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How did you get into plowing? Stories?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Snow2Go, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. Snow2Go

    Snow2Go Senior Member
    from Chi
    Messages: 223

    Well I always loved snow but when I was younger but dad had a plow truck that he would plow his parts store lot with. I would always ride with him and of course get to hit the controls every once and a while(Old school cable western) Then when I turned 18 a buddy and I would go door to door in the rich neighborhood and he would shovel and I would plow. We would make a couple hundred each and hell that was alot to us. Well finally doing commercial and getting paid the big bucks, but I always tell people its just fun too me, I guess it reminds me of being with my dad when I was younger.

    Whats your story?
  2. BigDave12768

    BigDave12768 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,446

    I had no real car. I was like 22. I hated shoveling our big ass driveway. So I got a new job and was taking the bus and getting rides. I saved up a couple bucks. My sister and mom told me they saw a red Dodge with a plow on for sale pretty cheap. I kinda always wanted a plow truck since it looked like some easy cash. So my mom co-signed a small loan (1500). And I owned my first plow truck a 87 1500 Dodge 318 4 speed with faded red paint. I owned a Ford Bronco before this and a Chevy blazer. I was always kinda ruff on my vehicles. But By far the Dodge could take this beating better than the Chevy and Ford put together. Started out trying to get driveways. Then saw add in paper for Sub-Contract work for Mento's Landscaping. I worked for 25/hr. I left Mento when I got my 1994 Dodge 3500 Cummin Also Red. Mento didnt want to pay me more than 30/hr. This was in 1998. I found another company to pay me 50/hr. And still plow for same guy now. If it wasnt for plowing. I wouldnt own a 3500 truck or the Cummins. My truck is my personal driver and never gets worked besides plowing. I never even tow anything. But when I look at the cars on the road I would like to own, like the New Challanger. I think to myslef it wont make its own payments.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2009
  3. tuna

    tuna Senior Member
    Messages: 488

    When I was a kid in the early 70`s my Uncle had a brand new 71 K10 shortbed with a 7.5' Fisher plow.I used to love to go with him plowing.My first plow truck was a `74 F100 with a 7.5' Fisher,I paid $400.00 for it I plowed 1 season with it and sold it for $700.00.I went a few years without a plow then in `91 I bought a 78 GMC K1500 with a 7.5' Pathfinder plow.I subbed for a friend of mine who had a Landscape supply Co.When we were out plowing his Sister would come out and meet us with food and hot chocolate and would end up riding with him for a while.One night he had a buddy of his with him and no room for Sis so she got in and rode with me.We have been together since then we were Married in `95.Anyone else have a Plowing romance story?:)
  4. Chris-R

    Chris-R Senior Member
    Messages: 321

    Back in 1978, I had an old 1966 Ford Fairlane station wagon and it was falling apart. My dad owned a business and was sick of the unreliable snowplow people who plowed for him. He decided that he should do all the plowing himself so he bought a Ford Bronco with a Fisher plow. He never once operated the plow. Instead, he elected me to do it and I was hooked. I plowed his business and rental properties. Then I added some driveways and a few more, and a few more... Here I am 31 years later still plowing and still loving it.
  5. fernalddude

    fernalddude PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,106

    Well been 30 years of since I started the type work.Started with a 74 cj5 (pic1) what a beast 304 3 spd made for off road like driving 4 wheels and a motor strapped to your butt. Had 13 leaf springs talk about stiff. Big old gumbo mudders you could not stop this thing. Was working for a construction company as dump driver and wrecker driver at a gas station. We got a call from a auto dealer about using our fork truck to unload a shipment of plows from a semi told them they had to save one for me and the stories start from there.Plowed the first year for tons of places every place I serviced or worked for every year got bigger and bigger. At the start nobody use chemicals just plowed and people drove on snow covered roadways. Around mid 80's we started to use salters and I still have the first one (pic 2) It just wont quit so why get rid of it 80 buck motor every couple years. Some stories, like the time had 3 Hotties chase me down (pre marriage) and do the nasty at of all places a slaughter house I plowed. Did such a good job at that place that time got a side of beef. Or the hookers,crackheads, drunks, cops, any and everything possible have seen about every thing possible but some times people still amaze me on how stupid they are like the wrecks, bad driving,unprepared drivers. Even had one time cops come flying into one of our props to request us to help this kid out. Now we just saw him doing donuts down the street and Iam like no frickin way what a ass he was and the cop was pissed oh well sorry about his luck. Or the time we were at a bank and the guards come out cuz we were parked on the lot looking it over and they just got robbed (that sucked). Stopping traffic on the expressway for accidents or rerouting traffic to off load equipment. WOW what a ride its been but I would not change any part of it but know what is enough running 12 rigs and all the other crap that goes along with it. I rant now but just have a smile when the checks roll in.payuppayup

    cj5 (Medium).jpg

    100_2379 (Medium).JPG
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2009
  6. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Four years ago I started going to church. The fellow who normally plowed the church had shoulder surgery and couldn't do it, so I did. 87 GMC dually, 4 speed, hydraulic Fisher. SLOW. Thought, this is kinda fun. Didn't make any money, just did a few freebie drives. Another friend from church hooked me up with his buddy doing commercial plowing. Drove a whole season for him in his truck. Still fun. Bought the 97 and added some of my own accounts. Last year I went fully on my own. A guy gave me his whole route, and I bid on and won a couple of schools. Bought the XV and PolyCaster. Hard work and tough hours, but still fun to stack those big piles. Out last week in the backup truck after losing the trans in my 97. Still fun. Must be something wrong with my brain somewhere........

