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Should I even consider

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by darood01, Oct 17, 2010.

  1. darood01

    darood01 Member
    from GR, MI
    Messages: 75

    I was recently referred to an apartment complex by one of my clients. I measured the property and its a little over 33000 sq ft which one area is 4000 and another is 29000 and 4200 sq ft of sidewalks. I currently have a jeep wrangler with a 7.6" plow and a dodge dakota with a 7.6" plow as well. I am set up to do driveways and small parking lots but was wondering if its even possible with those two trucks even if I put wings on them, be able to handle it.
    On top of that they want salt. With my calculations it would be 600 lbs. of salt per time, is that accurate?

    If I was to take this property on, what would be the best set up including plow and what kind of salter.
  2. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    If you really want this contract and get it, you need to be prepared for the worst situations. IMO, you need to up grade at least one truck to a 3/4 or 1 ton, commercial type plow set up and at least a good tailgate spreader. You could easily spread 600lbs of salt through a tailgate spreader, but get something on the larger size. I know Fisher, Western, SnowEx, Buyers....they all sell tailgate spreaders that hold at least 4-600lbs. Your salt calculations are good, sometimes maybe more, sometimes less. But again, I think you need a bigger truck to start with. If you dont want to buy or trade in a truck look into renting a skid steer and buy a plow for it.
  3. Matson Snow

    Matson Snow PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,985

    I dont see why you could not handle this with what you have.....Generally apartments are tight anyway and you say the largest area is 29000...Is that a parking area...If so,there will always be cars and the smaller equipment might work into your favor...Yes it would be nice to go out and get a bigger truck...But i think you would be just fine with what you have.....Go get yourself a good tailgate salter and a set of wings for your plow...Good Luck..Let us know how the bid came out....:drinkup:
  4. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,246

    You can handle the lot fine with the equipment you have right there. Like said get a used tailgate spreader on CL and you are set. You may even be able to store the salt there in a garage on site if they have an open one. Then you dont have to haul around the extra weight of a pallet of salt. The thing that is going to take the longest is doing the walks IMO. Go after it and you will be fine.
  5. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    your equip will do the job. Plow with the storm if you need too
  6. show-n-go

    show-n-go Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    If you are already to busy to handle it on big storms you could always get a sub with with a bigger truck on stand by just in case.
  7. lawnlandscape

    lawnlandscape Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    In my opinion, you have plows of vehicles that are not made for plowing. I would never bid this account with the equipment you have. If you ever get a fast wet, heavy snowfall and you show up and there is 12"+ on the ground, your screwed.

    These people are not going to pay for 'plowing with the storm' like a previous poster suggested.
  8. lawnlandscape

    lawnlandscape Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    For the guys telling him he should not worry...... are you serious? or just helping him get in trouble...

    Did you look at what hes plowing with? These vehicles are not even half tons...
  9. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    Thank you!!!!!!! LIKE I SAID BEFORE.... You need to be prepared for worst case situations and I don't think a Jeep and a Dakota are going to cut it. Those might be great for driveways where you don't have to plow any length of snow or pile it up any but IMO they wouldn't do so well plowing an entire complex all season, but what do I know....good luck.
  10. lawnlandscape

    lawnlandscape Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    Your Welcome!!!!!!!!! :drinkup: lol
  11. Matson Snow

    Matson Snow PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,985

    If you show up and there is 12" of snow on the Ground... You have totally Failed your customer and Yourself....But...Since this three quarter of an acre lot would pose such a Huge challenge for the trucks he has....You guys have made me change my mind....I suggest he Races out and Purchases the Truck Below....Im still not sure if its enough truck...But i think he can eek by with it when that 12" Blizzard hits and he shows up Late.....:eek:...:help:
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010
  12. Kramer

    Kramer Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    I agree with matson. A lot of people have been plowing with jeeps for years. If you try and push 12" of heavy snow with it then you probably did yourself an in-justice by waiting that long to plow. That jeep should be good up to about 5" of heavy stuff. So if the area takes more than 2 hrs to complete, get a bigger truck and a backup. There's no need to push 8 + inches of heavy stuff. Considering you have 2 trucks, can they both be at the property at the same time??? And, whos driving the other truck? Do you have a helper or are you a one man band?

