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What to use for snow plowing...

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by ztrguy, Jul 11, 2005.

  1. ztrguy

    ztrguy Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    I'll be doing snow plowing in St. Louis Missouri area. We don't get all that much snow. Not anything like the northern states of course. I'll be doing some light commercial snow plowing and was wondering if anyone had a vehicle choice in mind? I'll just have a few 1/2 acre parking lots and maybe 5 or so residential driveways starting out. I'm thinking maybe the older full size Chevy Blazers, older Chevy Pickup 78-88, or maybe a Jeep Wrangler. Any comments or advice on theses vehicles choices? Thanks for your time!
  2. ratlover

    ratlover PlowSite.com Addict
    from IL
    Messages: 1,325

    I would vote for a SRW 3/4 ton or 1 ton chevy. I would stay away from short wheelbases, lite vehicles, and smaller 1/2 ton equiped type trucks.
  3. Fastcar

    Fastcar Member
    from MA
    Messages: 87

    If that is all you are going to do any of those you mentioned will get the job done. But if you are going to plan on growing go for the 3/4 ton now.

  4. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    The smaller light duty trucks tend to break parts. They carry light duty plows. If you can't wrench most of the repairs you will just be chasing your own tail. The light duty stuff was not designed to work as hard as a plow truck does. A heavy duty 3/4 will last and not have many repairs and take it a lot longer. Been there, done it, bought a bigger truck!
  5. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    IMHO it's a waste of $$ to buy anything less than a 3/4 ton if you have any ambitions (even the most remote) of plowing commercially (as in for $$) reguardless of wether you plow comercial property or residential property. An plowing acre sized parking lots with a jeep.....not looking like a good idea to me either.
  6. Kramer

    Kramer Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    I disagree with this. I've been plowing for >20 years with "light duty" trucks and unless you're banging into curbs or using it as a bulldozer they are fine. Maintenance matters for any equipment.

    The biggest POS I ever drove was a 3/4 ton chevy. Talk about needing to be your own wrench! And....you blow a ton of gas to boot.
  7. Fastcar

    Fastcar Member
    from MA
    Messages: 87

    I guess it all depends what you call "light duty". I tend to look at light duty as 1/2 ton or under, or suv's, jeeps and the like.

    With regard to the OP a light duty truck might well be all he needs given his location.

    Where I live wet, heavy snow is a good part of our winter,the 6-8" then 1" of rain on top of it. A light duty may move it some but not very far imo. Every so often we get the 2-3" per hour deals with drifting, again I don't see a "light duty" doing too well.

  8. OneBadDodge06

    OneBadDodge06 Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 770

    The biggest POS I ever drove was a jap crap yoyota!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2005
  9. sixspeed

    sixspeed Senior Member
    Messages: 306

    Seems like fightin words every time somebody asks what size truck to use or what size plow to use. :gunsfiring:

    I speak from honest experience - got lots that the Toyota could never open or would take a half a day to do what the F250 does in 2 hours. Got driveways that anything bigger than the Toyota or a short box 1/2 ton can't get in.

    As usual, there are lots of good points though in everybody's post. It takes mass to move snow and heavy duty means it can take more use/abuse without breaking... But size and expense does matter and lots of people do get by with 1/2 tonners/Fullsize Blazers/Broncos or Jeeps/S10's/Toys cause they can't afford or can't fit anything larger.

    Look at what you have to do, what you plan on doing now, what you think your future will look like, how much money you have to work with, and then make a decision. :)

    But then again look at Ratlover's postings in the pictures section. There's something to be said for a 3/4 ton plow truck that can do 11.95's in the quarter, plow all day reliably, and still get probably 20 miles to the gallon of fuel on the highway! :yow!:
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2005
  10. Kramer

    Kramer Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    I see I've offended you....sorry you had bad luck with the toyota, but I get in and out of driveways no problem, get 20mpg when I'm not plowing and forgot where the mechanic lives since I've been driving the jap crap.

    Unfortunately, the chevy story is true too..... the worst fuel consumption ever, engine problems, brake problems, a motor that whined like I was doing 10,000 rpms when I was at ~ 2000 and frankly not a lot of power for all the noise.

