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Snow Plowing Tips and Tricks ??

 
  #16  
Old 11-07-2005, 05:26 PM
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Make sure you know where those concrete parking stops are. Most are spiked in!
 
  #17  
Old 11-08-2005, 06:10 AM
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Unhappy

Originally Posted by dono
Whatever you do, don't consider going into that business around here. We set a record yesterday at 89 degrees and it is in the 80's today (North Texas).
Dono
Ahh..yes..... I served at Sheppard AFB, Wichita Falls, TX. for a Very short time back in 1983. You'all have BIG PRICKELY STICKERS in your yards down there!! Don't ask me how I know!!!!
 

Last edited by Katmandu; 11-08-2005 at 06:12 AM.
  #18  
Old 11-08-2005, 06:13 AM
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Question

Originally Posted by plapczynski
Make sure you know where those concrete parking stops are. Most are spiked in!
Now THAT is good advice!!

Anyways, what is the BEST TIRE to use for plowing snow ??
 
  #19  
Old 11-08-2005, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Beast12
You do NOT want to plow with a stick shift. [/b]
Why not? I plowed commercially for many years with my 79. The worst part of using a manual trans was how slow it was in reverse.........and of course the clutch leg gets a workout.

Seriously though I actually liked using the manual trans. My times on lots were as good or better than the guys running autos.

I would have to agree it would be better to learn the plow game with an auto though.
 
  #20  
Old 11-08-2005, 09:57 AM
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"That Mazda 5 speed is junk" boy aint that the truth! basically it's a car transmission in a truck.
 
  #21  
Old 11-08-2005, 11:47 AM
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Question

Originally Posted by Katmandu
Now THAT is good advice!!
Anyways, what is the BEST TIRE to use for plowing snow ??
 
  #22  
Old 11-08-2005, 12:40 PM
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Some of the advice has been good, some not so. The auto is faster than a manual, I'll challenge anybody on that.

Tires--Cooper M&S. DO NOT run them at low inflation. You want narrow, skinny tires for plowing snow. You also want the max inflation to carry the weight of the plow and ballast. Check with someone in your state about studs or chains. You will not need these for the most part, especially with the M&S.

Even better than lying to a reputable contractor, either try subbing for him or just ask him for help. DO NOT ask their prices and then lower your prices a couple bucks to get jobs. This is called lowballing and shows that you don't really know how to estimate or operate your business on your numbers. This is the main reason that most plowing 'companies' go out of business. In my area, $50-$60 is on the very low end. I am on the higher end of the spectrum and do not have a problem getting enough plowing. The other part of this is that when your tranny goes, plow breaks, front end needs to be rebuilt, basing your pricing on someone elses may not be making you enough money to pay for the repairs. You might want to check into insurance as well, unless you want to take the chance on losing everything you own from a lawsuit.

Don't plan on breaking even the first year plowing part time. I wouldn't hold my breath on supporting your hot rod project by plowing either. Working 3rd shift you might be able to find someone that needs an operator or sub during the day, because most plowing is performed during the 3rd shift, so those operators may be at their job or getting rest.
 
  #23  
Old 11-08-2005, 02:15 PM
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I think plowing snow is one of those businesses that requires too much money
to do part time and still make a good profit. I worked for a contractor for four years doing telcom. He would not take a job unless there was at least 20% profit in it. You need to look at how much it will cost just to get started.

1) Cost of buying a truck + any repairs / modifications
2) Cost of buying a plow (unless it came with the truck)
3) Business insurance. Incorporate yourself so no one can sue you personally.
4) Truck Insurance
5) Maintenience

The cost of all of those aforementioned items could easily get you pretty far on your project.

Yes you will need tall skinny tires for plowing snow. My BIL likes bias better, says they get better traction. I don't know.
Like someone else suggested, work p/t for someone plowing snow so that you can learn how to plow and charge accordingly. Don't lowball others. If you can do the same work for a few $$ less, that's fine. That's what capitalism is about, don't charge less just to get a job. It may actually cost YOU to do the job. Plus, I personally would rather pay $20 more for service that I know is worth it. I'm not criticizing you, but your potential customers don't know you or your work. Let your work speak for itself.

