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Truck and plow recomendations

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by rjman36, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. rjman36

    rjman36 Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    We are a medium sized (100+ stores) shopping center in the Northwest looking to add a new truck to our fleet. We have professional snow removal contracts in place and are not trying to replace them. Unfortunately, the lead times to get our plow guys out sometimes puts us in a huge predicament. ( Yes, we've tried other providers and can't afford another disappointment) We will be buying a truck that will be used 99% of the time as a regular on- site maintenance vehicle and may be used to plow 2 or 3 days a year to get ahead of it until our pros show up and take over. The local Meyer dealer says we need at least a 3/4 ton 4x4 truck with a 5000lb front axle GVR and he wants to mount a Meyer lot pro 8' to it. ($7700) Seems overkill to me. I'm looking at a Chev 2500HD gas or Ford F250 gas. Do I need 4x4 if I use lots of Ballast and perhaps chains to plow up to 4 inches of wet snow in flat lots? Newbies will be running this thing and although they use equipment daily and we will be paying the dealer to train our guys what setup should I be looking for that is as durable and idiot proof as possible and still easy to operate and remove? Thanks for your thoughts.
  2. JR Snow Removal

    JR Snow Removal Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    I would go with a 3/4 ton 4x4 standard cab gasser of your choice with a 8' blade (personally dont care for Meyer) What ever you go with make sure they are a good dealership that is fairly close (for the plow)
  3. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Newbie and idiot proof don't go together.

    My question is ,if plow guys are showing up late or not at all could it be that your not paying enough to be worth it?

    Go with an F250 with a Boss V plow.
  4. GatorDL55

    GatorDL55 Senior Member
    Messages: 122

    i'd find a new plowing contractor. You shouldn't need to go plow your own parking lot waiting for them to show up. Also, you introduce a whole new liability issue.
  5. rjman36

    rjman36 Junior Member
    Messages: 4


    Thanks for the input. I think newbie and idiot proof go very nicely together. :)

    We are definitely paying them enough and would pay more if we thought that would guarantee the job. When the snow flies around Seattle sometimes the plows can't even get to the site due to traffic and closed roads and that has been the problem the last two years. We need on site capabilities.

    I just received that very same recommendation from someone else. Thanks
  6. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    You need to find a plow guy who don't care about the roads being closed.
  7. MileHigh

    MileHigh PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,827

    What's overkill about a 5k Front Axle, and an 8ft Meyer?

    Why would you buy a truck to plow the snow your paid contractor is supposed to be plowing?

    What is the trigger?

    If they take too long to show up and plow...maybe you need your lawyer to change that contract up to say "zero tolerance"...

    Your Store chain has plowing insurance?

    And these 4X4 questions are ridiculous.

    Yes... you need 4x4 to plow with a 250...You need a tank/650 to plow in 2WD all the time.
  8. rjman36

    rjman36 Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Thanks for your input.

    Well for starters the f250SD and 2500HD don't come with that capacity.

    Buying a maintenance truck anyway, just thought I would get some constructive input from those in the know that don't have a financial interest in giving their opinion like a dealer does.

    Trigger? How about an estimated 2 million in lost sales last year.

    Lawyers...your kidding right? See above

    Who said anything about a store chain and just for jollies...yes we have enough insurance for Mickey Mouse to take off in the space shuttle from here.

    I'm talking about scraping 3 or 4 inches of slush off a flat parking lot before some one drives on it and turns it into compact ice. Doesn't seem that ridiculous to me. Btw isn't this the area for non professionals to ask dumb questions.

    Thanks for your comments.
  9. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Keep asking dumb questions we don't mine.

    I know Washington state also costs more for equipment.

    Are you seasonal with the last contractor? If you aren't the next plow guy you get will be the same way ,a no show.
    If your seasonal then it won't be as bad because they are being paid no matter what.

    Go with the F250 4x4
  10. MileHigh

    MileHigh PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,827

    Ummm...I've seen the front axles on f250's come in 4800, 5200, 5600, 6000...upgrades to 7k. So i don't know where you came to that conclusion.

