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Chain lift Vs. Cylinder lift

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by MileHigh, Feb 10, 2008.


Chain Lift VS Cylinder Lift

  1. CHAIN


  1. MileHigh

    MileHigh PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,827

    Just wanted to see what the majority would PREFER NOT WHAT THEY HAVE.

    I know I PREFER chain lift all day.-too many advantages over the cylinder.

    Let's hear what you all have to say!
  2. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill PlowSite.com Addict
    from MA
    Messages: 1,822

    What are the advantages with a chain over a cyclinder? I'm not trying to be a jerk, I'm just wondering. I've often thought of that and I can never find any point in having a chain. I've always wondered why manifactures have the chain, so this will be an interesting thread.
  3. MileHigh

    MileHigh PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,827

    Instant Float=better scraping

    The ability to short and or long chain.
    with short chaining you can still transport your plow if you have pump faliure
    and with long chaining, you can follow the contours of deep entry and exit ways doing commercial.
    Just the two I have found to be useful while plowing.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2008
  4. mkwl

    mkwl 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,361

    Chain lift hands down- wouldn't even consider a cylinder direct lift. Too many disadvantages to a cylinder lift- no instant/deep float, you're in deep s*** if your pump fails, etc.

    IMO chain lift is tried and true, and the only way to go! :waving:
  5. plowman4life

    plowman4life Senior Member
    Messages: 557

    chain lift. only way to go.

    we have owned a couple of cylinder. they can scrape good b/c of the downpressure. but other than that they dont have any advantage over chain lift.
  6. ABES

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

    Ive used both and they both work fine. so i could care less if it is a chain or direct cylinder plow. and as far as being able to short chain the plow you can do that with a direct cylinder plow. my brother had to do that to the new Boss V he was running this year. Just take a Rachet strap and strap the plow up to the light tower.
  7. Flipper

    Flipper PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,180

    I see the cylinder lifts as having just a couple pivot point where things bind and then the mounts break. Do a search Boss upper cylinder mounts breaks when stacking.

    With a chain each link acts in itself to allow bind free movement and float abilities. Short chaining really isn't an issues, however I like the ability to easily adjust the chain for different ride heights.
  8. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill PlowSite.com Addict
    from MA
    Messages: 1,822

    I hope not everyones forgetting that either one can break. Chains can break too. Personally, owning a boss that does not have any down pressure advantages, I think the cylinder lift if better just because it eliminates a lot of unnessicary components. Like that triangle, chain, U bolts that hold the chain (another thing that can break), rings that connect the chain to the triangle or what have you. I hear lots of guys say "oh well what happens when that cylinder goes?" But I think they forget that they have a cylinder too. And the exact same thing happens when they're cylinder goes. Only real difference is it looks a lot cleaner without the chain, eliminates a lot of unnessicary components, and gives the advantage of the boss mounting system. JMO.
  9. toby4492

    toby4492 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,513

    Chain lift plows are much harder on truck suspension systems and front end components.

    A direct link plow will not have all the chain slap during transportation and also will allow for the blade to lift higher resulting in higher stacking capability when in use.
  10. exmark1

    exmark1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,320

    I would never own another chain lift plow, they are harder on the suspension of the truck due to the bouncing affect when you hit a bump or anything. Also as for the short chaining issue, my Hinikers have a place you can stick a pin through to hold up the plow. All you have to do is drive into a pile or something that will float the plow up and stick the pin/bolt in the hole and it stays up.

    In my opinion the Hiniker is with cylinder lift is the best plow out there, I have owned 4 of them and have had no real problems to speak of.
  11. abbert55

    abbert55 Senior Member
    Messages: 170

    With a Blizzard plow, you can pin the plow up and drive to the repair facility should the cylinder fail. Also you have almost all of the weight on the plow frame where it helps you scrape clean to the pavement. The light tower is lightweight because it doesn't have to lift the plow... just hold the lights. The nice thing is I no longer have to fiddle around with hydraulic couplers that are always frozen. Also you get more weight transfer to the front wheels when lifted.... IE backing out of a snowstack. The biggest reason I prefer cly lift is I always get full lift without getting out of my truck to short chain it up.

