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What would you do & Why?

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by CrazyFoo, Oct 3, 2005.

  1. CrazyFoo

    CrazyFoo Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Greetings everyone,

    I’m sure my question has been asked many times in the past, but I’m really stuck on not knowing what to do, and am hoping a few of you can give me some well needed advice :)

    We bought a house 5 miles north of the city, and the property is 150 feet wide x 435 deep.
    The house is far back from the road, and the driveway is enormous (for my standards)

    I will try my best to include 2 photos of the driveway, one from the highway looking up, and the 2nd from the house, looking down.

    At our current house, I shovelled the driveway myself, and if it was really bad, a local guy did it for $20, but I can’t see myself shovelling the new one, and I’m not sure which way to go.

    The options I’m considering are:

    1) Hiring a local guy to do it on a seasonal contract ( I have no idea how much, but I will find out soon)
    2) The next option I was thinking was buying a heavy duty 4-wheeler that has an optional plow, as well an option mower. (this way I can use it in the summer to cut the grass)
    3) Buying a plow for my 02 F150 4x4
    4) Buying an old beater truck that has a plow already on it.

    At the moment I’m leaning towards option 4 – picking up a beater. I won’t plate it or insure it, just use it for snow removal.
    Buying a plow for my F150 is choice #2, but I do want to be able to park in the garage, and I don’t know if it will fit with the plow attached.

    I’ve heard of guys buying a plow attachment for their riding mower / 4-wheeler, but the reviews have been mixed.

    I suppose I could always get the largest 2-stage snow thrower they have, but I don’t feel like being outside for 3-4 hours to remove the snow.
    I have no idea how long it would take me, but I’m guessing long.

    Anyway, we move into the new place next month, and I want to figure out what to do before we get in there.
    I’m in Kingston, Ontario (2 hours north of Syracuse), and our winters can be extreme.

    What options would you guys select and why?

    Thanks in advance for your help and any insight you can offer.

    I hope I posted these photos properly.



  2. gino

    gino Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 94

    I was in your situation an I went with option #3. Its the easiest, most reliable, most expensive way to go. hehe. Only problem is that now that I have a plow truck I plow for income. I hadn't factored that in. Honestly, If you absolutely don't want to plow for money (or plow all of your neighbors for that matter) I would simply buy a real nice snow blower and call it good.
    Good luck~
  3. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870

    I agree with gino
  4. CrazyFoo

    CrazyFoo Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Thanks fellas, that's prob the way I'll end up.
    Hmm, not sure why the photos arnt showing now, they were yesterday.

    In any case, they can been seen by clicking on the link:

    It's a site I use for uploading photos (dont want people to get the wrong idea :)

  5. tvpierce

    tvpierce Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 209

    One thing to consider is how long do you plan to hold on to the F-150.

    If you're the kind of guy who likes to trade in his vehicle every 2-3 years, then it doesn't make much sense to mount a plow on it. Because every time you change the plow from your old truck to your new one, it's gonna cost you at least hundreds of dollars in labor, plus any parts to make the swap. If there has been major changes in model-years, those parts could be $500 - $1000. With this situation, a beater/yard truck makes sense.

    But if you're going to keep your F-150 for 10 years, then having a plow on it would be great.

    I took another route (call it option #5):
    I do all the maintenance on my vehicles (mine and my wife's). So it's nice to have a 3rd vehicle in case I can't complete work over a weekend, or have to wait for a part. Additionally, I always wanted a Jeep, but didn't want to have to drive it every day. So I got a CJ-7 and mounted a Fisher plow on it. During the winter, I only drive the Jeep to plow (and get gas). In the summer, I drive the Jeep (topless of course) to work occasionally, and on weekends when I'm farting around.

    I hold on to my CARS for 10 years or more. But the Jeep is a "lifer". I plan on plowing my driveway with that thing well into my retirement (and I'm only 37 years old). When you look at it as an investment over time, you could easily justify a later model Wrangler with a new (or recent) plow.

    Now all that's left, is to convince your wife! (mine loved the idea of cruising around in a Jeep in the summer... heck, tell her she can take it to work on a few nice days too. But be careful, you might have to get a second Jeep for her.)

    Just my 2 cents... arguably worth that.

    Jeff Pierce
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2005
  6. Big Dog D

    Big Dog D PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,134

    Do you have the room to store either a beater or plow? Do you have the mechanical ability or the desire to fix either? Keep in mind that you may be fixing either most often in the cold, dark, snow, rain etc. cause that's when they usually break. Whats your time worth? Do you travel? Who will do it if your away?Make sure you factor those into your decision as well and all of a sudden paying 35$ +/- isn't that bad to have it plowed on top of the $3500 +/- purchase price. :D
  7. J & B Lawncare

    J & B Lawncare Member
    Messages: 88

    snowblower on tractor

    Thats how I would go. As long as you can use the tractor year round. blower over blade is that you can throw the snow father than you can push it off your lane.

  8. CrazyFoo

    CrazyFoo Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Thx Peirce, Big Dog, and J&B, you guys make some extremely good points and obversations.

