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Starting up with a Snowblower

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by ein999, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. ein999

    ein999 Member
    Messages: 42

    Is starting up with a snowblower out of the question. I mean is it a big waste of time. Here is my issue. I cant afford a truck and plow but i have lawn customers asking for snow removal. In order to not pass them up or have them hire some other company i thought i could get a snowblower and do them myself till i build up enough to get the truck and plow next year and then ill have enough accounts to make it worth getting a big truck with a plow etc...:confused:

    One of my main questions is can or will a honda or toro snowblower blow an inch or two of snow like a plow can. (the plow makes it clean and nice) will the blowers push all the snow off like a plow. I dont know because i never had a real snowblower. (like a honda with the rubber paddle.etc.. ) :confused:

    What do you think or what would you do in my situation.

    Thank you for your time and help.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2008
  2. dirtmandan2

    dirtmandan2 Senior Member
    Messages: 275

    If you dont mind going to snowblow in the middle of the night for $30 it cant hurt. and IMO a snowblower and a little clean up with a shovel does a better job than a plow.
  3. dieselpusher

    dieselpusher Senior Member
    Messages: 208

    i second that dirtmandan
  4. Brant'sLawnCare

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

    Yes, a snowblower would be a great way to start. It can be very profitable, because the entry cost is a lot less than a truck and plow. If you have enought jobs, you could pay one off in 1 or 2 storms. How many jobs will you have? If I were you, I'd go to your Toro dealer and see if they have any leftover 2450's or 3650's. If they don't have any of those left over, then I would look into the Powerclear series by Toro.
  5. ein999

    ein999 Member
    Messages: 42

    Im thinkning ill have ten by wintertime.
  6. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    just be reallistick with what you think it will take time wise... a blower, isnt that much faster than a shovel.... it just depends... your going to have to keep in mind the noise... what time can you start making noise... 4 AM? so you cusotmers dont complain?

    30 mins avger..plus travle, 10 accounts, it could take you till 11 AM ? arer they gonna be ok wiht that?
  7. 18lmslcsr

    18lmslcsr Senior Member
    from WI.
    Messages: 113

    If you dont mind, I'll share my experience with u....Have used a Toro 3650 for many seasons and they work really well. Bought it in 2001. Befor the purchase of "Silver" plus a plow it was all done they way u r thinking about it.
    I can tell u now, it is possible and somewhat pluasible, but with that said....u freez up after about 5 hours straight of blowing, or boots and gloves freeze to your skin and the time it takes (not mention the ware -n-tear on your back...well...I dont think I'd recommend more than a few at a time and certainly not in the middle of the night.
    It sucks being frozen like a fish stick for 18-30 hrs. I can tell u now that 18 - 20 clients with large properties with just one guy is pure crazy.

  8. 18lmslcsr

    18lmslcsr Senior Member
    from WI.
    Messages: 113

    Boy i'm tired....Can't even type tonight.

  9. ein999

    ein999 Member
    Messages: 42

    i cant hurt if i have 3 or 4 50 by 75 ft. 4 car drive to do. i am doing it to keep busy and maybe learn how to price and maybe build some oppertuninty i dont expect to do it in the middle of the night or for long hours. Im taking it one step at a time. first get the blower then get the cleints and then build the business. I will try it and if is to cold or whatever i wont get any more. So for now i will do my own and then if i like it and its easy ill add accounts then. im not expecting to get rich or blow many drives etc....
  10. KGRlandscapeing

    KGRlandscapeing 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,660

    I shovel my driveway at home a sidewalk or two and my grandparents. Further then that if i wanna be out in the cold i find some cute girls and go sledding. Your gonna need to network anyway if ur gonna plow snow someday anyway. so find somebody to plow them now and take a nice winter break. You could blow with a blower but remember that every inch past like 4 gets harder and harder to move. And the little 2 cycles scream in the middle of the night. Snow dose quiet things down why i can get in and out befor people even know i am there with the truck. It absorbs sound. Id say leave the blowing and graden tractor work to the kids
  11. Brant'sLawnCare

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

    We started blowing snow at all different hours last year, and no one complained. They know it's our job, and that we have deadlines to meet. Plus, the blowers are relatively quiet in new snow. If you want to get some accounts and start building up your name, I'd say go for it.
  12. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Do 4 or 5 of your "Best" customers and go for it.
  13. justwheelit

    justwheelit Member
    Messages: 46

    i wouldnt worry about the blower noise, but just to be safe i'd tell your customers that you might be making a little noise in the night, but between the snow deadining the sound and them being inside i dont think they will even hear you or at least not enough to get all bent outta shape about. so go ahead with your idea
  14. lumps

    lumps Senior Member
    Messages: 365

    I got my start with a snowblower. Didn't even have a trailer, just walked it around the neighborhood at first. It can definitely be done, but just be careful about getting in over your head with it. Snowblowing can definitely become very time consuming very quickly.
  15. Kramer

    Kramer Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    first make sure of schedule...... if you have 4 people who need to get out for work in the morning at that same time you might have a big problem.

    The thing a plow offers over a blower is speed. With a snowblower the transporting and slow speed to move the snow dont work well on a tight schedule. With a plow, you can always quickly open up a place for people to get out. It really depends on the snow amount and distance between customers.

    Remember that if you do a lousy job at snow removal they might get disgusted and trade in your lawncare too....the over all rule is dont risk your customers by over-extending yourself.
  16. vegaman04

    vegaman04 Senior Member
    Messages: 378


    what about a atv if he needs the speed
  17. ein999

    ein999 Member
    Messages: 42

    how long do the rubber paddles wear on a honda single stage blower. they have them on ebay i just wonder if its going to wear out doing 4 or 5 driveways at a time. WIll i have to go through more than one paddle per season. For example if it snows 8-9 times 2-3" per snow per year. The driveways are 4 car drives meaning you can fit 4 vehicles with no problem.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2008
  18. ein999

    ein999 Member
    Messages: 42

    Can anyone answer the last question concerning the paddles or the rotor thing whatever it is.
  19. Kramer

    Kramer Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    The "paddles" are rubber. They will last a long time if you are doing tar drives. Gravel or ice chunks will eat them up sooner. You should easily get a season out of them doing 4-5 drives.
  20. amberslawncare

    amberslawncare Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    I started last year with one skid steer and a pile of snowblowers. Sent out 3 snowblower crews and i went out with a blower and my skid steer. The snowblower crew made more money then i did with the skid steer. They where able to do 2-3 drives an hour in a area that customers where close together. I have 4 differant towns that i do work in so that made me get all the crews i had. as far as the paddles and scrapper bars they are not cheap to replace, but i found a place that makes rubber matts any thickness. I bought a huge 4x8 sheet of it and then also bought one pair of new paddles and made them a jig and cut my own.. If you bought the paddles it is about 40-50 dollars... I bought the sheet of rubber for 90 dollars and have so many paddles i dont know what to do with them all. They didnt seem to last as long as the premade ones but for all the money i saved myself i think it was worth ever penny. I went through a set of paddles every 4-5 days of blowing junk they just didnt propell the machine like they should so there was more pushing involved... Also if you buy one blower and it breaks you have abunch of $30 accounts sitting there with snow in the driveway while your machine sits in the shop. My addvise is to buy one new Toro snow commander and then buy something used as a back up. the snow commander is an awesome machine and it has the biggest engine and insteade of the 20 inch cut it has the 24 inch cut.. 4 extra inches saves alot of time at the end of the day. and it still is a light weight machine and still a single stage.. If you buy paddles get them off ebay