You can save money snowplowing your own driveway, but only if you meet certain criteria. Here are some common questions homeowners and business owners ask when considering whether to take on this odious wintertime chore themselves:
- Can I plow snow with my F-150? Ha! No! You need a real truck. Well, technically you can plow with an F-150, but you have to use a special lightweight plow, which is good for not much more than a couple inches of powder — the kind of snow that will likely blow away before morning anyway.
- Does it matter what type of plow I use? Yes, definitely. With plowing, it’s all about the weight. You need to know your front gross axle weight rating, which is the maximum amount of weight the front of your truck can hold. Then you need to know the weight of the plow you’re considering buying to make sure you’re not going to go over the limit.
- What happens if I go over the limit? Plowing is hard on your engine, transmission, drivetrain and more — and that’s if you use a plow that’s the right size for your vehicle. If your plow is too heavy, you could quickly burn out your engine, wreck the transmission and/or crack the truck’s frame.
- What if I have never plowed before? Plowing is an art and a science. The angle of your plow, the type of snow that has fallen, the depth of snow and many other factors are important in how you plow snow. Plan on extra time for learning.
- Will plowing my own snow mean the end of back injuries from shoveling? Yes, but you may very well sustain a back injury from plowing, and the two types of pain feel suspiciously similar. Operating a snowplow is heavy, hard work and if you’re new to it, you may come to a few hard stops trying to push a heavy pile of snow farther than it is willing to go. Injuries are not uncommon.
- How much money will I save plowing my own snow? It depends on how old you are. The cheapest snowplows start at around $2,000, but many of the top sellers start at around $4,000. Depending on how much it snows each year and your plowing area, you can end up spending anywhere from less than a hundred to several hundred dollars per season for professional plowing, so it can take anywhere from five to 25 years for the costs to even out, and that’s not counting the time you’d spend plowing and the wear and tear on your vehicle.
Here at Earthworks Landscaping, we repurpose our heavy-duty trucks that we use for hauling rocks and mulch in the summer for plowing snow in the winter. We can make quick work of that long driveway that takes you an hour-plus to clear even with a snowblower. Save time and money this year and let us take care of plowing your snow.