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Yet another Newbie with questions.....

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by indianabc, Aug 2, 2003.

  1. indianabc

    indianabc Member
    Messages: 41

    As it has been stated a million times before, I am wanting to get started plowing here in Indianapolis Indiana. I have a F250 4 x 4 and am scheduled to get a Boss Poly Power - V installed in about two weeks. I have several questions, and I am sure some have been asked and answered before. There is so much information on this site that it becomes kinda hard to find individual info quickly. Anyway here it goes:

    1. Smart Touch control or standard joystick for my Poly - V?
    2. I realize that joining SIMA seems to be a must and I am going to join but what about their books and software? Worth the money? Are there other books and or software you recommend?
    3. I am also looking for a "mentor". Somebody NOT in the Indianapolis area that I can maybe pay to spend some time talking to and gaining some wisdom. I am thinking not in my area so I can get real help with bidding and such.

    Thanks for the help! I hope to be a productive member of this site SOON.

    B.C. Henschen
  2. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Welcome to Plowsite. :waving:

    1. - I prefer the Joysticks over any touch pads,or handheld controls.I just prefer the tactile feedback you get from a joystick.The only thing I didn't like about the Boss joystick was the fairly sharp edge rocker switch.It would start to cut though your skin after a long night in the truck.

    2. - I can't comment on Sima,as I'm not a member,but most of the guys around here seem to benefit from them.You might want to ask in the Sima discussion forum for more info.

    3. - I'd be more than willing to help,as well as most guys on here to help with bidding and stuff.I do think you are better finding someone local,as the type of billing,level of service,amount of snowfall will vary wildly from locale to locale.I do recall a few indy guys on here,and if I remember they had some kind of deal helping each other out.Might want to check inthe networking forum for some contact info.

    Two other things you may want to check out are the search feature,as most of this stuff has been discussed before in detail,and Chuck Smith's new FAQ page.It is an organized collection of some of the most informative threads on this site,all catagorized.The link is here. http://www.snowplowing-contractors.com/plow_site_FAQ.html
  3. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

  4. indianabc

    indianabc Member
    Messages: 41

    Thanks for the reply

    I had already sent an email to the Indy snow plow site, but thanks for the info. My ideal thoughts on the mentor is someone in Indiana but not in Indianapolis. Thought that might give be the best information with no conflicts. Had one more question that I forget to ask: How many contracts is good for one truck? I have a biz that opens at noon, a church that needs cleared early for daycare, an office that opens at 9:00, and a very small apartment building. I have chances to get more - but feel that I might be at my limit.

    Thanks again!
  5. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    I would go by how many contracts,but more by plowing time required.

    You could give one truck 50 small contracts,or one big one,yet they both take the same amount of time.

    You should be able to complete your route in enough time to have the lots clear when needed (usually first thing in the morning).If you can add some more that don't need to be done first thing,then you won't be as stressed when your running behind.

    I usually book 7-10 hrs per truck,based on a 2 inch snowfall.When we get a lot of snow,or it snows late,some properties just get aisles and laneways opened by 7:00 am,and are finished later.That figure may be a little high if your a small operation,as you will need a bit more time if you have a problem or get a major snowfall.
  6. wxmn6

    wxmn6 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,037

    With any V plows, you cannot use standard joystick. You would have to go with handheld control (or similar).
  7. indianabc

    indianabc Member
    Messages: 41

    A little confused. I have not asked my dealer but when I ordered the v plow he did not offer me an upgrade but in the catalog that he gave me it states "for added ease and comfort, try our OPTIONAL smart touch handheld control." I was planning on asking him on Monday how much and his opinion until I read the posting from "wyldman" that stated a joystick may be better than the upgrade.


  8. wxmn6

    wxmn6 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,037

    After reading this, I just pulled out the Boss plows brochure that I got at Parker's BBQ last year. You are correct, you can use the joystick for Boss V plow. I did not realize that the Boss joystick has a rocker button on the side of the stick. But I would still upgrade to the hand held (Smart Touch). I think it would be easier to control than the joystick. But it will depend on your preference. If you still are undecided, you could go up to your Boss dealer and ask him to give you both controllers to look at and play around a bit and see which one you think is more comfortable.
  9. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Stephen is right about needing to use both to see which you prefer. I have one of each - the hand held Fish-Tik and dash mounted toggle on the other. Most people prefer the hand held because it's more flexible. I actually prefer the toggle. Don't know why - I think it's because the hand-held rides on the dash and takes more effort to get it into use than just reaching up and flipping a toggle switch. Then you've got to worry about getting it balanced on your leg while you're plowing.

    I might have it taken out and a toggle put in this year. Or just get a new V-plow and the toggle will come with it :) payup .
  10. wxmn6

    wxmn6 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,037

    Mick - actually with the Fisher V plows, you cannot use joystick (toggle). The only way to control the Fisher V plow is their hand held Fish-Stik controller.
  11. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    The Boss joystick is not at all like the Western and Fisher joysticks.It is quite large,almost like a big old Atari joystick.The joystick controls left,right,v,and scoop,and the rocker switch is used to control the up and down.The rocker switch is on the side of the actual stick,near the top,right where your thumb would rest.The joystick is far superior to the handheld unit,as like Mick said,it's firly mounted,and not resting on your leg.The joystick just seems more natural.

    It's all about personal preference,so try them both,and see which one you like.
  12. andy bengtson

    andy bengtson Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    I bought the same plow last year and loved it. You'll want to go with the joystick but try them both out. If this your first year plowing you might want to think about working for someone else. Earn the green on someones check book. Best of luck
  13. Lawn Lad

    Lawn Lad Senior Member
    Messages: 407

    I opted for the Smart Touch control pad for our new V's last year for several reasons. First and foremost, the joystick box seemed like it would be awkward to mount except for some location in the center console area. Depending on the truck, it seemed like I'd need some sort of stand mounted to the center floor hump. I like to operate my plow with my left hand while steering and shifting with my right hand. I didn't want to steer left handed and shift with right and operate the plow. Secondly, the joystick didn't seem as intuitive as the Smart Touch when I first test it out.

    The $100 for the Smart Touch means I have a smaller unit that I can keep in my lap (left leg) while not using it and then pick it up and operate when needed. When I get out of the truck I put it over the steering column. I don't like how my wrist feels a bit crooked at the end of the night after using it, a bit sore from being in the position.