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Just starting out, is this truck worth it?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by Willy61, Aug 12, 2008.

  1. Willy61

    Willy61 Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Hello all, I just registered on here last night and I'm looking forward to learning as much as I can from everyone on here. Since this is my first post, I'll give a little introduction. After getting out of the Marine Corps in January '05, I started working for a landscape company in May '05. Stayed there about two years, then started with a different company in April '07. Both companies plow in the winter. After exploring different career paths (I'm 26 years old, by the way), I've recently decided to stick with this one since I enjoy it for the most part, I've already learned a whole lot and I think I have the potential to start my own business and be successful.

    With that said, I'd like to first get a plow truck and start doing some plowing when I can while I still work for the company I work for now. I eventually plan on getting lawn equipment and what not, but that discussion is for lawnsite.com. Anywho, back to the title of this post.

    A guy I know that recently bought my '70 Camaro has a truck he wants to sell. It's a 1990 Chevy 3500 with a 7'6'' Fisher plow. That's smaller than the plows I've used the last 3 winters, but I aint being picky. The truck has the 454 in it stock (fuel injected) and I think it has the Turbo 700 tranny. I don't have too much info about the truck right now other than the current owner used it to plow the apartments that he owns, and the owner before him just used it to plow one estate. I looked at it briefly the other day, but since it was raining and the wifey was with me, I didn't crawl underneath in the 2 foot tall grass to look at the underside. From looking under the wheel wells, I could see it had a lot less rust on it than the '86K10 I just sold for a grand and the body was also in much better shape.

    The guy told me it's not a rust bucket like my old truck was (which I sold to a friend of his), the only thing is the cab is starting to sag into the frame where it's mounted. I forget the mileage on it, I'll post that when I find out. I'll also get some pictures of it this weekend. He'll sell it for about $2000, which sounds pretty good to me. Plus, he'd be willing to work something out with me, like putting half down or something like that.

    Do you guys think it would be worth it? Would it be a good truck just to plow a few driveways with? I like the fact that it's an older 1 ton truck. From what I've read and what I've heard from other people, they tend to be strong trucks. I'm a bit worried about the gas mileage of the 454, but I only drive 8 miles to where I work now and other than a little bit of plowing (which sucks gas, I know), I would only use it to drive around town. Any lengthy trips I do with the wifes car.:) And of course, I'm worried about repairs to it since it's 18 years old, but my old truck was indeed a rust bucket and I didn't have many problems with it the 3 years I owned it. I had some front end work done to it when I bought it, but that was the only major thing.

    Like I said, I'll get more info and pics of the truck and plow. I can't really afford much right now, which is why I was gonna wait until next year to get another truck, but since this opportunity came up, I think maybe I should just go for it and see if I can make a little bit of money with it, or at least get some sort of client base established. I'm all ears, or eyes I guess. Thanks for any info and advice.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2008
  2. LawnProLandscapes

    LawnProLandscapes PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,129

    it should suit your needs to start out, and it wont brake the bank. the plow would be a good size for doing driveways but would be a little small for commercial lots. the fuel mileage wont be that good but it is a truck so thats expected. i think you could get a couple decent years of service with it before upgrading, just stay up on maintenance and be preventative not reactive to problems when possible .
  3. Willy61

    Willy61 Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Thanks for the advice. The one thing I'm really worried about is having something break and not being able to afford to fix it. That's why I still may wait until I've saved up some more money, but I'm leaning toward getting the truck. I just sold my old truck about a month ago, and I already miss having a truck. I'd rather drive a truck around during the winter and be able to plow than drive my wife's old car, which is a '97 Cavalier with 209,000 miles on it.:dizzy: Still runs alright, though.
  4. powerjoke

    powerjoke PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,341

    i would guess since it's got a 7'6" that it is a single wheel? witch would be nice for resi's and i hope it's not a 4door lol

    the milage wont be great but it's probably better than the new ones getting 8mpg (at least mine does lol) and the gas is cheaper also..(no fight's please :D )

    and for the money and youre budget......i'd say go for it. but remember about insurace( not jsut truck liability either)

