jerpa Member
    Messages: 92

    A 3/4 ton of any recent vintage is rated for far more than 2000lbs. That nomenclature hasn't matched the actual ratings for years. If I overloaded my truck by the same percentage I'd be carrying 10,000 lbs in the bed. Safe, I think not.

    I'm not bashing the small truck at all but advocating throwing a ton in the back of an s series and plowing is not wise IMO. If you need to haul that much and plow large lots get a bigger truck.
  12. montec

    montec Junior Member
    from ND
    Messages: 25

    I apologize I was not advocating running a ton in the box while plowing.

    I was moving cinderblocks, bags of cement and other items. And a few trios of soaking wet carpet, sheetrock, and other wet materials which my friend has that scale ticket somewhere I think still when he bought his house and the basement was flooded.

    I was advocating that fact that you can use a smaller truck to do what some full sizes do.

    A lot of people run jeeps for jobs. I've seen some in my area doing smaller parking lots and did see one using one in Target a couple times.
  13. sublime68charge

    sublime68charge PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,090

    for your 10-15 drive and 1 small lot you'd be OK.

    I'd look for a good 2 stage blower and have some ramps for getting in/out of back of your truck and that way if you run out of room to push the snow. you break out the blower and blow it out of your way.

    due you have sidewalk on your drives?

    the blower will knock those out on the bigger snow falls when/if you have them.
  14. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,391

    Your only pulling it not weighted down in the trk. And what's the tounge weight? And your really gunna say that that is safe.
  15. Jguck25

    Jguck25 Senior Member
    Messages: 594

    My 2005 f350 srw is rated at 4100 pounds, not only one ton. And that is not nearly as much as people pull with one tons, I could put both of those loads on one trailer and tow it safely and within the limits of the truck
  16. montec

    montec Junior Member
    from ND
    Messages: 25

    For an experienced tower yes, for some one that's never pulled before no.

    The weight on the tongue I'm not sure what it was but I don't foresee it more then 600lbs. The weight was evenly distributed on the trailer on both pulls. It pulled oddly well down the highway. Yes I drove slower and allowed plenty of room to slow down and stop.

    The pickup in the last pic was the one that had the weight in the box. The motor gave out when it blew the second rear main seal in 6yrs during a cold snap. I'm working on a V8 swap and trans upgrade in that one.

    I've done a lot of crazy and hold my drink stuff with vehicles. However I do them sober and with the expectation that I will learn something in the end. Which I have. I have found limits for vehicles weather its driving on ice and snow, loose gravel, grass, and dry pavement.

    But I'm not here to thread jack. I wish the op luck in what he is trying to do and hope he learns lots of information. Just remember its how you use the tool that matters most.
  17. SnowFakers

    SnowFakers Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 944

    That ranger will plow great. Hell I was out there pushing 10" of slush last year when I fell behind one storm... Most people say they won't hold up and won't push anything, but from someone who spent an entire winter plowing in a 4 liter ranger, I couldn't have asked for anything better. Sure you had to make sure you had a bit of a running start and keeping your momentum was key if you had to push up hill or while stacking, but in most cases all 4 wheels would be spinning, not running out of power.

    In the deep stuff, use 4lo and take half blade widths if possible. The truck will do very well. My truck was ready to go for this year before I sold it for a larger truck for the landscaping side of my business, if I didn't have the need to haul more I would have stayed with my ranger. Put 600 pounds in the bed and it will push.

    Good luck
  18. peteo1

    peteo1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,660

    An s10 blazer pulling an s10 blazer. Neat! But that's only like 5500 pounds including the trailer.
  19. montec

    montec Junior Member
    from ND
    Messages: 25

    Thank you. It was fun.

    The pickup was the pain, the Blazer was much easier wheeling on, still not running but much easier when you have a driveway angle to assist. I believe the weight was a bit more but not much. Both trailers I used were flipping heavy.

    As the guy above said he should have little issues with the ranger and I believe that. The little trucks are more capable the many believe. I would say though any with a 4banger is just worthless.:nono:
  20. JustJeff

    JustJeff 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,480

    A four cylinder will plow as well as a six. You run out of traction long before you run out of power. I could plow with the Ford eco-tec no problem.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2014