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New With Dumb questions.

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by dbyrone, Jan 16, 2002.

  1. dbyrone

    dbyrone Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    Am new to plowing. Have a 2002 Chevy 2500HD 4x4 w/BOSS 8" Poly V plow. Bought the book from SIMA, read everything I could on internet. Have gotten good info on the business, how to plow drives and lots, maintenance, when to use the V or straight position, and how to back drag...but have found NO info about operating the plow when plowing. Not how to use the controls, but how far to drop the blade, whether to use the "shoes" on the blade, etc.


    Do you simply drop the plow until it stops on the ground and go? (Blade has 3 steel shoes installed)

    Do you use the "shoes" on the blade or take them off as I have seen mentioned a few times?

    Do you plow all the time in the "float" position? I assume this takes the pressure off of the drop cylinder.

    We haven't had any snow yet to plow in Northern Ohio so I haven't had a chance to even try my rig yet.

    Thanks for any help here.

  2. Manx

    Manx Senior Member
    Messages: 115

    The shoes are for gravel or dirt
    Just take them off
    When plowing it's best to lower the blade to the float postion
    this way the blade rides up & down with the surface
    and just push away
    Good luck
  3. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    Welcome Dave, no such thing as a "dumb" question:

    Yes, basically "drop & go". When possible, I like to have the truck moving and then drop the blade, that way I have a bit of momentum working to my advantage.

    My take on the "shoes" is, I don't even have places to mount 'em on the blade anymore!

    And yes, I leave my controls in the "float" position most of the time when plowing, as Manx mentions that way the plow is free to follow the contour of the surface - rarely is the surface ever dead flat.

    There are times when you will want to have the plow down but not in the "float" setting: Soft surfaces such as a dirt lot the first few times out before it freezes, and lifting the blade just above the surface to avoid tearing up turf when pushing off to the sides/end of a driveway are two examples.
  4. Mick

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

    Welcome to PlowSite, dbyrone. Nice rig for a first setup. Re: Shoes - popular opinion seems to be to use them for doorstops. A friend of mine up here got a new Boss V this year. He uses his shoes all the time and likes having them. I do mostly gravel and dirt drives. I think there wouldn't be much advantage and could actually do harm by digging into the ground. Re: putting blade down. If the ground is frozen, just put the blade down and go. Be sure to put it in the Float position to keep from damaging the surface. If there is a lot of hardpack, you might want to take it out of Float. I don't bother, though. One thing that threw me at first was that when you angle the blade (technically called a moldboard), the corner nearer the truck will dig into the ground.
    The other "high" end will tend to let snow go underneath, leaving a mess - the bigger the blade, the worse the mess. Be careful backing up, realize that the blade will swing out and "catch" anything near - like a car or garage - as you turn. I suggest practicing on your own or a friend's drive drive at first. Limit the number of jobs you get the first year. When plowing before the ground is frozen is a challenge. Just lift the blade an inch or so off the ground or it'll dig in like a bulldozer. With practice, you'll get an idea of your equipment's limits, like how much snow can it push without overloading it. Depends not only on snow depth and length of the run, but on the type of snow (wet, heavy, light etc). Before you start pushing, plan your attack and where you're going to pile the snow. Keep runs short as possible and push the pile back from the very first push. Not pushing back is probably how most new plowers get into trouble.

    Hope I helped a little, though I'm by no means "knowledgeable".
  5. Mick

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

    I think Manx, Rob and I were all writing responses at the same time;) . At least we seem to agree.
  6. scmik

    scmik Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    Hey I have a dumb question also. I buried my plow frame twice, and im not positive how I could have avoided it.

    I had a double width driveway, appx 50 ft in length. I kid you not, the driveway had 5 feet of snow, so the snow was higher than the plow blade, even when it was raised all the way. Now there was really no where to put the snow, except on the front lawn or the neighbors lawn.

    I tried to push the snow back, plow up, push, back up truck, plow down, push etc....

    My question is....How would you guys start to clear this driveway?

    Thanks Mike
  7. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Take 1/2 blade cuts, going toward each side of the drive. Almost like a v-plow would work.

  8. Sno

    Sno Senior Member
    Messages: 320


    Hahhhaha,, ,, Hope you didnt price gouge that one....

