Just starting plowing any tips???

Discussion in '<a href=http://www.plowsite.com target=_blank ?>Sn' started by Etlawn, Dec 14, 2000.

  1. Etlawn

    Etlawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 52

    This is my first year plowing and I have already been through 3 storms. Im in Chicago. I was wondering any tips on going a little quicker and knowing the layout of accounts you never done before. I am always afrain of damaging my truck or something and am real weary of getting close to curbs.It also seems like I have a hard time figuring out how to clean up the snow and not be sloppy. Maybe its because im on 5 days of no sleep but I hate plowing! Anyone else feel like this when they first started? I alredy want to hire a driver for my truck.
  2. MJ

    MJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 312

    WOW - and everybody else here chomping at the bit to get out there and plow. I'd say sell your plow.

  3. Smither

    Smither LawnSite Member
    Posts: 90

    Etlawn, maybe you're just havin' a bad day. I'm only in my second year of plowing. I do it on the side in addition to a regular full-time job, just like alot of other people in this forum. Sometimes I really hate to get up and go out when I'd really rather be in bed sleeping, especially if I have deadlines at my full time job. I think learning to plow takes time. It is kind of frustrating to be learning something when you are out learning it by yourself, and the clock is always beating you over the head to get it done before all your accounts open up for business. I watch other plowers I work with, and other plowers from other companies. I try to watch what they do in the situations where I have trouble. As I have seen on this forum many times, newbies need to take it slow and careful, and only pick up speed with experience. I guess my point in a long roundabout way is, don't confuse inexperience frustration with hating the work. Give it till the end of the season or maybe another season, and if you STILL hate it, then it probably is time to sell the plow. Good luck and don't get down on yourself. Everybody has to start somewhere. Also, Chuck has a book for snowplowers, geared towards new plowers. Look in ChucksChevyPages.com.
  4. bdemir

    bdemir LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 610

    I think you have been through a tough storm. I live in michigan and its not the usual storms we get here. As for technique i could not help you there. Maybe have the driveways stacked good enough so you will see the boundaries better. Im new at this also.

    PINEISLAND1 LawnSite Member
    from WEST MI
    Posts: 201

    It really is much better to start out plowing for someone else. Then you can learn without the pressure of other responsibilities that owners have. You will get to the point that the plowing is the enjoyable part of it all, and then you will just dread the paperwork, and other parts of being an owner.

    Obviously that doesn't help you out now, but for others reading they may want to consider subbing for a little while before they go out on a limb. A winter like we are having already this year will break a lot of small operations like ours. We have now passed the snow total that we received ALL last winter here, and its not even officially winter yet!

    Learn the basics first, then move on to the other parts of owning a snow business.
  6. RB

    RB LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 306


    Chill! This is my 1st year too and I get just as frustrated at times. If any of your accounts are like mine it takes twice as long to get done and than guy plowing across the street.

    I was plowing a lot about 20 minutes when I saw the other guy show up across the street (he has a bigger lot) and started plowing. He finished up before I was done and he drove across the street and started helping me plow my lot. When we finished he introduced himself to me and said "I see you're new at this snow stuff, huh?" When I asked him how he knew, he said that this lot is plowed by a new person every year. He said it's a good lot to get some experience and then he said don't think this is the typical lot.

    My point is that for us it might be that all the lots we have and not the best to do. They might not be the best paying and they might be hard on our equipment. Hang in there.

    Next year at this time we'll compare notes. I bet we have a few of those "butter" jobs too.

  7. matthew Urban

    matthew Urban LawnSite Member
    Posts: 76

    RELAX...from what i saw on the news you've already plowed through some real nasty weather, so you've got that under your belt already.
    You WIll catch the occasional curb or manhole. Just try not to continually be bashing into them.
    Now as for the rest of it, it'll come with time.
    Keep the plow and give it a season.
    Hang in there
  8. Lazer

    Lazer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,446


    Those "trial-by-fire" snowfalls aren't fun, especially when you're first starting out.

    But plowing isn't for everyone. Seems all the real good snowplowers are a little "wacked" and they're the ones that really enjoy it.
  9. BRL

    BRL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,211

    Hey man, I'm not wacked, a little nuts I'll accept ;) OK a lot nuts if you ask my wife & friends.

    As mentioned, plowing isn't for everyone. But I'd give it some more time before throwing in the towel. The conditions you just tried to learn in were extreme & therefore difficult. Hopefully the next storm will be a little lighter and you can get the opportunity to practice & learn how to do it more efficiently, and maybe not hate it. Good luck.
  10. jrblawncare

    jrblawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 445

    Etlawn,you have been tossed in the fire up there.You have been given alot of good advise above,my first time out this year I gave myself plenty of time and "played"trying many different things.....backdrags,angles,speeds,1/4,1/2,3/4 and full blade pushes.I wanted to do lots that I'm not even contracted to do just for more practice.Hang in there for awhile if things don't get better maybe its not for you.GOOD LUCK JRB

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