    RODHALL Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    I have always been into 4x4… I opened an auto repair shop with a buddy. First year we 14inches of snow and had no way to move it but shovel it, 4 days later we had the parking lot clear. In springtime I happened over a 77 macho power wagon with a plow for $400, my buddy said I was crazy for paying that for cancer ridden truck. It was so bad you could see how you were doing by looking out the floorboards… but I plowed with for 5 years that way. Along the way I picked up a few extra jobs, plowing, and happened into a guy who was build a small HOA, started plowing our stuff and his, it kept me busy for most of the a day Then the buddy I started the shop with went and bought a ford with a plow. He plowed for a year. I had found a nice 86 2wd that I took the body off and put it on the 77 frame put 1 ton rears and rebuilt motor and trans. Made it road worthy, so to speak.plowed 2 more years with it... I now have 2 ctd plow trucks and $500 dodge w150 plow truck. I finally came to terms with the fact that I need to part with it last month. it was by far the nicest truck i had i just could not beat it like i can the others.
    That truck is still my profile pic…
  8. Smitty58

    Smitty58 Senior Member
    Messages: 223

    I always loved it in the winter when I could go out and shovel. (yeah I know) But I never had the money to buy a plow vehicle. I bought a Suzuki quad and put a plow on it and did that for 1 year which worked but now I was addicted so through a series of trades I got a 85 CJ7 and of course I had to put a plow on it. So that winter I had a plow vehicle and just did my church and a few driveways. That winter we got the biggest snow in decades and I made some decent money but plowing in the Jeep sucked. I froze, choked to death on exhaust, could not keep the windshield clean ,and basically was miserable and at the same time I loved it. I saw all these guys plowing in nice trucks while I was all bundled up like nanoock of the north and I decided I had to have a truck. So I sold the 2wd pickup and the Jeep and bought a 05 F-350 brand new. Stumbled on this site and posted a "anyone need help?" My now buddy Fernaldude answered the call and I've been plowing with him ever since. It's tough sometimes juggling a swing shift full time job and plowing but we make it work. Will be plowing till they plant me in the ground. Here is a pic of the Jeep before the plow.

  9. VBigFord20

    VBigFord20 Senior Member
    Messages: 686

    Smitty58, Your jeep looks a lot like mine did at first. I took a different approach on mine though.

    Its a older pic, it has progressed more but I don't have a more recent photo.

    As for plowing, My friend Pete bought a 97 Sierra with a Meyers new in 97 and I had gone out with him a few times and liked it. I only had a 4x2 ranger though and that would be about as good as a jet boat plowing snow. A few years later I bought my Quad and ordered it with a plow. I did some driveways and 2 small lots with it and made some decent money doing so. In 04 I bought my truck but did not want to put a plow on it right away. After 2 seasons with the quad, and freezing my ass off I took the plunge and bought the boss. The rest is history.
  10. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    Still look like easy cash? wesport
  11. BigDave12768

    BigDave12768 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,446

    LOL no not really . But I love it when I pick up a check for a few grand. But its still easier than shoveling a driveway
  12. SnowedUnder

    SnowedUnder Member
    from ontario
    Messages: 65

    My old service made a complete mess of my properties so I landed up doing it myself. Call me a "Gentleman Plower" if you wish! Oh wait, that sounds WRONG...REALLY WRONG....LOL!

    (Since I don't know when to back off, now I am looking at doing a 22 acre commercial property and REALLY getting into it. :eek: )
  13. Turbodiesel

    Turbodiesel Senior Member
    Messages: 428

    2nd genereration company , pop was in it with the willys .Penn Fruits were are customers. Started shoveling when I was knee high to a grasshopper. Used to salt lots with a shovel and a chock-full-o-nuts coffee can from the rear of the pick-em up .
  14. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    I traded in my winter beater for a down payment on my first plow truck in 95, after going out plowing with a friend of mine one night who was a broker for a huge landscape company. I was fresh out of college, and thought this would be a great easy way to make $46.50 and hour as a sub. I was ready to quit after the first month and sell the damn truck. The rest is history.