    But the fact is in any case that you have to consider what your application is.... I would never have a 3/4 ton if my main concern was residential drives and if I was doing mostly commercial and parking lots, then I wouldn't have the toyota. Its hard to find the perfect truck when you do a mix of things and then considering it might be your sole vehicle then sometime you gotta make a choice. Either way, the truck will hold up only as well as you treat it---even a chevy! :)
  11. plowman777

    plowman777 Senior Member
    Messages: 227

    been using a 88 dakota for almost 10 years. it was very reliable....did it break?, yes, and i fixed it or payed someone...now i have a chevy 2500 so we will see how long that lasts.
  12. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    Ever break an axle shaft on your "light Duty Truck"? or a shock,ball joint,Fry a 60 amp alternator?
    They will do the job ,,but it will take longer and the truck will take it's 10%. My beater F-250 went 4 seasons and never broke any drive line parts or suspension.
    I did not mean to cut on "Light Duty trucks" The question was "Vehicle choice in mind?" My choice is 3/4 and up. I love to plow and it drives me NUTS to have the truck break when money is falling from the sky!
  13. OneBadDodge06

    OneBadDodge06 Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 770

    I just dislike, very much hate foreign cars.
  14. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Depends on what the Chevy was. It's easy to over load any truck. a 1/2 ton Chevy with a 305 is really easy to overload causing lots of problems- if that's the case (which it is 99% of the time) it's the operators fault 100%.

    It's not too tough to choose a truck, the problem is the newbs and certain others don't wanna listen to the advise they are given. I have always plowed with a 3/4 ton or bigger- DRIVEWAYS. You don;t need a toy (both ways) to plow drives- you need to know how to drive, know how to plow, know your truck, and not accept drives as customers you can't plow. That's it. Nothing more complicated. The hardest part for this community, well, certain people in this community, seems to be saying NO to a customer or potential customer. Once you get past that you can grow into a profitible business- until then you can;t.

    If you're squabling over what truck to use just BUY something and learn yourself. If youre happy with a 'Yota plowing good for you. My first vehicle was an 82 'Yota. Not quite "forgot where the mechanic lives", but reliable, then again so were the 1980's Chevy Blazers we had.

    Personal choice what you buy and drive. Some of us have been there- if you don't want to learn from our experiance then don't, but quit bitchin about what our advice is. There are certain facts about how vehicles are made, what they are designed for, and what they will handle for working in severe duty situations (plowing is severe duty).

    Look at it this way, you need a wrench for fixing something- only once. A Craftsman (not the "best, but a good tool) is $10.00. A Chinese import wrench is $3.00 and will do the same job, probabily. The Cheap light duty wrench will most likely do the job several times but is not as strong, usually not as long (less leverage) and more crudely made causing more chance of rounding off the bolt. Use of this wrench daily for professional work will cause rounded nuts and failure of the wrench, where the Craftsman (better quality more suited for the job at hand) will hold up longer and not induce rounding by better construction as well as being longer (usually) makeing work easier providing more leverage.
    Now, moral is buy the tool suited to the work you need to do based on it's design and designed usage.
  15. Ken1zk

    Ken1zk Senior Member
    Messages: 192

    Last fall I equipped my 95 Nissan pick up with a snoway to have a back up plow truck for my 95 Suburban. On the first real snow of the season, Christmas Day, I used the little Nissan to see how it would do as a plow truck. The damn thing worked so well that I didn't even start the suburban until April to move it out of the way! As for how well a vehicle will stand up, hold up, and last, well thats an even split between two very important variables one being how the vehicle is maintained and the other being how it is operated. Use the tool that will do the job best, you don't need a chain saw to trim a hedge. Just my two cents.

    SIPLOWGUY Senior Member
    Messages: 686

    I have 3 plows:
    A pos Craftsman garden tractor which is kinda useless, but my son uses it for cleanup at home.
    A 1997 GMC Jimmy with a 6'8" Fisher MM. It does fine for light snow home.
    A 2004 Ford F350 with a 8' SS X-Blade. It is for the HD snowfalls.
    You basically need top use the right tool for the job you need done!
  17. IMoLwnz.com

    IMoLwnz.com Junior Member
    Messages: 25

    Ive got a Bronco For sale.

    200Amp Alt and 4.10's with a 760LT blizzard. It works Great and I Dont beat up my stuff, I guess thats why it works. Its SUper for driveways!! and tight spots but I really need the bigger stuff now and Im looking into a 94 f350 and I just got a 05 F250 for my main truck so the Bronco will be going... I like it though!! Check in the equipment forum its posted there