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Eight Miles On A Forest Service Road Part II

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by gbvol54, Sep 14, 2014.

  1. gbvol54

    gbvol54 Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    Sorry for the long post, but I think some background is necessary:

    About a year ago I posted the original "Eight Miles On A Forest Service Road" and am very grateful for all the valuable information I received. As a brief recap, we retired last September and moved into a home in NE Washington located at the end of a eight mile forest service road at about 4000 feet elevation. We are the only residents on the road and responsible (with permission from the FS) for any plowing. Last winter we got by with out plowing using our monsterized Land Cruiser to drag the road (knocking down the center section so our Silverado wouldn't get high centered) and in the worst periods using the Land Cruiser as our access to town. We learned a lot of lessons last winter, even though it was a mild winter locally (3 feet vs. usual 6 feet). One of those lessons was we needed a plow truck to be able to get a cross state capable road vehicle in and out (grand kids in Seattle area and the Land Cruiser tops out at about 45 MPH).

    Fast forward to today. I bought a 2001 Chevy 2500 HD (regular cab, long bed) with a 9'2" Boss V plow. Truck and plow have been 'rode hard and put away wet' (used professionally in Michigan) , but both seem to go through the basic functions, plus I have a well preserved version of the same truck as backup. Now for the questions:

    1. I got the plow hung and wired up today. All movements seem functional but movements are very jerky and sort of 'Bang-Bang'. Shakes the whole truck. Is that normal or is there some adjustment or component to absorb some of the shock of the blade movement that may need replacing?

    2. What sort of spare parts would you guys recommend having on hand? Are there portions of a Boss V plow that are a problem?

    3. As you may have figured out, I'm new to this plow stuff. Decades on snow and ice, but none with a plow. Any advice on plowing long distances on a gravel/dirt road would be much appreciated.

    The above may paint a picture of a an old couple getting snowed in and eating the dogs to survive. Hopefully we've planned better than that. In addition to the monster truck version of the Land Cruiser we have a couple of long track snow mobiles so we can get out and retreat to our Seattle area home if necessary. But I'd never hear the end of it if I had to do that so I'm hoping you guys can help me out.

    Eight Miles From Nowhere.
  2. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,750

    Ck the fluid in the plow. And if your not sure, just preform a full service on it. Kinda sounds like low fluid to me
  3. ddobson

    ddobson Junior Member
    from pa
    Messages: 29

    As a general recommendation, based on your description, I'd have the truck's transmission and transfer case serviced.

    For parts, do you have a good dealer close enough that the land cruiser can make it to?

    That's a good distance for a well used truck. Ever consider a farm tractor loader/backhoe/etc with chains as a backup or some setup for the land cruiser?
  4. gbvol54

    gbvol54 Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    dieselss- Thanks, I'll take a look today.

    ddobson- Nearest Boss dealer is a couple hours away in Spokane (double that in the cruiser) so I need to have some ready spares available. I see Boss has a couple of "Emergency Kits". Maybe I'll start there.

    As to better options, I considered most (actually bid on a couple tractors and a Unimog) but budget drove me in this direction for now. I'm a decent backyard mechanic and have serviced my own rigs since an adult (plus have a similar make/model/year pickup as our daily driver as a backup to the truck). I'm more concerned with the plow since I know nothing on plows or plowing. Guess I'll know more by spring.

    Thanks both.
  5. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,750

    Look at all the hydro hoses, if even questionable, replace. Try and keep a spare of all the hydro hoses and fluid, and fittings
  6. seville009

    seville009 Senior Member
    from CNY
    Messages: 701

    I'd get chains for the truck tires. May never need them, but they would give you peace of mind at least.
  7. LapeerLandscape

    LapeerLandscape PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,466

    I agree, tire chains and some weight in the back of the truck.
  8. gbvol54

    gbvol54 Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    Thanks all. I appreciate the advice.

    - ddiesel, good call on the fluid level. I topped it off (took a quart) and its movement is much smoother. I will check for leaks then drain/refill with fresh fluid. And I'll also pick up spare hoses and

    I have chains. Used them last year. A lot. As to weight in bed, how much? Is 500 lbs enough or do I need equal weight of the plow (say 900)?

    Any tips or advice on plowing gravel/dirt roads? I know I need shoes and intend to get a base of a few inches before I first plow to try to avoid digging into the road, but beyond that I'll be in the trial and error mode. Or as my wife and I call it, "having an adventure". We had A few last year. Likely more to come.

    Thanks guys.
  9. seville009

    seville009 Senior Member
    from CNY
    Messages: 701

    I put about 800 of ballast in - 80lb sand bags. If i need traction , i can use some of the sand. Also keep a spare tire in the bed so that i don't have to try to get it from underneath in the snow if it's needed.

    Basically carry as much ballast as you can; the extra weight can't hurt.
  10. JustJeff

    JustJeff PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,947

    Yup. Load your bed up with a bunch of tube sand. And the first time you plow, make sure to push the snow WAY BACK off the road to accommodate for future accumulations.
  11. snowsniper1

    snowsniper1 Senior Member
    Messages: 239

    Cut and weld a pipe on ur cutting edge. Stops them from digging in.
  12. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    I would buy a winch for the rear in case you get stuck you will have way pull your self back out
  13. seville009

    seville009 Senior Member
    from CNY
    Messages: 701

    I carry a heavy duty come-along in case I need to winch myself out; have never had to use it.
  14. gbvol54

    gbvol54 Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    I've got a 12K one on a receiver hitch mount that I used on my non plow truck last year. I've got a front mounted receiver hitch on that one as well as the stock rear. Used it a number of times. Works good.

    But thanks for the reminder. I need to run the cables to the rear of the plow truck.
  15. fireball

    fireball PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 535

    I like dogs, but can never eat more than one. Rotweiler tastes the best after three days in the crock pot.

    Pipe on the cutting edge works if the gravel is loose and not frozen. If frozen, then you don't need the pipe
  16. Craigw

    Craigw Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    My neighbor and I plow 5 miles of gravel, and I have a half mile drive. For me the best deal is a pipe over the cutting edge. The blade never catches or trips and less gravel is pushed off the edge of the road.

    Make the pipe removable. You may need the sharp edge sometimes. Also the rock will wear steel quickly, so weld a sacrificial strip and/ or hardface the pipe on the bottom edge. A pipe edge is the best thing you can do to make plowing gravel easier.
  17. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    If snow gets bad you need some Mattracks like this