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New guy looking for some advice.

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by Ramitt, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. Ramitt

    Ramitt Senior Member
    Messages: 156

    Hey guys new here and not really new to the plow world. Never owned my own but have plowed a few times with my buddys and my uncles equipment. Anyway I have a 02 ram 2500 with a cummins. I've been looking to start plowing for the past couple years. Nothing major a few driveways. My uncle has a curtis plow of his old f250. Its just been all looked over and rebuilt last year(used it 2 times this year) new paint,lights/wiring,rebuilt the cylinders. He is trying to sell it since he got a new dodge. He said he would sell it to me for 1,100 I just need the frame mount for my truck. How are these plows? Not sure of the model of it but its a plow he used to plow buisness's and never had a problem with it. Anywhere I could find the bracket for my truck? Thanks for the help
  2. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,391

    Well first thing I would look into would be dealer support in your area. If there is no one near you then there is no point to get it IMO
  3. Triton2286

    Triton2286 Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    Are you plowing commercially or just for family and friends? How big is the plow? Any idea on how old it is?

    Just google for the frame mount and you'll find different websites that carry them.
  4. Ramitt

    Ramitt Senior Member
    Messages: 156

    Mostly family and friends. Im thinking prob the most will be 10 driveways. We are looking at a few new houses and have a offer in on one. Its driveway is about 500-600 feet long. I think the plow is a 3000 series 8 foot plow.(4-6 years old) I know its not an light duty one since he plowed commercially with it. I was thinking maybe not even worry about spending the 700 for a new bracket and just weld up my own.
  5. goel

    goel PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,079

    Find out about insurance. Might not be worth it for the little commercial work you are talking about.

    And anytime you plow for money, its considered commercial work.
  6. Ramitt

    Ramitt Senior Member
    Messages: 156

    I dont see any point really. Just being family and like 3 friends. If I was plowing for people I didnt know then I would consider it. Growing up I plowed/snow blowed everybody out never had a problem.
  7. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    I'm always amazed at the people who will find any reason to discourage someone from getting a plow/say its not worth it. If he wants it, he wants it. He plans on buying a house with a decent size driveway, that alone is worth it. Nothing wrong with picking up a few extra d-ways along the way.

    You don't need insurance for a few driveways, especially if they are family/friends/acquaintances.

    Just understand that you are taking a bit of a risk in that:
    1) You will be paying out of pocket for any property damage you could cause if the owner wants to make a big deal out of it.
    2) Your ins company may give you some grief about paying if you get in an accident with the plow on. You could always say its for personal use though and they cant prove otherwise. Worst case scenario you eat the cost of a new plow/truck mount.

    I don't know what its like in your area but around here, people just want their driveways plowed and are not looking for your head if you do some minor property damage. Lawns they will usually let slide. The biggest problem I created in 8 years was knocking down a customers light post. We were able to work something out without involving insurance and it did not cost me a fortune. Thats how most of these things go. Commercial properties are a different game that you dont want to get into with out liability ins and a contract that is well written, preferably in consultation with a good attorney.

    $1,100 does not sound bad for a used Curtis. In my opinion, there are better designed plows out there but they are reliable and fairly simple systems. The only thing that really sucks about them is the location of the plug down low riding in the snow. Tends to cause electrical issues. In a storm where it gets heavy use, its not uncommon for me to need to slather the thing with dielectric grease more than once. As for the truck mount, you can buy them over the phone direct from Curtis. Will prob run you another $400-$600 new in box. If you can find used or fab one up, more power to ya. Wiring harness should work but you may need headlight adapters for your vehicle.

    Dealer support is nice but its not a deal breaker. You already say you can weld so I'm assuming basic troubleshooting/repairs dont bother you. Have some extra parts on hand (trip spring, solenoid, angle hoses, fluid, etc), stay on top of routine maintenance and you will be fine. Everything you need to know about a plow is online.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013
  8. Ramitt

    Ramitt Senior Member
    Messages: 156

    Around here it doesnt matter if you are a contracted plow company or a neighbor. We all expect some gravel and missing grass in a few places. As far as insurance goes my pap ran an statefarm business for 40 years. He just recently retired so I know the employees pretty well. Im not worried about that as they treat me very well. Im more worried about backing into a tree or vehicle when plowing then I am about hitting something with the plow. Usually before winter ive learned to either walk the property or have the owner put stakes around stuff you cant see. Im not scared of getting a plow that needs work either. That is pretty much a cake walk but I would prefer to have something I can just store it and get it out when I need it.

    Thanks for the replys and thank you CJA for the info on the curtis plow. Its not a done deal yet since winter is pretty much over im not in to big of a hurry to get a plow.
  9. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    Deside what you want to plow and set up to do that most efficiently that way you maximize your profit.

