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Plowing with 1/2 ton

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by wannabeplowing, Oct 8, 2008.

  1. wannabeplowing

    wannabeplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    I wanted to get everyone who plows with a 1/2 ton opinons. I have a 1999 F150 and I'm thinking of getting a plow and starting up a snow removal business. What plow(s) would you recommend for a 1/2 ton? I'm hoping to find something used, as I can't afford a new one. Thanks in advance.
  2. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    do you currently have customers?
  3. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    one year maint. on chevy 1500

    brakes (back goes first)
    tranny fluid change 2 time and flush
    new tranny cooler (again)
    axle seals.
    front dif.
    tie rods
    clutch fan
    timbrens (one time mod)
    02 sensor (not plow related i dont think)
    battery upgrade (deep cell marine)
    and could use a new pitmun arm/idler arm, rack has some play too and the column shifter is loose?
    if you plan on plowing with a half ton plan on having a higher than normal expense budget.
    That being said, the parts are cheaper usually and i have worked my truck pretty hard. I figure a expense of 1500 a year on it just in case so when something breaks it doesnt bother me much i dont worry about it..

    EDIT: forgot radiator flush. Dont let the list scare you TOO much some of this i dont plan on doing every single year. But for heavy use, get a heavier truck. No trucks like plowing, half tons dont like it even more. If you dont have the funds to keep a truck going dont do this. You will leave customers stranded and lose money in the end.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2008
  4. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,796

    One year work on my Chevy 1500 that plowing caused:

    I broke nothing last year plowing nor did I feel that plowing caused the premature wear out/breakage of stuff.
    Sure I had to fix and replace things during the spring/summer/and fall but I felt that all of it was due to the truck being 10 yrs old with 16x,xxx on it. Every truck will have needed repairs when it gets older with more miles.

    If you take it easy and don't beat the sh1t out of the truck you'll do ok.
    I'm running a 7.6ft western unimount along with pro wings.

    Add a good trans cooler and a trans temp guage wouldn't hurt.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2008
  5. MileHigh

    MileHigh PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,827

    A 1/2 truck is not an ideal PLOW truck...but with that said.

    I plow with a 98 f150...does pretty good IMHO.

    I put timbrens in the front, to help with the sagging the plow causes.
    I put helper springs in the back to handle ballast weight and salt.
    I run a Lot of ballast weight near the rear tailgate for traction reasons, and to offset the plow.
    I run studded snow tires.
    My truck came stock with a transmission cooler...Im sure yours has one if it has a tow package.

    My meyer weights 656#, with wings it weighs 726#. Truck handles it real well with my mods.

    You need a 7.5 or 7.6 plow. probably 25-29 inches tall. no more weight than 750# or you might go over the GVR. And could damage your truck, I know mine is pushing the limit that a 150 can handle.

    No way I will ever buy another 1/2 truck to plow any kind of snow with....not enough options or plows/spreaders you can put on your truck.
  6. JayMac

    JayMac Member
    Messages: 95

    Can Be Done

    A 1/2 ton can plow snow many people do it every year. If they were to be honest they would at least up grade to a 3/4 ton. It will take some money to keep it from getting too beat up. But as for a plow the make is as much opinion as the brand of your truck, but check out the web sites of the brands you like, they do a good job of giving you the info you need to pick a plow.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2008
  7. MileHigh

    MileHigh PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,827

    Its a tad bit late to be starting a snow removal business for this season, but If you hussle, you can get your truck mounted with a plow, and most likely sub-contract for a snow removal company, and make some good money. They require insurance.
  8. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    Before ANYONE can answer that question we need to know what kind of PLOWING your going to do? If you are going to do SNOW REMOVAL business you will need a dump truck, and then figure out how to get the snow into the dump and where your going to dump it.:rolleyes:
  9. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    thats why i asekd if he had any customers.....
  10. MileHigh

    MileHigh PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,827

    Not trying to be a smart a$$ or anything.

    I consider myself in the snow "removal" business..I don't have a dump.

