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Ballast ?

Discussion in 'Ram Trucks' started by roadrnnr, Feb 16, 2008.

  1. roadrnnr

    roadrnnr Member
    Messages: 40

    Just curious why ballast is always suggested to be put behind the rear wheels?

    I have mine,(Sand bags) right over the rear wheels and the truck rides so nice.

    Seems like behind the rear wheels would make the back sway alot more.

    Is it to relieve more stress on the front end.

    Just curious where everyone puts theirs?
     
  2. THEGOLDPRO

    THEGOLDPRO PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,136

    i just have it in the bed, lol mine slide around so they are all over.
     
  3. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,046

    The further back you put your weight, the less you need. As long as the weight is at or behind the rear axle your fine. If it's at the front your putting alot of unneeded strain on your front end. JMO
     
  4. ABES

    ABES PlowSite.com Addict
    from MN
    Messages: 1,322

    centered over the rear axle or behind is best. we used to have big concrete blocks that fit perfect around the wheel wells they worked awesome.
     
  5. baltz526

    baltz526 Member
    Messages: 32

    mine is as far back as i can get it, about 350lbs of steel, chain bindered to the flatbed. really keeps the front blade bounce out of it on the frostheaved roads. the balance is much better without that feeling of riding on the front wheels
     
  6. CNY Plow

    CNY Plow Senior Member
    Messages: 145

    why ballast?

    You just put nearly 1/2 ton on the front of a vehicle that is designed to carry weight in the rear - you have just lost your stability (ballast is stability control - look it up in the big word book).
    The further to the rear the better the stability - i personally keep mine just behind the rear axle because i use a 2 X 10 in the board pckets of the box and have a non-slip bed liner so things don't slide too much.
    the PLOW MFR will let you know the minimum amount of ballast required for each application. you can always use more if desired - mpg drops with more weight.
     
  7. Indy

    Indy Senior Member
    Messages: 704

    not sure about ballast, take a look at this thread,


    http://www.plowsite.com/showthread.php?t=57881&highlight=ballast

    personally I had it all the way to the back, but it was a drag getting the spreader and blower out so now it is over the wheels and the spreader and blower are in the far back, I did load more ballast in but it seems to be working and driving fine

    Good luck:salute:
     
  8. AbsoluteH&L

    AbsoluteH&L Senior Member
    Messages: 573

    WOW!! Some how I never saw that thread. That was bad!
    Yeah I run about 3-400 lbs of ballast at the gate. The further back the better. I saw a Ranger that had the bed lined with pavers. That way the bed was still flat and usable. He said he did it so could still haul his 4 wheeler in the back.
     
  9. jjklongisland

    jjklongisland Senior Member
    Messages: 470

    I have two precast concrete curb stops in the back of my W250... They weigh 360 pounds each... This is my 2nd year runnng ballast and wow what a difference... Totally recommend... Also I notice when I am driving on the highway going 50 mph with the plow on the ass dont feel as loose when I used to hit bumps... Plus plowing out loading docks are easier... I used to keep them at the end behind the tailgate but this year I have them longways on the bed so I have more usability of the bed... I dont see a noticable difference where I put it as long as I have it in my bed... Plus I get them in my bed myself wesport
     
  10. DAFFMOBILEWASH

    DAFFMOBILEWASH PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,597

    Ballast is a must, but be smart about it. A few years back I was driving behind a pick up during a snow squall. Needless to say the driver of the truck put it sideways and into the ditch of 5' deep of snow. The truck stopped on the spot but every thing in the back of the truck was thrown all over the place. Including a concrete block which all most went through the back window. Keep in mind if you have stuff in the back tie it down, for it will become a missle during a crash. Its also a good idea to invest in a $250.00 head ache rack.
     