    Pickups for driveways is not the best solution.

    I started with residential drives and a pickup, (thats what everyone said I needed) thought I was doing great, so good that I needed a backup in case my 16 year old truck crapped out. I got a jeep wrangler as a backup. I used it once and cut my plowing time in have by using the jeep. The next year I sold the truck.

    Now I would not use my Jeep to plow wally world, I could but not the best use of the Jeep. I dont know why people insist on plowing wally world and drive ways with the same equipment. would you mow a soccer field with the same equipment that mow a 1/4 acre lot? yet many plow wally word and a 20Ft drive with the same
    equipment, Why?

    PS my F150 with plow was 23 feet long

    Plowing since 1986. 8 years ago I could plow 75 drives a storm, with a waiting list for people to join my customer base. Im too old to do that now, but there is know way I could have done that with a truck (I tried and got a Jeep). you want to plow wally wold get a pickup.

    I make more /hour than any PU ever dreamed of.

    My 2 cents
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013
  10. Ramitt

    Ramitt Senior Member
    Messages: 156

    I do realize that but its either use my 2500 which is my very reliable dd or my restored 78 cj5. Which granted my dad used to plow with his 76 and he loved it but plowing with a restored jeep isnt practical in my book. I know that I could get a beater jeep and use it but then you loose the reliability and plus adding insurance,inspection,registration just to have a better plow vehicle. Plus to me I dont know of a better vehicle to plow with than my truck that gets 18mpg. I know the plow will cut that down some but wont be that much.
  11. Sawboy

    Sawboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,700

    Yeah.....until someone comes over to that house slips and falls and sues you for every penny they can. Sorry. If your plow is touching property that isn't yours, you should have insurance.
  12. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    I just told you of a better plow vehicle for driveways, fine your doing this for beer $ and not as a business.
  13. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    I don't know about your truck Insurance But mine wont cover it once the plow is on If I get in a fender bender My contactor Insurance covers the truck when the plow is on When plow is off the Truck insurance will cover it
    Something look in to
  14. Ramitt

    Ramitt Senior Member
    Messages: 156

    Getting insurance to help a few friends would put me in the hole each year. There for I would either have to get more accounts(work time wouldnt allow it) just to break even on my insurance. Should I sue mc donalds for making me fat? After all it is their food. Ill look into that antlerart06 Thanks!
  15. Sawboy

    Sawboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,700

    Sarcasm ain't needed brother. All I'm telling you is that if someone slips on property that you plowed, YOU ARE LIABLE. Don't want insurance, don't get it. You came on asking for help as a new guy. I am giving you real world experience as a person who was sued for "improper snow plowing". Don't want advice ya don't like. Don't ask for it.
  16. Ramitt

    Ramitt Senior Member
    Messages: 156

    I get that and I thank you but what I dont see the point of it is or if it would pay off. ok say the young neighborhood boy that is just trying to make some money during a snow storm. Are you telling me he should have insurance also? To me you are stepping on my property without my permission so if you fall you are liable. Thats how we live around here and if you fall its your stupid fault. Now if we were talking about a public walk way or lot then I would totally agree with you 110%. Maybe if I was in the city I would worry about people suing me but here in the county we dont worry about it.

    THEGOLDPRO PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,136

    First word of advice i can give you is never listen to Grandview

    Second is, the Curtis is a great plow, i had one for 8 years without a single problem and plowed commercially with it all 8 years.

    The only reason i got rid of it was i sold the truck that had the mounts and wiring for it, And didn't feel like taking the time to strip the mounts and wiring.
  18. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    why do you assume its without permission? how about a friend that goes over, mailman,UPS driver. plumber to fix a leek they have.

    Granted if your plowing ONLY resis the rate of suing is much less (knock on wood, in 28 years not one suet).
  19. Ramitt

    Ramitt Senior Member
    Messages: 156

    I actually work for ups and dog bites are pretty much the only thing the home owner is liable for. Plus I think its totally different when you are plowing out a friend vs having a contract. Now if I had a contract stating that I would plow/salt the driveway and maintain sidewalks then ok if someone slips and falls its my fault. You guys have to remember that im just purely helping a friend out by making a few passes to clear the bulk of the snow and thats it. No sidewalk maintenance. Mostly this plow is meant for my driveway and my grandparents. I have a day job so Im not using it to make a living.

    Anyway back on topic. As far as V blade vs straight blade. Is it worth spending the extra money on a V blade if your not doing commercial work. Any cons to using them?
  20. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    No cons but you surely don't need one for the scope of work you're doing