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2003 F-550 4X4 Dump and spreader question

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by 4evergreenlawns, Mar 10, 2003.

  1. 4evergreenlawns

    4evergreenlawns Senior Member
    Messages: 552

    I am ordering a 2003 F550 4x4 Cab and Chasis, going with this size truck mainly to step up my snow plowing business.

    I need some help with the type of dump bed and spreader to add. I can see that central Hyd. is going to be left to user preference, but I am looking for what type of equipment is being used. I would like to get 4-5 yard of salt in the dump and find a tailgate spreader with a center spreder to do the type of jobs I salt. Those side discharge spreaders are great for roads, not too good for parking lots.

    Is a top screen needed in a dump bed with an auger running off central hyd??

    I am looking at a 10' X 17"side dump bed to get the 4 yard, anyone using something else? I should add that I am going with the 141" wheel based to keep the turning easy.

    I have no clue on what type of tailgate spreader to use. Western, Monroe, Air-flow, anyone with some insight would be great.

    I am looking at about $15,000.00 for the bed, spreader, and V plow, which now I am havign second thoughts about after reading the threads about welds, and creasing.

    I will be looking for all of you to help me out with good information about equipment you are or have used, please aviod the second hand comments, which seem to riddle these thread. If you have some advice that will help me make a good business decsion please pass it on. I am lucky that for me business has been good and I can afford this purchase, so I do not want to make a foolish choice on lack of consdieration. That is why I read so much of this.

    Thank you all, and pictures would be great.
     
  2. JMB74

    JMB74 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    I run a monroe replaceable tailgate spreader off a central hydro system on my 2001 F-450 and it works very well. I can put a little over 6 yards of salt in the dump bed without overloading the truck. The only problem i have experienced is when dumping the bed to feed salt into the spreader some salt tends to come over the top of the spreader. Overall i like the setup and would recommend it. Also the spinner is in the middle of the spreader and it kicks the salt out to the drivers side of the truck. I believe that the monroe site has some pics of the spreader. Good luck.
     
  3. JMB74

    JMB74 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    Also i almost for got i think i paid somewhere around $1950 for the spreader and about $3300 for the central hydro system.
     
  4. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    I've got a 550 with a combination body mounted with a midship spinner you say you don't like. I'm not sure why you say it's not suited for a parking lot, I do my church lot with no problem. The spreader has so many adjustments, you can set it up for almost any situation. I can set mine up th throw under the truck only for driveway and sidewalk use (I straddle the sidewalk) or set it up for a wide broadcast for street or parking lot use. You can see pictures here.

    Measure the width of your rear axle, then the plow you are looking at at full angle to see if it will be wide enough to clear the full track of the truck. I'm having problems dragging the rear wheels through the plowed snow with mine.

    I'd recommend a screen for whatever you purchase, lumpy material will cause you problems with any spreader.

    My truck works extremely well for snow removal, the spreader is a pleasure to operate! There are some compromises for the off season, but the snow removal side makes up for it!
     
  5. Pennies from Heaven

    Pennies from Heaven Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    your truck

    Man you are going to have one nice rig. I was thinking of buying a 550 myself for the same thing. I've been plowing since 1976 (man im getting old) and have learned that the less you have to go wrong on equipment, the better off you are. Especcially with the conditions that we operate in. If I get a 550, I will put on a tailgate spreader. They are cheaper, lighter, dont block your vision in the rear, and only have a few parts that may go bad. You can carry more salt because the tailgate spreader is lighter. Always, always, always tarp your salt! Keeping the moisture off it will keep clumps from forming, keep some salty water from running everywhere, and help keep the salt from freezing. There is nothing like trying to break up 6 tons of salt at 3 a.m. knowing your shopping center opens in a few hours.
    Good luck, let me know how you make out.
     
  6. Tillerman1664

    Tillerman1664 Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    Power up/down

    I'm still looking for a tailgate spreader as well. I'm getting close to a choice but it is still up in the air. We have a 9' crystal conventional contractors dump on a F-450. The one thing that keeps coming up in research is you HAVE TO go with a power up/DOWN hoist on your dump bed. Everyone who has made this mistake said at 1 point in time they have got caught with a load of product on the truck... the body up in the air and no way to get the body back down because the weight transfered to the rear of the truck. We have an auto trans and it came with a power up/down hoist so we won't have to worry about this problem.

    It's great you're researching this and looking into this set up. Anyone who hauls large qty's of salt or sand shouldn't think of any other way! It's certainly the most cost effective way for ice management. Oh yah, one more thought. If your budget will afford it, get the aluminium body and stainless steel spreader.
     
  7. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    The major dis advantage to the tailgate spreadrs is the augers that will wear out. Overall the combination bodies have the highest reliablity factor.

    The major advantage to the combination body is material is spread infront of the drive wheels.

    However when comparing the tailgate and the combination body, neither will give you a centered materials spinner. Both will put the materials spreader on the drivers side of the truck.

