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Doing it yourself

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Alan, Oct 2, 2000.

  1. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    How many others on here get into building or modifying their own equipment? I do a lot of my own, several factors involved, usually it's cheaper, most of the time it's better, I can have just what I want instead of a generic "Universal fit" (usually doesn't), and I enjoy doing it.

    I'm not really sure just how much I save, I don't count my labor as I try to do things in slack times. Maybe that's foolish of me but I'd rather be working on something rather than sitting around.

    I'm in the final stages of a central hydraulic install on my "big" truck (5500 GMC). Can't say it has been easy but I'm sure it would have been several thousand dollars worth of shop time otherwise. I tend to be a perfectionist, so what I've done is a lot more "neat" than a shop job as well.
     
  2. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Hey, in have built and installed 4 pull plows now. I think they work just as good as daniels, and a lot less money.

    Geoff
     
  3. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,223

    Alan is it worth putting in a central hydraulic system even in like F350-550? What bennifits make it worth the extra time and money?verses evrthing seperate.
     
  4. snow

    snow PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 1,002

    alan has had a lot of years in fabrication and from what he's told me, he's made- two trailers for his equipment, central hydraulics on a f350 (no longer in use), a hydraulic system for a jd tractor so he can use a broom, snowblower,etc , the central hydraulics on the 5500, and probably more things than he can count.chuck has also made some neat little things, like the v-plow for his wheelhorse tractor. once i get better at welding, i'm gonna buy a small stick welder and try out some idea for plowing sidewalks. for now, i'm gonna try and convince a friend to customize a snowplow in his shop. <b>hey alan, look what i found, it's your truck when its done(well, here it is)</b><img src="http://24.0.245.87:1300/Some%20of%20my%20Equipment/Chevy%20Dump/C60%20DUMP.JPG"><p>While on the topic of fabrication, BRl is looking for an attachment for his Wright Stander mower, maybe chuck or alan could give him a hand with ideas and stuff. cat320- a central hydraulic system is good for certain things, using a sander for instance, you can control the conveyor speed, and the speed of the spinner with a knob. a self contained one has one speed for both. the advantage w/ the better controlled sander might be if you're applying magic, and only using a little, you could slow down the conveyor and speed up the spinner.

    Bryan
    p.s- Alan, ever since you've been building the 5500, you've got me stuck on that style, my friend has an old C60. I'm gonna see if its under 26k, and see if i can buy it and use it to plow with. maybe i can get it to look like that photo about, but w/ an undertailgate spreader.
     
  5. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    Central Hydraulics

    cat320, I think central hyd is the way to go. This will be the second truck I've put a system in. The first was an F-350, twin piston, telescopic, single acting hoist and undertailgate spreader. This one will run the whole shooting match, dump hoist, spreader and plow. With the big pump you get fast action on the dump hoist. You can run either an undertailgate spreader or a vee box (it the box is set up right) and get seperate control of spinner and conveyor speed. I'll actually ahve to put flow restrictors in the plow lines to keep them down to a reasonable operating speed. I'm running a belt drive pump with electric clutch, which I think is superior to a PTO driven pump. With PTO pump you have no hydraulics with teh clutch disengaged. As a result you have to drop into neutral, raise the plow, shift back into gear and back away. With the belt pump you have plow control at all times, as well as the ability to pull up to the end of a driveway and sit there with the spreader running to put down a little extra material at that point. I think the new SD Fords have the ability to have a "live" PTO off the automatic transmission
     
  6. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,223

    Thanks for the info guys.Just being curious what would this cost to do on a truck and would you have to be very, very good with knowing hydraulics to get it to work.I always wanted to buy and r model mack and have this type of system for it.just havn't found the right truck at the right price yet.please if you have any pics of your handy work i would love to see them.
     
