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F-150 plowing size?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by columbiaplower, Jan 7, 2001.

  1. columbiaplower

    columbiaplower Senior Member
    Messages: 311

    Im interested in getting another truck for plowing. Im thinking used. I want a ford F150 and want to know what kind i should get for COMMERCIAL plowing. i have heard that they are too small for commercial plowing and i dont think thats true. could u all recommend a truck model and plow for it that will fit my requirements. also any of u with a simalr set up please responed

    thanks Nick
  2. plowguy06

    plowguy06 Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 84

    The new F150's are not good for plowing. I would suggest a 250 or 350 or a GM 2500 or 3500
  3. columbiaplower

    columbiaplower Senior Member
    Messages: 311

    im looking at OLDER f150's
    and i want to add this to my above post
    i know i need 4x4
    and i heard that the f150 heavy half's are good for plowing
  4. plowguy06

    plowguy06 Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 84

    I think that the older ones are better to use.
  5. Big Nate's Plowing

    Big Nate's Plowing PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    i have a 90 dakota 4x4 w/318 v-8 and a 7'6" snoway 25 series w/lexan moldboard, love it, but it eats up gas really bad 7-10 mpg with plow on and in 4x4, i am not a big time plow jockey but i plow about 30 residentals and 7 commercial lots, havent had a problem yet
  6. cwlo

    cwlo Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    I would also discourage you to use a f-150. I have a '93 F-150, with airbags installed in the front coil springs, and I think you could do a lot better. Using any 1/2 ton truck is borderline, and Fords especially are weak. However, you could probably do alright if you paired it up to one of the lighter built plows, but I;m not sure how well they would last in a commercial setting.
  7. pcs

    pcs Senior Member
    Messages: 129

    I plow with a 2000 F-150 ext. cab. I have a snow way 7 1/2 lexan. If you are looking for a truck and you don't have the F-150 don't get it. Go bigger. My truck is holding up fine so far but I've heard some very bad stories about what can go wrong. I have one problem with mine. Yesterday I checked my tranny oil. When I brought up the dip stick there was nothing on it. This is the second time this has happened. Go big or go home.
  8. columbiaplower

    columbiaplower Senior Member
    Messages: 311

    thanks pcs- i have a 250 already may just get another, jurys still out

    anyone else ?
  9. Tommy10plows

    Tommy10plows Senior Member
    Messages: 345

    f-150 plow size

    my '88 f-150 runs 7.5 western just fine. short wheelbase, famous straight 300 cu." six, 5 speed OD trans, and the manual shift transfer case. I run 30 x 15 6 ply rated michelins. Load of wood on the back helps, but with low range, 1st - 2nd, 3rd gear, no problem. With chains on all feet it will bust through anything, or walk right over it. And of course belt driven Monarch Hy-Lo lift for the 4 way plow.
  10. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    skip the F150,the old ones are to weak,and the only new ones you can plow with are the lightweight plows.IF you want a 1/2 ton,buy a GM or Dodge,they both have much stronger front ends.
  11. John Allin

    John Allin PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,327

    I think it depends upon who's driving it. An F-150 will do just fine if you don't try to use it to do things it just won't do. That takes some experience. If you over do it with a 1/2 ton, you'll screw it up. If you over do it with a 3/4 ton, you'll screw it up. If you over do it with a road grader - you'll screw it up too.

    Don't over do it, and it'll be fine. Like anything else.... size the equipment for the job (or visa versa) and it'll be fine.

    Now... all things considered, I'd prefer one tons for commercial plowing. However, snow pushers on loaders (all sizes) out perform plow trucks for efficiency.
  12. NEAL

    NEAL Member
    Messages: 98

    It does depend on how you drive the thing.A 1/2 ton could be fine if you dont abuse it but given the fact that you are looking for a truck try to find a 3/4 ton.

    However if the point is that you want an F150 because you like the looks/style of them then go for it. I would recommend getting a lighter Sno-Way plow or I beleive Western has a new plow this year (the LSX?) that is lighter.
    As long as you are aware that you need to be careful and slow down a little that truck will be fine.

  13. columbiaplower

    columbiaplower Senior Member
    Messages: 311

    ok let me put this another way what kind of ford should i get for commercial plowing (res. and commer.) i dont want to sppend too much should i get another f250? will any model 250 do fine?
    i think the 150 is pretty much out
  14. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Ok everyone calm down.

    There are two F 150s on the market. The regualr F 150, and the F 150 HD with the 7700 GVW package.

    If you want to plow commercial with an F 150. Get the F 150 HD.

