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Getting started, of sorts.

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by eortheain, Oct 16, 2003.

  1. eortheain

    eortheain Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    A friend of mine recently offered me to subcontract for his established and well-regarded snow-plowing business.

    It's a win-win deal; he can expand his business (both in terms of size and geography) and make money, while I can get into the business without having to find customers.

    At this point, I've decided to form a LLC (and gotten the paperwork done), lined up financing and insurance, passed the state contractor exam, and done some market research.

    The next step: buying equipment!

    I have several alternatives, all with advantages and disadvantages:
    1. 4WD pickup with plow -- inexpensive, many alternate uses, easy to buy, sell, and store.
    2. Skid-steer with containment plow -- fairly inexpensive, but would still need a 4WD pickup to haul it from site to site.
    3. Loader backhoe with containment plow -- very expensive, especially new, plenty of non-plowing uses, hard to store.
    4. Front-end loader with containment plow. Very, very expensive, but top dollar per hour. Few non-winter uses. Major storage issues.

      I live in a residential subdivision, so I can't park a big machine on the street or in my driveway.

      Also, at this point, I only have snow plowing business lined up. I could use a pickup privately when I'm not plowing. I could easily find occasional business for a skid-steer or loader backhoe, but not for a front-end loader -- those who need one already have one. :p

      Are there any major disadvantages with buying a loader backhoe (4WD, 90 hp+, 16K lbs; big enough for a 14' plow) other than the storage issues?

      Do you have any recommendations for storing such a machine? Ideally, I'd like to rent a 40x40' spot in a fenced yard, but those aren't exactly easy to find.

      Thanks a lot for any advice!
  2. Adams plowing

    Adams plowing Senior Member
    Messages: 195

    With you just starting out you might be best to start out with just a 4wd pickup and plow and build your way up to the bigger equipment as you start to bring in income and have a definate use for larger equipment. Also a truck will be eiser to plow with if you have smaller lots with many obsticles. thats what i would do if i were in your shoes. whatever way ya go good luck on the new business

  3. tileman

    tileman Member
    Messages: 55

    Subcontract is a very good way to get into snow plowing ! I have done this for many years and still do it today, and also have contracts of my own. If you are going to subcontract make sure you have a good contract with the owner, I don't care how good a friend he may be this is just good bussines. Also is this the first plowing you have done, or have you been driving for your friend.

    If you are just starting out, then I wound not buy any thing other than a truck and a plow. .If you don't like plowing it will be much easer to get out.

    If you have some time under the wheel then go for it. But I would still only by a truck the first year so you can get a good fell for snow plowing.

    Good luck
  4. myo

    myo Senior Member
    Messages: 193

    Truck w/plow would do the job... Good luck!