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using municipal truck for commercial

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by peewee, Aug 20, 2001.

  1. peewee

    peewee Member
    Messages: 44

    This will be my second year plowing. I did mostly residential and some commercial last year. I have a chevy p/u with a sno way v plow. I am thinking about getting a municipal truck e.g. ford L8000 that the county uses for roads. They come with front 2 way plow, side wing and either a dump, sander or combo box. I know they go pretty cheap and I figure they would clear a large lot better than a pick up or two. It would also mean not having to buy a salter for the pick up. Does anyone use these trucks for this type of application?
  2. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    Don't know where you are located, please edit your profile and include your location. If you are in the US you will need a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) to run a municipal truck. You might get lucky and find a CDL beater but they are newer (and smaller) than the muni trucks you're going to pick up for low bucks. Other than that, if you have open areas they should work well. Only slow part would be backing if the lot is such that you can't run a racecourse around it. With a blade and wing you could clear an impressive swath on each pass, which would tend to offset the slow reverse.
  3. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    I have some trucks set up like that to plow lots. They work well, however the wing sometimes gets in the way. You need to be carefull and remember the wing is down when plowing around cars. The sanding ablities of these trucks are also a major bennefit.

    If you can find a truck with a split trans you can have 2 reverse speeds, which means one will be fairly fast. The trouble is stacking snow, ya really have to be carefully. If you ram piles like you do with a pick up, you might end up going through the pile. You have to stack slowly with these trucks.

  4. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    Whereabouts you from, peewee? ("Location" in your member profile is blank - you can update it by using the "Profile" button and once you're on that page, "Edit profile")

    I'm about 1-1/2 hours north of Toronto, a property management company plows the Wal-Mart & adjoining subdivision with an International S-series dump (single axle, carries a 1-way & wing, no sander though)

    Something to keep in mind is, a truck such as you're describing will likely fall into the CDL category (GVW over 26k and/or air brakes) which is a lot different from the one your basic pickup/1-ton comes under. Many more rules!

    There's also the question of what will the truck do the rest of the year? A big construction company that does some of the highways in my area puts plows on some of their dump trucks to get year-round use out of them, while a bunch of the older units are retired from summer service and only go on the road for plowing/salting.

    A truck like that can work out for you, but the application has to be there.
  5. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 823

    hey alan, i dont see your location listed either. is this cause your a moderator?
  6. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    Nope, it's cuz I didn't think to upgrade the profile when Plowsite split off from Lawnsite. Thanks for pointing it out to me.
  7. peewee

    peewee Member
    Messages: 44

    I am from Peterborough, Ontario. Hockey capital of the world and home to the Peterborough Petes.
  8. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    Do you have some large properties to put a truck like that to work on? GeoffD & Alan have some good points - and now that I know you're from Ontario, I can change my reply from "CDL category" to "D licence with Z endorsement category!" :D

    Either way, you have to have the proper driver's licence to operate a truck in that weight class.
  9. dan deutekom

    dan deutekom Member
    Messages: 82

    We got a municipal truck from Lindsay a few years back. It had a belly plow and salter. The belly plow is useless for commercial work but the salter is worth it. The truck is a single axle International and I find it more manuverable then our pickups. Pluls you can load 8 yards of salt or sand in the sucker.
  10. Rooster

    Rooster Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 650


    Locally my local city does hire people that own a single axle truck with about 26,000 GVW to plow for the city.

    Several people I know own this size of trucks, mostly just to salt/sand. On bigger lots they do use them for plowing.

    In Kansas with a 26,000 GVW truck you don't need a CDL, Don't know about your area, I would check it out first before buying one if you do not have a CDL and need one.

  11. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Federal Rules, state a truck GVW weighing 26,001 lbs or more requires a CDL.

    If the truck has air breaks and is under 26,001 I still think ya need a cdl.

