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How did everyone start.

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by ATV Plow King, Jun 22, 2009.

  1. ATV Plow King

    ATV Plow King Senior Member
    Messages: 166

    Just wondering how everyone got started in the plowing bizz. And if you remember your first customer. also if anyone has any helpful info to get started like what you need and how your gonna do it.
  2. bigmudder77

    bigmudder77 Senior Member
    from wooster
    Messages: 125

    i started last year with a simplicity mower doing my own drive then had a couple people stop and ask if i wanted to do theres so i said sure then after i plowed there drives all out and went back to finish mine the last little bit of pushing i had to do and the rear end made a grinding noise and it locked up lol

    so looked on craigslist for a plow truck for cheap or plow mower for cheap and wow not the time to get a plow truck or mower they were way over priced so i found this bronco II for $250 ran but had water in the motor (i already had one i was working on putting a plow on but got that for back up)

    then i found a plow for a bronco II or ranger for $200 so i got that and he took $150 so i go home check if it would fit had to work in a no heat garage cause the other one was full with a tractor and a car that couldnt be moved tractor was getting spilt in half for a clutch and so was the car (but not spilt in half just had the tranny dropped)

    so im putting this plow on in like 10 degree weather and its cold but i keep pushing through it got the plow on the one with the water in the oil (cause the other one i bent the frame in front in to weld up an old chevy truck bracket to it)

    but the other one did great it fit it went up and down like it should (it was winch opp) so nothing for any thing big but it lasted all winter up till the last huge snow storm we had i was plowing the rest of my drive and the motor went pop and that was the end of that tired to get it running again in the cold but nothing not even a sputter and it was getting gas and the oil wasnt over filled just white lol but it should of still ran i ran with it all winter pretty much like that. well i found out the dis got moved and i have yet to put that back in place and get it running again

    but i had to barrow a tractor from my dads work to finish up the year last year lol so it kinda sucked

    but this year i hope will be better im going to look at a dodge truck tonight that i might be with a plow and every thing already on it and alot of work done to the front end and the tranny went

    but i know a rebuild shop thats gonna rebuild it for me for a pretty fair price

    so then that should be a good truck but if it breaks i have 2 good motors and a good front axle and alot of rusty body parts if any thing happens just gotta get an extra plow pump and stuff
  3. ATV Plow King

    ATV Plow King Senior Member
    Messages: 166

    Good post. and that sux bout the bronco but at least you got the job done. :redbounce purplebou

    Anyone else care to share there story?
  4. tinffx

    tinffx Member
    Messages: 68

    I always wanted to drive a plow ( I lived in Buffalo until I was 5 and always thought it was cool). I told one of my customers when I was managing a shop and he said he drove one of his friend's trucks when it snows. I told him I wanted in if I could get a seat and the fact that I was a master mechanic that could be in the field helped...
    Two weeks later it was snowing pretty good and my cell rang at 430 in the morning. One truck had a broken axle, one lost an alternator and so on. I opened the shop up at 5 am on a saturday (I didn't work saturdays and I was salaried as a manager so I didnt have much interest in working that day) in exchange for a few hours in a truck. The owner liked my work and my buddy got bumped to my backup. I made sure to send some pictures to my mom. She got a kick out of it.
    Fast forward 7 years and that ***** still owes me money but I got the chance to pick up my own truck at a really good price so I jumped on it. This upcoming season is my first in my own equipment and it is going to be nice to be in good equipment with a working radio. I made some good contacts in the field so I think the year is going to be good. I have a good backup driver and another friend that will cover for me should I have something break on me. I always meet my comittments. Frankly I do it more because I enjoy it. I wouldn't do it for free but sub rates around here are good enough to make it profitable. At this point I don't plan on actively bidding for my own accounts short of taking on jobs from people I know. If I can work it up to a full on operation I most certainly will. The hard part about DC is that it would take a lot of capital and even more good luck to make a snow only operation suffecient
  5. Skid Mark

    Skid Mark Member
    from ny
    Messages: 81

    i started with one chevy 1500 with a western mid weight and plowed for myself and a few of my neighbors then each year i kept expanding
  6. Mick

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

    I was 50 years old and had never even sat in a truck with a plow on it. Plow guy guy told me one summer it "wouldn't hurt his feelings if I got my own plow". Put a new Fisher on a 1/2 ton I owned. Had to ask someone where they installed it to show me how it worked so I could raise the blade to get it home. Spent a couple months mounting and dismounting the plow and reading the manual. Then got the first snowstorm. Asked a neighbor with a home business if she needed to be plowed. She asked if I had liability insurance. I didn't. She told me to come back when I got it. Next day, got the GL and got my first job plowing her lot. ALMOST backed into her car - missed by maybe 6". Learned to never have cars behind me. Put ads at local convenience store and penny shopper. Let EVERYONE know I was plowing and bringing it up in conversations.