    Geoff
     
  8. 4evergreenlawns

    4evergreenlawns Senior Member
    Messages: 552

    Thank you all for taking the time to share your experiences.

    Pelican, I did not meant to imply that I do not like the midship spinner at all. What I am looking for is a tailgate spreader with the spinner located in middle not off the the drivers side like most units I see. I think that will give me a more even spread in parking lots where there are cars parked and reduce over lapping. I do not think I would go with a dual spreader set up unless I can get it into my budget. I also have seen the pictures of your truck, great looking rig but seems like alot of work for only 3 yard of salt. I need to get 4-5yard on the truck the make this worth the investment, that is why the F550 and not a F-450. 10,000lbs payload and 15,000 GVWR is what I at going for overall.

    I have looked into some of the combo bed units but the truck will be dual purpose so in the summer months I will need the bed for hauling.

    JMB, 6 yard in a 450 and still legal?? I know you can get 6 yards into the dump bed but is a 450 rated that high?? Have you ever had it on a scale?? What model Monroe do you have I think I have seen pictures of the middle mounted spinner off the tailgate spreader but have a hard time finding there homepage?

    Thanks again. Ron
     
  9. Tillerman1664

    Tillerman1664 Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    You may want to take another look at your trucks. Our F-450 came with a payload of 15,000. I know the F-550 is more...where did you get the 10,000 for an F450? :confused: He@@ I have a 10,000lb payload on my F350 pick up.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2003
  10. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Re: Power up/down

    It's usually only a problem if your cab to axle and over hang is incorrect for the dump body that is mounted.

    A lot of people choose the shorter wheelbase to help the turning radius for plowing and then use a long dump body for more capacity.This leaves a lot of overhang behind the rear axle,and if you raise the body too high,and all the material slides back,the body will not lower.If your carefull,and don't let too much of the load get rearward,it won't be a problem.

    The added weight of the taigate unit full of salt will do it sometimes too.You can add chains to limit the upward travel of the dump body to stop it from going past the tipping point.

    I'd go with a simple tailgate spreader and central hydraulics.Simple and reliable.You can build a simple screen on the actual tailgate unit,to keep large stuff out of the auger.Saves having to make a screen for the whole dump body.Also if the chains are setup right on the tailgate,it will prevent overflow of salt into the unit and stop bigger chunks as well.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2003
  11. JMB74

    JMB74 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    Ron, I am sorry you are right there are no pics on their web site. I was thinking of the pics in the literature that i have. Also to answer your question i never had the truck on a scale but it handles 5-6 yards of salt pretty well and i have not had any problems with it. I believe monroe has only one model of the replaceable tailgate spreader and that is the one i have.
     
  12. JMB74

    JMB74 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    there webpage is www.monroetruck.com and even though they dont have a pic they have info on it and the different accessories and options.
     
  13. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    YOU better take another look!

    I don't think so! I suspect you don't realize the difference between GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight) and "payload". Those numbers you're tossing around are pretty close to GVW for those trucks, NOT payload. Payload is what you've got left after you subtract the weight of the truck, GVW is the designed capacity for the vehicle and load. There's another number that might be an issue here as well, unless you understand that GCW (Gross Combination weight) relates to the all up weight of the vehicle, a trailer and any load carried on both. That's often referred to as "towing capacity", which comes down to the old label of GCW (or GCVW).
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2003
  14. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Sounds like he's talikng more about GVWR instead of actual payload capacity.
     
  15. 4evergreenlawns

    4evergreenlawns Senior Member
    Messages: 552

    B]You may want to take another look at your trucks. Our F-450 came with a payload of 15,000. I know the F-550 is more...where did you get the 10,000 for an F450? He@@ I have a 10,000lb payload on my F350 pick up.[/B]

    Tillerman,

    I think Alan is correct with the misundersanding of ratings. This happens alot with operators. I should add just for kicks that I was a Certified Weight Enforcement Officer for 5 years while I was a Police Officer, Payload and GVWR are two very differerent things, and that is waht leads to alot of overweight fines.

    I did mis-state some numbers, and they were the 10,000/15,000 is the not correct for the F550 it should be - Payload of 11,000 and GVWR of 17,500 and the F-450 payload of 8,400 and GVWR of 15,000lbs.

    Now GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Reccomended/Rating) is what the overall vehilce weight should not exceed according to Manf. reccomended SAFE operating condition. Exceed this rating and you only end up with a unsafe operation ticket which is min. fine, or a huge settlement by your insurance carrier if you have a crash and the weight was as factor and your exceed GVWR, belive me it has happened. I was the expert witness testifing, and the insurance company pays lots of money for that testimony.

    Payload is what the chasis can handle including the dump bed, salt spreader and so on, the plow weight goes to the GVWR not the payload. You can say the payload is EVERYTHING rear of the cab placed on the chasis. There for I would say your F-350 it a 10,000 GVWR not payload. Again exceed this and small fine because it just rolls up to the GVWR, but be at fault in a crash and it rolls up to your insurance bills.

