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There is so much information -- Where do I start?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by demonspeed, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. demonspeed

    demonspeed Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Hi everyone. My name is Steve and I'm just curious about getting into the plowing business. I have always enjoyed shoveling driveways and using a snow blower, but I moved to DC a few years ago and, unlike this winter, it rarely snowed, so my enjoyment fizzled.

    Now that I'm in Pittsburgh and my fiance and I are planning on buying a house after our wedding, I've wanted to get a truck to do "house stuff." With the snow that Pittsburgh regularly gets, I thought "well, if I have a truck, why not use it to make some money?" So, that's why I'm here.

    I have a full time job, and I'm in school part time, but I would like to have my own business. I am also really enjoy power washing and sand blasting, but I haven't taken the plunge on those yet. I figured that if I have a truck, I could start doing friends and family's driveways, as well as my work -- hoping that would lead to more business. I could then do the power washing in the summer, but I digress...

    So, here I am and I am a bit overwhelmed! There is so much information here, so I am simply wondering where I should start. Do I start with looking at the types of plows I want or is there something else I should be concentrating on? I know the truck I want as I'm a Chevy guy; 05-07 (classic) 2500HD, ECSB, 6.0 -- that is not negotiable. I always thought Western was the way to go only because when growing up, my family owned several apartment buildings and I remember distinctly the red plow with the red wings attached to the front of the Chevy (this was back in the late 80's). I've also been intrigued by the Boss V, but I really have no idea what benefits there are to a V or even which brand of plow is the popular one.

    I figure that now is the time to start learning so that I can begin to give this a shot next fall. Also, if there is anyone in the Pittsburgh area (preferably the Cranberry/Wexford area) that wouldn't mind someone tagging along so I can learn more about pushing snow around, I would appreciate it.

    I'm sure I will learn a lot from the site! :drinkup:
  2. demonspeed

    demonspeed Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    ...I asked a question, but found the answer...
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2010
  3. ferdinand711

    ferdinand711 Senior Member
    Messages: 130

    try first on focusing a single venture. start small, know your budget and don't push it to the limit. being in the business sounds good, but there's a lot of drama within. be ready for it. by the way, I used to live in Mars, PA (that's close to cranberry) GOOD LUCK.

    P.S. my name is not Dr. Phil:D:D
  4. demonspeed

    demonspeed Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Yup, Mars is next to Cranberry (unless one really wants to count Seven Fields as anything).

    And I know about drama -- I'm a property manager.

    But I suppose more of what I am looking for guidance on is more of the equipment and the actual act of plowing rather than actually operating a business (I'm a business major),. I have marketing ideas and my fiance is [almost] a CPA, so I've got all that stuff covered.

    As for budget, what could I expect to have to spend to get started? I plan on trading my 07 TrailBlazer on the truck. I'd like to keep it around $15-18k. I'm guessing that with the announcement of the 2011 HD trucks, the ones I am looking at will become more available and cheaper. But how about plows, and new vs.used, should I try and get with an established person as a sub? -- I am guessing these are things I should be asking, correct?
  5. ferdinand711

    ferdinand711 Senior Member
    Messages: 130

    you should be managing then; instead of plowing. LOL

    kidding aside, 18k should give you a descent truck and a new pro plow. I suggest you get a new plow unless you knew personally the owner and the whereabouts of the used plow you're getting. nobody wants those costly repairs. subbing for somebody is a good way to start familiarizing and knowing the yeng and yang of the snow removal business.
  6. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    As for equipment, try going to each brands web sites. Most will have demos of their plows in action. Think (and plan) about offering sanding/salting. Use the "search" feature for topics of interest. Don't get in a hurry or discouraged - you'll learn to look for particular screen names for advise vs "bs".

    Re: New vs used - my advise is go new unless you are very familiar with plow systems and fabrication. For that 2500HD, you'll want at least 8' plow - maybe 8.6' or 9'. Each brand will have a feature to tell you what will match your truck.
  7. demonspeed

    demonspeed Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Trust me -- I don't know it all! I am always wanting to learn more, so I will still be perusing the business sections of this site (I'm not a college know-it-all). Like I said, I know this isn't going to sustain my financial standards right away, but I know I should get a good foundation for the business so that it will in the future.

    Plus, while I am perfectly fine in a suit and tie, I really prefer to be in on the action, and that's why I enjoy being outside pushing snow around or doing "real" work -- I like to see physical results of my actions, and not just some numbers on paper. The only thing is that I don't like doing it for anyone else simply because people pay really cheap, lol I do know that my management experience will come in handy because I see plenty of ding-dong hillbillies making money, so I know that I can do it!

    I also anticipated purchasing a new plow setup as I do not want someone elses problems, but I figured I'd ask to see what people suggest. I've definitely got to learn more about the brands and size of the blade.
  8. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    Keep reading and go to a plow dealer and talk to them
    You can call some plow companies and ask about a ride along and then maybe subbing for them next year.