    Never been asked about having GL insurance since.
  7. ATV Plow King

    ATV Plow King Senior Member
    Messages: 166

    Very cool. How long have you been plowing for?
  8. Mick

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

    I just turned 60 last month.
  9. ATV Plow King

    ATV Plow King Senior Member
    Messages: 166

    Good for you:salute:
  10. oman1999

    oman1999 Senior Member
    Messages: 198

    I remember it clearly....both the smartest and dumbest things I've ever said..."Sure, I can drive a plow truck, who needs sleep right?

    Started out driving an 83 2500 converted from a diesel to a gasser. Western 7.5' midweight and put in about 12 hours the first time I ever plowed. Darn Blizzard of 06 in Rockford, IL.

    Now I can plow with anything, have plowed with just about everything you could think of. Some ol' beater POS that barely runs to a 2008 Superduty with a snow-way revolution. It's been a blast so far. I love the work and I really love the winter. It seems that in the last 3 years, I've lost more sleep than most people have in a lifetime.
  11. Alaska Boss

    Alaska Boss PlowSite.com Addict
    from Alaska
    Messages: 1,951

    I first moved snow with something other than by hand a year or two out of high school when I first got my own place. I built a home-made plow for my first 3-wheeler in the 70's by slicing a barrel length-wise, and strapping it to a U-frame that I rigged up that went over the front tire,... I can't remember how I lifted it. (I recently found that old thing still laying back in the woods). Then, in the 80's when commercial snow plows first came out for the new "4-wheelers", I bought one, and had a plow on every 4-wheeler after that. I first plowed as a business when friends & neighbors asked me if I'd plow them open too, and altho it was never planned, it just grew from that. I even found a couple old photos from 1987 when I was still plowing my own yard with a 2-wd Suzuki chained up. This was just before I bought my first plow on a pickup,... :rolleyes:

    barrel plowing.JPG


    PICT0001 (Medium).JPG
  12. ATV Plow King

    ATV Plow King Senior Member
    Messages: 166

    Thats sweet!!!

    Looks like you guys got some snow too.ussmileyflag
  13. bigmudder77

    bigmudder77 Senior Member
    from wooster
    Messages: 125

    lol thoes pics are great
  14. 4x4Farmer

    4x4Farmer Senior Member
    Messages: 953

    I think when I was about 6 I duct taped a shovel to the front of my radio flyer wagon, the rest is all history! lol Started out doing sidewalks with garden tractors and moved up from there. Theres nights I think to myself why do I do this, but in the end its always worth it.
  15. ATV Plow King

    ATV Plow King Senior Member
    Messages: 166

    thats awsome.
  16. creativedesigns

    creativedesigns PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,929

    I started out buying a new F-350 dually, then got a fisher xls plow on'er! And since everyone knows that Im a Millionaire to begin with, I really don't need to worry that much. Also I just bought a Kubota M59 tractor in January. Its my third year doin commercial snow removal & we generate $2.7million in annual snow sales! Simply put it, Im the BEST!

    I've meet some great people on here like JD Dave, who lives in the safest town in Ontario! Also Grainview, Tls, 06Boss, Paul Vanderzon & many others! LOL tymusic :cool: :p

  17. ATV Plow King

    ATV Plow King Senior Member
    Messages: 166

    LoL nice.

    Did you buy the girl too?
  18. Wayne Volz

    Wayne Volz Senior Member
    Messages: 694

    I remember

    My customers began asking me to do their snow. I thought to myself that it does not snow enough in Kentucky to make any money doing snow here. So I bought a plow, put it on my truck and started plowing snow. Problem was, we did not get enough snow on a regular basis. After a couple years of starving to death, we decided to offer ice melter. The first year, my brother and I took turns sitting on the back of the truck as the other drove around the lot. We were holding onto a lawn spreader throwing out ice melter. How professional was that? (Oh well, you asked how we started). WOW. We quickly realized that with the right spreader we could make a significant amount of money in our market by offering more deicing.

    Now we run five SnowEx spreaders and five plow trucks and do very well in the winter.
  19. Banksy

    Banksy PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,113

    I started out with a shovel and moved up to a snowblower. Then I got a truck and plow when I got my license. I kept all the same customers and then I picked up more with the truck.
  20. ATV Plow King

    ATV Plow King Senior Member
    Messages: 166

    I was thinking about doing that with my quad.. but now i got a stainless western.

    ""I started out with a shovel and moved up to a snowblower. Then I got a truck and plow when I got my license. I kept all the same customers and then I picked up more with the truck.""

    That pretty much what i did. except i was lucky enough to have an atv with a plow.