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Useable life for a plow?

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by PRapoza451, Dec 28, 2004.

  1. PRapoza451

    PRapoza451 Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Hi All,

    New to Plowsite and plowing but been in the landscape biz for 15 yrs. now. I'm trying to figure out cost recovery/hr. for my new Fisher 9' HD plow. Mostly residential plowing clients, small driveways and parking lots. How long (in hours) can I expect my plow to last, with good routine maintenance, before it needs to be replaced. Is their an industry standard? Thanks in advance.
    BTW yesterday we got a 10" snow blanket.
  2. ta3834bbl

    ta3834bbl Senior Member
    Messages: 215

    Not sure if there is a standard, but I have had my Meyers plow for over 7 years with mostly residential and 2 small apt bldg lots and it is just fine. It was well used when I got it also. I figure it is about 15 years old, has had no seals replaced on the angle rams, and one re-gasket/seal kit on the pump/motor. I have gone through 1 a-coil and 1-valve, and one motor. Total invested in my plow using used parts was around 100.00 for the plow and pump/motor, 25.00 for the truck rack, 65.00 for a switch , and around 200.00 in maint costs through the years. Minus oil changes. Just my experience. I am very easy on my plow. :D
  3. scuba875

    scuba875 Senior Member
    Messages: 250

    I don't know about a standard either but like any other machine I think if you do the preventative maintenace it should last along time. I know in my main business guys can buy new equipment and in two years its ready for the junk pile and then there are guys who have equipment thats 40 years old and it look and works like new.
  4. DJL

    DJL Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    This has to be a very difficult question, many factors...

    Do you mean last without having any major overhauls?

    In other words, how long will the original plow and its replaceable, 'wear' parts last?

    Also, I think this will greatly depend on the user. Chances are if your employees are using the equipment it will not last as long...after all they don't pay for it, your business (you) does.

    Also not sure how you could give the life if hours...Probably be easier to give years with an average number of storms per year.

    I've had my plow (western pro, 7.5') going on 4 years now. I've had to replace 4-5 relay's (~$25), one hydraulic line (~$20), and pay the service guy around (~$150) to diagnosis and fix a problem with the pump. It averages out to around $75 a year for repair costs. I would expect this to increase as the plow gets older and older..not sure?.?.?.

    Keep in mind this doesn't include MY labor or general maintenance costs; fluid changes, spring tightening, cutting edge rotation, sanding & paint touch-up, and cleaning electrical contacts.
  5. jrm123180

    jrm123180 Senior Member
    Messages: 156

    As far as I know, the plow is original the the truck on my 79 chevy (it could be a few years newer but not many). The only maintenance that i"m aware of are some hoses that I had to replace. Knowing that previous owner who purchased the truck new, I'm sure he did nothing to it at all.

  6. LINY Rob

    LINY Rob Senior Member
    Messages: 478

    I have a 23 year old Meyer, its like a older car- treat it right and it will keep going, give it fluid changes, clean and spray it down at the end of the year, try to store it in a dry location- all these things help.

    company I sub for has a 20 year old western on thier dump truck- they paint it in the offseason, change the fluid and what not and it works great as well.

    its all in the upkeep, the thing about a new plow is it honestly doesnt do anything better then a old one- they both push snow, its just if it breaks down or not. My newer Ford with the western gives me a bit more comfort but it doesnt do anything better then my 1982 Jeep does.
  7. daninline

    daninline Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    I just sold my 1977 F250 with it's plow from day one it still plowed great but the truck was only a yard truck now.
    The most I put into the plow was a pump and a few seals boy I think I miss the tuck all ready.

    I also I a truck I got used and the blade was beat to death looks like they were plowing curbs.
    So it all maters to who is driving the truck and how you take care of your stuff.
  8. plowman350

    plowman350 Senior Member
    Messages: 125


    Plows can last for 20 yrs.....or 4! Depends on who is using them. I assume that if you're starting out it will only be you behind the wheel. If you're careful with it, it'll easy last 10 yrs.

    As far as cost recovery: 1 driveway = $25 x 10 snow events per year (locally) = $250 per customer. so, a $4000 plow = 16 residential driveways for one season and its paid for.....don't forget to add in overhead such as gas, ins, repairs, labor, and such. But, you can pay them off pretty quick. Much faster (hour-wise) than a $10,000 lawn mower.
  9. ABM

    ABM Junior Member
    Messages: 27

    I plan on replacing my plows every 5 years or so. We use them quite a bit up here in Michigan and after 5 or 6 years you have to start replacing things, might just as well sell it for half of what you paid and have a brand new unit with a two year warranty. It's not that hard to get half back as long as it's not all beat up. I figure that I've got my moneys worth out of it and it's more than paid for itself so why not have a new one for half price? :waving:
  10. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 627

    Are you supposed to replace plows? The only plow I have ever had to replace was in a traffic accident where some old bag ran a red light 6 years ago. Still gets me fuming to think about it. Granted we only average 5 snows per season, I never gave a thought to replacing one, just adding more as the business grows. More used plows that is.