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Evaluating trucks

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Greenman2ooo, Aug 21, 2000.

  1. Greenman2ooo

    Greenman2ooo Banned
    Messages: 107

    I was wondering if anyone could point me to a good guide for acceptable plowing trucks? I am wondering if vehicle size, weight or payload are most important, assuming you have enough power and a proper gear ratio for pushing snow. Are there less options for say a newer Dakota as far as plows go? I've seen S-10's, Dakotas and Rangers all push snow with good success and am wondering if such a move is a poor choice? It would sure be nice if I could get by using a vehicle like this. However, my largest lot would be a few acres. Any thoughts, anecdotes or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  2. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    If your largest lot is a few acres, you want at least a 1 ton, any brand will work well. However you if you can afford to, you might want to get a F 550, with the new fisher V-Plow. You don't want a ranger to plow that lot, no question about it.

  3. Deere John

    Deere John Senior Member
    Messages: 410

    Yup - Geoff's right (again) - I just picked up my new plow truck - a HD 3/4 ton Chev diesel to swing an 8'2" Boss. This truck is big enuf for most jobs, but a couple of acres starts to look really big when you get that fast 6" of wet snow and the windrows are 3 and 1/2 feet high.

    A smaller truck with a backup piece of equipment would be OK - we have a John Deere backhoe for when push comes to shove.

  4. diggerman

    diggerman Senior Member
    from Ames
    Messages: 700

    I would agree that a smaller truck for a larger lot is most likely not going to have the ability to take on the extra weight needed for the heavy deep snows. I have never had any trouble with my 3/4 ton trucks handling any large snows. (then again I have never had any trouble using my 1/2 ton v6 with a 9'2" boss on it)Alot will depend on the amount of money you want to spend, the area of the country you live, how comfortable you are with repairing your own equipment,how your accounts are set up, how far apart your accounts are and so on.But trying to hit middle of the road I like 3/4 ton chevys w/an 8'2" boss,maybe even a good older one with a solid front axle. If your going to spend the big bucks I guess you can take your pick of trucks but don't go lighter than a 3/4 and do not forget a v plow!!! gotta have it
  5. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    Options for late model compact trucks are real limited, even more so if you have an extended cab. You will have to check with a local distributor for specific applications.
  6. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    The S in S10 stands for STOUT!

    For what it's worth, I'm having good luck with S-10s behind 8' Sno-way plows. I've got an 88 and a 91. The past two years one of them has been a "spare" as we only had two plows. This year our K2500 will be pushing a Sno-Way Vee plow (just brought it home this week), so both S's will be behind a plow. I have never noticed any pushing difference between the S and the K models, at least not in practical applications. I know it should be apparent that the little ones won't push as much but I can't tell the difference. Both are 4.3 autos and run Cooper Weathermaster tires.
  7. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    "I have never noticed any pushing difference between the S and the K models, at least not in practical applications."

    Dont think its because the S is so wonderful, as much as how lightweight the K trucks are. Maybe this is why I see Ford and Dodge with 8 foot plows and Chevy/GMC with 6-6 plastic Meyers.
  8. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Im with Bill,my little S10 with a 6'6" fisher will outplow my 89GMC K2500 with a 7.5ft MMount.I use it to break trail when needed because it goes the furthest before getting stuck and its easy to pull out if it does.My Dodge Cummins will out push the GMC,even when the V-box on the GMC is full and the bed of the Dodge is empty.I dontknow how to explain it but its true.
  9. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,222

    I have a '97 HD 3/4 diesel chevy p/u and that think can push it has 4:10 rear end with and 8' Dimond plow ,the only ploblem is i find it hard to plow small and tight areas with it.
  10. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    When I was last looking at new trucks in 94, the three big things that turned me off GM trucks were small cab, need a ballfield to do a U-turn with one, and no ground clearance. I bought a Dodge, in 4wd turns tighter than even some compact trucks, roomy cab, and enough ground clearance so I dont have to worry about seesawing on 10-inch snow berm. The Ford at the time also had a small cab (well at least for a big guy like me)
  11. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    5800 is light?