  7. diggerman

    diggerman Senior Member
    from Ames
    Messages: 700

    I build most all of my mounts for my 11ft plows. I am going to build two more this year one for a RD688 and the other for my CH612.I have one RD I have already done,so for most of these I will just copy.All the large plow frames we make have a quick hook pins for the blade and the tops fold down to allow the hood to tip.We just use electric pumps that mount to the bumper which is part of the plow, then in the summer we can remove the plow as a unit put the chrome bumper back on and restore the truck to it original weight.
     
  8. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,223

    Diggerman do you have any pics of your plowset ups and why do you do electric and not central hydralic system?
     
  9. snow

    snow PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 1,002

    hey cat320!

    i see your from MA. If you buy the Big Truck and Equipment trader, you should be able to find a mack model R. also, check to see when local towns or the Mass dot have auctions. I just got a booklet in the mail for the NYS thruway authority auction, which is going to be held on monday october 16th. they have 3 working mack model r's for sale, and 4 nonworking ones for sale. check with alan about doing a central hydraulic system. Also, the reason diggerman put the electric pumps on are so he can take them off in the summer, and he wouldn't have to install a central hydraulic system.


    Bryan
     
  10. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    You can check out the V plow here. I hope to make it more versatile. I have so many ideas, and not enough time to tinker with them all. BRL, I could easily design something for the stand on machines to push or move snow. The only problem I can forsee, is loading them onto a truck and getting them around during a storm.

    A good example of a versatile machine is a Gravely. I mean the 50's and 60's models. Back then the machine was basically a power unit. A motor on wheels, with a 4 speed looking transmission. Attachments included sickle bar mowers for brush, pan cutters for mowing, dirt plows, snow blowers, and more. Maybe you can see where I'm headed here.... I'm not saying any more! :x

    V plow:
    http://www.snowplowing-contractors.com/myvplow.html

    ~Chuck
     
  11. Bill c

    Bill c PlowSite.com Veteran
    from ny
    Messages: 85

    Brian,where is that thruway auction being held.Were interested in picking up a few wing plows to make a homemade push box.
     
  12. snow

    snow PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 1,002

    the auction is at Thruway Interchange No22, Route 144, Selkirk,NY 10am on Monday October 16th. I'd look into some of the older reversible plows, so you could make a power angle pusher. They have a few wings, but a lot of oneways and pa plows. there are also some mach 5 ton trucks w/ plow setups and controls.


    Bryan
     
  13. Bill c

    Bill c PlowSite.com Veteran
    from ny
    Messages: 85

    Thanks bryan that is only ten miles south of me,hope to find a few deals.
     
  14. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    Not that this is helpful... but than again, maybe it is.
    In my town, the town "dumps" their salters and plows when they are done with them. They dump them at the town's recycling center. It's like a plow graveyard there. They sell them for scrap maybe once a year. Meanwhile, they sit. Not only that, but all large steel scrap is brought there by the contractor that does trash collection. They put it in a dumpster, and it gets hauled off when full. I know a few guys who go "shopping" in that dumpster weekly. One town employee was lucky enough to find a Walker mower in the dumpster! (next to it, to be put in using a payloader) The motor was shot, and the blades were shot. He replaced the motor, blades, and drive chains, and has been mowing with it for 2 years now.Also, residents can bring scrap steel there as well. I cut my old fleetside bed off my 80 GMC in half, and dumped it there. I replaced the tub a few years back on an 85 CJ-7. The rotted out CJ-7 tub, and front fenders I dumped there. Every time I have gone to dump, I came home with free materials of some sort. The last time I went there, I got sections of 3" x 3" x 1/2" angle iron, 4 pieces, 4 ft long. I also grabbed a section of 2" x 2" x 1/4" that was in the dumpster, and that was 6 ft long. If you've bought steel, you know how expensive the heavy pieces are. These had a little surface rust. I can clean them up, and use them for????

    I also usually grab bed frames when I see them in the trash, or at the dump. When I see a mattress curbside, there's usually a bed frame with it. Free angle iron. I built my leaf plow, and my stainless steel V plow with angle iron, that used to be someone's bed! I also built a rack for my open 6.5' x 12' trailer from bed frames. It's free steel, and a better grade than many stores sell today.

