1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Residential...What is a better alternative to snow blowers & shovels

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by stang2244, Nov 6, 2009.

  1. stang2244

    stang2244 Senior Member
    Messages: 385

    So this is just my second season doing snow removal. I do maintenance during the warm months and some of my customers began asking for snow removal so I finally decided to offer it. I only do normal residential driveways/sidewalks(2 and 3 car garages, no more than 40 ft long with normal sized sidwalks) and only about 30-35 of these. Last year I used shovels and snow blowers. It worked alright but didn't go as fast as I felt like it should. My question is....Would it be ideal to get an ATV with a plow on it or should I put a small plow on my truck('95 chevy 1/2 ton) or neither? I'll still have to use a blower or shovels for the sidewalks but those go fast, it's the driveways that slow it down. Can I just pull up to the garage door and pull the snow away with a truck or atv plow? Like I said, I'm new to this and not sure of what a plow is capable of. I don't plan on doing anything commercial so this potential setup would only be used for the said 30-35 residentials. Thanks in advance for the help!
  2. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,594

    Yes, most guys are using plows for resi's. You drop the blade at the garage door and back-up. You can also get a pull plow for the rear of the truck and back in, drop it, and drive forward. The heavier the plow the better to backdrag with.
  3. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,756

    If you want to be effecient, I would get a plow for your truck. Otherwise hire another worker or 2. But that will cost you more in the long run. So I would say a plow is a great investment. Probably cost you $5k or so, but you will have the plow for years to come if you take care of it and only do about 30 drives or so. If it lasts you 10 years, that's like paying $500 per season to have a plow. I think that's cheaper than a worker. Also, when I started using plows, it cut our time in half even with the really big storms.
  4. stang2244

    stang2244 Senior Member
    Messages: 385

    Thanks for the info. I think that definitely answers my question. I wasn't sure how effective it would be in pulling the snow away from the house but it sounds liike it will be just fine. Since I just have a '95 chevy half ton, is there a certain width(I would guess something 7' or smaller?) type, and brand you all would recommend?
  5. mkwl

    mkwl 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,362

    BOTH- I have a plow on my truck, as well as an ATV with a plow. I use the truck on all but 2 of my drives. On those two, the garage is at the base of a steep hill, with nowhere to push the snow, and too tight to comfortably get my truck in. I plow those with the ATV at the end of my route, because, personally I'd probably have an easier time keeping a 900LB ATV from sliding into the garage door versus a 6,000LB truck sliding out of control through the garage and off a cliff- but that's just me!:laughing:

    I'd say though, if you can get away with it, just put a plow on your truck, and call it a day. I'd put a nice Fisher 7.5' HTS plow on it- should do great!
  6. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    At least a 71/2' plow and brand is up to you.
  7. DareDog

    DareDog PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,438


    push snow to one side then backdrag infront of the garage.
  8. bosman

    bosman Senior Member
    Messages: 165

    You might try one of these, my residential customers love it.

  9. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,594

    Why do they love it?
  10. born2farm

    born2farm 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,310

    Well you are going to get a lot of mixed opinions, but I will throw mine in there just for the sake of it. In my opinion it will depend on what size drives you are targeting. Most of the drives I have are very small, and would be hard to manuver in a truck. This is the reason I have the quad. Now that I am expanding into larger work, a truck will be added. For most of my residentials my ideal setup would be a John Deere Gator or other side by side with front v plow and rear blade. Hope this helps.
  11. lawnboy11

    lawnboy11 Senior Member
    Messages: 263

    True dat my brotha
  12. bosman

    bosman Senior Member
    Messages: 165

    Its not big and intimidating like a truck, it doesn't hurt their drive. I can also do most drives faster than a quad, way faster than a quad. It will allow you to pile snow about anywhere you want and when your done with the drive, you can use it for the sidewalk. ATV's can't pile snow, ATV's are light, most ATV's have a manual angle plow, and ATV's won't make you any money in the warm months unless your Travis Pastrana.
  13. stang2244

    stang2244 Senior Member
    Messages: 385

    Haha! I like the explanation. What does a used one of those run roughly?
  14. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    For resi driveways, I would look for a plow with down pressure......
  15. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    Or a rear blade,
  16. BK Hammer

    BK Hammer Member
    Messages: 64

    I use my eight foot six v plow with wings. Two or three swipes and done with driveway. I take two shovelers with me and we are out of there in ten minutes. Plus I usually only do residences if I have several in the same subdivision.
    What part of Colorado do you live in? You gotta love that champagne powder we get! So easy to remove.
  17. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    You ought to come over here and deal with some March concrete:realmad::realmad:
  18. BK Hammer

    BK Hammer Member
    Messages: 64

    No thanks! I will stick to the gravy lol. We just got a foot of real wet stuff about a week ago here on the front range. Haven't seen anything like that for a few years this early in the season.
  19. bosman

    bosman Senior Member
    Messages: 165

    Sorry for the late response, I'm not sure what a used one cost, mine new 4 years ago was just over 17K. But its a great machine. It will do 4-6 average size suburban drives an hour, my truck will do a lot more. I've got a 7.5' snowway with DP, I can almost double the production of the bobcat with the truck, however I do have to get out and shovel sidewalks and doors.
  20. mercer_me

    mercer_me PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,371

    Do you all ready own an ATV? If you do you can get a 60" plow for it for less than $500. But if you don't you should get a a7.5" plow for your truck IMO. If you have a Fisher or a Boss dealer near by you should get a 7.5' Fisher or an 7.5' Boss Trip Edge IMO.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2009