    I do feel that a 7.5 ft plow on a wrangler is too much for it though due to weight. A 6.5 foot plow is a better overall fit for that vehicle.

    But go ahead and be safe and get a D8 dozer.... never have to worry about that 12" storm again!

    I'd be more concerned about the 4200 ft2 of sidewalks--- how are you doing those?? Thats about 1000 linear ft of sidewalk. Can you use the jeep because in a heavy snow year, the sidewalks could pose a problem...especially if the banks get high--- you aren't pushing 1000 ft straight ahead in a heavy snow with the jeep. How much time are you planning on for the sidewalks?

    Persoonally, a 3/4 acre lot wouldn't scare me a bit with the jeep. But I'd also plow with no more than 3-4 inches of snow on the ground at most. Heavy storms I'd be out there at 2".
  13. dumbyankee

    dumbyankee Member
    Messages: 66

    I have to say the trucks he has would work in the tight areas, but instead of running out and spending a crap load of money in the first year with this gig on a new truck, lease a bobcat with a pusher & bucket for the first year. At least you can clear the bigger areas, and like most of these lots you will have to stack some of it at some point. It would be a good starter job for you. Not to big, not to small. Just about right. Keep in mind the trucks you have are not made for this type of plowing. Go easy, and dont let the storm get ahead of you. Presalt when ever you can. Dont go over board, just enough to keep it from sticking.

    PLOWTRUCK Senior Member
    Messages: 125

    That is not a very big lot. We used to plow a lot one and 1/2 times the size with a chevy 1/2 ton with an 8 foot sno-way and a jeep wrangler with a 6.5 foot sno-way to get into the tight spots. You dont need to plow with the snowstorm on a lot this size but dont wait until the storm piles up either. You can put a small tailgate spreader on the Dakota and be fine. The only thing is if snow will have to be moved or stacked you might have to rent a machine.

    Also, how is the contract priced? Seasonal, per inch, etc.? Are there curbs? or can the snow be pushed back into grass areas?
  15. Matson Snow

    Matson Snow PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,985

    Still not Sure a D8 is Big enough for this Huge Lot.....Im sure some of the Experts would Agree with me......:eek:...:waving:
  16. lawnlandscape

    lawnlandscape Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    With a comment like that you either:
    A) Are not very busy in winter or
    B) Have never had a snowfall in your area that drops 3"+ an hour for hours

    I have seen many storms that drop 12" in 3-5 hours. After 6" has fallen we try to make a visit for all our customers on the larger storms, but there are countless times where we are pushing 12-15" of snow over the years simply because it fell so fast.

    If your going to bid this, and your having other accounts you have to get to as well, you better make sure you know someone with bigger equipment that will have time to bail you out if you need them too. Again, I would NEVER even consider bidding this with your equipment.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2010
  17. dumbyankee

    dumbyankee Member
    Messages: 66

    Matson I think a D-8 would work well. Parked cars are no prob. Just push them right along with the snow. My self Im thinking a grader with a 16' blade, with a 14' wing. Sidewalks could be done easy, stick the wing out there and wipe them clean. Then to pile the snow Im thinking a loader with at least an 8 yard bucket. Cars and all, just pile them up. Then to salt, might as well go big, Tri-axe with an 18 yard spreader. Just think you can load the truck and spread salt all year on one site and never leave. Look at all the miles you can save running back and forth from the stock pile. By god I think we have solved the problem for this lad. Yesaaaah.
  18. Matson Snow

    Matson Snow PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,985

    I really Like the way you Think.....Now thats a can do attitude....:salute:
  19. Matson Snow

    Matson Snow PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,985

    Your right...What the Hell do i know anyway...I only Plow for Beer Money...:drinkup:.....Im yielding to the Experts on this one....:salute:
  20. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    Pushing almost an acre is a lot different than plowing a few driveways, but oh wait, you probably already know this. :salute: