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Newb to plowing from MI

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by Krieger91, Feb 7, 2008.

  1. Krieger91

    Krieger91 Senior Member
    Messages: 353

    I recently purchased a 1981 Chevrolet K20 Scottsdale pickup that is fitted with a snow blade.

    I bought it for a combination of clearing my families driveways, and possibly using it to make money with.

    Can anybody tell me if there are any special licenses or anything I would need to obtain to legally use this vehicle for snow removal purposes?
  2. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,246

    get the proper insurance.
  3. Krieger91

    Krieger91 Senior Member
    Messages: 353

    I understand that.

    Is there an insurance type that goes OVER full coverage? If so, can a normal insurance company provide it?
  4. KGRlandscapeing

    KGRlandscapeing 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,660

    tell ur agent that ur gonna plow snow with it or haul firewood they both must be high risk cause they group them together on comm ins policys. but as for dealing with the bmv no special comm liscence needed. but maybe we should try and pass that by congress seems how they dont do anything important.
  5. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    You need at least 1million liability coverage if you do snow removal for money. Ask you agent what he thinks and then check around. Coverage can vary in price ALOT between companies. JMO
    Welcome to the wonderful world of plowing snow
  6. Krieger91

    Krieger91 Senior Member
    Messages: 353

    That's a problem...I don't have the money for that high of a liability policy.

    And, does one need to have a commercial insurance policy? I technically can't do that.
  7. Krieger91

    Krieger91 Senior Member
    Messages: 353

    Sorry to double post, but I have another question: The plow that came on my truck is fairly old and starting rust out. Is it possible to put a new blade on the harness? Or would I have to find the maker of the original? Any ideas?
  8. plowman4life

    plowman4life Senior Member
    Messages: 557

    proper insurance and your amber light permits to operate flashers.

    also take a pic of the plow and we can tell you the company.

    as for commercial insurance you dont need that. unless you are operateing from a big company.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2008
  9. Krieger91

    Krieger91 Senior Member
    Messages: 353

    No, I'd be operating for myself. As soon as I get the truck and plow unburied (they're both buried under snow where they're parked because the flex plate and starter are shot and need to be replaced), I'm gonna take pictures and post them here for y'all.

    Can I get an amber light permit just by going to the police station or what? Can somebody tell me how that works?
  10. bltp203

    bltp203 Senior Member
    Messages: 484

    There is no light permit in Michigan. Anyone can have an amber light on their vehicle.

    Commercial Insurance ran me about $800 more then when I had just a personal policy. Yes, its costs alot up front, but in my case I was able to make that up on my very first storm (working as a subcontractor).

    Do guys run without insurance? Sure, but to me the risk isn't worth it and actually all the best paying jobs require you show proof of it anyways.
  11. Krieger91

    Krieger91 Senior Member
    Messages: 353

    Probably says, to me, I'll have crash and cry (PLPD) insurance and only plow for people that really trust me.
  12. Krieger91

    Krieger91 Senior Member
    Messages: 353

    I found out something about the plow.

    According to my dad, who has experience in plowing from when he was the manager of an apartment complex (they had apartments and townhouses, and plowed their own streets), the blade I have is a Meyer.

    And, he told me I can easily get a new scraping edge for it that'll just bolt up to the blade.

    Also, are there any members here from around Lansing that might know where I could find a supply place? I'm gonna need to have new hoses, connections, and springs. (following a tip from my dad to carry them incase something breaks)

    And, thank you to btlp203. After hearing that, I made sure, then I started looking. My brother found, and bought me, a nice LED lightbar, about 23 inches. Just wanting to thank you all for your advice.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2008
  13. csx5197

    csx5197 Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    for NY you pretty much need commercial plates for the truck, then insurance to cover you in case you hit something.
  14. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    Michigan doesn't require a license for snow plowing or for amber lights as mentioned above. I'm not even sure you HAVE to have commercial insurance to plow driveways. BUT why lose your house to someone that fell on a job you plowed? Before you say you can't afford it, check into it and see how much it costs. It really doesn't matter how much it costs because to replace your house, car, boat and everything else you had to sell to pay the lawyers and settelment will cost more.