    By trigger I didn't ask a question about how much money your mall lost due to a unclear lot keeping potential customers from wanting to come in...

    A trigger is the amount of snow accumulation allowed to fall before the contractor is supposed to start plowing. If you have a 3 inch trigger...and there is 2.5 inches of wet slop on your lot...that's your problem.
  11. nekos

    nekos Senior Member
    Messages: 586

    There is something rjman36 isn't telling us or doesn't know to be useful information.

    He is talking about $millions in lost revenue, Why wouldn't he just tell his contractor to put a truck or 2 on the lot before the storm starts. Roughly $150 an hour for a truck to sit around for a few hours is insignificant if you could potentially lose that much money.

    I'm guessing he went with one of the lowest bids and is now kicking himself and trying to find a way to save his backside.
  12. rjman36

    rjman36 Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    No kidding

    I got the info from the Ford and Chevy dealers. Sure you can get an upfitter to do just about anything but I'm buying a maintenance truck that may plow the entrances of our center 3 or 4 days a year or maybe not at all. I'm not building a plow truck or the aforementioned tank.

    I know what a trigger is... I was just having a little fun. We do have a 3 inch trigger and by the time our guy gets here it might be 4 5 6 7 or more inches of wet sloppy snow that is being driven on constantly 24hours a day. When he shows up it is as solid as concrete and still there after he's left. Little miss Honda Saturn can't get to the store to buy grandkids a present.

    I know it's my problem, why do you think I'm trying to buy a plow?
  13. CGBear

    CGBear Junior Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 29

    If you're just going to use it a couple of days I wouldn't worry too much about getting the biggest heavy duty setup out there. Any 3/4 ton 4x4 with an 8 foot blade will do. The Boss v plow is great. We've had one on an old 86 ford tow truck of ours and I believe we had it installed when it was brand new. The blade is pretty rusted now, but the equipment on the truck is still fine. We've patched it and welded it as much as we could to keep her going, but bought a new blade for it this year. I've run 1/2 tons, 3/4 tons and 1 tons they all push snow just fine. But I'd go with at least a 3/4 with an 8 foot blade.
  14. nekos

    nekos Senior Member
    Messages: 586

    lol now it makes more sense !

    You're just looking for the cheapest way to get your lot done instead of the correct way. In the end it will cost you more when your current contractor has to bring in the loaders to clean up the mess the janitor made trying to plow the lot for $10 an hour.

    IMHO, You should just pay your current contractor what he wants to do the job correctly. Not only will you save $millions but little miss Saturn will be so happy to be able to get in to your lot and buy a couple Zhu Zhu Pets for her grand kids.

    If you still want to buy a plow...
    Ford F250 with plow prep package. They should have a couple with plows all set up and ready to go at your local Ford dealer.
  15. MileHigh

    MileHigh PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,827

    If it cost you guys a million bucks in lost sales last season....Why would you not have a dedicated contractor for the site...

    Zero Tolerance
    Equipment kept on site.
    Bare pavement at "pretty much" all time of the storm.

    Sound's like you've been dealing with HACKS.

    Try "Anti Icing" It's laid down up to two weeks before the storm and allows snow to fall on it for a period of time before accumulating or sticking....Sounds like you need "De Icer" as well.

    By the way....You can't buy a Super Duty with Front axle rating under #4800. You heard your dealer wrong.
  16. wdcs1

    wdcs1 Member
    Messages: 74

    agree with above
    but if you are only going to plow 2-3 times a year if at all look at fishers ht (half ton) series goes on half ton tucks costs less all the way around. 4x4 only

    never replace a proffessional
  17. Bigcat99

    Bigcat99 Senior Member
    Messages: 126

    How do you estimate what the mall lost in sales due to the amount of snow on the lot, when the snow falling on roads everywhere else in the vicinity -also helped keep those customers away? Was your mall the only similar retail space in a 5-10 mile radius that can't/couldn't get plowed?

    As far as going ahead with a maintenance truck anyway, a F250 or Chevy 2500HD reg cab long box gasser should be sufficient.