    I plan on keeping my truck for as long as it will run. Just paid her off last year, and they are just too expensive to keep buying new. (This was the first factory order vehicle I ever bought)

    I'm not mechanically inclined, so everytime I have a problem I have to have a shop deal with it.

    Big Dog, your post really hits home for me, if I can find a local guy who will do it for $35-$40 a pop, then even for the dozen or so snowfalls each year, it's worth it for me to budget $400-$500 to have it done, because then I'm saving fuel, repairs, my initial outlay, and all other related costs, as well as not having to do the work.

    If the cost is going to be $1,000 per year, then I will have to rethink my options and select the most viable option for my needs.

  9. Big Dog D

    Big Dog D PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,134

    Don't forget to factor in the cost of your time! It gets to be significant when you talk about putting on the plow for a predicted storm, taking it off after the prdicted storm fizzled etccccccccccccccccc.....................
  10. PhantomRacer

    PhantomRacer Senior Member
    from boston
    Messages: 128

    Another option..call it option 6 is get a cheap (I mean inexpensive) plow like a snowbear. Cost a grand. Built well. Works well enough. Light enough to move around the garage on it's dolly. Easy to install for a DIY'er. Movable from truck to truck as you move on with inexpensive mounts.

    Before everyone craps all over this..I have been using one for years and it has performed flawlessly..even in 30" of snow with a 2wd chevy truck.

    A snowbear is always a great option for a driveway or small parking lot for someone that doesnt want to spend a few mortgage worth of payments on a plow..and may move to new trucks (with DIY mount kits). Sometime it is the ONLY choice for some truck owners.

    Its about the cost of a decent 2 stage blower. you stay dry and warm..takes 10 minutes to clear the driveway..no downside IMO

    Just my 2 cents

  11. tvpierce

    tvpierce Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 209

    All excellent points, PhantomRacer.

    No crapping on Snow Bear by me.

    While my solution may be the most fun (having a Jeep for the warm months), yours is likely the most financially prudent given CrazyFoo's situation.

  12. MR PLOW

    MR PLOW Junior Member
    Messages: 19

    Think About The Snowbear

    Hey CrazyFoo,
    I have been using the snowbear plow for over 10 years
    It is well worth the money!
    If you have any questions, check out my website.
    I have 2 of the snowbear plows and I am very happy with them.

    PS I bought my last snowbear for $300.00 on ebay!
  13. CrazyFoo

    CrazyFoo Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Thanks for the replies.
    Appreciate them all.

    Definitly something to consider.

    I'll post next month once I get it all figured out.

  14. scholzee

    scholzee Senior Member
    Messages: 243

    That is a nice house and great landscaping, hope you enjoy and looks like you put the camper to good use. That looks like too much drive to snowblow unless its a big tractor with a cab otherwise you will be Frosty the snowman. What type of winters do you have there ? You will need some room to pile and that could add up quick. Have some locals quote it for you it seems the best option maybe to hire it out. My opinions : walk behind blower NO, Four wheeler & plow NO, Beater truck NO ( probably would need more TLC & fixing during season then you would want ) Plow on your truck, depending on how far you need to drive to work, putting the plow on and off, just to do your own drive wears out quick. I think hire it out at least one year and you can decide from how that works for you.
  15. CrazyFoo

    CrazyFoo Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Hi Scholzee,

    Thanks for the compliments.
    We have similar winters to you guys in Buffalo.

    I'm in Kingston, about 160 miles east of Toronto.

    I'm in the midst of getting quotes right now for this season, and next winter I'll see if I still want to contract it out or find a different solution.

  16. scholzee

    scholzee Senior Member
    Messages: 243

    CrazyFoo Kingston sounds familar, I believe we crossed on a ferry to get to Quebec for a snowmobile trip. Here is a picture from Pembroke, we started at Orilla and rode to Northbay, then to Pembroke and back to Orilla. We pack saddle bags and stay at a hotel each night. So I know the type of snow you can get. If I remember correctly is there some big plant that make fibre board or flake board in Kingston ? We love to visit Canada and everyone we meet has treated us well. Even during some break downs people would go out of their way to help us. Good luck with your driveway !!

  17. CrazyFoo

    CrazyFoo Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Not sure who that was.
    We used to have a Northern Telecom, Alcan, they are gone now, but we still have what was formally known as Dupont.

    Kingston is pretty much a government town, we have the Royal Military College here, Queen's University, and about 14 federal prisons, everyone else is on welfare or mothers allowance, or 'workin' the stretch downtown by the pawn shops lol.

    Good God, that photo makes me want to run and put on a sweater :)

    Won't be long now huh?
    Snow will fly soon!

  18. CrazyFoo

    CrazyFoo Junior Member
    Messages: 8


    Good news,

    Got a quote from a local guy who handles all the area snow removal.
    $25 a pop, or $375 for the year.

    I took the $375 for the year because I think with the price of gas, and the size of the drive, this is indeed and very fair and reasonable price.

    I was hoping to pay $500, so as long as he does a good job, and there are no unreasonable delays, I will probably tip him $125 when the season is over.