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Snow Plowing?

 
  #1  
Old 10-19-2009, 06:51 PM
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Snow Plowing?

First off, I know my truck isn't capable of snow plowing. I'm just curious how much a person could make doing it as a side job sort of thing. Every 4x4 ad on Craigslist around here says "Plow snow! This truck will pay for itself in a week!", usually referring to old $600 F250s. Has anyone plowed for cash here before? Where are you from and how much did you end up making?
 
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Old 10-19-2009, 07:14 PM
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You can easily make $600 or more per storm.

The only problem is if you break something.. It can eat up that profit plus a few grand..

If you want to get a clunker to just do your driveway then fine.. Don't bother trying to do a big route with it. It will take to much money to keep it running..

Years ago my brother had grand plans of all the money he was going to make plowing..
Problem was his truck didn't like snow.. Every time it snowed it broke down..

I remember many times him out working on the motor with a tarp draped over the hood as the snow was falling..
 
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Old 10-19-2009, 07:17 PM
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It might pay for itself in a week, but in two weeks the front end will fall off and the transmission will be done, so you'll be paying three times what the truck cost to have someone plow your driveway. You need insurance, and a contractors license in most areas, and you are about guaranteed to have a claim on your insurance because you tore up someone's crumbling pavement.
Not worth it, IMO. Maybe if you had half a dozen trucks, sand spreaders, and a few contracts with shopping centers it'd be a worthwhile venture.
 
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Old 10-19-2009, 08:17 PM
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My friend plows in the winter. He has two trucks with plows and spreaders on them. He does have contracts with some of the local churches, doctors offices, banks and private residences.
 
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Old 10-20-2009, 12:20 AM
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Over the years, I've mentioned to several good plow drivers that I hoped that they'd stick with it -- because I wanted them to do my driveway. They pretty much all quit after a year or two because of the wear and tear on the equipment -- and I'm in the country, so they weren't running into cement curbs in parking lots and the like.

There are folks who stick it out, but you have to know what you're doing. I think that there are quite a few fter's who plow because there have been some threads discussing technique.
 
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:59 AM
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i have been plowing for 35 years. current rate is $85/hr.
i have very little repairs to make, because i build all my trucks bulletproof. and all my drivers know if they break it, they pay to fix it. so they are just as careful if not more careful with the trucks as i am.
i also do commercial and municipal work only. no residential work at all, because homeowners are idiots and not worth the aggravation you get.
 
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Old 10-20-2009, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by tjc transport View Post
i have been plowing for 35 years. current rate is $85/hr.
i have very little repairs to make, because i build all my trucks bulletproof. and all my drivers know if they break it, they pay to fix it. so they are just as careful if not more careful with the trucks as i am.
i also do commercial and municipal work only. no residential work at all, because homeowners are idiots and not worth the aggravation you get.
Exactly. Also theres a reason you see the newer plow trucks doing the commercial lots, and only old beaters doing residential work.
 
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Old 10-20-2009, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by fireball 440 View Post
Exactly. Also theres a reason you see the newer plow trucks doing the commercial lots, and only old beaters doing residential work.
Yup. I remember last year, when we had a big snow store. Everyone wanted their driveway done, nobody wanted to pay for it.
 
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Old 10-22-2009, 01:00 AM
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If you want to make money plowing and are not doing commercial, then buy a small 4x4 Ford Bronco II and get the plastic poly blade board, manual transmission, manual hubs, and real snow tires. $50 an hour with a $25 min. Do it on a contract.

If you have the $5000 to drop, then the best set up is a F-350 4x4 with granny transmission with a two stage $5000 snow blower. A lot easier on the truck and you can make more money per hour.
 
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Old 10-22-2009, 04:36 PM
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My brother in law in Maine has a 2000 F-350 4x4 dually V-10 and he plows 2 parking lots and several private driveways.

The parking lots are $200 per storm and the driveways are $40.00 per storm. He's a little on the cheaper side as it's not his bread and butter.

His SD has done nothing but work all of it's life and it's been a fantastic rig. No driveline issues at all.

The fellas that buy a plow rig expecting to make money sometimes get surprised with a light winter. No plowing = no $$$.

Tim
 
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Old 10-22-2009, 04:43 PM
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I plow but never had done it commercially. I really want to get into plowing parking lots but I am not really sure how to go about it. I also don't really do it for the money, I mean it's nice but I actually enjoy doing it. I imagine that my view of it will change over the next 10 years.
 
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:48 PM
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I plow with my 2500HD. I've put way too much money into making sure that it's 100% sound and ready to plow every season, but it's paid itself multiple times over. I only do commercial lots, no driveways. Depending on the size of the storm I make anywhere from $600 to $1500 per storm. You just have to be willing to spend a good chunk of change to get a properly equipped truck and have someone that you can call for a backup. Almost forgot... be ready to work with no sleep. I work 60 hours a week before plwoing so there are a few sleepless nights a winter for me. I wouldn't trade it for anything. There's nothing better than making that first pass on a lot at 3AM with the windows down, radio cranked, and snow blowing everywhere.
 
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Old 10-22-2009, 10:58 PM
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Of course there is nothing worse then hitting something backing up and having hot coffee in your lap

When we used Broncos or Blazers (<- 1980s) we used to plow with the back window down too with the heat cranked, it was fun
 
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Old 10-23-2009, 04:18 AM
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I plow my HOA driveway still. Yes.. I still have my "Butt Trolley" ( see Butt Trolley thread). I eventually upgraded to a free lawn tractor and bought a plow for days when the snow isn't that deep.... ice still forms with traffic, even with only a couple inches. And the home owners beotch if it gets the slightest bit slick.

I invested in a brand new lawn tractor and plow this year. Plowing is hard on them, also.

All the work I do for the HOA, is only for my dues and insurance fees.

Word of advice. DO NOT buy into an HOA nor do any work for them. Especially if it's mostly younger generation or super OLD generation. You cannot satisfy any of them, even though they won't raise a finger to help themselves a little bit.
 
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Old 10-23-2009, 09:00 AM
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You almost never see pickup-mounted snow plows up here. Our wet, heavy, icy snow would destroy most of them in short order. A beater truck that barely runs has not enough power up here above 6000ft to do useful work anyway.

Jim
 

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