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newbie needs help

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by jbone, Mar 21, 2006.

  1. jbone

    jbone Senior Member
    Messages: 154

    Well idk where to begin. This is kinda long but please be patient. A friend of mine owns a snow removal business i have worked for him a couple of times (shoveling not plowing) and I want in!! He has too much fun plowing and im tired of breaking my back shoveling. I know that its a lot of work but I really want to do something for myself. So im looking for a truck plow and maybe a sander/salter. So I have a few questions for you guys.

    1. Im a Chevy fan and was wondering if any of you use 97-00 chevy 2500HD 3/4 ton pickups for plowing? Im not looking for opinions of those that dont or never have owned one only those who have please. I love the truck I just dont want to buy soemthing that cant do the job.

    2. I hope to be able to buy a plow brand new but I was wondering what I should do about salting? It seems too good of an extension of the business not to buy a salter, but idk how much they cost new, what size to get, if not new where can i find used ones? I really would like to get into snow removal alot in the next couple of years, so would it be a waste of money to invest in a small tailgate mounted salter when I could spend the cash to start off with a full sized 7' or 8' "V salter"? and would a 3/4 ton truck be able to handle something that size along with a plow? I plan on commercial only down the road (residential to start). I know it may seem that a 1 ton truck sounds right for me but it needs to be a daily driver in the off season so thats out of the question.

    3. What is and isnt tax deductible? Along the lines of equipment. Im not trying to get freebies here or screw the govt I just figured this equipment is for business purposes are we able to write off anything??

    4. Finally I will leave you guys with this question. Would it be worth spending all thsi mony on a truck, plow, and salter and work for my friend who would pay approx $20 an hour or would I be better of in my own? I know ill be better off on my own in the long run but for starting is what im asking.

    Thanks in advance for any advice you guys can give me.
  2. KCB

    KCB Senior Member
    Messages: 153

    $20/hour? Do a search on subbing and you will see you can make double that driving someone elses truck. If you have never plowed before and you only plan to do small residential to start get yourself a jeep. Get a taste for the business, its not for everyone. Once you have you owne customers and the responsibility etc. its not always fun and games. Not trying to rain on your parade or anything but there is more to plowing than a big truck and high hopes.
  3. jbone

    jbone Senior Member
    Messages: 154

    I understand that theres a LOT more to it than that. Ive been working for hin for the past couple of winters and I understand some of the ins and outs of the business but I still dont know a lot. I dont plan on doing residentials for long if at all, thats why I want a "big truck" so that im not wasting my money on a smaller one like a jeep and a smaller plow just to find out that I need to sell it to get something big enough to do everything I want. If I decide plowing isnt for me thats ok I can sell the equipment and I still have needs for a larger truck other than plowing.
  4. jbone

    jbone Senior Member
    Messages: 154

    Is it really possible to run a profitable snow removal business with a single truck/plow/salter doing commercial contracts? I know it depends on the number and size of contracts, and many other variables I am just wondering if it has been done. I plan to expand but slowly
  5. Mick

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

    I'd hesitated answering to begin with because I've never owned a 97-00 chevy 2500HD 3/4 ton pickup and you said "Im not looking for opinions of those that dont or never have owned one only those who have please". But you seem to be looking for other answers, too. Anyway, yes, that truck will handle a plow fine. Contact the dealer for the specific plow you are interested in using.

    I've answered tax questions in a couple other threads recently and provided a link to the IRS site. Do search using my name or "depreciation".

    For $20/hr, I wouldn't provide the equipment or the truck. I'd suggest you get an idea of how much fuel that truck uses per hour, then multiply that by 1 1/2 to 2 for how much it's going to use plowing snow. Then figure so much per hour for replacement costs (wear and tear) and repairs (the first two years, I spent over $2,000 a year on repairs alone). Remember also, if you buy new or newer stuff on payments, the payments continue every month of the year. Income is only a few months. If you buy used to avoid payments, you'll expect more repair expenses. I actually spent more than I made the first two years (not counting equipment purchase costs). But I had planned for that and had the financial reserves to get through it.

    Yes, it's really possible to run a profitable snow removal business with a single truck/plow/salter doing commercial contracts. My strong suggestion would be to develop a good Business Plan. Along with that would be to set your business strategy from the beginning. Equipment needed for larger commercial, industrial and municipal accounts would be a waste or actually impractical for residential accounts and equipment used for residential accounts would be impractical for larger accounts. If you buy with the idea of selling it later to move up to bigger accounts, you will lose. The best, well-maintained used equipment will go for half the purchase price.
  6. jbone

    jbone Senior Member
    Messages: 154

    Mick- Thanks for the response. I only didnt want the "well I hear this and that" answers about the truck, or just rumors or people who would have a biased opininon.

    I am prepared with other lines of work throughout the year to be able to make payments if necessary for new equipment. I plan on buying new for multiple reasons but I also plan on paying cash upfront for a majority of as I have been saving money and will be selling some of my vehicles/atv's that I do not need anymore.

    A business plan is definitely in the making.

    Once again I thank you for your help!!!
  7. 20 bucks an hour???

    minimum 75 an hour out here. you put your blade down for 20 bucks a hour here you might as well plow for free
  8. jbone

    jbone Senior Member
    Messages: 154

    I absolutely agree! its just that I dont have any experience really with plowing and wasnt sure if I'd be better off shooting from the hip and trying it on my own or getting help from someone but taking less money. idk how much my services are worth with no experience.

    Also just out of curiosity in regards to plows does anyone have any idea on how much the new Fisher EZ-V X-Blade 8'6" thats coming out will cost? My friend who wants me to work for him was curious, b/c hes looking for a new plow and I may be able to buy his old one. Thanks!
  9. Mick

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

    Approx $5,000. Varies depending on the dealer.
  10. GA73

    GA73 Member
    Messages: 90

    i have a 2000 chevy 2500 with a boss v 8'2 v blade. truck has 180000 miles on it, have only replaced the normal wear and tear items. did tie rodends and one ball joint.
    truck is more then capable to plow residential and small commercial accounts
  11. plowed

    plowed Senior Member
    Messages: 344

    Don't forget to include either backup eqipment or a backup contractor that you can rely on when, not if, but when your equipment fails, you have some sort of problem, etc. Not trying to discourage you, just suggesting it from experience is all. Best of luck.
  12. jbone

    jbone Senior Member
    Messages: 154

    Good idea - I hope to be able to afford some back up equipment but if not im currently trying to get my friend to agree to help back me up if something were to go wrong and I would also try to help him if he had a problem. Thanks again guys.
  13. jbone

    jbone Senior Member
    Messages: 154

    I just talked to my friend today, he wants me to plow for him next season under his insurance and using his equipment for next year so I can get used to using different types of machines and get used to plowing. But I have a question for you guys. If purchasing the equipment (plow, sander, truck, etc.) was not an issue but you had never plowed before would you take up this offer instead and make less money, or take a risk and get the equipment try to get contracts, or sub to try and make more money?