    JMB, I am sure you are right with the amount of yards you are getting on your truck, what size bed do you have on your 450? Hard to tell what the weight of salt actually is depending on so many different conditions. I have seen, heard, read, 1CY of rock salt weighting anywhere from 1400 - 2000 lbs. depending on size, wet, dry, cold, warm, humidity, and so on.

    I am going with the 9' bed on the 141" wheel based. And deciding to step down to the F-450 due to the huge difference in insurance rates not off setting the additional 2,500lbs to GVWR in the F-550.

    Found a nice simple direct drive central Hyd. center discharge, removable tailgate spreader for $2,500.00 new installed. Central Hyds. for $2,900.00 installed. Western MVP 9.5ft Plow for $4,100.00 installed. Oh and the bed, going with electric over Hyds. power down hoist, for $4,800.00 and that is a 9'x17" high side, dump bed 3.5-4.2 yard cap.(I am confident it will handle 5 yards with siderails added.) If any of these prices seem off Please let me know.

    Thanks again, and I think I am getting an idea for what I need to buy.
     
  16. Tillerman1664

    Tillerman1664 Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    OOOOOPPPPSSSS!!!

    OOOPPPPPSSS!! You all are correct. This was a typo; fat fingers typing too fast! It should be GVW not payload! Sorry... my ignorance. And yes.... I know the difference between payload and GVW. I know it very well. I have been a professional truck driver since the age of 18. I KNOW the difference. Sorry!
     
  17. Tillerman1664

    Tillerman1664 Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    Re: Re: Power up/down

    This is not necessarily totally ture...will explain...

    QUOTE]Originally posted by wyldman
    A lot of people choose the shorter wheelbase to help the turning radius for plowing and then use a long dump body for more capacity.This leaves a lot of overhang behind the rear axle,and if you raise the body too high,and all the material slides back,the body will not lower.If your carefull,and don't let too much of the load get rearward,it won't be a problem.

    The added weight of the taigate unit full of salt will do it sometimes too.You can add chains to limit the upward travel of the dump body to stop it from going past the tipping point.
    [/QUOTE]

    Yes, you are correct. It can USUALLY be a problem according to those manufacturer's specs that you stated. However, this side of the falls, at least in this area, you are going to be extremely hard pressed to find a professional, commercial body company to build a vehicle with a large amount of overhang over the rear wheels. I know a couple of people who've tried, but they were turned down.

    Anyway, as I stated before, I am a professional truck driver. Most of my experience is with dump trucks.

    So...

    For example, let us say the tailgate is set up for an extremely small amount of product flow. You are raising the body completely and the product doesn't dump fast enough, then the weight transfer goes to the rear of body. Once the load passes the center of gravity or the centerline of that bed and there is more weight to the rear and not enough weight over the raising cylinder (if you don't have a power down feature,) I don't care how hard you try, it's not going to come down. It doesn't matter if it's a single screw, a tandem axle or what type of material is on the truck; the laws of physics and weight are gonna prevail. I've seen it time and time again and I will reiterate... if doesn't matter if you have a lot of weight behind the rear wheels or the body dumps just behind the rear wheels, if there isn't enough weight on that raise cylinder, it ain't comin' down. If you don't believe me...give it a try.

    Now granted, you and I both know perfectly well about this situation. I'm sure, as does any "COMPETENT" individual working with this issue, but that one time that I have to put Joe screw up in a truck and have him operate it for 20 minutes, something is gonna go wrong somewhere. Yes, I can explain that situation time and time again. But come on, all the competent people in this business either own them or run them; like you or I.

    Personally, I am the type of person that anticipates the worse case scenario and hopes for the best case scenario. I design, build and buy equipment that follow that philosophy. He may never, ever need the power down feature on his lift cylinder, but I would place a wager that if he doesn't get it, the one time he needs it, he's gonna be thinking of our insightful information. Just a thought and my tarnished two cents.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2003
  18. JMB74

    JMB74 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    On my 450 i have an 11' bed w/ an electric hoist. I am not sure of the height of the dump box standard but it is around 4' with the 2 by 4's i used to build the sides up so it could handle more material. It sounds like your setup is going to be very nice. Good luck.
     
  19. Tillerman1664

    Tillerman1664 Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    Please share where did you find it? I need one as well.
     
  20. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    GVW F-450 = 15,000

    GVW F-550 4 x 4 = 17,500

    I regularly carry 6 yards of salt on my 550, and no, I haven't had it on a scale. I doubt it's legal, but DOT doesn't make a habit of weighing trucks during a snow storm around here. My work is for a local Town as well, the cops know it and don't hassle us.

    I'm still not following how a mid ship spinner is a detriment. If you want an even spread from a center mounted spinner, you have to ride down the center of the lane. With the mid-mounted unit, you ride down the right side of the lane as you would driving in traffic. What is the overlap you are concerned about? As I said before, this type sander can be adjusted to throw material almost anywhere you want it.