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how to get some experience?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by MagnusArtist, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. MagnusArtist

    MagnusArtist Junior Member
    from NE Ohio
    Messages: 3

    I am new to this forum. Basically, I was thinking to call around locally and see if an experienced plower would let me ride along and get a taste of the business.

    where would I find someone that would want to do this? I am in NE Ohio near youngstown.
    I do like cold weather and snow, and I am a decent driver no points etc. Its mid season so
    maybe I could eventually become proficient and help a local contractor. I am pretty flexible schedule wise as I am an artist.

    Does this sound like a good idea? I have absolutely no experience with driving snowplows,
    except for a little John deere plowing my parents driveway a long long time ago.

    I noticed no one plowing in my few blocks, but after reading a bit here this seems a whole lot more complicated than just buying a truck with plow.
  2. infineon954

    infineon954 Senior Member
    Messages: 251

    Hang around this website long enough and you will learn something. The more resources you aquire in this business the better off you'll be. Best of luck!

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,230

    Try to call around and get on a shovel crew. Tell them then you are also interested in learning to plow. The better you work on the shovel crew the better your chances of the guy depending on you showing you the ropes on a plow.
  4. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,770

    this is kinda funny, me and a couple of guys that I have been plowing with for years were talking about while sitting in a lot.

    I was telling them that when I started plowing, everyone that I talked to only wanted plow truck drivers that have run a truck before. So what was a 18 year old kid who wanted to plow going to do... I lied. Told them that I have plowed before for a company that did snowplowing. I quit because I didn't like doing drivways, I wanted to do parking lots.

    2 nights ago, one of the guys that wants to plow for us called me and asked if he could ride along with me so that he can see all the lots that we do and get a feel for them before he gets his plow. That said alot to me and the owners of the company. They thought that that was a really good idea so he saw what I was doing.
  5. nekos

    nekos Senior Member
    Messages: 586

    the guys with no experience always end up being our best drivers. they don't have all the bad habits that those guys that have been doing this for 30 + years do. you can teach them to do things right from the start and while they may be slow for the first year ... after that they can hang with the best of them.

    to the OP
    call all the local contractors and ask if they need any drivers. be honest and tell them you have no experience. you might be surprised at the response you get. :)
  6. lvfd50

    lvfd50 Junior Member
    from WNY
    Messages: 14

    I started out with my brother just riding along and helping for about a year. of course this was in high school and I wasn't looking to make money. Then I asked a guy I had met if he needed drivers and he started me out not doing tons, and sometimes getting stuck shoveling, but testing to see how reliable I was and how willing to work. After a year he had myself and a buddy running entire complexes for him. basically coordinating the sidewalk crew and other drivers and making sure things were going good. Now I do my own work. I guess my point is you just need to show the effort and not give up if everything doesn't go your way. Do this and the right people will notice. Just make sure whomever you work for doesn't see you busting your a*# and take advantage of you without thinking of moving you up.
  7. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Personally I do NOTlike riders with me when plowing, but someone that is interested in plowing I will let ride along.
  8. MagnusArtist

    MagnusArtist Junior Member
    from NE Ohio
    Messages: 3

    Seems like my ride along idea might be a good one.
    What do you think would be a good way to find the best contractor/company to work for. or go on a ride along?
    I did see an ad looking for shovelers, however it was pretty far away.

    Just to ride along for good experience I would be willing to travel pretty far.
  9. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Go sit at a mall, wal-mart or any store with a big lot. Wait till a plow shows up and ask.
  10. mgt379

    mgt379 Junior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 21

    yea thats not creapy at all...knowing what you guys wear when you are plowing haha
  11. fisher guy

    fisher guy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,068

    Ive been down this road i moved to mass from Florida to drive a plow truck for a good friend of mine i got up here and he stuck me on a shovel for a few storms. i hated it shoveled my ass off for weeks 18 hours here 26 hours there i was exhausted i was about ready to tell my "friend" go screw him self i was doing all this for 12 an hour when all the others were making 14 one making 20 an hour and he didn't even have his license i had to cart everyone in my truck cuz it was a crew cab f-250 well one day i stopped him and told him told in a NICE way i had enough he said and i quote "hows this 16 an hour a company truck to plow with (after a few lessons of course) ill make Ur truck payment for the winter and pay all ur fuel if u let me put a sander in the back of Ur truck" needless to say my jaw dropped well so far hes lived up to his word he pays any bill associated with my truck i get killer hours plow and sanding. what im trying to say is he wanted to try me out see what my breaking point was and he found it i guess he thought i would squid out after the first 2 storms but i didn't. now i make pretty decent money im putting a plow on my truck this week and im going to sub for him totally 70 an hour and next year go out on my own i just wanna finish out the season with him and maybe pick a lil side work for myself. so i can tell u with experience try to get on with a company as a shoveler tell them u want to plow work ur ass off remind them once in a while then when the time is right if they don't say anything tell them as long as ur reliable show up on time work till the end with out bitching they should be more than happy then to put u in a truck. At the very least to show u the ropes. if u do good then if they have one available or if a drivers calls out, quits or gets fired then they should put u in it. sorry for the extremely long post everyone hope this helps. And if all else fails u will have some good experience for next year
  12. fisher guy

    fisher guy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,068

    oh and before i forget and ya'll start saying i aint making enough still on the hour he also takes care of my rent too the only thing i have to pay is gas electric and cable and im single so it works out pretty good for me
  13. te snow

    te snow Member
    Messages: 46

    If you haven't already try talking to friends and see if they know anyone you can go on a ridealong with. I worked with a guy and asked him if he would mind and of coarse he said "I'll call you next time". After one ridealong the next year I bought my truck and plow. I ended up getting a job with my friends plow company. Sorry for the life story. Happy plowing to ya
  14. kashman

    kashman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,070

    i look for people who take initiative ........................................show up on time that 90% of it you can teach any1 anything
  15. ABES

    ABES PlowSite.com Addict
    from MN
    Messages: 1,322

    Call a contractor and see if they need another shoveler. Then i would imagine if you prove yourself as a good worker shoveling they would consider teaching you to plow.
  16. ogdenflooring

    ogdenflooring Member
    Messages: 92

    Only one way to learn......trial and error!!!!!
  17. MagnusArtist

    MagnusArtist Junior Member
    from NE Ohio
    Messages: 3

    Its good to hear all the suggestions, right now I am looking for a truck for my "day" job, I am an artist so a large pickup that could also handle a plow in the future would be good. I have been calling around, but there hasn't been any snow lately.

    I need to get a large cab truck for my family, and a decent bed size for my artwork, I am looking right now. Would a crew f-250 be too cumbersome to plow with, or should I just plan on getting a beater plow truck next year?

    Any thoughts On newbies in big pickups? where are the good threads about Gas OR diesel engines?
  18. BOSSMAN21

    BOSSMAN21 Senior Member
    Messages: 281

    Umm...A F-250 wouldnt be to big to plow with, that would be a good choice.
  19. Kunker

    Kunker Member
    Messages: 96

    Quick search will bring up lots of threads on gas versus diesel, but the end result is usually "gas is easier/cheaper, diesel is the obvious choice for towing as well".

    As for a crew cab truck, that's a lot more weight over the front axle and it limits your plow options. Also being longer, it can be trickier to get your truck into all of the spots you want to, especially with a long box. It can be done though.
  20. matts lawn care

    matts lawn care Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    This is kinda what I did. I had no experience but was willing to learn. I started out in a bobcat and then a truck. Ended up doing ok for my first storm on the 28th. A little slow for my first time but i got the hang of it. Call around the worst thing that can happen is that they say no.