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Loader productivity

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by NLS1, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. NLS1

    NLS1 Senior Member
    Messages: 321

    Hey all of you with larger loaders and skid steers with pusher boxes... I have used the search function, but don't know what topic it is under.
    If you are willing to enlighten me about how productive different size pushers are and generally what kind of machine you prefer to put them on I would be very appreciative.

    I have a large commercial location for bidding next season that has a half dozen lots totaling about 14-17 acres of which the largest is about 5.
    I know the guy who does the lawn stuff very well, and have spoken with the maintenance manager about putting a bid in for the coming 08-09 season.

    There is lots of room for snow and snow will not need to be hauled off site. There is also about .5miles of drives all around the property 30 feet wide approx. Lots of sidewalks and entrances to be cleared as well, several thousand feet worth. Salting the lot and walks also.

    The current company keeps large equipment on site and brings skid steers and trucks when it snows. There is also a huge runoff pond that they use a big old Oshkosh blower to blow it into.... I don't think this is 100% required.

    Zero tolerance or close to it from what I can tell during the day, closed at night.

    Here is what I am thinking so far... One large loader with a 20+ft pusher on site. One larger skid steer with a 9ft blade and Kage, two speed of course. Probably a power broom and smaller blade for walks on the skid steer or maybe another toolcat or skid for the walks. My Dodge in the sig, and the 5500 that I will likely be buying later this year with a 8611lp, or Boss 9'2" with wings and a large salter for the 5500.

    Overkill? Underkill? All the lots are very flat and not complicated, lots of places for snow as long as a loader or skid steer is present. Please all of you ballerswesport let me know how you would handle this? I am stoked to get into the big leagues with the right places, and I would love to hear different takes on how productive the big equipment really is.

  2. GFX

    GFX Member
    Messages: 49

    Is this going to be your only account?
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2008
  3. Superior L & L

    Superior L & L PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,041

    I would think you could plan on about 4 acre per hour for a 20' pusher (thats what we average). I would open the entrances and do the road with a truck and leave the rest for a pusher. If you have a experienced operator (one that runs this type of machine during the summer) then you would not need to do any feeding with a truck or cutting in. Since your trucks can leave the site i would do as much as possible with the loader that way you can have the trucks hitting other accounts.

    I used to have a account that had about 3.5 acres of walks and it would take about 4-5 hours (not two speed)

    This is what i would use for the account
    1 20' box on site all the time
    1 8' box on site all the time with heated cab if you want to keep same guy showing up
    1 pick up for roads and entrances - probably 1-2 hours
    1 salt truck for 1 hour towards end of night
    8-10 tons of salt

    Now this is just me ! I know people have other ideas
  4. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    You're not going to be able to use a big loader/pusher during the day with traffic all around. Even getting down an aisle of parking lots with a 20' pusher is going to be hard. During the night (while closed) it would be fantastic, but during the day it would be hell. Just a thought for ya.
  5. xtreem3d

    xtreem3d PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,548

    i can ony tell you a little about the 9ft blade and KAGE . i have a 9ft boss plow and a Kage on an S250. the kage hadn't arrived for the first snow storm so i haven't used it yet but it is built vey nice and heavy duty. goes on and off easy just like their video shows. the boss plow worked great even by itself...downpressure is a great thing!!!
    good luck
  6. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,256

    Too many unanswered questions. The big ones:

    #1 If the current contractor keeps heavy equipment on site, what do they currently have there? And when they add equipment, how much and what type do they add? Based on your info, you're far into the side of underkill. JMO

    #2 I'm going to make a SWAG here, but if the snow doesn't need to be blown into the pond, they wouldn't be doing it. While it would be a blast to run an OshKosh\blower setup, it's going to cost some serious bucks and they ain't doing it for the heck of it. Better do some checking.

    As for the plow on the 5500, don't go anything less than a full size 8611, you'll destroy an LP with that big of a truck. Trust me. If you go the Boss route, get a 10' V, otherwise you're wasting money. Personally, I'd go with the Blizzard.

