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What about a 4 wheeler?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by wannabeplowing, Feb 13, 2008.

  1. wannabeplowing

    wannabeplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    I have been reading a lot on the site and it seems that some people started out plowing with a four wheeler doing driveways. In a previous post of mine I was thinking about buying a truck to sub contract with...would you guys think it would be a better idea to buy a 4 wheeler instead with that money and just doing a bunch of houses?

    Also what four wheeler would you reccommend? I would be looking to spend $3000-$3500
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2008
  2. ABES

    ABES PlowSite.com Addict
    from MN
    Messages: 1,322

    i would get the truck/plow and sub. jmo
  3. EaTmYtAiLpIpEs

    EaTmYtAiLpIpEs 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,607

    I have owned nothing but arctic cat and I will never own anything else. Mine is in my signature. Runs really good. I spent $1800 on the atv and made the plow for $60.
  4. EaTmYtAiLpIpEs

    EaTmYtAiLpIpEs 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,607

    Here is another pic of it after plowing with it this morning. I also plow with a truck. But use the atv for sidewalks and places I cant get with the truck.

  5. wannabeplowing

    wannabeplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    Another thing I should have mentioned is that I am a college sophomore and am going to school full time so time is an issue since I have class and being out late or into the morning sub contracting could interfere with classes...And the $3000-$3500 budget would be the same for the truck...

    I have heard good things about artic cat and I am a little bias toward polaris since that is waht I have grown up around...just want to know if this would be a good way to make some money and get my foot in the door in the plowing industry because it is something I want to do once I graduate...thanks for the responses so far!!!
  6. wannabeplowing

    wannabeplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    Eatmytailpipes what size blade do you have on the cat? Would you recommend a certain size?
  7. cjcocn

    cjcocn Member
    Messages: 78

    Being out late or out early is not something that is limited to sub contractors. As a matter of fact, if you are operating as your own business then you would really have no choice as to when you can go out and plow - if it snows, you plow - period.

    Perhaps it would be worth considering the sub-contractor option as it could offer two favorable aspects.

    First, it would allow you to have access to more work, which should translate into more $ (truck vs quad) and also more experience (larger and more plowing areas).

    Second, it may be possible to set it up with the contractor so that you are called out last during your school time, but yet are always called out when you are available (i.e. out of school).

    You would also have the added benefit of protecting your reputation while you were building experience and start-up capital (imagine having only a quad and then breaking down, or failing to clear your lots/drives because you were in school - not good!).

  8. wannabeplowing

    wannabeplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    I understand that if it snows you plow, I have done some snow removal with the comany I work with over the summer...unfortuantely I go to school in ND and live in MN so I can't work for him during the winter.

    Another concern I have is buying a $3500 how reliable will the thing be, I feel I can get a higher quality ATV with that money, does this make sense to anybody. I'm worried about getting the truck and having the damn thing break down right away, I know an ATV can also break down but I guess I feel I can get "more for the money" with an atv but it seems like you guys are saying to buy a truck and find somebody to sub-contract for...
  9. deere615

    deere615 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,919

    Depends how many and how big of areas you will be doing. I have a kawasaki and its a great quad, I like arctic cats too. You would need a truck to transport it, unless you are doing very local accounts.
  10. cjcocn

    cjcocn Member
    Messages: 78

    You are absolutely right about the truck vs quad costs and getting more bang for your buck with a quad.

    deere615 raises a good point. Do you have a place to safely store, and a vehicle to move, the quad? Or are you in a location where you can drive on the streets during a snow event without getting ticketed?

    I was just talking to a guy who plows in our town with a quad, and he was told by a local "authority" that, while it was not legal for him to be driving his quad in town, as long as he had his blue light (it is blue in our province), drove reasonably (no hot-dogging), and only drove in town while clearing snow, then it was highly unlikely that he would ever be ticketed. We are in a small northern community of about 6,000 so "small town-ness" plays a factor here.

    If you have a good place to store and transport your quad, or if you can drive it in town without getting ticketed and you have a tight plowing route that you can drive your quad over, then a quad could work for you.

    We are not trying to talk you out of anything, but instead are just putting things out there for you to consider so you that make the best choice possible.

    Either way, good luck with your decision. :)
  11. wannabeplowing

    wannabeplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    I never intended to make it seem like I thought anybody was trying to talk me out of anything. You guys give great advice and I apprecite all of the help you have given me. I would have a place to store the quad and would be gunning for a very tight route which would eliminate the need to trailer the wheeler. I am in Fargo so a pretty large town but I would be in a residential area so I would hopefully be able to get away with driving on the street.

    I would love to buy a truck and sub contract but for what I can get with the $3500 in a quad it just makes more sense to me. Plus I think it would be a good way to get my feet wet in the snow plowing industry.

    What would everybody recommend for size of a wheeler, we usually don't get large amounts of snow but I found a 600 for a good price would that be overkill, I would htink the bigger the better. When picking a brand is it more of personal choice and what I can afford?