    Should have been able to plow that for......what? ... 20.00?

    No kidding..... How long did it take you?
  9. scmik

    scmik Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    It was my parents driveway, so I got nothing for it....I did do 2 more similar driveways for $40. Each one took about two hours.

    Everyone on the street came running out with cash in hand...

    sir how much, sir can you do mine, sir please****i took the highest bidders..

    One guy near my house ( Elma NY ) said he'd give me $50 to make one swipe. His dwy was really long, and I dont like leaving a mess. I ended up doing two swipes and he gave me $100..
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2002
  10. Sno

    Sno Senior Member
    Messages: 320

    It does not sound like you would be on the most wanted price gougers list.

    I might have drove on by the third 40.00.
  11. scmik

    scmik Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    Yea I regreted it after I agreed to do the third....Live and learn, im still new to this...
  12. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    Dbyrone, take your time and go easy while you're learning, it's very easy to break your truck if you're not careful! Slammin' and jammin' is the shortcut to broken equipment.

    One other tip to remember is if you're plowing wet and heavy snow, consider using low range on your transfer case, it'll keep the heat off your tranny.

    Scmik, it sounds like you got broke in the hard way! I've been doing this over thirty years and have never seen and hope I never do see what you guys got. Like you said, live and learn.

    Good luck to both of you!
  13. dbyrone

    dbyrone Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    Thanks for the help. Still no snow in Northern Ohio to try ideas. The problem I was having with shoes on moldboard - marking concrete driveways. I have taken shoes off plow now and will try when it snows.
  14. Big Nate's Plowing

    Big Nate's Plowing PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    Wich side of northern Ohio are you on ..... The Toledo side or the Cleveland side?
  15. dbyrone

    dbyrone Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    I here right here in Toledo, actually I live in Sylvania Township. Looks like we are neighbors. I retired from GM about 2 years a go but am still working - just not 7 days - 10 hours a day! Always wanted to plow some but never had the time over the years. Hey, I sure would like to hook up someday as I am pretty new at this. Thanks for the reply.
  16. Mick

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

    scmik - it was pretty ironic. I read your post about burying the A frame yesterday and was going to respond after going to clear an account I'd gotten the night before. Needed to put snow from the drive into his yard and get it set up for the rest of the winter. You guessed it!!! I was pushing and piling into his yard and the front end sank into the snow. That buried the A frame. Dug under the frame for awhile. Finally figured it wasn't worth it and called a wrecker to give me a nudge backward. To answer your question, I guess the only way would be to make sure you stay on the pavement and it is cleared to the surface and keep any snow in front of the blade. That was the second time this year I've had to get pulled free after burying the A frame. I just figure it's part of plowing snow.
  17. scmik

    scmik Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    Yea that is pretty wild. Did you guys in the far Northeast get anything substantial?
  18. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    Scmik, I'll bet your definition of substantial is a lot greater than mine. We got 6" of dry powder last night near Poughkeepsie, N.Y., substantial here, a dusting for you.

    Mick, I was wondering how towing rates might vary between regions. Here they charge $50 to hook a chain and yank you out. If they have to winch you there's a per foot cable charge on top of that. Don't know what the cable charge is, the chain has always worked so far. (knock knock knock)
  19. tovoninc

    tovoninc Senior Member
    Messages: 105

    Here's a REALLY stupid question: We probably don't have enough snow to experience burying the A frame and getting stuck but help me understand this one. My main reason for asking is to make sure I learn. Last year I got a 2 wheel drive John Deere farm tractor stuck when both front wheels dropped off the pavement. I used the bucket to assist backing up and it was back to pushing snow. Without the bucket I'd just sit there & spin the tires. Do you get stuck because you are in a 4x2 or just because you ran out of ground clearance when the plow was enveloped in deep snow. I assume having weight in the bed to counterbalance the plow helps avoid getting stuck? Thanks in advance.
  20. scmik

    scmik Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    I got stuck because the A frame got hung up in deep snow, Therefore, a good majority of the weight of the vehicle was on the frame, rather than the wheels. I have ~500 lbs of sand in the bed of my truck. When the plow is hung up like that, all the weight in the world wont help. Either start digging, or call a wrecker...