    LoneCowboy makes an excellent point, 20' isn't going to work during daytime snows. 16' are an excellent medium between productivity and being able to use it in tight areas.
  7. fordsuvparts

    fordsuvparts Senior Member
    Messages: 135

    It sounds to like you have no idea what you are getting your self into on this job. If you think that by having one plow truck at this time that you are anywhere close to having the equipment to handle this type of job you are crazy, you would have to add several plow trucks with salters and a large front end loader with a pusher plus a couple of skid loaders to hit the tight area's. This account will not stand for you to take 2 days to clear all of there property, the reason the other company has all that equipment is because it is required to do a good job quickly. My company even though we are in Kentucky services several (about 30) large properties that we have to leave equipment on site and then when we get a storm we bring in the big truck with a 10' blade and to smaller F-450's with an 8.5 blades with salters.
  8. Peterbilt

    Peterbilt Senior Member
    from IA.
    Messages: 745

    No offence, But if you need to ask what we all think you should use on this project then you have no business bidding this account..

    Sorry man.

  9. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,364

    Seriously, why do you guys always bash people on here????

    I get sick of it sometimes.

    It'd be different if a guy comes on, says "I just bought this new 2008 Whatever-brand-truck-plow-combo, can I make any money for $40 per hour?"

    This is a guy that sees an account that he may have in roads with, with contacts on the inside.

    Last thing he wants to do is THINK he's got enough equipment to handle the job, but after the second snowfall realize he's in over his head.

    I personally would have absolutely NO idea what kind of production I could get out of a pusher, other than to say 16', multiplied by 3 mph, will cover how many sq ft in an hour??

    I don't know if a loader could go faster than that, I don't know if that's too fast.

    When you're talking about that much area, your numbers can get thrown off VERY fast.

    This isn't a job where you can go to "loader store A" and say, "I want to try out a loader with a 16' pusher, where's your 4 acre parking lot of snow that I can see how it works?":

    We're here to help each other. Some of you guys have been running loaders and it's great help to get ideas on what to expect. You guys that just bash, just shut the hell up. My God.
  10. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,256

    LM22, I think what these guys are trying to say in a more blunt way (even more than I am) is that this is too big of an account for a 1 man, 1 truck outfit. They're trying to point out that if he did get this account, he'd be in so far over his head, that he'd fall flat on his face and ruin any future chances of getting work this size because his reputation would be damaged extensively.

    If I'm putting words in your mouths, let me know and I'll shut up, but I don't think I'm wrong.

    They're helping, just in a different way.

    PS Those thoughts were the same as mine, initially, I was just trying to be polite. Believe it or not. ;)
  11. SteveR

    SteveR Senior Member
    Messages: 252

    I get what some of you are saying but I agree with LM 22, give the guy advice without being rude about it. Not all of us started as big companies and we had to take some chances and get some advice to grow. I agree 100 percent that he isnt big enough to handle this with what he has but maybe he has a plan that will work out.. I say go for it but make sure you have what you need and all the facts cause you wont like the bad name if you fail..
  12. Italiano67

    Italiano67 Senior Member
    Messages: 645

    I would recommend thinking twice about this one. I used to go after big accounts but have since realized there is alot of risk and not a whole lot more reward than medium to small accounts. Remember if you dedicate yourself to this account and in a worst case scenario cant do it or not fast enough you most likely will not have it the next year and buying equipment for a one year job is a recipe for problems. If you have multiple smaller jobs you are minimizing your risk in a lot of areas number one being you can afford to lose one or two and still make money per episode. Dont know if I explained it the way I wanted to mut my .02 cents.
  13. Superior L & L

    Superior L & L PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,041

    I guy i know put a boss v on a chevy 4500 and he had constant problems with it. To much power for that plow and it kept breaking.
    I use Western Pro plus 9' plows and have never had a problem
    Also i would check out other truck options ford or international. The 4500/5500 are over sized and over priced one tons, most parts are dealer only and only some dealers work on them. Not a real heavy duty truck.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2008
  14. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,364

    Correct. I agree that he may not have the equipment. However, tell him so. Say, something like "in my experience, to handle an account like that would take probably 2 loaders and whatever other misc. equipment." Superior was dead on with his post.

    To come back and more or less say "you know what, you're a moron because you have no idea what you're talking about" where does that get anyone??

    I keep reading these posts over and over, year after year, and we all wonder why our profession keeps running the bottom of the barrel in pay, yet costs keep rising.

    Help a guy out, keep him from lowballing the account (in this case inexperience) and you're going to keep the profession going upwards, instead of being stagnant or even receding.

    I realize that some guys on here are going to have better paying accounts than others. I have them myself. I think that if you can help a guy out, pat him on the back, say "here you go, this is how it works in our operation" and give him something fairly solid to bid off of, that you're going to increase the profit in the profession, rather than just keep beating each other into the ground.
  15. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,256

    What exactly was breaking?