    Again thanks for all of the great info and I really appreciate the wealth of info everybody is willing to share!!!
  12. cjcocn

    cjcocn Member
    Messages: 78

    I have pushed a decent amount of snow with a Polaris Sportsman 500HO (EFI), but I have heard of all major brands pushing snow without any difficulties. I would say that, as with trucks, it is more a matter of personal choice.

    The only thing that I would watch out for in the Honda is (and I believe I read it here) that a certain model is better for pushing snow due to the gearing. That may be true of other brands as well, but that is the one that I have read about so I thought I would post it up.

    If you have a certain brand and model in mind, or if you have your eye on one that is a great deal, you may want to search the atv forums on the www for some user feedback. I only got my quad about 2 years ago, so still find myself searching the atv forums whenever I have questions.

  13. EaTmYtAiLpIpEs

    EaTmYtAiLpIpEs 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,607

    well I have a 54inch blade on it now. I might upgrade in the spring to a 60inch. Depends on what size atv you want. 400cc up I would stick to around 54" or bigger. under 400cc I would stick to 50" or smaller. I just sold my old atv 3 weeks ago. 2000 Arctic Cat 400 2x4 with chains and a 45" plow. and that 2/wd would do anything. I sold it for $2000. You could possibly buy a atv cheap and then buy a truck.
  14. wannabeplowing

    wannabeplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    I found a 2004 sportsman 600 with 890 miles on it with a winch and 60" plow and he is asking $3875. Says there are some scratches in the plastic and it has been used but it's a 4 wheeler so that is too be expected, I wouldn't be looking for a perfect machine anyways. Looks like a good machine might have to take a look at it sometime.

    Another question is what to charge if I am able to do this? A typical fargo driveway is probably something like in the below picture, at least in the area I would be looking to work, then obviously some smaller with only a single garage. I would also include shoveling the walk and front steps. I don't want to be one of those low baller people who only charges $10 to do it but don't really know what to charge...any help is appreciated.

    here is the link to what a typical driveway size is...

    Last edited: Feb 14, 2008
  15. sublime68charge

    sublime68charge PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,090

    I would think that the ATV route would be your best bet. and that last machine you listed sounds like a good one. Though I am a Honda Guy I wont discount Polaris My buddy has a 2002 Sportsman 400 and Rides like a dream has plenty of power true 4x4. Though has had some problems with the Battery and starter motor. But the first 3 years it was ran without any problems at all. and I think his lack of reg maint/use had more to due with the starter and battery then anything else.

    Also which type of Blade? the Moose has 5 postion Angle VS the Cycle country which has 3.

    and if your gonna have 60" blade the Moose at Full angle fit's on some sidewalks and then it's great for the Medium angle for on driveway's as your still taking a big bit out of the snow and angle to reduce spilage.

    Only downfall on an ATV is it's cold if your not dressed for the weather and it can be a long cold ride to due driveway's.

    But it is Fun to be out flying around on them.

    Less things to break or go wrong on an ATV as well. Plus you can ride them in the summer and have a blast.

    good luck with your choice.

    Sublime out.

    Pricing$$ I can't really say as the 3 driveway's I due are for trade in garage space for vechile storage year round.

    to shoot from the Hip would be to say $50. for the Pic you posted and if it is a single car lane $25.

    sublime out.
  16. wannabeplowing

    wannabeplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    Sublime thanks for the response, yeah it would get cold out there on a wheeler but if dressed right shouldn't be a problem, plus they are just fun to ride:) Even better if you can make some payup with them!!

    Here is the link to the wheeler I'm looking at...really thinking of getting a wheeler I think it wil be a great way to get a start in the industry....here is the link...


    Anybody else have an idea for pricing on the driveways? I also had the idea of getting a rear spreader for the wheeler and also offering to salt (for added money of course) what would you guess think for pricing W/O salting and then with salting?
  17. farmerkev

    farmerkev Senior Member
    Messages: 849

    This thread is great. I have found good info on here. I cant plow for another 2 yrs due to insurance, but would love to have a wheeler to plow a few drives with, and take over to the cousins farm. Only problem is, I am saving up for a truck, and if I want to get a atv, I still need the truck. How much, or should I say little could I spend on and old atv, I could even settle for a manual plow.
  18. EaTmYtAiLpIpEs

    EaTmYtAiLpIpEs 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,607

    I am worried on how he says it has been USED. Was it beat to the ground? Was the 890miles rough miles. My 2000 Arctic Cat 500 has 1049miles on it.
  19. wannabeplowing

    wannabeplowing Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    That is the one thing that gets me thinking a little bit...it makes me nervous about how he says that too...I haven't had the chance to take a look at it or drive it so not sure how it runs. I have been looking on CL and have found a few...What would be considered "good" mileage/hours for an ATV, what is considered a lot?
  20. smoore45

    smoore45 Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    Is that your truck in your avatar? Looks like a 4x4 to me! You could get a nice plow for $3500!