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New to the site- go gentle...

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by 800800, Feb 15, 2015.

  1. 800800

    800800 Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    So this is my first post, and I wanted to provide some information so people could push me in the right direction.

    I consider myself a snow removal enthusiast. Something about it I just love. People call me crazy.
    Anyways for a past year or so I've been considering getting myself a piece of equipment that I could learn how to use to my own driveway, maybe a couple neighbors. I also thought it would be a bonus if I could use it during the summer months to clear some of my dad's overcrowded property. I also figured that if I enjoyed it enough I could make a business out of it, and maybe quit my job.
    I've been considering leasing a Bobcat compact track loader figuring the following-
    -It's a piece of equipment I've admired since I was a young lad, and always wanted to learn how to drive and use one.
    -The literal hundreds of possibilities with implements
    -That with tracks, there would be minimal ground disturbance, which is important to not only my properties, but others as well
    - Considering that I work in Safety and Security, and after years in this field want to branch out into Transportation Safety and Compliance, that it would not only be a valuable skill to have, but also a way to stand out. I would only consider this if I couldn't make a business out of this.
    - Additionally, I have an uncle who owns a construction business who does commercial snow removal with loaders. While I don't nesscessarily have an aversion to loaders and commercial, I'd much rather smaller equipment and do residential properties. I've asked him about working for him, but he has a tight full time year round crew. I do believe that if I came to him to work as a subsidiary, he might bite, but I would really want to make sure that I not only have the skill, but that I can bring clients in as well.

    So I want your thoughts on my motivations and my choice of machine. I thought of renting, but I do want the ability to wrench on it myself, and learn as much as I can.
    Sorry for the long post.
    Cheers from the North.
  2. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,394

    What are you gunna be doing with the skid in the summer exactly?
  3. 800800

    800800 Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Right now I'd be cleaning up my dad's property, so just personal use. As for a business use, I don't really have any ideas yet.
    However, when talking to an old friend who I went to trade school with suggested that as a business, during the months when I'm not plowing I could be refinishing and polishing plows since I did go college for autobody repair.
  4. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,394

    How are you gunna trailer the skid?
    Sounds like your "hoping" to get into work instead of already having work. Have you priced out skids yet? What about insurance? What's the market your looking to get into? Wrenching in them is a tad harder then you think.
    And fyi my plow company has 13 skids. In the summer, half just sit. I'm thinking your thoughts of a full time gig with a skid aren't that realistic.
  5. 800800

    800800 Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Well, I have a truck, but seeing as it can only haul 7000lbs gross, I won't be towing a skid anytime soon. As for taking it to a potential job, I'd be driving it to the job, which does limit the amount of jobs I could take. As potential income comes in, I'd definitely invest in a proper truck and trailer.
    I guess my biggest thing is to gain the knowledge of any machine and market so that I could either approach my uncle or another company in a proposal as subsidiary.
  6. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,394

    You haven't said anything yet about insurance, or how your gunna afford it?
    Sorry to say but your canyon can't tow the skid. And you don't even have a trailer yet.

    What market are you looking to get into? You still keep saying,, my uncle's propertys. What are they? What's "clean ups"?
    Still sounds like you don't have everything figured out yet
  7. bhmjwp

    bhmjwp Senior Member
    from kcmo
    Messages: 309

    I consider this a well thought out question. My opinion is:

    Check out cost

    Transportation is a problem-very slow transport
    For snow-a blower may be better than a bucket-just depends on what type of work you get-could be industrial plant sidewalks from your uncle, could be driveways, ect

    Summer work could be post holes-treaching-clearing,ect. Just run an ad and price to make money.

    Everyone deserves to think thru their process and develop their niche in this world. A year from now you could be very successful or may decline the dream.
  8. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 9,092

    Since you have an uncle in the business I'd suggest you work for him a couple seasons to get a good taste of the work before you tie up a good amount of money in equipment.

    Visibility in a skid isn't the greatest and in a residential area I think it would be a disadvantage. FWIW the key to resi's is a tight route and being efficient. Getting into a subdivision/HOA and doing it all would be ideal especially since you're not thinking about using a pickup and would have to trailer.
    There are several guys on here that use blowers on tractors for resi's and from I've seen they seem to be the hot set up, plus you can run them on the road.

    As Dieselss said you need to think about G/L insurance.
  9. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    I'll be as genital:laughing: as I can.....

    Are you a security guard?

    There must be a better reason why your uncle will not hire you?
    but he'll hire you as a subcontractor?

    what does clearing your dads land pay?

    You went to collage to learn auto body repair?
    sounds like a lot of education just to do body work.

    driving the skid from account to account will be a challenge and you may need someone to fallow you while transporting it. for safety.;),

    again, why wont your uncle hire you as a laborer?
    or is it because you dont want to start at the bottom?

    maybe a better choice is to get a plow truck, then rent a skid as needed?

    Its a rough world.....
  10. NBI Lawn

    NBI Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,797

    I'm going to have to ask what dieselss did...how do you plan on paying for all this equipment. Seems expensive to have equipment just to clean up your dads property.