    What size Boss?

    5500 with an 8000# front axle is an overprice 1 ton? Since when is a 19,500 or 26,000 GVW a 1 ton GVW?
  16. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    First off, a satellite image would be a good start. Your best bet is to watch the guy doing it now for a hole night. Clock in and out times and then steal his account next year. I have guys snooping on my accounts all the time! Good Luck
  17. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,256

    True, very true. You do get more flies with honey, no doubt.

    The professionalism in the industry suffers when someone way overextends himself as well and can't even come close to providing the service that they agreed to.

    Underpromise and overdeliver.
  18. Superior L & L

    Superior L & L PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,041

    What exactly was breaking? not for sure but i think the frame had lots of welding to it and support ribs for the mold board kept breaking at the welds. He put it on a 2500 with the same operator and it was fine after that

    What size Boss? 9.2

    5500 with an 8000# front axle is an overprice 1 ton? Since when is a 19,500 or 26,000 GVW a 1 ton GVW? well sorry, i know its not "realy" a one ton but i have two and two people i know have 3 between them and its always something....electric wiring, front end, new valves on the diesel. My 04 had $11,000 in engine work last year (warranty) and we spent $4300 on wire harnesses/computer "thing" it sucks in January when you have one of your main trucks down for 7-10 days cos the dealer cannot figure out a problem and they have there best guy on it(i truly believe this guy was good and it was a gm heavy duty dealer)

    just my experience
  19. NLS1

    NLS1 Senior Member
    Messages: 321

    Thanks to all of you who responded.

    GFX- No this isn't my only account, lots of resi's and a few small commercial with big growth this year to come.

    Superior L&L - Thank you for the great insight, it is the opinion of very experienced guys like you that I was looking for. I appreciate your insight and it sounds like we are almost exactly on the same page as far as equipment goes. Thanks for your professional response.

    Lonecowboy- good point, the lots will be 90% empty during the days and become much fuller at night. I also appreciate your non bs replies and posts.

    xtreem3d- thanks for the info, it really does look like it would be perfect for the things I would want a skid steer to do in the winter, let me know how you like it after it snows.

    Mark Oomkes- no offense taken at all, I appreciate your frank nature and professional assessment of equipment needs. I know the Oshkosh is very expensive to operate, and I imagine they aren't doing it for fun either, I just think it is the fastest way to get the snow into the pond, but it looks like a large loader would also work. That is why I mentioned that it is not 100% required. You obviously have a lot of experience and I am glad that you chimed in on this post, your opinion is one of few on PS that I would believe.

    Fordsuvparts- you assume alot of things judging from your response. Make no mistake, I have a small company now, but am far from inexperienced. It seems from your post that you figured that I will be trying to do the whole place myself?:dizzy: I am fully aware that I would have to add lots of equipment, and I am also aware that some of it would need to be left on site. Next time reread your replies to others before you expose your lack of people skills. Based on the info and snide tone, I would be hesitant to take your opinion too seriously, but were it more professional, I would be happy to listen to your take on things. I certainly don't know it all( and by the way neither do you.)

    Peterbilt- I don't take offence, and yes I am a small company. Your post didn't do anything other than sound rude, so once again, if you had said it more professionally, I would probably want to listen to you, but maybe you could read some books first. You may have a huge company and have more experience(maybe not too), either way it wasn't much help what you wrote.

    LwnmwrMan22- I agree. There are many on here, you included, who's opinion and experience combined with the good nature are a real asset to this site and the industry. I thank you and all the other professionals who answered my question without acting like gods gift to the snow plow industry.

    SteveR- Thanks, and well put.

    Anthony Orlando- Thanks for the perspective, I agree on thinking twice, I am thinking twice, three times, four times... I would not likely be buying most of the equipment but renting or subbing. This would allow for less risk, but also less profit likely, but that is how many start out with large accounts. I certainly would not commit to the account without guaranteeing that we could do it in a very timely manner and with excellent results. Due to the situation however, this is one large account that the more I learn about it the more I think we could do it and do it well.

    Really all I wanted was to have some input from the guys who have "been there, done that" about equipment productivity and equipment necessity. To those who responded to that I appreciate it a lot. To the rest who are a little too trigger happy and arrogant, keep trying, you'll get there.:D
  20. Superior L & L

    Superior L & L PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,041

    well put !!!