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Ballast Question

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by jjklongisland, Dec 14, 2007.

  1. jjklongisland

    jjklongisland Senior Member
    Messages: 470

    I have a balllast ?. Other than evenning out the front end sag due to the weight of the plow and giving better traction with regards to weigh over the rear wheels, are there any other benifits in using ballast.I run an 89 Ram 3/4 ton regular cab with an 7.5' Meyer. The truck barely sags in the front with the plow up and traction really doesnt seam to be a big problem... Should I still run ballast?
     
  2. KGRlandscapeing

    KGRlandscapeing 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,660

    older ones never seemd so bad. but i have noticed a few huge changes since i startd using ballast alot better traction u dont have to use 4x4 so much. you stop alot better turns well there always intresting in snow with a plow
     
  3. Greybeard

    Greybeard Member
    from MA
    Messages: 35

    It helps

    We got about a foot of snow here in New England last night. I had a pile of wood that had to be moved before the storm, and I thought it might make sense to leave it in the truck for ballast. (About 1/2 cord of maple from a big dead tree.) I was surprised at how well the truck worked with all the weight, which I guess is over 1000 lbs. In the middle of a white-out storm, I was pushing snow up hill for a good distance, and moving big piles of snow out of the parking lots. In a big storm, it comes down to weight against weight, and the more you carry, the less the truck has to work. My rig is a 2000 Ford F350 SRW with an 8' Fisher plow. Today I was mopping up the edges, etc., and actually used 2-wheel drive much of the time, because the truck turns tighter around corners that way.
     
  4. dfdsuperduty

    dfdsuperduty Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    i have a 03 150 with about 650lbs up front and a set of timbrens and about 600 in back and for our last storm which was about 3" i hardly ever had the truck in 4x4
     
  5. crabbybob

    crabbybob Junior Member
    from 01440
    Messages: 27

    Ballast balances out the extra load on the front end which reduces wear and tear on the front suspension. On my truck you can tell the difference ballast makes in how much better the power steering works with a few hundred pounds of ballast. I think the front tires wear out faster though if you drive the truck a lot without the plow and don't take the ballast out.
     
  6. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,760

    The more you weigh, the more snow you can move.
    Just like in ag tractors, you can only move up to what you weigh with traction and then that's it, you're stuck.
    More weight is better in ground work (plowing the ground) and in snow.
     
  7. MrBigStuff

    MrBigStuff Senior Member
    from Boston
    Messages: 140

    The front to back braking bias on your truck is designed for the weight ratio being stock with perhaps some load in the rear. When you cantilever a plow off the front end, it messes up the ratio and your braking can be compromised. Not to mention front end dive and rear end getting loose under emergency braking when the inevitable moron pulls out in front of you on your way to the next site. Ballast also helps in this regard.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2007
  8. jvcski

    jvcski Member
    Messages: 42

    when i got my plow installed on my truck By law they had to put the weight in the back. they told me it had something to do with my insurance. when i spoke to the insurance company they told me that if i got into an accident with the truck/with the plow on it, and i didn't have the weight in the back that they would not cover me.
     
  9. jjklongisland

    jjklongisland Senior Member
    Messages: 470

    Last season (the first season I plowed with this actual truck) I put two precast concrete curb stops in my bed (at least 550 pounds). It made the ride alot less stiff with the weight in the back but this year I decided to try it without lugging those concrete mammoths in the back of my pickup... Plus I can still use my bed when I need to pick stuff up... It hasnt really snowed that much here yet this season so I really cant compare yet but was just wondering what other reasons people use the ballast... Is it more for traction or leveling or other reasons?
     
  10. jjklongisland

    jjklongisland Senior Member
    Messages: 470

    Well those are the answers I was looking for... I definately will be musceling those curb stops into the back of the truck... Thanks guys.

    HAPPY PLOWING:waving:
     
  11. TEX

    TEX Senior Member
    Messages: 606

    so what does everyone use for ballast?

    i built a wooden box and put about 500lb of plate weights in it. works good.
     
  12. dfdsuperduty

    dfdsuperduty Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    salt this way if i do get stuck i have something to use to try and get traction and get unstuck
     
  13. TEX

    TEX Senior Member
    Messages: 606

    well i thought salt or sand bags would be good. nice to have and easy to replace.
     
  14. ppease

    ppease Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 55

    The sander is new this year. The extra weight makes a huge difference.
     
  15. MOWBIZZ

    MOWBIZZ Senior Member
    Messages: 500

    I use...

    Those 40 pound bags of household salt (for the water system) heck, I need them every couple months so they'll just ride around with me til I need em at home...BTW I have 10 behind the rear axle now...400 lbs.

    My Snoway is a bit lighter than most so I don't need much more than that, and it's performing really well so far...I just need to put some sort of wood bracket back there to keep them in place...so far they've only moved a couple inches (line-x liner is very sticky) but if I havr to slam the brakes I know they'll slide a little more...nice and soft tho, so nothing will be damaged if they do slide...
     
  16. Fastcar

    Fastcar Member
    from MA
    Messages: 87


    Who told you that???? I assume you are in Melrose MA.
     
  17. ProSeasons

    ProSeasons Senior Member
    Messages: 624

    150 gallons of diesel fuel in a semi tank in the bed, and a Snowman Pull plow thats 540 pounds and a Tryn-Ex spreader.
     
  18. mps

    mps Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    Ballast

    In the past i have used 1/2 - 3/4 inch Gravel (washed) about 1.5 - 2inches deep over the bed of the pick up truck, the rock is clean and allows the pick up bed to be used. the rock weighs about 350-400 lbs per inch approximately. Now we seem to always carry enough weight in bagged salt to do the trick.
     
  19. jvcski

    jvcski Member
    Messages: 42

    I did live in melrose but now i live in NH Nottingham to be exact. My insurance company liberty mutual told me that i needed to have it in there then i talked to the shop where i got the plow installed and they said that they have to install it by law to cover their butts. Then i went and did a little more research into the whole insurance company thing and found out that the person who i was speaking with gave me a line of bs. they recommend i have the ballast in the back but the new person that i said that. So, I also am waiting for the insurance company to call me back, after they can do some more research on the situation... which makes no sense to me its a black and white issue.
     
  20. saabman

    saabman Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 70

    For maximum effectiveness the ballast needs to be secured rearward of the rear axle. This makes the rear axle a pivot point and unloads the front axle some. Putting a layer of anything in the entire truck bed does not achieve this goal.