    ~Chuck
     
  15. John Allin

    John Allin PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,327

    Yup. Chuck out there in a storm in his plow truck, picking up bed frames.....

    Yup. I just might pay to see that....

    All kidding aside, it's not a bad idea. Do they charge you to take that scrap plow metal away ?? Or can you just take what you can carry ?? I sure wish we could do that here. I could build a bunch of snowpushers out of that kind of stuff.
     
  16. diggerman

    diggerman Senior Member
    from Ames
    Messages: 700

    Cat320 I use electic pumps because I use the trucks for doing long runways so the guys don't raise their blades much, and during the summer we haul alot of material and every pound is material weight we haul for free so the electric pump is mounted right to the front of the bumper so the whole plow removes as a unit,all but three pieces that are left and the original bumper mount back on to them.The other thing that I started doing is using regular western cylinders for the angle so the blades turn faster with the electric pump, seems to work well.I dont have picture but I can take some and get them on.Also the name Cat320 do you have a Cat 320b,if not how did you come up with the name.
     
  17. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    John,

    Not sure, I think they actually pay for someone to haul the plows away. I know the dumpster gets emptied whenever it fills up as parts of a contract. Keep in mind the plows are beat up bad and rusty, but, the V box spreaders have a lot of steel plate that is usable too. It all depends on how fast the town mechanics get tired of fixing the same old piece of equipment over and over. Then it ends up at the recycling center. The most they could get for the plows and salters is the going rate for scrap steel. Then I'm sure they have to pay for it to be trucked out of there....

    I can look into it, as I have many friends who work for the DPW. I don't see them everyday, but I see them often.

    I think my "problem" with bed frames, and pieces of steel, is I see them as what they can be, not as what they are or were.

    Just last month I was at a job site with a friend, and the steel fab company left scraps laying around the foundation. It was box steel. I eyeballed it, and picked up a piece. I went over to my friend's truck, and pulled out his hitch ball from the receiver. Sure enough, it fit in the scrap of box steel perfectly. I now have 8 sleeves, that I can weld onto bumpers or whatever, to accept a receiver hitch. I also get a lot of steel "lintels" from him. He ends up with extras sometimes from foundations he builds. Someone else paid for them already, and he usually has extras already if he needs them. Sometimes he hims and haws about it, but usually he gives them to me. I'm the one that welds his power trowels back together on a moments notice at 11pm on a weeknight. The one that welds his trailer wheel wells back on after he tears them off doing something stupid...
    The one that spotted the cracks in his Case 580 E front bucket, and welded them on the job for him.

    Lately, I haven't had to worry about stacking snow with it, but I get first dibs on it for stacking when the snow falls! He uses it on the job since he works through the winter most years. He can't afford to put a pusher on it and hope for snow. We've discussed him getting a truck and trailer to move it around. Right now he has another friend with a low boy that does it for him. The problem is he has a Lull, and a Pettibone forklift. If he gets a trailer, he wants it big enough to move them around too.

    Ok, getting off topic now......

    ~Chuck
     
  18. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,223

    Diggerman I came up with that name because i would like to get a 320 some day but for now i have a case 580L .yes would like to see the pics when you get them.A few years back i almost bought an R-400 with a Quad box trany, it needed mega work to it and had electrical problems so i just gave on that truck.Mack builds the best if you need a dump or tractor i think.
     
  19. Nuru

    Nuru Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    Hydraulics For a good price?

    Alan, I am just getting into a project where I will build (from a kit, with some minor fabrications required), a loader for my JD GT 225 (652#s with mower deck). I plan to use this to push, lift, dump, and plow snow this winter. Can you recommend some places to shop for the Hydraulics for this type of project?

    Thanks

    nuru
     
  20. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    Hydraulics source

    They used to be called Northern Hydrualics. Now they are Northern Tool& Equipment. They have many cylinders, many pumps, valves, controls, etc, and even plows for tractors. Snowblowers, log splitters, and a ton of other useful stuff.

    http://www.northern-online.com/


    ~Chuck