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Ballast for a Tundra, really?

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by southshoreman, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. southshoreman

    southshoreman Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    I just bought a 2008 Tundra and am researching plows now in anticipation of this winter. I went to Fisher's site (I had a 7.5 foot minute mount homesteader on my older truck) and used their "ematch" function to help pick the right plow. Well, I was mighty surprised to find that no matter what level plow I selected, from the smaller homesteader to the HD commercial plow, it always concluded that I would require ballast in the back of the truck. That surprises and disappoints me as I hate the idea of thinking that this half ton powerful truck on its own may be inadequate to get through any pile of snow blocking a driveway. So, reality check: does it sound right to you? (I know that smaller trucks such as the Tacoma and Dakota require weights in the back and its partially for that reason that I bought a full size truck). Many thanks.
  2. affekonig

    affekonig Senior Member
    Messages: 909

    All trucks should have ballast behind the rear wheels to counter the weight of the plow hanging off the front. There's plenty of reading on here on the subject including what to use and how to mount it. I don't think you'll have a problem with the truck. Good luck and enjoy.
  3. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    You could run the truck without ballast...but it will most likely perform much better with.

    fwiw, I can plow fine without any weight in the bed of our 1 ton dump. But with "proper ballast" it performs MUCH better and keeps me from having to use 4wd as often. No matter the size of truck/plow, ballast helps greatly.
  4. southshoreman

    southshoreman Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    Thanks very much. It's amazing how much I have to learn...
  5. wizardsr

    wizardsr PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,539

    To echo what others have said, the truck will plow much better with weight in the back. Most often plow manufacturers recommend ballast due to the plow hanging off the front, plus occupants in the cab putting the front axle over it's rating. Ballast off-sets some of the weight of the plow. I plow without ballast all the time, simply because the spreader on my one ton rolls in and out of the truck in a mere minute or two, and visibility sucks so bad with it in there I prefer to plow without it. The truck plows fine, but in snow on the city streets the back end can get a little squirly, and traction is far better on packed snow with weight in the back. If you're only plowing a driveway, and not driving around on the road with the plow on the truck, I wouldn't worry about it.
  6. PrimoSR

    PrimoSR Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    It is not necessary by any means, but helps immensely. Don't over think it just put 400 pounds of bagged salt back there and forget about it. If you ever get stuck or have an ice storm you can use the salt and whatever you have left in the spring you can use in your water softener.
  7. mercer_me

    mercer_me PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,358

    Like others have said, all trucks should have ballest. It doesn't matter if it's a Ford Ranger or a F-350 they all should have ballest. But, it's not necessary you can plow with out ballest but, ballest helps so much that it's well worth putting some thing heavy in the body.
  8. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Ballast helps tremendously. A good weight to start at is the weight of the plow. 500 lb plow, 500 lbs ballast. Get it as far back as possible. This will help take some of weight off the front axle, and better balance the F/R ratio too. I always plowed heavy, and mostly used 2wd.
  9. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,990

    Remember when you start loading ballast that you are going to raise the front end. Since your snowplow requires the vehicle mounting points fall with in certain height parameters it is important that you don't load so much ballast that you raise the mounting points to high for a clean full blade scrape when angled.

    If you, like 2COR517 (and me) decide to go heavy (we carry spreaders) then you must adjust for it in your mounting point heights. Why it is a good idea to have truck loaded for plowing or make measurement adjustments when you install the mount.
  10. mayhem

    mayhem PlowSite.com Addict
    from Peru MA
    Messages: 1,016

    Without ballast your truck will effectively be running as a FWD vehicle.

    Thats hundreds of pounds you're putting on the front frame and its on a lever arm about 5-6 feet out in front of the front axle.
  11. Yooper75

    Yooper75 Senior Member
    Messages: 324

    When I had my 1500 Sierra and Western Pro Plow I was running about 500lbs up against the tail gate and that truck could push 12in of heavy wet lake effect snow with out spinning the tires or having to really work the truck. It also rode better with the ballast because there was less nose bounce when the plow was on the truck.
  12. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,515

    Why do so many people NOT understand the difference between POWER and TRACTION?

    people dont remember that pickups used to be noterease (sp) for spinning around if empty and braking hard. you hang 700 # off the front and the rear will be even lighter.