    If the snow needs to be removed, can't you just sub-contract that out...to an obviously larger contractor...I mean that's what I would do, and just take a cut right?
  11. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    i lossly though around th eterms snow plowing , and snow removal.... but i think by the book, if it came down to it in some type of court case.... snow removal would be considered removing it from the property ... JMO , but like i said , i use both terms... and in contracts it surely says snow plowing...
  12. Lynden-Jeff

    Lynden-Jeff PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,433

    Then you are in the "Snow plowing" business. If you list on your contract, snow removal as required, they can ask you to remove it, off site, and you would lose in court if it came to that as you listed remove. Plowing or clearing is always a safer term to use. And this has happened before.

  13. plowtime1

    plowtime1 Senior Member
    Messages: 446

    In the past we utilized a few 1/2 tons (2 90'sfords,1 90's chevy) Really no problems as they were primarily used for our yards and as back up units. Most common problem was the weight of the plow(fisher) causing repairs to joints,brakes; but that would be expected for steel. I would summize shoring up the front end and a lighter plow would less impede the front end parts JMO.
    Good luck. Is this your first?
  14. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    the truck i posted is a couple years newer than yours and has less than 60k for mileage. So i guess it depends on how hard the op intends on using the truck.
  15. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,796

    Mine gets used pretty hard for a 1/2ton. I can't say if its the truck itself , the operator, or a combination of both. I'd have to say I use mine like a 3/4ton A Lot and it hasn't let me down yet.
  16. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,931

    We will be using two F150s this year, an 03 and an 06 with Boss super duty 7'6" plows. The 03 may actually get an 8 footer since a local guy know has a 1yr old one he wants hardly anything for and although even the 7.6 is heavy, the 8 footer isnt much heavier, maybe 30lbs. Both trucks are gonna need spring spacers 2" ones though, The front of the 06 so far only squats about 3/4" when the plow is lifted up, must less than i thought. Its not so much the wheel gap as much as the frame height. I have ~5" tops between ground and frame on the front with the plow lifted, not enough to keep me at peace.

    I think an F350 single rear wheel/diesel is by far the best plow truck. Holds a lot in back, can use 8-9' plows of any density/weight, can handle a huge range of spreaders etc.

    6k front axles, 7k rear axles, its most efficient and ideal for the general snow contractors population unless your talking huge open areas.
  17. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    I still dont know if you plan on doing 10 driveway and or 2 Walmarts!!! if 10 driveways you'l be fine, if plowing walmart you might want to reconsider.

    I plowed with a F150 for 2 years, I had a Fisher 7 1/2 RD worked fine. I had 30 customers (driveways) and was maxed out.

    I bought a Jeep for backup and to hire someone else to drive. I used the Jeep once..... Sold the F150 . With the Jeep I cut my plow time by 40%. I then found that the RD 7 1/2 plow fit my push beam on the jeep... By the 3rd storm I had cut my plow time by 50%. so I got more customers payup payup (That was 20 years ago... OMG where has the time gone) Say what you want, I will never again use a PU for driveways.

    Sooooo what are you planning to plow
  18. Turf Commando

    Turf Commando Senior Member
    Messages: 567

    I currently run a (91) F-150 let me say this, it has costed me money and it hasn't seen a flake yet..
    I'm still beefing up things shocks, coil springs, just replaced oil pan+gasket, oil pump, cam bearings, etc (previous owner worked it like 1 ton).
    Anyways your first year will not be a money maker, you have to compensate for all the things past, present, future, it costed.Than come next year you should start making PROFIT...
  19. wannabeplowing

    wannabeplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    Sorry I haven't been on recently been busy with school. I'm not sure if I would be starting this winter or not just trying to plan ahead if it doesn't happen this year but I would be doing just residentials or else subing on to a local company. So no I wouldn't be plowing wal-marts or anything of that nature. I would have loved to buy a 3/4 ton but I flat out could not afford it so here I am with a 1/2 ton. Which I just purchased a few weeks ago.

    Another thought I'm having is to just wait till next winter and save up as much as possible, sell my truck and buy a 3/4 ton. Not sure but as of now I plan on keeping the f150 for awhile. What do you guys think of forgetting the plow for now and getting a decent snowblower and getting some residentails for this winter to get a customer base started?

    Thanks for everyones advice it's greatly appreciated, always good to learn from the experienced!!
  20. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,253

    Ever hear of a subcontractor?