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Sidewalk Crew Truck

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by born2farm, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. born2farm

    born2farm 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,310

    We recently picked up a large contract that will add substantially to our sidewalk route. I've got the equipment part figured out but I'm still looking for a vehicle to carry snow blowers, ice melt, etc.

    I know some guys run some pretty slick box truck setups, but I'm not really sure if that fits my needs. Basically we run one guy most of the time. He carries about 30 bags of ice melt, two single stage blowers, a back pack blower and an assortment of shovels. If we get hit hard he then hooks on a trailer which is loaded with another load of ice melt, a two stage blower, ATV with blade and then a second guy tags along.

    I have been looking at just purchasing another pickup with a blade to use for the walk crew, plus have it as a backup. Its been hard to find a decent truck not all rotted out this time of year. I have looked around at the cargo van idea, but not sure if that would work out with it being two wheel drive. I do have access to a few two wheel drive trucks, just a little leery about sending someone out in a snow storm with out 4x4.

    Whats your guys opinions.
  2. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,257

    If I had enough work for a dedicated sidewalk truck I would get a box truck. Everything is out of the weather, you can leave it loaded all the time and I would put a ramp on the back and use it for summer cutting also. You can also put the ATV in the back and get rid of the trailer.

    Using it as a backup truck is a good idea but how do you take the truck away from the sidewalk guys. Have you thought about putting salt boxes on site so they don't have to carry ice melt?
  3. perrysee

    perrysee Senior Member
    Messages: 121

    ever think about putting a van on ? put blowers and salt in a out of the weather , better on gas and cheaper to purchase .plus could use in summer too. a 1 ton van can handle the load .
  4. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,953

    Once we went to cube vans for the sidewalk crews we will never go back. Keep an eye out for clean used ones they sometimes go cheap with high miles, used rental fleet ones that were probably well maintained.

    With all the ice melt and 4 wheeler 2wd isn't an issue. Keeping that stuff out of the road spray and being able to leave it stocked is a huge plus
  5. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    We use a box truck, before that I used a 1/2 to cargo van, it worked well other than the weight capacity. The cargo van is nice because you can acess the blowers from the side door, ice melt & spreaders from rear. We used pickups before that, always had issues with blowers getting froze up, ice melt getting wet, etc.
  6. born2farm

    born2farm 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,310

    Ok I am pretty sure I have myself talked into a van. Here are two I have found close to me that look to be in decent shape. Going to look at them this week. I have absolutely no use for one of these the other 8 months out of the year, so the cheaper the better for a snow only vehicle. Whats your guys opinions on these two vans? Do you think I will be able to fit an ATV with 50in blade in the back of this if I absolutely had too?


  7. NorthernSvc's

    NorthernSvc's Senior Member
    Messages: 781

    we use a box truck... only downside is you can only get 2 guys in there... other than that it is great, the guys can leave everything in there ready to go... all they have to do is show up and go to work... everything they could possibly need is in there, and it offers them a place of shelter for breaks...I will never use anything else...The lift gate has come in extremely handy as well

  8. born2farm

    born2farm 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,310

    I would love a box truck and I will probably go to one eventually for all of the reasons you have mentioned. My biggest draw backs right now are price and that I cant fit a box truck in my shop due to the doors being to short.
  9. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,257

    I would buy the 06 over the 98. 8 years newer is huge. ATV will fit but maybe not with the blowers and ice melt. You need almost 8' to get the ATV in, width you should have lots.
  10. nms0219

    nms0219 Senior Member
    Messages: 445

    Look at a used U haul truck, They have a single rear wheel cut away van. Can pick them up for around $5k ish. alot easier to load and unload as it has a roll up door and alot more floor space
  11. Top Dog

    Top Dog Member
    Messages: 83

    we use a local rental company for vans and make sure to get the full insurance since for us these guys are not the most experienced drivers in that type weather. Try sunbelt or united rentals and make it very cheap
  12. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    I use a Toyota pick up 4x4 they pull a trailer Its simple gets good MPG Haul Icemelt and shovels and ATV
    Deep snows Theyuse a back up snow truck and pull skid steer around
  13. born2farm

    born2farm 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,310

    Ended up buying a 1998 GMC Cargo Van. Van is in really good shape and I think it will suit us perfectly for what we are trying to do this winter. Could not beat the price when you compare it to adding another truck. Ill post pictures as we get it lettered and all of our equipment organized in it.
  14. Mike Nelson

    Mike Nelson Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    We had a fleet of mini school buses and they worked out well.
  15. 90plow

    90plow Senior Member
    Messages: 739

    Company that rents yard space from my welder has a 4x4 ford van with a western plow setup pretty cool setup if you ask me.