    Hey Lawnguy, I don't know where you got the idea that K models are light. We put our K2500 on the scales today and it goes 5800 lbs. That's with a 350, not a diesel, which would be heavier yet. That's with a couple hundred pounds of trailer hitch and headache rack added, so make the naked truck around 5600. Still no lightweight in my book. My old International 1210, which was HEAVY, went 5900. Nobody around here seems to have a problem with big plows on the GM chassis.
  12. slplow

    slplow PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 594

    I know one thing, I will never by a GMC again!! I've done everything in the book and it still has trouble holding my 9' Western plow which is lighter than Diamond or Fisher. My timbrands load springs bent the frame.
  13. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    How much does that Western weigh?
  14. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    If you want the stongest front end on a pickup truck,its on a Dodge,they have a Dana 60,5200 Lb front axle on all 2500HD and 3500models.This is much stronger than the wimpy 4700lb on the so called SD ford and the even wimpier 4250GVWR on the GM twins,ex crew cabs that have a 4500 lb version.Dodge upgraded to this axle in 2000,so they could offer the plow prep pkg on all models,even quadcab diesels,and to give longer front end/brake pad life to the nose heavy diesel trucks.I have found from my own experiences that the 1500 and 2500 LD GM trucks handle a plow better than the 3500 and 2500hd GM pickups.This is not logical,but my 7200 GVW GMC sags less than 1" in the front end with the heavy minute mount plow,my uncle has a 96 2500HD with plow prep and a 6.5,it drags on the ground with an 8ft western.I noticed that there is little actual payload difference between my Ld and his HD also.Here's the weights according to his scales,my GMC weighs 4690,minus the from the GVWR leaves 2510lbs.His weighes 6150 minus from his gvwr and we have 2450.So my LD has more paylod than his HD,no wonder mine handles load better front and rear.This is not what id expect,and makles no sense to me either but its the facts.The biggest difference is how his truck pushes the deep heavy snow,it is much better in that area,but still not even close to my Dodge.
  15. pottstim

    pottstim Member
    Messages: 43

    I know what I want to say may be a little off topic for this discussion, but I'm gonna go ahead with it anyway. I have heard that the new 4 wheel drive Dodge trucks are having problems with the front ends. This is not a problem the axle, but the link arms that hold the axle on. I know that there are 4 of them in all, 2 on each side of the truck. I've heard of at least 2 guys here in my area that i know of that have had problems at around 40k and after. What happens is, the front end of the truck develops a lot of play and causes the truck to start shaking while you are going down the road. They say it even causes the steering wheel to move back and forth. When i bend down and look at the front of a Dodge truck, those little link arms don't look like they are strong enough to hold that big axle on the truck, especially as big and tall as the Dodge is.
    I was curious about this, so i had a friend of mine who worked at a dodge dealer do a little asking around back in the shop. He said the talked with one of the mechanics, and he said that yes there was a problem. He said the frontend doesn't have enought support, which causes premature bushing failure. He said this causes the vibration in the truck.
    The one guy I know of that had a 95 Ram 2500, ended up having the whole front end of the truck replaced, which was covered by his extended warranty. He told a this to a good friend of mine who is a independent mechanic in town. Later on he got rid of it and bought a new F-350 PSD, because he was afraid of it happening again
    Any of you guys ever heard of any problems like this?

  16. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    Tim, never heard of that problem. I have a 95 2500, no problems with the front end plowing. Some of the early trucks had a track bar which would wear prematurely, once its replaced with the revised one no more probs. Also early models had steering columns which would develop play, once again once updated no problems.

    My truck was updated under warranty.

    Alan, by light I refer to the load carrying ability (see Johns post it says it all).
  17. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    Actually the ford SD 450/550 have the heaviest front ends, and they do offer a p/u for 2001 450 cab chassis , so they are technically a pick up.
    As far as front ends go, I have turned up the torsion springs and added load boosters and the front end is tolerable. However I have yet to have a better riding, and handling truck as a k series. Even with my v plow the front end only sags 1/2 when I raise the plow.
    In 1998 when I bought my truck it had the highest gvw of any cab chassis 4x4. Ford and Dodge where both 11,000.
    That doesnt mean its the best just the highest.
  18. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    I was comparing SRW pickup trucks. If I was looking at cab and chassis HD (over 10k gvw) there are much better choices for the money than what Ford GM and Dodge offer in their warmed-over pickup chassis..
  19. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Im aware of that Dino,we were talking about single wheel pickups,and pickup trucks as the original post says, they are Cab&chassis.I stated that in my opening sentence.The 450/550 does have a beefy version of the 60 though-to bad its a Ford.

    [Edited by John DiMartino on 08-28-2000 at 12:28 AM]
  20. steveair

    steveair Senior Member
    Messages: 176


    talked to a ford dealer the other day and was looking at a f350 (2000 model) 4wd and it had a extended cab. He tried to tell me that ford does not warranty the f350 extended cab if a plow is put on it.

    Can this be true?

    I don't believe it that the extended cab adds that much wait to the front end to make it not useful as a plow truck. And the funny thing is, they had a brand new f150 with a 7 ft plow sitting next to it, and said that was under fords warranty.

    Strange I thought.