    IPLOWSNO PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,620

    i started out at 10 with my older cousin, he had a 74 highboy standard, loud and slow. his momma was a workaholic. she was at a bank so he got all accounts, i shoveled and he plowed. he bought a 77 chevy. the fisher tag said do not plow over 5 mph and he didnt. no ****, then momma worked her way up to vice president. at this time the chevy had a problem with gas tanks, so he parked it. he still had the clear old people wrapper on the seats. it had 30000 original miles and you could eat off it. he sold it for 800 he wouldnt sell it to me because of the tanks. now he has a huge barn filled as he is a pack rat imo.
  16. martyman

    martyman Senior Member
    Messages: 281

    Started with my Brother-in-law...We did mainly commercial/Gas Stations. I hated it so much that I vowed to never do it again and started my own residential business. I remember being left at a site over night with just a small Bobcat that was windowless...not good times at all.
  17. Blazin

    Blazin Senior Member
    Messages: 185

    When I was maybe 4 or 5 ish I would wait for the plow guy to show up at our house. Then I would watch his every move. I loved how the plow rolled the snow off to which ever side he angled it. How it would pile up and pour back over the plow. When he turned around he would have to drive through his windrow and then back up and plow up his tire tracks. By the time I was 7 or 8 my mother would have food, and a thermos of hot chocolate ready. When he got there I would go with him, for hours and hours. That turned into riding with him most days in the summer too in the dump truck, or on the backhoe, or dozer. I can remember falling asleep, and waking up still plowing. He had two thermoses of coffee with him, and a big metal lunch box. I am still amazed at how he could plow, and pour coffee into the thermos top on the seat at the same time. And not spill any! He smoked non filter paul malls or rolled his own. I probably got enough second hand smoke to kill a horse back then. Me and his nephew would sand out of the back of and F700 with shovels while he drove. We would bundle up and ride right in the back of the dump. We loved it. Now a days he would get tossed in the clink if a cop saw that! Around the time I was 12 he he had me drive the dump truck around in the pit often. By the time I was 13 he would let me plow some of the easier driveways. He was not loyal to any brand of truck but my favorite was his 78 K20 Chevy. I was 14 when he got that truck, I had been a die hard Chevy fan for years at that point. He let me plow about half the route that winter. Got my licensee and plowing took a back seat to girls, and running the roads. When I was 18 I worked at the local Ford dealer. I plowed the parking lot and the owners house, plus a few of his friends places that winter and the next. I was hooked again. Moved into a house that had along driveway, I picked up an old 48 ish Willy's truck with a 6' Myers on it. Plowed my driveway, and my mothers two doors up with that for one year. Picked up a 78 Chevy K10 with a 7.5' fisher on it, and started doing a few driveways. That truck ended up getting 3/4 ton axles, a 4 speed replaced the auto, and an 8' blade. Since then I have had a slew of 73 - 87 Chevy's and a 91 2500 Silverado. I still love dong it even when things are in the crapper parts broken etc.
    Noel Phelps is his name, he gave up plowing a few years ago but works for the town now plowing roads etc. He had done this years ago before he worked for a local contractor and plowed. I give him crap all the time about how if it wern't for him I would't be out at no oclock in the AM. He gets a good chuckle over that.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2009
  18. Me and a few friends had planned on going out for some beers at a bar. One of my friends owned a landscaping and snow removal company. At the time I think he had 3 trucks. Well he just needed to do a cleanup before we could go to the bar so I rode around with him and he asked if I wanted to give it a shot. I did and really enjoyed it so I stuck with it. This was 11 years ago or so.

    In December 2007 he was up to 8 trucks and very stressed out. He did the unthinkable to get out of the business. He came home from plowing, went into his garage and hung himself. He was only 36 years old with 3 kids. One was a new born. The business is still being run by his parents and widow wife.
  19. forestfireguy

    forestfireguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,276

    Like every other kid whose dad had a snowblower I went around the "hood" propositioning people for service....LOL. Then I had a jeep, got the bright idea a plow would be great, been stuck ever since. Though there's still something about a jeep with a plow I just love. Lets see, been through lots of trucks, some mine others driven for others, 85CJ,89 Wrangler, 85 Suburban,86 F250 (animal with a 460) 95 wrangler, 2000 f350, 2005 f550, 2006 f350, 2008 f250 ........oh what I'd give to have the 550 back with a real salter in it.
  20. schmol

    schmol Senior Member
    Messages: 120

    I work all summer long with my dads pool installation company, and up until I started getting paid salary, when the work stopped so did my paychecks. I needed some winter work and was very good running equipment, so I got offered a job running a CAT 257B with a 8' meyers on it. I couldn't wait for that first storm to start ..................................then I couldn't wait for it to end!! :cry: I was pushing snow in all the wrong places, I even backdragged every parking space during this huge blizzard, not knowing enough to just keep main roadways open. The boss rolls up about 6 hours into this storm and asks what the heck I have been up to for the past six hours? The answer was obvious.....making a huge mess. He told me i better get to the rest of my route and he finished cleaning up. That was how I started. I worked for him for a year after that then quit to work for another outfit across town, but the snow was scarce that year and it was a long drive just to get to the shop so last year I started working for a local paving company the winter of 07, again in a skidsteer. Last year the snow was plentiful and I made a good chunck of dough. Iove the work and the crazy hours and am lucky to have worked for good bosses who showed me a lot along the way.