    Go to work for a company and see if you actually enjoy it before getting into it. Based off what you've said about your truck...what is it?
  11. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,394

  12. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    Open a auto-body shop.

    snow= fender-benders =$$$$.

    Then if business is slow, you can always plow snow on the side.

    Are you still living at home with your parents?
    move out.
    stand on your own 2 feet.
    it's a real motivator and it clears up all this indecision.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2015
  13. NBI Lawn

    NBI Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,797

    Oh good god. 800800 I don't mean to slam you here but you'd be better off with a Honda Accord than that truck. During a big storm there is no way that truck will pull a trailer arond with an ATV. At least a Honda would be FWD. You didn't plan on plowing with that did you? I'm going to wing your age at 19 maybe 20.
  14. 800800

    800800 Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    -As for cost, I contacted a friend who works in commercial insurance, however without the details required by a Bobcat lease, she can't pin down a number. As for cost of the unit, my local Bobcat unit is supposed to get back to me. Additionally, they have a used New Holland L185 for $16k.
    If it came to it, I can also fiance a portion because of my credit rating is pretty good.
    -I never expected to tow anything much with my truck. Why would I buy a compact truck with intention for any sort of regular towing?
    - My anticipated market would be residential, because there are several large subdivisions within 5 minutes of driving. Now I don't know much about pricing, but on my road alone I can count 4 solid people who would pay for good services. Like I mentioned though- my original purchase wouldn't be initially for commercial use. It would be for personal use, and occasional neighborhood service for cash. If I get confident in my skills and find that there's money to be made to offset payments, then getting into contracts.
    - As for why my uncle won't hire me, is because he has a full time team, and doesn't need more men. Additionally I have zero experience. My point about the subsidiary is this: if I have a machine, the skill to use it and can bring in solid customers of my own, my uncle could absorb me, then I'm under the moniker of an established name.
    - And yes, 25 years old and live with my parents. Don't see what that has to do with it. I'm financially independent, and my living arrangement has to do with supporting my aging parents. Also debt free, and have about $5k in reserve for business startup.
    -Security guard? Yes, again has nothing to do with anything. Changed industries since I wasted $15k in trades training that didn't help me get a job. Enjoy the job, don't love it.

    After we're finished discussing my life situation and choices- can we get back to talking equipment?
    I know CTLs are more expensive and complex than SSLs, but is there any clear benefits to track vs wheels? The Bobcat S70 is a nice compact machine, but it almost looks like it doesn't have the omph to get through hard drifts, etc.
    What about those compact tractors such as the John Deere 1000 series compact tractors? I've seen videos of them blowing, but it seems like they don't pack enough hydraulic power to run a snowblower.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2015
  15. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    Well, not to get caught up in semantics but you're not financially independent if you're relying on your parents to keep a roof over your head. You're independent once you provide your own food, shelter, clothing and cover the cost of your other living expenses. So you still have some work to do there. Anyway...

    1000 series tractors don't run their blowers with hydraulic pumps, they use the machines PTO (both front and rear mounted). They are great machines for small jobs.
  16. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    Your not ready to talk equipment.
    You first need to know a bit more about doing business.

    The liability insurance is not for your machine but for the damage you do with the machine, plow, snowblower. It,s for your business.

    Ask your ins agent for a quote for 2 million in liability insurance for your company .

    If you have customers are experienced why would you want to have your uncle buy your business that you built up?

    Next you need to have a business of your own.
    Ie a LLC or a co, inc.

    I read your uncles reason and it sounds like he doesn't want to hurt your feelings?

    Why the concern where you live?
    Because, you went to school for auto body, your working security and now you want to get into snow.
    Your indecisive because your comfortable.
    Make up your mind...
    That is what being out on your own does for you.You can always take care of your parents without living in the basement.

    Open a auto body shop and then plow, with a pickup on the side of you don't have enough work.

    with all the time before next season you should be Abel to figure it all out and go solicit customers.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2015
  17. NBI Lawn

    NBI Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,797

    Age and current situation are asked so we can better understand your mind set. You're putting the buggy before the horse here. Buying a skid with no means to tow it or pay for it. I don't think you'd make a very good sub if you couldn't transport your equipment. $5000 in reserve is bare minimum to start. You'll use that up real quick.

    Here is my crazy recommendation. Sell your car truck and get a 3/4ton with an appropriate plow for doing drives. Build a small client base and see what the demand is in your area for a skid. Meet other operators in your area and get on good standing with them. I think your idea of buying a skid to clean up your parents property is great but unrealistic. I kind of base that off you considering $5000 a considerable amount of money. Also, before you get too excited I'd check on financing. You have no bills so even though you have good credit you don't have payment history. Always "good" to be paying on something.
  18. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,394

    Residential with a skid? I'll leave that alone for now. Again what's your summer plans with this thing? You don't seem to have the real plan of what your gunna do in the summer?
    So your gunna ask all around to companys if they want to use you and your skid vers there own people and there own skids? And then how are you gunna get it there? What about attachments? IMO work for someone for awhile
  19. allagashpm

    allagashpm Senior Member
    Messages: 797

    Even though this has nothin to do with your equipment question, can I add that I dont think anyone would pay to have their plow refurbished. Most guys a can of yellow or red spray paint is going all out.