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Some advice required... and thanks

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by TOFireguy, Jan 20, 2009.

  1. TOFireguy

    TOFireguy Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Hello everyone,

    I am a Career Firefighter for the City of Toronto that resides in the Whitby area and has a lot of free time in the winter. I have been considering getting into the snow removal business for a number of years and I am now in a position to begin that process.

    I have a 2008 Ford F250, no plow, no experience, but a very strong work ethic. Looking for any input, willing to start working now!

    Ideally I am looking at equipping my truck to plow, but what would the suggestions of the masses being that I'm starting mid way through the snow season. Would purchasing a plow and doing sub work be worth while at this point ?

    Sorry if my questions are redundant.... been looking though the site for a few hours now and while I've already answered a lot of my questions on my own, I figured I'd introduce myself and ask some questions specific to my situation.

    Thanks to everyone in advance and great site!

  2. Runner

    Runner Senior Member
    Messages: 957

    Sub work may be the best bet for you at this point, as I can't see how you can commit yourself to anything for the reason that you also have to work your full time job. Commercial snowplowing has you on call at all times, as there is no way to control what days it snows, or what times.Sometimes, it starts at 2 a.m., sometimes, it doesn't start until 9. Later, perhaps...you can get yourself a driver, and they can push for you while your working. This, or YOU will be the one with a sub (although you're better off with a dependable driver). Of course, at this point, you will have things in place and all your insurances in order.

    SKYNYRD Senior Member
    Messages: 420

    down in new york where i am plow stuff is typically cheaper in the "off season" months. since you've never done it before i would prolly lean towards recommending a brand new plow set up for your truck that way you would have the full waranty (not sure what's covered though) and hopefully you would find a dealer willing to work with you and answer any questions you have about the set up you choose. if you got it in the summer it would also give you plenty of time to practice putting the blade on and off the truck. not sure how hot it gets where you are so i don't know if you would be able to practice driving with the blade on though. the other thing you could do is try to find a friend or someone else who already has a truck that would let you ride with them for the rest of this year so you can kinda get a feel of sorts for what happens. keep searching this site though cause there's plenty of info to be had especially from a lot of the older posts as the same questions get asked frequently. best of luck to you:salute: ussmileyflagtymusic
  4. MIwinter

    MIwinter Member
    Messages: 42

    having no experience and a thought is where all of us started. I would sugest if you have a friend that is an experienanced plower to sit in his passenger seat and learn for some time. Its about 60% commonsence and 40% experiance. Your customer base is all about your personality and advertising. Go buy yourself a basic plow and try it plan on around $4000 for a new plow and around $1000 for a GOOD used plow. New is always the best route if you have little knowledge of plows and garage working area. Go find a friend who plows or someone you can ride with and do that first so you can see what kind of beatin your new trucks about to take!!
  5. CountryBoy72

    CountryBoy72 Member
    Messages: 35

    No time like the present to start, winter is a long way from over. Your definitely limited to what you will be able to do with your work schedule though. Are you looking to do residential or commercial ? If your truck is set up and good to go, I'm pretty sure you should be able to sub when your available(your work schedule being the way it is should help). Just contact a few different guys and explain your situation and when you know a storm is coming an you see that your work schedule permits let them know your good to go. If your unable to do a job you could always send more work there way too. Any work is good experience. Reliable guys are hard to find and a good plow vehicle and plow is also a bonus. What are you driving and what type of plow are you thinking of ?
  6. TOFireguy

    TOFireguy Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    I have a 2008 F250 Diesel 6.4 4x4. undecided on a plow, not sure if I should be "jumping in" that deep at this stage, that's what I am trying to gage here from input from people like yourself and others that have already responded to my post. I like the look of the Blizzard Power Plow.

    My work schedule is based on 24 hour shifts so I am off duty more "calender" days of the month than I am on duty.

    Sounds like I should be calling some local companies to see if there is a need for sub work. Is there an average that one would charge in a situation like mine, should I expect there to be a big variance from company to company?

    I would love to take the advice that someone gave about riding along with a friend in the business, however I know no one personally in the snow removal business.

    So MLWinter eluded to it..... but just how much of a betting is my truck going to take??? :cry:

    Thanks everyone for your responses.

