spring chicken ready to roll

lil'lady

Junior Member
Location
Southern NH
though I'm feeling a little outnumbered in the testosterone-estrogen ratio, I know this is the place to be. You are the experts and I need your help.

I'm a sporty Toyota girl making a life change after purchasing a house in the woods. I'm now faced with an extremely steep, ~400ft. driveway. I WILL be plowing! So I'm in the market for a truck for which I'll purchase a new Fisher 7'6" LD or RD plow for personal use only.

The debate I'd like to start is who's got the muscle. Which manufacturer produces the strongest, lost reliable truck built for plowing. I'll probably buy an older model, '95 - '99. The Toyota Tacoma is probably too small, so thus far I'm looking at the F150 and the Silverados.

Let me know what works for you. I appreciate your help!
 

Mick

PlowSite.com Veteran
Location
Maine
Welcome to PlowSite, lil'lady. I use a Dodge 1500 and a Chevy 3500. Both have their advantages. The Chevy is also a diesel. Basically, you're trying to start a Ford/Chevy/Dodge debate which is pointless, as all have their advocates. I think you could even get some to stick up for Toyotas. If you're only doing your own drive, get anything cheep, cheep with 4x4, like a used Ranger or s10 with a 6.5' like a Snoway or, better yet, a snowblower. Getting something tough like a 7.5 RD Fisher is overkill (and expensive) for only doing a 400' driveway. Kind of like bringing a machine gun to hunt rabbits.
 

dave-man

Junior Member
Location
Fairfax, VA
What else are you going to need up there on the mountain? What kind of road does your driveway open on to? Perhaps you would be better off with a used tractor and a drag plow, particularly if you need to mow a lot of grass, run a brush hog, or similar activity.

If a truck and plow are indeed the right answer for you, look around to see what brand other people are running, and what kind of local supplies there are for parts. The same applies to truck brands. Some parts of the country are mostly Ford country, others GM or Dodge. Keep your eyes peeled for a used truck (any brand) that already has a plow.

Get to know the neighbors. Maybe there is someone who already has more hardware than they really need who is short on something you have or can do--many times folks back in the boonies are able to swap services so everyone comes out even. My folks have a neighbor who plows the road almost a mile past his house, and all (okay there are only four) the driveways off it all the way to the garage doors. I go out later and sand the hills.
 
OP
L

lil'lady

Junior Member
Location
Southern NH
Mick, after I get my new GMC 5500, I'll be sure to come to Maine and plow your state, too.

I would consider smaller equipment if I could get the job done. But my intentions are whole-hearted.

Dave, thanks also for your reply. The driveway is the only clearing on my lot, so I don't have a need for any additional equipment. The next question I have is shouldn't I be weary of trucks previously owned for plowing? I know it can do some damage to the frame after extended use, and I'm in no position to waste money on something that will only last a few seasons.
 

seville009

PlowSite.com Addict
Location
CNY
If your driveway is extremely steep, would you have problems with traction in a truck, even with chains?

Dave-man mentions a compact tractor, which may be a good idea and a lot cheaper. A brand new compact tractor for your needs would run about $12,000, buy a back blade or 3 pt snowblower, and some norse type chains (that dig in with points, so I'm assuming that your driveway isn't paved) and you probably will never have a problem.

The blade and tractor can also help maintain the driveway. If it's gravel, you probably will get seasonal wash-outs that you'll need to fix. Can buy all sorts of 3 pt attachments to work the tractor with.
 

dave-man

Junior Member
Location
Fairfax, VA
Should you be careful of trucks used for plowing? You bet. That doesn't mean there aren't any reasonable deals out there, particularly in your neck of the woods. Frankly, you have to be careful with used trucks regardless of whether they have been used to plow with or not. People can be pretty hard on them.

Along those lines, it may be worth your while to look for a used truck in a city where someone may have bought it to use for weekend chores and a daily driver. Might be easier to find something that hasn't been ragged out, particularly if you plan to use the truck as a daily driver.

What kind of road does your driveway open on to? Can you count on it being plowed? If so, you might want to consider having an area cleared near the road to keep your car when snow is forecast and plan to walk in and out.

If you are set on plowing yourself, and aren't going to drive the truck regularly between snows, you will have more maintenance chores to keep everything up to snuff. Can you store it under cover? Consider block and battery heaters (convenient electrical power source?), some kind of dolly for the plow (I'm partial to Western plows and the factory flip-down wheels), and--unless you are a bunch taller than me--a step stool to help reach the whole hood, windshield, and roof to clear the snow.

