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Hare brained idea maybe, you tell me

Discussion in '<a href=http://www.plowsite.com target=_blank ?>Sn' started by Alan, Mar 17, 2001.

  1. Alan

    Alan Member
    Posts: 1,185

    OK,, I need opinions on this.

    I'm seriously considering buying a big snowblower, specifically a Sicard Junior. After getting buried in the recent big storm, and knowing that every few years we get storms like that, I don't want to ever be in that position again.

    Purchase cost is going to be somewhere in the $5-8,000 range. I tend to think that that amount is really not much money in the current economy, about the same as a well used pickup and plow. In that respect I could let it sit a lot for the times when it was really useful.

    In normal winters I would utilize it to cut plowing time on several commercial sites that we do. Rather than trying to push back and stack as much as possible during a storm I would push to the unused portions of the lot, making no attempt to stack, and then come in the next day and blow the snow completely off the area. I think the time saved during the storm, and less abuse on the trucks from stacking would more than justify the time to clean up after a storm. I currently have a site that the customer has to remove piles from at least once and sometimes twice a winter. I will approach them about including the removal in my contract and throwing the snow into the next county. This would be an increase in revenue to help amortize the cost of the machine as well. Any money I normally spend to move banks back could stay in my pocket to defray machine costs also.

    In severe winters I would never be in the position of running out of room. This past storm I found places where I was unable to plow as there was no way to get snow off the blade. I had to open several with a 4' blower on a big garden tractor, slow but got it done. I would also be in a position to hire out to load trucks or clear the school district properties, which is currently done with loaders or TLBs. Again, this past storm forced me to bring in a TLB, cost will probably be close to $1,000 between that and a skidsteer. What I did with those I could have done faster with the blower and kept that money in my own account as well.

    Then there is the fact that I have always liked snowblowers. And keeping in mind that "he who dies with the most toys wins", I would just plain like being the only kid in town with his own 6', self propelled snowblower. OK,, there it is, blow holes in my idea, ask questions, whatever.
  2. 75

    75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 992

    OK, here goes! Keeping in mind that I like machinery of all kinds too, it sounds like you have a real application for this machine. If it can help make you more self sufficient, it would sound like money well spent.

    Where I am, one of the local construction companies has a Vohl snowblower which gets used when required for chewing the banks back to open the roads up to full width. It's seen a fair bit of use this winter.

    I know you do your own fab/mechanical work, so keeping this machine in operating condition shouldn't be any problem for you either. All in all, I'd say it's something you can make good use of, especially if the purchase price will be what you quoted.

    The only thing I would be concerned about would be breakdowns, because if that were to occurr it might be difficult to find a machine to cover for you, especially on short notice. But good preventive maintenance should keep this from happening anyway.
  3. John Allin

    John Allin LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,489

    Sounds like you've thought it out pretty throughly, from what I can see.

  4. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,213

    I think most of us that recived unusal amounts of snow could have used a big blower this year.I know I need some thing to compensate for trying to push where I can't push any more.

  5. Humm brand new this kind of equipment cost 250 000 $ of canadian poor money. Looking over my weekly used equipment journal, for something ready to go with few $$ to spend on it, price start a little under 20 000. For the budget you expect, in my area, the only thing you could find is big project on rebuild. Get ready to spend 100 000 on it.
    rebuild unit http://www.jalarue.com/p2.html

    An alternative is to use a loader mounted unit with is own powertrain. Buy the unit and sub the loader if you don't have one.

    Both are for street or very big lot clearance.

    On commercial and appart complex, I will recommand you a 8.5' industrial snowplower, pto powered by a New Holland Versatile and also use it with a plow on light events.

    for residential inverted snowblower http://www.cienormand.com/mainfrma.htm
    or 2 way snowblower are very good http://www.pronovost.qc.ca/pa.html

    Hope it could help.
  6. slplow

    slplow LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 354

    sounds like a good idea alan and you do get some good snow up there.
  7. Alan

    Alan Member
    Posts: 1,185

    Denis, the blowers you are talking about are much bigger, probably 3-4,000 tons per hour. Sicard Juniors are pretty common on the used market, in operating condition, for the price range I quoted. I just missed one that was supposedly running and sold for $2,000 US. I would be suspect of one that cheap but it supposedly had a fresh AC diesel for the power unit. I'm thinking the Junior is in the 1-1500 ton per hour range.
  8. For that price, this is a very good option. Amazing how much things are expensive north the border.
  9. Deere John

    Deere John LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 327

    Alan - I see others here with the same ideas as you. One mall is done with the next-day technique and the snow in the bush is presently 20+ feet deep, and no truck hauling. I'll try to find out if his inovation with the snowblower reflected in a lower rate in the contract (ie verses trucks and loaders). I suspect he puts it right to his pocket and saves the truck haul.

    Sounds like you've already bought it, you just haven't officially told yourself yet!!!

    (I can't wait to read your Volume III, 2002 spring storm summary when you include the potential brought to the table of this tool) :)

  10. Alan

    Alan Member
    Posts: 1,185

    Deere John, I think you're right, I probably have bought one, just haven't decided which one nor where the money will come from. With the wierd winter we've had and some surprise repairs my war chest isn't as full as it normally is at this point in the season. I'm going to go look at at least one machine and maybe two this week or next. If I buy one it will be paid for on the spot or maybe very short term finance. I was going over records the other day and so far we've only had 7 pushes on our residence customers, which is about half of normal. This is in a winter with 125% of normal snowfall, most of it in 1" per day drizzles. Our contract accounts are right at or slightly over budget projections, again due to those damn 1" storms. But if there is any way I can swing the money end of it I probably will be the only kid in town (maybe the county even) with his own HUGE snowblower.

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