    BTW:....the truck is 4wheel drive right?

    don't cut youre own throat but don't scare off customer's with youre pricing either. just kinda go with the flow for a few years. try to get a client base, but remember this is not the first year for snow and youre not the first guy that has tried to pick up a little cash in the winter either, so it may be difficult to gain clients expecially if they are happy with thier current plower.

    you'll also want to get into salting too...this can be with a walkbehind spreader for the first year. DONT BE AFRAID TO SHOVEL. this buisness is not only about setting on youre butt in a truck you know ;)

    and whatever you do BUY INSURANCE...it may not seem like you have much to be sued for now but you will, and a lawsuit can stick with you for a long long time

    thier is a wealth of good info (and some not so good info lol) on this site so read it all and believe what is logical

    and good luck

  5. Willy61

    Willy61 Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Yeah, it's single wheel. It's also standard cab, which is the only thing I don't like. I would prefer an extended cab, but I'll take what I can get for now.

    Yes, it absolutely is. I wouldn't dream of getting a plow truck that is 2wd, or any truck that is 2wd actually.

    I'm not too worried about it. I'll still be working for someone else full-time, so I won't really have time to do too much before or after I'm done with his driveways. If I can just get a few driveways this winter, I'll be happy.

    I've been thinking about salting, if I can get a tailgate spreader I will, but I've used walk behind spreaders for salting, too. And I'm no stranger to shoveling. Besides shoveling walk ways for my boss, I've shoveled my own driveway more than a few times, which takes about two hours when I'm haulin' ass.

    Insurance is the one thing I haven't looked into much yet. I'll be sure to get some before I get started.

    Thank you, and thanks for the advice.
  6. Willy61

    Willy61 Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    I just talked to the guy that's selling the truck a little while ago. I didn't find out much more about it. Turns out the odometer is broken! But, he's had it for about six years and has only put about 8000 miles on it. Kinda sucks that I really have no clue how many miles are on it. But I do know that in the last 10 years or so it hasn't had many miles put on it. The guy assures me that mechanically, it's fine. He says it runs good. I'll be going over there Sunday to take it for a test drive. It hasn't been started in three months and the battery won't hold a charge, but he says it'll jump just fine and he has no doubt that it'll fire right up.

    Hopefully it's just the battery, but if the alternator is bad, I do happen to have an alternator off of a 350 sitting in my basement. Would that work? Oh he also said that if it snowed tomorrow, the truck would be fine to start plowing. He also said that if he ends up selling his current truck that he drives (a newer F150), he'll be registering that Chevy again to plow his apartments. He says it doesn't really matter if he sells it or not, and it's actually sitting behind a house so it can't be seen, so he doesn't want to sell it too bad. Anyway, just figured I would pass along the extra info I've got. I'll get pictures on Sunday.
  7. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    ussmileyflag, thank you for your service,

    should be a good truck,. to me the plow seems small, but hoenstly you would be surprised, if you listed the plow on ebay, you might be able to trade for a large one, for a couple hundred? maybe, but worth a shot

    Start looking now at that plowing insurance, they can be very picky the customers they take on, and you might just decided that your better off doing it for someone else

    commercial buding is taking place as we speak, so if thats your goal, ....move on it now,sale wise

    Good luck , BUCN SMITH, navy seabee, reservist
  8. plowman4life

    plowman4life Senior Member
    Messages: 557

    i have a 2000 K2500 silverado with a 454 and 4L80E. also was outfitted with 1 ton suspension and front and rear lockers.

    i wouldnt worry about too much with the truck your looking at. the 454 has all sorts of power and is IMO the most reliable engine GM ever made. mine has never had any problems in the 110k that its been on the road.

    idk what the MPG on that one would be but im guessing it is close to mine. and if im easy on the gas i can get 12 highway 10 city. thats with 3.73 rear. if its 4/10 rear it will be much different...