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hi,New to plowing, appreciate help.

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by Journier, Aug 23, 2005.

  1. Journier

    Journier Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    hi, Im just starting out, first time plowing, never worked for nobody.

    Question#1-when should I start advertising? right now and keep it up through winter?

    Question#2- Im planning on doing all residential most with 2 car wide drives that are 30-60 feet long how much can I charge? Ive read alot of your posts about a (Per push and per Inch) pricing and im not sure if I get it, is that better for business removal?

    Question#3 Is a V plow better to use in Residential than a regular plow? would i be better off just using a regular plow, or does a 7ft Boss pro V plow increase your productivity or some sort?

    Question#4 Should I invest into a Nicer truck my first year? or go with an older 80's, Ive been looking at a dodge ram 5 speed 4x4 LONG bed, extended cab, is this truck too long for residential use? should i look for a short bed?
    Im trying to shy away from auto's since i hear the trans's dont like the work plowing gives.

    Question #5 what would i charge for residential salting/sanding. average wide sidewalk, I have no real basis on what i should charge so, i would really like any ideas you can give me.

    Last edited: Aug 23, 2005
  2. Journier

    Journier Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    Answered a few questions by reading tthe forums from (the beginning)

    answered question #1, #3, #5 for myself :/

    still appreciate any information you can give

    dont know how to edit my above post... tthe edit button is gone?
  3. Mick

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

    Glad to see you answered a few yourself. Figured you would if you searched.

    About #4 - that's going to depend on your circumstances and the truck you're considering. Are you buying this to "just get by" for the upcoming winter? Then I'd suggest leaning to getting a newer truck, especially if you can expect to put more money into it for repairs. This usually happens with older trucks that get used for plowing - the front end components wear out faster than you expected. Then you decide "Shoot - I need tires". Pretty soon, you're putting more money into it to keep it going another season to get your money back from the previous repairs. An exception to this would be if you are very mechanical and will be doing all the repairs yourself to save on labor costs. Also, are you sure you're plowing for the long haul - meaning you won't decide after one winter that this isn't for you? Then you've got a ($30,000) piece of equipment with nothing for it to do. You'd have been better off with that $5,000 truck.

    Is 8' Extended Cab too long? Depends on the driveways you'll be doing. For those city parking areas, I'd think so. For what I'm used to - no. But then the smallest I've got is about 50' long and I can turn around easy with my one ton.

    Pricing salt - Depends on how you'll be salting. With a small spreader that you push or a V-box that mounts on a truck. The first you would be buying bagged salt. The other you'd be buying bulk. You might try doing another search using "pricing salt" or "salting". See if anything comes up.

    Oh, about "edit" - you can only edit a post for so long after posting. Not sure how long, but after a certain amount of time, the edit button disappears.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2005
  4. Journier

    Journier Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    alright, thanks for the reply buddy.

    I just bought the truck im using for plowing.

    its a dodge ram 1500 extended cab Short bed 1997, 4x4. 135,000 miles
    with a nice little 318, 220 hp, and 300 torque, and a little better Gas mileage. and to top it off, they even gave me a full tank of gas!

    oh yea its a 5 speed, THE THING I WANTED MOST :) I know any auto tranny can go out, and i dont know how to rebuild a Automatic, a manual I can rebuild/ put a new clutch in, within 1 day.

    now, this truck was owned by a local surveying company, and they kept every piece of paperwork that has been done to the truck over the last 7 years. i mean every little bill, 2 inches thick worth.

    engine runs like a top at 135,000 miles, (Just had a (complete tune-up)

    and the U joints for the 4x4 was all just replaced, hmmm i dont know, best deal ive ever gotten on a truck in this good of condition, $3000 for this truck, more than happy with it.

    they also had another one there, the door had a big dent in it, think i could get it for 2500 :), its also a 4x4 1500 same year same everything. but has a newer clutch put into it, just 5,000 miles ago. hmmm....

    should i possibly get a back up truck? i can resell the truck and probably make my money back + some , actually now that i think about it, i think i shoulda jumped on both :/

    the local dealers were a joke for pricing, one truck was all beat up, side was all scraped they still wanted 7,000 for it, it was a 318 auto, was annoying.
    thanks for the help buddy :)

    Edit #3 heh, how much of a lift should i put onto the front suspension of the truck? 2 inches? or whatever amount i think is necessary? :)
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2005
  5. TriCountySnow

    TriCountySnow Member
    Messages: 34

    Little Advice

    Pricing is probably the hardest part of the snow plow business, next to all the paper work. Being a larger company pricing for us works like this Total the Number of minutes that you were there, multiply that by the amount you charge per hour, then divide that by 60 should get you close then you can round that number up a little bit.


    15 mins X 30 Dollars Per Hour / 60 = 7.50 ( you could probably get 10 or 12 dollars) of course you need to charge more than 30 per hour, we have found that doing it this way kinda makes the customer feel like the are not paying so much.

    Snow removal is quit the same only alot more an hr charge. we get 300 dollars per hour, however most residental will never need this service, this is mainly for those great big lots like factorys or car dealerships, were space is limited.

    Hope this helps a little bit.
    get the hint, the more you do the more you charge, however you must find a happy medium.
  6. nekos

    nekos Senior Member
    Messages: 586

    i can't see any reason why you would even want a V plow for just doing driveways. unless im missing something it's kinda pointless.
    if you want to spend the extra money get a back blade .

    if you planing on doing al residential , i would get a jeep. the small size just makes things so much easier !!!
    i ony do comerial plowing but i do a few friends drives as well . one takes me well over an hour to do . my truck a ford f150 long bed... it just doesn't fit.
  7. Journier

    Journier Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    thanks for the reply.

    Already bought the truck though :)

    1500 short bed 5 speed 4x4 Dodge Ram extended cab. 1997

    If I Make enough (Profit) this year ill buy a jeep for the next year.