  12. paul

    paul PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 151

    Federal Rules CDL a must for air brakes

    All states have adopted these rules if they didn't they would have lost Federal Hiway monies.
  13. peewee

    peewee Member
    Messages: 44

    I will check out the license situation here. I haven't bought the truck yet, there are some auctions coming up which is why I started thinking about it. I do not have any large lots at this point. i am working on a few. The city is asking for bids on some large lots (hockey arenas) but... in the tender they have a section regarding equipment and they basically say if you don't have a loader 4x4 you are out of luck. Most large lots are done by farmers and excavators with their back hoe/loader. Would a truck such as the one I described do as well as a loader om these large lots? I have never used a loader and really never stopped to watch one for too long. I know they stack great but we are talking about time and quality of the job.
  14. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    Here's a quick run-down peewee: here in Ontario any vehicle with a GVWR of over 11,000 kg (about 24,000 #) requires a "D" license. If it's got air brakes, that's a separate endorsement - "Z" on your license.

    I'm not an expert in the field by any means, but one problem I can see with using a truck such as you describe for plowing the big lots is where to put the snow - they'll push it around good but don't stack too well. The fellows using the S-series with plow/wing to clear the Wal-Mart lot I mentioned have a loader working too, mostly for stacking.

    Loaders with pusher boxes are becoming more popular - they'll move a l-o-t of snow and stack it too.
  15. greasemonkey

    greasemonkey Member
    Messages: 30

    Loaders with pushers or big blades like the daniels are the way to go for commercial sites. Loaders, unlike trucks were purpose built for pushing and picking up stuff. Talk to your local heavy eqipment dealer, they'll most likely be able to set you up with a winter lease that takes into account the much lower hours it will see during the winter months. By the time you buy that beat up county truck, get a driver with the proper licence, register and insure it (not cheap for those higher gvwr trucks) find a place to keep it, and keep it and all of its attachments in working condition you could probably buy a protech and lease a decent sized loader to push it. Also keep in mind that while that county truck worked well on the roads, it probably has a terrible turning radius and if its got a manual transmison than it will be dreadfully slow for salting (you can't shift when the pto's in) and whoever's driving it to plow is going to have one stiff left leg by the end of the storm.

  16. SnoJob67

    SnoJob67 Senior Member
    Messages: 384

    International 1600 in 1 acre lots

    I am considering the purchase of a 1985 International 1600 Dump Truck with 7.3 diesel and allison 4sp trans. It is equipped with a Swenson under tailgate spreader and a 10 foot plow. It only has 50,000 miles and has been maintained well. Anyone have a guess as to the value???

    Will that truck perform well for me (turning radius, etc.) as a salt truck and medium to large lot plowing truck?

    Am I further ahead to wait and spend a little more on a one ton dump?
  17. plowjockey

    plowjockey PlowSite.com Sponsor
    Messages: 622

    I have a C-70 Chevy dump and without the blade it has a shorter turning radius than my K-2500 GMC.
    It is a single axle with a 10' Western HW blade and under tailgate spreader.
    With the blade however there is a lot out front. It increases dramatically but I don't see it as a problem for my purposes.
  18. dan deutekom

    dan deutekom Member
    Messages: 82

    The power takeoff on municipal trucks that run a salter are a separate hydraulic pump mounted on the front of the engine and have nothing to do with the transmision. These can be shifted and driven with the PTO on so that they can run the salter while driving around town. Most of these single axle trucks are shorter than a full size pickup and can turn even sharper. I find it the easiest truck to salt lots with. As for plowing large lots I always see them working in tandem with a loader. These trucks don"t stack they were built to wing the snow off to the side of a road. Still if the price is right get one for the salter. A lot of times they are cheaper than buying a slide in salter and most of these trucks are low milage well maintained units.
  19. SnoJob67

    SnoJob67 Senior Member
    Messages: 384

    Would $5500 be a reasonable bid for a truck like that in good to very good condition? I can't imagine there is a huge demand for that truck, but I could be wrong? I know it may be worth more by bookvalue, but I am trying to look at the big picture here.

    The only thing the truck could use is some minor welding in the box and the paint could be buffed out or the cab painted at a later date. Maybe some of you guys that own similar vehicles would have a general idea about value?

    Thanks for the replies.
  20. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317