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Bad A-frame weld on a new Wide-out

Discussion in 'Western Plows Discussion' started by mishnick, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    I begin to understand the frustration of customers who come back with a brand new plow that has failed. I have been building and fixing plows for years but this year I thought I would try my hand at the other side of the business, as an operator. My Wide-out is brand new this year, have plowed only about ten hours with it so far. Today I gave it a look over and service before I go for a week to Mexico so my sub can be sure to have an operational plow to fullfil my responsibilities if it snows while I am gone. To my suprize I found my A-frame had a pretty serious crack. As you will see in the photo the weld was cold on one side and has almost no penetration. On one end of the six inch weld there is about 3/4" of good weld that actually toor. The rest looks like there is no penetration at all. Tomorrow we will see how well I get treated when I ask for warranty replacement. :realmad:

    This is the main blade pivot bolt and you will notice in the bottom left corner of the pic is one of the lift chains, just for orientation..... Every time the plow is elevated this crack opens up even wider. The photo shows the plow all the way down to the floor so there is no weight on the chain.

    Aframecrack.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
  2. 07F-250V10

    07F-250V10 Senior Member
    Messages: 114

    Are you kidding me? that is just rediculous. And Western Prides themselves on not using robotic welds......maybe they should!
     
  3. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    Yea, it sucks, but it's not the first one I have seen. We had a brand new HTS where the one side of the A-frame broke right away from the the cross-support. That was the first time the owner used it. But I have to say that Western moved earth and sky to give us what we needed to get him on the road ASAP. A bit more quality control would go a long way though. And yes, maybe robotic welding would do a better job.
     
  4. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516

    forgive my noobness, but, umm. all i see is a bit of tack weld at the very end of that thurr gap?
     
  5. got-h2o

    got-h2o 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,439

    ^^^^^^If you look close you can see that's a weld the whole length. Look on along the left side of the crack. Just not penetrated whatsoever.

    Sucks, but after my experience with the plow mount in my Blizzard thread, I can't say I'm surprised.
     
  6. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516

    it does look uneven. but yall know im a noob to welding..... and plowing.... :D
    im surprised that lasted one lift of the blade, there is no penetration at all into the right piece.
     
  7. got-h2o

    got-h2o 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,439

    Exactly....................unreal
     
  8. dfd9

    dfd9 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,475

    You sure? Could be, I just wasn't aware of it.

    Crappy welds have been an issue with Blizzards for quite some time due to robotic welding, and this looks like the exact same thing.

    At least they could have gotten within say, six inches of the steel while welding.
     
  9. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516

    shouldn't robotic welded be perfect?
     
  10. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,598

    That's exactly how the welds looked on my set of Western wings. I broke one of them off during the first storm and you could plainly see that the welds were horrible. The broken one was replaced under warranty but not the other one because they said it wasn't broken yet :dizzy: I didn't even wait for it to break, I took it to a professional who fixed it up for me. He was stunned at the poor quality and he couldn't believe they wouldn't replace it.

    I'm still a fan of Western plows but that left a sour taste in my mouth.
     
  11. dfd9

    dfd9 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,475

    Robots are only as good as the programming which is only as good as the programmer.

    And the robots can't tell you when something is not right, either.
     
  12. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516

    heh apparently their pro welders caint either :laughing:

    on a serious note. vehicle frames are done by a robot. so they are capable of making perfect welds every time, and good quality control would inform when something does go wrong.

    although i prefer having a human doing it for the simple fact that the plow will cost me the same either way, and this way a few people have a job.

    if it was me i would have taken my 10 lb sledge to the cutting edge of that other wing if i knew the weld was bad.
     
  13. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    Well guys, I showed this break to my supervisor today and they said "no way Western will replace that under warranty". Here in lies the problem... All Western warranty issues vertually come out of the salesperson's pocket. Even after talking through a problem with Western Tech Support (which is quite good by the way) and they come to a conclusion, based on your information collected as per their instruction, they will not authorize any warranty. They tell you to submit all the pictures and write up everything you did and were told to do all over again and submit it for warranty approval. It may take a whole day to do what they ask you to do but in the end they will only pay for the time it takes to change the part that was actually the problem. The troubleshooting time is NOT compensated for. For example, 12 hours troubleshooting a brand new wide-out wing leaking back resulted in one hour to replace the hydraulic assembly. Then, so I am told, the warranty paperwork takes longer to do then the repairs! Bottom line is that the proceedure takes so long that many people never report the problems, its cheaper and easier to just eat them. I bet when I call Western tech support tomorrow and explain this they will say replace the A-frame... and ..... submit a warranty claim.... Which my people don't want to take the time to do so I get to reweld it myself for now anyway...
     
  14. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516


    I don't get it. a weld came loose on a part, hoe long can that take.on a warrenty form. you say their tech support is great then why aren't they fixing the problem? if i gave my tech support like that I would lose my job in,a day.
     
  15. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    I agree it is bullshi# and needs to be changed. When I worked in the computer industry you called for tech support, got an occurance number, and they recorded every step, every instruction. When you needed time to do what they asked and then called back the next support tech would just pull up your number and carry on. In the end when they concluded your hard drive was bad they issued you an RMA number and you were crossshipped a new one. You didn't need to write a book all over again repeating everything you were told to do. And the best thing was that when they concluded it was the hard drive there was no argument, the decision was made and you got a new one. But the bottom line here is money. If Western changed this policy and people got the warranty support they needed and deserved it would cost them millions. If you were a business what would you do?
     
  16. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    It's not the tech support that is bad, it's the proceedure. When I say the tech support is good I mean they know their stuff.
     
  17. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516

    where the heck did you do tech support? here in america our indian tech support agents run you though the same steps 20 times. then transfer you to someone else who runs you though those same 20 steps then transfers you to someone who says its a software problem not covered under warantee. its not untill after 3 or so os installs that they admit that the hard drive is bad. and this is after spewing a bunch of nonsence that is not how computers work and telling the certified guy that he is not a technician (this is the last time i argued much with dell, now i just say its out of my hands.)


    sorry

    i dono. maybe i should reread your post about the experience. seems it shoudl be open shut to me. their weld had 0 penitration. one of the main components of a brand new plow jsut,,,, fell off.... western could get the crap sued out of them over somethign like this.

    submit warantee form, get new plow?

    im seriously less attracted to western now...
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
  18. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516

    so. correct me if im wrong.

    a frame weld broke. testing done. take a pic of the broken a frame weld. fill out form.

    get new a frame and 30 bucks for installing it.

    :rolleyes:
     
  19. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    It should be that simple... wish it was.
     
  20. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516

    what would make it more complicated. its not like theres any testing. the weld came off.

    please keep us updated on how this turns out. i am very interested to see what western does about it.