  12. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,511

    I have both cain and cyl.

    My cyl lift scapes just fine and when I hit up, the plow lifts instantly (less scalped lawns)

    SO how do you lift the plow with a chain when the punp fails?
  13. MileHigh

    MileHigh PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,827

    You drive into a snow pile...it lifts up and then you short chain it up.
  14. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 7,921

    Lets kick the[​IMG]some more we do this every year.
    We run both,
    Q what picks up your plow the chain or a hydraulic ram?
    I doubt a chain can do such a feat it must have a ram.
    Why do you need the added parts of a fulcrum and a chain to lift a plow?

    A cyl-lift Has instant float too.

    I have never had to chain up a cyl-lift but if you do just use a chain or a strap.
    Is being abel to use the lift chain to short chain with really a selling point?
    Why do some chain lift plows have two chains and a carring chain? You have to get out and hook up or unhook to travel between accounts ?

    Haven't had any problems follow the contours with my cyl-lift plows

    A chain-lift's ram has to collapse to achieve float and a cyl-lift plow the cyl has to collapse or extend too.

    So can you explain how this makes a chainlift so different?

    The only one to have down pressure is sno-way all of the others use gravity.

    Gee,, why don't they use a chain lift on more pieces of equipment if it is so good?
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2008
  15. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    I think this poll should have specified "Of those that have used both"...

    Guys that never used a cyl lift plow are usually the first to comment "I like the instant float of chain lift". That comment right there says that they're never used a cyl lift style plow. Because if they did, they'd know that you have instant float on a cyl lift as well.

    So if you've never used one how can you say you prefer chain lift since you have nothing to compare too?

    About like saying "Coke or Pepsi"? "Oh, I like Coke...never tried Pepsi"

    Then how do you know you prefer Coke?

    Food for thought.
  16. Up North

    Up North Senior Member
    Messages: 921

    I've used both and prefer cylinder lift. I get better down pressure when backdragging, and much less bouncing on the front end during transport. If the cylinder breaks down, just run it up onto a pile and pin it in the up position.

    Again there is no right or wrong either way, it's personal preference and neither chain lift or cylinder lift is going to go away. They both work and some may see advantages or disadvantages to either one, nice to have choices.

  17. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,511

    SO why cant I do that with the cyl lift? You do carry a tow strap or chain don't you?
  18. TLS

    TLS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425

    I've owned both.

    I prefer the cylinder lift.

    I've never had a failure with my BOSS's....15 years, 2 different plows (dual lift cylinder & single). Never left me down...literally.

    I've had 2 failures with my old Meyers. Mainly due to freezing up. Both times I've short chained to get home. I've heard and continue to hear of countless other Meyer/Fisher/Western having failures and having to short chain to limp home.

    So....are Meyer/Fisher/Western more prone to lift problems? I believe so. ANY plow with quick disconnect hydraulic fittings is prone to water/dirt ingestion. Those with sealed systems will agree with me.....less problems.

    So, to me, it's more the TYPE of lift more than the lift system itself thats to blame.

    My BOSS can drop low and raise real high. None of my Meyers were ever able to do both.
  19. Quality SR

    Quality SR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,828

    I always said that the chain lift is better. But, not anymore. I just bought a Boss.
    There is no more bounce with the cylinder.
    Down pressure for back dragging. The Boss cylinder is upside down. When the plow is up the ram in in, when the plow is down the ram is out.
    Also, i think up and down is much faster than the chain lift.
    Boss's emergency kit has the ratchet tie downs, drive in to a pile and hold it up with he tie down. I like it much better then the chain lift. And i have used both. You can hold the button down to go in to float mode. I wont buy anything else but Boss. JMO. Rich
  20. yamaguy

    yamaguy Senior Member
    Messages: 556

    I have used both and Toby's reason is the biggest in my book! I can fly over railroad tracks or hugh bumps if I want and the plow doesn't even move. Not that I do that cause it is still hard on the truck, but there are times when you hit somthing by suprise.