  7. augerandblade

    augerandblade PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,054

    whats the differential gear ratio on your truck. You got a diesel and if your ratio is to high 3. point something you run the danger of burning out your tranny. PLOWING IS HARD ON TRUCKS been in t for twenty six years do most of my own repairs. Make sure that axle ratio wise your truck will withstand the pounding its gonna take!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  8. TOFireguy

    TOFireguy Junior Member
    Messages: 9


    Yes it is 3. sumthin.... my mind is mush right now, it's the 3.55 or the 3.73. but deffinately not the 4.10.

    So in your opinion this will make my truck more prone to tranny problems when plowing? It has the "plow prep" package on it for whatever thats worth.


  9. LawnProLandscapes

    LawnProLandscapes PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,129

    youll be fine. i cant even count the number of trucks that i know that are pushing snow with 3.73 ratios in them including my own 2000 f-350... as long as you let the tranny engage before giving it to her youll be fine... i put an aftermarket tranny temp gauge in my truck and installed the largest tranny cooler i could find and i havent had any problems or heard of anyone having problems because there gear ratio wasnt a 4.10 or 4.30
  10. Dave, welcome to the site. My uncle is a TO Firefighter in Etobicoke. I know you probably work the same schedule as he does. 1 day per week for 3 weeks and 2 days in the 4th week or something like that. The problem you need to consider is the snow could come on one of your work days. If you are in a contract you might find yourself in a bind. I'd recommend coming up with a plan should that happen. Such as having a backup driver to operate your plow while you are at work...

    As for purchasing the plow I would recommend dealing with Drive Products for the purchase because they are open 24/7 during snow storms for repairs should something break. Walker Equipment is as well but they seem to have much shorter hours than Drive Products.

    I think if I were you I would wait until summer to buy the plow and get an advertising plan together for next winter. If you have the $6000 to burn then go ahead and buy it now and try to get some sub contractor work or even advertise with online classifieds and get some cash jobs here and there for residential.
  11. augerandblade

    augerandblade PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,054

    Dont have em anymore but they were Chevy with a 6,5 Diesel and a 3.42 gear ratio back in 93. That weas 16 17 years ago maybe the brand difference is better , should be. Im just giving you my experience with Chev. Switched to the 98 with a 3.73 and 350 gas and later a 96 dually with a 4.62 ratio auto and diesel. Only went through reverse bands on both trucks. Also have a 99 and 00 3500 Hd manual tranny 2wd 4..62 excellant for plowing the larger lots
  12. C.Solan

    C.Solan Junior Member
    Messages: 25

    If you havent already chosen the blizzard as your plow take a look at some other brands such as Fisher and western
  13. TOFireguy

    TOFireguy Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Again guys.... thanks for all of your responses and suggestions...

    You guys have successfully swayed my opinion to the "V" Plow design. Seams like there are great arguments for that style of plow which lead me into researching it a little more. Pricing on the Blizzard 810 was approaching $8000.00 (inc taxes and installation) I haven't priced any "V" Plows yet but I can't see them being close to that or are they? (I'll be making some calls on Monday Morning)

    I know there have been recommendations for Fisher and Western "V"'s, does anyone have any experience with the Meyer's, they look pretty sharp and I have to places local to me that sell and service them.

    Also what are you guys paying on average for insurance? I'd be a single operator for sometime I would think doing residential and commercial.

    Thanks again guys and I find all of your comments really valuable.

  14. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    You'll be fine with the truck you have. A Western V will definitely put you close to the 7k range. I agree with others about the availability issue, and thats something youll have to sort out. May be a bit late this season but it could give you an opportunity to learn a bit and cover some of the plows cost. Good luck with whatever you decide...and welcome to PS.
  15. TOFireguy

    TOFireguy Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Hey guys,

    Looks like I will be going with a Western MVP Plus.

    Bonus is they are in stock at a few places locally, just need to price shop one or two more shops then make the deal. Will post a pic once she's all rigged up.

    Again thanks for all of your help, and anyone looking for some help in the Durham area, let me know!

  16. theonlybull

    theonlybull Senior Member
    Messages: 405

    make sure ya push them on pice a bit. gettin' late in the season for plow sales now.

    welcome to the site, good to see yet another FF on here
  17. docsgmc

    docsgmc Senior Member
    Messages: 346

    i am also a fire fighter and i would go for the sub......that's what i do but i also am able to switch shifts so i try and make every storm...of course that's only two or three in new york but i take what i can get:D