    I take it you have a "real" job and are doing this because you think it will be fun or something. In my opinion, plow for free. Don't have a contract. Do the best job you can do every single time and you should be fine.
    Do it right. Get a business DBA and everything that goes with it. Get insurance and make money at it. Even with a real job, everyone could use the tax deductions that come with owning your own business.

    At some point someone is going to say, "I'll pay you to do my driveway." and from there on you are a professional snow plower.
  15. QuadPlower

    QuadPlower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    Sorry, more to say.

    If you go to an indepented insurance agent, tell them you own a landscape company that wants to plow snow and see what they have to tell you. They will give you a quote. When you look it over, you will be able to remove most of the stuff. Like building insurance, flood insurance, etc. That will lower your cost. If you tell them you just want to push snow, it will cost much more.

    Once you get a price you can live with, get your DBA with a business name that does not say "Krieger91 Snow Plowing" . Make it "Krieger91 maintenance service" or what ever.

    Good Luck
  16. M&Mservices

    M&Mservices Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    The insurance coverage in Michigan is a classification and to class a vehicle as commercial is required for profit. If you are only doing it on occasion most plpd policies have a million dollar liability. The insurance company is required to cover your liability. The differance on my trucks are about $5.00 a month per truck, not much. I use State Farm and highly recomend them for 14 years I have no complaints. I highly recommend keeping it simple like advertising snow plowing and leave it at that. If you advertise ice control you can get yourself into liability after the job is done. Also remember most policies do not cover damage to your plow.
  17. mchur01

    mchur01 Senior Member
    Messages: 109

    Michigans law on lighting - Vehicle utilized for snow plowin - Red, no - Blue, no - White, no - Amber, may be equipped, however shall not be activated except in those circumstances that the warning produced by the lights is requirred for public safety. MCL257.698(5)(f)
  18. Krieger91

    Krieger91 Senior Member
    Messages: 353

    Thanks for your help guys.

    As I said before, I'm looking at being a plumber in the near future, and I help my dad and friends with work, so I bought the truck as a work truck: It just happened to have a plow on it.

    And, if y'all didn't notice my signature, I'm not joking when I say I'm new to driving. I'm 16 and got my license about 8 months ago. I'm a good driver with a clean record, and thought I could look into using the truck I bought.

    I decided I'm gonna start with lawn mowing and such this summer, and then maybe this winter offer snow removal to my friends and such (shoveling and snowblowing more than plowing)

    And, I know for a fact that plowing isn't "fun". My dad did it for years, and I often rode along (I was like 10 and had nothing better to do). I merely thought I might be able to learn to properly use, and then use my truck to make a little extra on the side. Right now I currently have a minimum-wage job paying $6.08 per hour, so it's hard for me to afford anything extra...
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2008
  19. Krieger91

    Krieger91 Senior Member
    Messages: 353

    Sorry for the double-post here, but after reading through other threads and such I have a question for y'all.

    To those who've suggested I, and other new guys, should start out by finding a guy, or company, that might need a sub-contractor to clear a lot here and there, this question is to you.

    How much should a new guy charge for his service? I mean, I wouldn't ask for TOO much because my experience is zilch, but at the same time I don't wanna get jipped to the point where I'm paying out of MY pocket to work with a guy....what to y'all suggest?
  20. KGRlandscapeing

    KGRlandscapeing 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,660

    ok i am not all that smart but ill give u the basics. in a place that gets alot of snow the rate is gonna be less because they plow more somewhere say 30to50 an hour in a place that avarages over 110. some place that gets less is gonna have a higer rate because u dont plow as much. u have to learn what its gonna cost u to run ur truck and put money away for a break down. shoot some where between 30 and 60 and u probably wont get laughd off the planet