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New guy question

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by michigan Joe, Aug 29, 2004.

  1. michigan Joe

    michigan Joe Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    Hey guys this winter is going to be my first year plowing. I just got a '04 f250. I want to make some money this winter but most of all I want to get my feet wet in the buisness and learn the ropes. At the same time do a good job for my customers and leave a lasting impression. So far I have a grocery store parking lot and about a couple dozen driveways in the small town that i live in. My question is I was offered "eight thousand dollars a year in jobs" ,as he put it, about 30-40 miles away in commercial and residential jobs. Do you think it would be a bad idea for me to take the jobs being that far away and I still have to teach myself how to plow first snow. Also do you think I should offer salting to my commercial customers.
  2. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    You have the right idea, pass on that deal. As far as salting, you might if you wanted to go the additional expense of a tailgate model. I would advise against putting a Vbox on that 2500. Get a good two-stage (you'll regret it if you "cheap out" with a single stage). If I were you, I'd hesitate, though, salting with an '04 model. At the end of this winter, you're going to have a better idea of what you want to do and may decide to get a 3500 and a V-box - the cost of a two stage tailgate model and a V-box are pretty close.

    Actually, I'd stay with what you've got now. More than the number of accounts, consider the time you'd need to finish them in an average snowfall. Then add 25% for a realistic figure (nothing ever goes right). Then double that for the occasional big one. Like you said, concentrate on doing a good job and getting a good reputation the first year. Especially being in a small town, the first year will determine your future in plowing. Pretty hard to overcome bad word of mouth.
  3. baddboygeorge

    baddboygeorge Senior Member
    Messages: 237

    first year ??

    my best advice to you park that 04 model an get a good used truck an beat the heck out of it . i would never plow with a new truck cause the warranty will never cover the abuse !!have fun an get to plowing!!
  4. snoking

    snoking Senior Member
    Messages: 161


    The warranty in the Ford is awesome. Never have i had a problem with any of my trucks getting covered. Not to mention, at least on ours, when we bought them they came with a five year rust through guarantee. or oldest this summer went in to be fixed with the salt spreader on it. Complete new bed and outside skins, and tailgate. not to mention they remounted the spreader. I cant complain......
  5. jhook

    jhook Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    Take it slow

    I would be a little hesitant about plowing the first year with a new truck like that. Not cuz of the warranty but because of things like the doors and body panels you will bang up. I have plowed the past 3 years with new trucks but I been in this business for 13 winters so got some idea how to drive :eek:

    I would say to pass up the other route. You don't want to have your work spread out over that kind of distance. You will waste too much time driving back and forth and you won't be able to do a good job either place. You are going to get a heavy snowfall one morning and not be able to get everyone cleaned in time. That 40 miles will get awfully long in the middle of Jan. with 6 inches of snow on the roads.

    Take what you can in town and do a good job there. Repeat business is the key to success.
  6. Boast Enterpris

    Boast Enterpris Senior Member
    Messages: 745

    I agree pass on the 40 mile drive!! It can be extremely long in a blizzard. Keep the new truck, you already have it, so use it. Sounds like you need a couple more commercial accounts preferably with big open lots. What kind of F250 do you have and what kind of plow?? If you plow commercially you will definitely need a salter.
    BOAST :waving:
  7. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    Nice idea but if you just dropped 35,000 on a new truck why not get some use out of it. F-250's are made to do plenty of work and no way the warrenty is going to be void on a 3/4 ton because of plowing. Why get some old crappy truck just to beat the crap out of it, waste of money. Just because your plowing does not mean that you have to do it in an old beater that may not be reliable. Ive always looked at it this way get the truck you want/need then when it comes to the plow work with what you have, how often is the plow really on the truck? No matter where you live the weather is generally doing something else besides snowing the majority of the time. So to recommend buying another truck when he already has not a ranger not an F-150 but an F-250 sounds kind of crazy. If he wanted to buy a brand new vehicle to drive back and forth to work iam sure he would have bought a taurus but since he bought an F-250 don't you think he just may want to use it for some other things.

    Michigan Joe
    I would want to stay away from that 40 mile one, just too much in the snow when theres other work to be had. You have the right idea stick to the area you know and concentrate on doing a good job there. You may want to wait until next season to get a spreader as most residentials don't want de icing. Get the hang of plowing first then decide wheather or not you need a spreader. Strictly my opinion tough. You may need the spreader this year if you are doing a size able parking lot.
  8. michigan Joe

    michigan Joe Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    Thanks for the advise guys I need all I can get. Ive got a Triton 5.4L superduty with a western plow...and I deffinatly will use it. I have already accepted the fact that its going to take a beating. If anybody has any more suggestions for me about salting or anything else I'm probably not expecting please give em. thanks again. Joe
  9. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Joe, I didn't say anything about plowing with a new truck because I felt that was your decision and you had already made it. Moot point.

    I still stand behind my advise. If you do decide to offer salting, power wash the truck thoroughly after each trip, even with a tailgate model. You're going to get snow packed under the truck from plowing, so you may want to wash it after plowing, too.

    Actually, I do agree with the idea of using the truck for what it was intended - work. If I want something to just show off, I'd get a car (preferably a Lamborgini :D )
  10. jhook

    jhook Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    :cool: Used that same line myself every time someone wants to know if I am seriously putting a plow on my new pickup. :nod:
  11. Plow Meister

    Plow Meister PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,174

    I, too, disagree. As long as the truck came equiped with the plow prep package the warranty will still be valid. Even if it did not come with the package if the problem is caused by plow abuse than it will not be covered. If it is an electrical, mechanical, or drivetrain problem that was not caused by plowing than it WILL be covered.