  11. jjklongisland

    jjklongisland Senior Member
    Messages: 470

    I understand what you are saying and its always a good idea to secure any load but think about it... We are putting ballast or items in the back of a pick up truck... Everyone puts items in the pack of a pick up and doesnt secure them, when I go to home depot and get stuff like fertilizer or potting soil i dont secure that down... If I have 2 - 360 pound concrete curb stops in the back of my pick up and if I god forbid rolled my truck, I dont care what tie town you use, nothing is gonna keep them in the bed... I agree with the headache rack... thats probably you best bet...
     
  12. ahoron

    ahoron Senior Member
    from here
    Messages: 422

    The point to securing ballast or anything in the bed is that in a crash the truck stops the seatbelt stops you from going thru the dash and tiedowns on cargo stop the cargo from going thru you and the dash. just because you and the truck stop suddenly the stuff behind you is still going whatever speed the truck was going if it's not secured. And the photo of that wrecked chevy I would like to add in driver error not just the lack of ballast that caused that crash. I put ballast as far to the rear of the bed as possible aslong as you are not in front of the rear wheels you should be fine
     
  13. AbsoluteH&L

    AbsoluteH&L Senior Member
    Messages: 573

    The only driver error was the lack of ballast. The guy is lucky to be alive! What gives you the rite to trash him?!:realmad:
     
  14. ahoron

    ahoron Senior Member
    from here
    Messages: 422

    I am not trashing him Just stating that I don't think the tree jumped in front of him. And not putting ballast in the truck as required is driver error as is driving to fast for conditions. I'm Just saying that not putting ballast in alone will not cause you to hit a tree. he is lucky to be alive. you are correct
     
  15. jjklongisland

    jjklongisland Senior Member
    Messages: 470

    I fell into the category of the IPPOA, The Ignorant Plow People Of America when I first started. My first 2 seasons didnt know about this site and not many people I knew plowed. I never ran ballast and then came accross this site and saw the preverbial, What is Ballast? thread... I read it said, my truck is a heavy duty snow plowing machine wesport, I dont need know stinking ballast, my truck dont sag, it gets traction etc... Then I decided to try it out and think, hey maybe the pros know what they are talking about... Best move I ever made. I was plowing with a newb last storm that I got paired up with... Some young kid... He had no ballast and said my truck dont need no ballast, I said dont be stupid like me, put it in your bed or join the IPPOA... I associate the IPPOA with the IOROA, The Ignorant Off-Roader Of America, you know the guy with his lifted Bronco with 33's on it and says I dont need to air down, airing down is for wimps, And then a half hour later he is flagging me down to help pull his embarrrased ass out of the sand with his girlfriend on her hands and knees trying to dig the sand out around his tires...
     
  16. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,609

    you have to think of your truck as a giant lever, the rear wheels are the fulcrum point. If you put all the weight on the rear wheels, it helps, but it helps less than behind the wheels, you have more of an advantage.

    Which requires less to lift the other end, red or blue?

    Fulcrum.jpg
     
  17. PLOWIN DOUGH

    PLOWIN DOUGH Member
    Messages: 56

    I agree weight will make more of a difference in the back of the truck bed. However Ive been warned by a very knowledgeable mechanic that if the weight is in the back of your bed it can multiply your speed in a spin out, now this is not with a plow on maybe the two counteract each other. Just noting that safest spot is directly above rear axle. I do also suspect that if the weight was near your tailgate that would slightly help reduce stress on the front end. Just a couple notes!
     
  18. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992

  19. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,549

    IF you Do Not have your plow on then YES putting the weight over the axle would be the best place for it.

    When you have your plow attached to your truck the "Safest" place is right next to the tailgate , Behind the rear wheels NOT over them..

    It is placed there to balance out your vehicle..


    We use anywhere from #500 to #800lb of counterweight / ballast..
     
  20. AbsoluteH&L

    AbsoluteH&L Senior Member
    Messages: 573

    This really should be simple. The plow is about 3 feet PAST the front bumper, so as far as you can get your ballast to the back the better. It works similar (but in the opposite manner) to a weight distributing hitch for a heavy trailer. Ballast puts weight on the rear of the truck in an effort to take some off the front (theoretically). Just as a WD hitch takes weight off the rear axle and puts it to the front.