On a side note, if your married. the misses won't like spending cold nights alone. Especially if it's all for your hotrod. Hope it works out for you.
 
  #24  
Old 11-08-2005, 02:22 PM
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ive heard that it is a good idea to mount an extra solenoid for the plow next to the existing one...if it goes bad all you have to do is switch over the wires
 
  #25  
Old 11-08-2005, 02:42 PM
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Use the tips the city guys i work with use.....hammer down and stay outta the way, haha
 
  #26  
Old 11-08-2005, 02:58 PM
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Mark Oomkes.... You in G.R? I see oomkes lawncare and snowplowing around here...Well respected company.

I didn't mean to imply the manual trans was faster, only that it can keep up and make money if you have a good driver.
 
  #27  
Old 11-08-2005, 03:07 PM
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That be me. Thanks for the kind words.

Gotcha on the tranny. I was just trying to get across that if someone is purchasing a truck for plowing, get an auto. Like you said, your leg and knee will thank you.

I take it SW MI means here in GR as well?
 
  #28  
Old 11-08-2005, 06:20 PM
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I'm basically looking at low budget startup and doing residentials in my area. Mainly my OWN driveway/alley and my nearby neighbors as well. My car was buried for (3) days behind my garage/alley last year. Plus a bunch of us guys from the neighborhood worked out AZZES off last year digging out all the cars on the street! I'm in my mid 40s now and I'm NOT going putting up with that ever again! I'd rather have a plow/truck just sitting behind my garage taking up space and use it when it counts.

I would then venture out some and round up some residentials. I'm not looking for big bucks, but would like to make it worth my while.

I have an 88 Bronco 302/auto lined up and a good Meyer's plow. Probably get it all up and running good for $1500-$2000 or so. ??

I did have a long talk with a local Contractor about the business when I was looking at buying some of his old equipment. He said he pays $50/hr for sub work.

What are fair rates to charge residentials and small Commercial lots ??

Is this reasonable considering the up keep/fuel costs nowadays ??
 
  #29  
Old 11-08-2005, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Katmandu
I'm basically looking at low budget startup and doing residentials in my area. Mainly my OWN driveway/alley and my nearby neighbors as well. My car was buried for (3) days behind my garage/alley last year. Plus a bunch of us guys from the neighborhood worked out AZZES off last year digging out all the cars on the street! I'm in my mid 40s now and I'm NOT going putting up with that ever again! I'd rather have a plow/truck just sitting behind my garage taking up space and use it when it counts.

I would then venture out some and round up some residentials. I'm not looking for big bucks, but would like to make it worth my while.

I have an 88 Bronco 302/auto lined up and a good Meyer's plow. Probably get it all up and running good for $1500-$2000 or so. ??

I did have a long talk with a local Contractor about the business when I was looking at buying some of his old equipment. He said he pays $50/hr for sub work.

What are fair rates to charge residentials and small Commercial lots ??

Is this reasonable considering the up keep/fuel costs nowadays ??
Why not just fork over the $800 bucks for a good big snow blower? Sounds like it could handle all you describe above. Could probably do an average drive way in not much more time than a truck mounted plow. JMHO....
 
  #30  
Old 11-08-2005, 07:52 PM
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I just bought an f 250 with a lift kit a 96 and its in better shape than my 80 350 so i was thinking of putting a plow on it.Im not sure how ill make it fit right though since the truck has 9" of lift on it and 39" tsl's may have to weld some things.Im not sure if the springs with the lift will sag bad from the plow but i was wondering tellico what type of truck did you plow with?If it wil be a big headache then ill put it on my 80 350.I see you have a big truck like i do.oh and by the way I use to plow for many years and with many plows i find fisher plows are the best made.
 

Last edited by swamprat; 11-08-2005 at 07:55 PM.

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