    7700 GVW model Includes
    5.4 V8
    Heavy Front and rear end
    Plow Prep Package
    Trailer Tow package.

    Ford says it is fine to plow with the F 150 HD. Plow size would be a 7.5' Now keep in mind that most people that plow with HD 3/4 tons have a GVW of 8600. Some plow with LD 3/4 tons that have a GVW equal to the F 150 7700. The F 150 HD is really the old F 250 LD manufactured 97-99.

    Used trucks. don't get an F 150 97-99 they didn't build any heavy duty F 150s then

    Used F 150s 96 and under. Are fine to plow with, make sure you have the 3800 GVW front axel.

    Some people plow with todays F 150 LD however I don't recomend it. Only I know fisher builds a plow and mount for both the F 150 LD and HD.

    However an F 250 or F 350 are a much better plow truck. Only the F 150 HD is an ok choice, but the cost difference between the F 250 and F 150 HD is minimal.


    [Edited by GeoffDiamond on 01-07-2001 at 07:18 PM]
  15. NEAL

    NEAL Member
    Messages: 98

    Yeah what Geoff said.


    PINEISLAND1 PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 664

    I've got a '90 150, with heavy front springs added. It carries a western 7.5 pro awesome, and with the short wheelbase, it is a favorite of mine. If I'm doing any residential, I would rather have that truck than any other.

    I also have a 94 250 full size box, with a Boss V. That is a more productive truck on commercial, because of the bigger V, and a rear pull plow. But I sure hate trying to do small residentials with it.

    I will add at least one more 90-93 f150's for next season. They are relatively inexpensive, great trucks to have for employees to drive,(easy to use), and seem to be real money makers for us.

    But, back to your original question, for commercial apps, I would duplicate my mid 90's f250 with a Vplow of your choice, or a f350 if you can find one, which I haven't been able to.

    Compared to newer trucks, these will definately add to your profit margin.
  17. jason2

    jason2 PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 117

    If you want to plow with a F150 look for a 73-79. You get a solid dana 44 up front. Not the weak TTB. Plus the infamous nine inch rear. The trucks are simple, and damn near indestructable.

    Things to look for when shopping:
    771/2-79 has a better steering system than the 73-77

    Some had the NP203 full time case, others had the NP205 part time case. Go with a 205

    If you go with a 771/2-79 You'll probably end up with a 351M/400. They are very easily swapped for a 429/460 if you're looking for power. The 351M/400 is a gutless engine, with horrible economy, yet it is reliable.

    If you get a 73-77, it'll probably have a 360/390, which is of the old FE family. Very reliable old dinosaurs, but engine swaps are limited to the FE family, unless you change out trannys.

    Tranny choices are the NP435 four speed, a three speed, and the C6 automatic.

    The 4 speed or the C6 would be my choice. Both are bulletproof, plus they are more plentiful than the 3 speed.

    Be aware that nice 70's F150's are commanding a decent price these days. In a lot of cases they cost more than a 80-86 F150. But they are twice the truck that the 80-86 is.
    But you can still find plenty of not so nice 70's F150's cheap.

    The ultimate half ton Ford plow truck to me would be a: 78 or 79 F150 shortbox, with 460, C6, NP205, and 4:30 gears with factory limited slips. With a Western 8' MVP.

    I own a 78 F250 Supercab 4x4, with Dana 60's front and rear, 460, C6, NP205. It's a beast, but too long to plow with, and I have it fixed up too nice to want to plow with.
  18. DaveO

    DaveO PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Ma.
    Messages: 299

    Used F150

    I agree with Jason on the late 70's being the strongest of the 1/2 tons.. I have an 83 F150 300ci, NP435 tranny, 208 Tcase. The engine tranny are BULLETPROOF. The Tcase I had to rebuild once so far(200K). The truck has HD suspension front and rear. FAWR is 3800lbs. Carries a Fisher 7.5 RD blade with cuttin edge/snofoil with no prob. Weight of blade is around 650lbs.

    The weakest part of the drivetrain is the IFS(44) front axle. The 2 piece spline shaft will strip @ the worst possible moment. If you keep greased and check often you may be OK, or you can weld it SOLID like I did. Truck also needs about 6-800lbs for ballast for best pushing.

    The early 80's up till 86 were the 2nd toughest besides the late 70's. After that the FAWR's were weak and need airbags. Same axles/diff springs.

  19. Chuck Smith

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

    Hey Tommy10plows, welcome aboard. I drive through Montclair everyday on my way home from work. Also plow one account there. I'm just a stone's throw away, in Nutley. I keep my plow in West Orange, and gotta go through Montclair to get there.

  20. cwlo

    cwlo Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    Where are you guys getting those HD F-150 front springs? I've looked all over, but the only springs I find are 2" or higher lift springs.

    Also, Geoff mentioned the 3800 GVW front axle for the 96 and under F-150. What does this axle consist of? Is it the Dana 44 HD that the regular F-250 got from that era?