Assuming you have a gravel driveway, recognize that you *will* put significant amounts of your driveway into the ditch, and will want to move it back onto the driveway and spread it (think tractor and a box blade unless you like the idea of using a shovel and a rack for the whole length of the driveway).

The latter point is why I don't plow my folks road and driveway. The neighbor with the drag plow can flip it backwards and clear almost all the snow without damaging the road, and then point up the road in the Spring with the drag plow the right way round.

My recommendations, without all the information about your place and your other needs: tractor and drag plow, maybe a box plow. Second choice, a small pick-up or SUV with a light (6.5 or 7 foot plow).
 

digger242j

Senior Member
Location
Southwestern Pa.
I have to side with Mick's first post about staying at the less expensive end of the spectrum.

and I'm in no position to waste money on something that will only last a few seasons.

So then, neither are you in a position to pay the price for premium equipment that, given the limited use you're intending it for, might outlast *you*. Once you get to the bottom line that's a waste of money too...

I wouldn't be too scared of a used plow truck. Check it out carefully, or invest the few bucks a qualified mechanic will charge you to check it. If it's in sound condition and all you're going to use it for is your own driveway it'll take you a long time to wear it out. Be cautioned though, there are things that go wrong because vehicles get used *too* infrequently.

You know how to compose posts in actual *paragraphs*! I think we'll all be willing to overlook the estrogen thing.... :)
 

CT18fireman

Banned
Location
Western CT
Put a 6.9' Fisher or 7ft Western on that Toyota. Add some weight in the back and some good studded snows or chains (you may need these anyway) and you should be able to clear that drive in a few passes. Just remember to push the snow back at the start of the season so that you have plenty of room.

Welcome to plowsite and don't be afraid to ask and look for help.
 
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snowplowjay

Banned
Location
Meriden CT
Well i guess i got a solution. LOL maybe if your single I could travel up that way and plow you out of all that winter has to offer with my truck. LOL im just kidding sorry i couldnt resist. It must be the fact that not many women get into plowing. Im proud to hear that there are other women out there who do plow. My mom used to plow when i was a baby with my father now she just co-pilots with us but way to go lil'lady i wish you the bestest of luck in your journey into the wonderful world of snow removal.

Jay
 

nsmilligan

PlowSite.com Veteran
Location
Nova Scotia
I agree with fireman put a plow on the Toyota, it's the cheapest solution. The only thing I might add is plow with the storm, it might mean 2 or 3 trips up and down the drive during a storm to keep it open. If the drive is gravel studs or chains are a must.
Also don't forget to use low range especially uphill to take a load off the transmission. You may have to push the snow off to the side by turning the truck off the driveway, take a bit at a time and do it going uphill, that way you always be able to back out.
Good luck!

Bill

PS find a neighbor with a 4X4 to call for help if you do end up stuck!
 

Pelican

2000 Club Member
All right guys, wipe off your chins, will ya??? 11 posts in 3 hours, must be a new record, and no mention of the "S" word? You're all PIGS!, tripping over each other here.;)

lil'lady, I think that estrogen thing is gonna work in your favor here!!:rolleyes:
 

CT18fireman

Banned
Location
Western CT
I have been trying to avoid the word since the last blow up. I did however suggest that she look and ask for help.

From my first post.

Welcome to plowsite and don't be afraid to ask and look for help.


I also tried to give her an honest and reasonable response. I think a gmc 4500 is a little over the top. A plow on her existing Toyota should be fine.

If I was 19 I might make the same offer as Jay. One thing I hope that anyone that comes onto this site will feel welcome. We may be hard once in a while but we like to help.
 

snowplowjay

Banned
Location
Meriden CT
I love this site. Its great how we can get along here. And its good to see that we do have a broad range of followings. From contractors to landscapers to homeowners to first timers. this makes the posting that much more enjoyable

Jay
 

SnoJob67

Senior Member
Location
Illinois
I agree with Jay. Sure hope my post didn't offend anyone, but I did catch the double entendre'. (sp?)

As to the topic, I think you have already gotten sound advice. If the Toyota is 4x4, I would try to find a used plow to have installed. A single driveway is not going to put much wear and tear on a vehicle. If you wanted to, you could buy a rustbucket with plow as long as it ran and was fairly mechanically sound.
 

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