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First Plow...1985 F350 diesel, dually... want recommendations

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by DanH, Nov 4, 2000.

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  1. DanH

    DanH Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    My '85 F350 diesel dually, with auto trans, has a stakebody dump bed (single cylinder). I believe it has a 411 rear end (in any event, it's winding out at highway speeds, and the speedometer is off for sure). I've been searching around for a used plow, but haven't found one yet. Maybe I'll buy new. Would like any recommendations from experienced people as to setup / width and type of blade, and any modifications/ warnings / suggestions for my particular truck.

    Being in Central Pennsylvania, snowfall is not assured, though we sometimes get a couple of decent snowfalls (quite different from NE PA, which has the lake effect and much more snow) .

    I do have an offer of $55/hr to sub for a large company (plowing only... more if I get a salt spreader... would like recommendations on that, too) . But with my contacts, I could probably get some small lots, private drives and long driveways.

    Any help would be appreciated. I've enjoyed reading many of the other threads... very nice to have this resource on the 'net.

    DanH...
    lefty in a righty world
     
  2. plowking35

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

    Welcome DanH, I hope your stay here is a nice one.
    You will get alot of opinons from this ? so use what will work for you, and throw away the rest. If you buy new, first decide if you like full blade trip design, or trip edge design. Then start shopping. My personal recommendation is that a 8.5-9' plow blade is minimum for the wide track of the dually's. Less than that and turing turns, the inside rear wheel will be in the snow. One other thing to consider is a v plow. If you buy new, the difference is cost is relatively minor, and the increase in production is alot. Many contractors will pay subs more for a v plow, I know I do. There are 2 makers of an 8.5' v plow, and boss makes a 9'2" v plow, both would work fine for your truck. The make of the plow,should be secondary to a good dealer with parts in stock.
    If you buy used, shop around, but still stay with a 8.5-9'plow. Many times a used plow can be had for less than a grand, it will easily pay for itself in a few storms.
    Now spreaders are easier, look for a used one in good condition, check for rust in the bottom channel, and the condition of the apron chain. The engines are cheap enough to replace if need be. Anything over 3 yrs old should be no more than $ 1200-1500, newer than that may be closer to two thousand.
    A new one should be able to be had for the high 2'K to,low 3K dollar range, and a stainless unit usually goes for about 4K.
    One option is a smith stainless with electric motor. I have one and I like it, it is quiet and effecient. That unit is in the mid 3K range, so a good compromise for an all stainless unit.
    I am sure other will chime in, so have fun.
    Dino

    [Edited by plowking35 on 11-05-2000 at 12:31 AM]
     
  3. DanH

    DanH Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    Thanks for the reply, Dino... I've read quite a few of your other posts, too.

    You know, I've not given much thought before to a V plow, before, but I'll look into it some more... I'm wondering about plowing patterns for a V plow. Seems it would be a bit different than with a straight plow with a power angle.

    DanH
     
  4. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Dino, has hit the plow recomendations right on the nose, I couldn't have said it better myself.

    However for the truck:

    Change your trans fluid, right now.
    Come to a full stop before shifting.

    Diesels and plowing didn't mix with older Ford trans.

    However if you change the trans fluid 2X a year, and come to a full stop before shifting, your trans should be fine.

    Geoff
     
  5. plowking35

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

    Well the plow will go from < and then to > and everywhere in between. In wide open spaces(Dixie chicks no pun intended) you can use the straight blade option, but I fond that unless I am doing access roads I use the scoop position all the time. It captures the snow, with little tailoff.
    Dino
     
  6. justa hick

    justa hick Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    Hey Dan i'm from central Pa too check bradco supply they have a 9.2 boss v plow with a new pump for 2200.00 i think the plows only 2 yrs old right off a ford to boot.
     
  7. landscaper3

    landscaper3 Senior Member
    Messages: 309

    Not sure what that sub work does but our average per storm per truck is $100.00 to $150.00 hr on commercial and res properties.
     
  8. iowastorm

    iowastorm Senior Member
    Messages: 358

    I noticed that you mentioned that with your contacts you could get driveways and small parking lots. That right there tells me you'll need to backdrag quite a bit. Therefore, most of the V's are out, unless you can tolerate their lack of performance during backdragging as opposed to the straight blades. Furthermore, you could also save around a grand by purchasing a poly or steel straight blade in the Boss line, but still have a superior plow. Although we're not using subs at this point, I too would pay a little extra to a sub with a v. Anyhow, I believe in having the right equipment for the work you have today, therefore, give some thought as to where you are and make your decision from there. Good luck and welcome to our crazy house.
     
  9. plowking35

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

    The reason why most v plows dont back drag is because the boss plow uses trip springs to control the return of the plow from v to straight. With the newer v plows boss installed cyl locks to keep that from happening. However with the fisher and western v they use double acting cyl. and they back drag as well as a straight plow. In fact in the v position it works just like the scoop postion but in reverse, and there is no tail off. I use the v plow for both residential and commercial and they are better than a straight plow for both applications IMO. Many times it is easier to scoop the snow and carry it way from openings, sidewalks and other obstacles. Also by time we get to many residential drives, the town plows have left a huge winrow, so the v breaks right through it.
    However if you come across a used striaght plow in good condition then jump on it. No reason to pay 2x as much just to get a newer plow.


    [Edited by plowking35 on 11-07-2000 at 03:41 AM]
     
  10. DanH

    DanH Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    Excellent posts!

    Thanks, people! This board is an excellent resource! I'm going to look into that one for 2200, and am going to try to hook up with some local guys to see if I can "apprentice" under them a bit this year... maybe take up some of their slack, if we get some big weather.

    thanks again, folks... guess the plow biz has a lot of good hearts behind those plows.

    Regarding having the right equipment for what I'm gonna do... I think my strategy this year will be to find some decent equipment at a bargain, and then go after the work that equipment is best suited for. I guess if I can get a good deal on a V, then I'll be looking more for lots than driveways.

    Dan

    [Edited by DanH on 11-07-2000 at 03:43 AM]
     
  11. DanH

    DanH Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    hey "justa hick"

    hey "justa hick" ... couldn't email you... system wouldn't let me...

    Tried to find a "Bradco Supply" in the Harrisburg/Hershey phone book, and also the York phone book... couldn't find them... what area are they in?

    Dan
     
  12. iowastorm

    iowastorm Senior Member
    Messages: 358

    Dino,

    You don't think a straight blade will bust through a windrow (as well as a v) from a city truck in front of a residential driveway?? Man, how much snow you guys get up there anyway????
     
  13. plowking35

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

    Doesnt really take alot of snow to leave a good sized winrow in front of a drive. A 6" snow fall will easily leave a 2' winrow, and it is a fact that the v will cut through that easier than a straight plow. Will the straight plow get through, of coarse it will. However the issue was v plow vs straight for residential,and the v plow is still better. In fact for us, many times we get the 4-6" of snow and then rain, then temps drop. So by time we get to the residential it is a frozen mess, and the v plow breaks it up very easily. With the straight plow, we usually catch a corner and break it up that way. The v plow carves it up like a thankgiving turkey.
    No matter what the situation the v plow is better.
    Lets put it this way, the v plow can do anything a straight plow can do, but a straight plow cant do everything a vv plow can do. So given the option and extra money, the v plow is my plow of choice every time.
    However, if I came across a good used straight plow vs the price of a new v plow, I would stay with the straight plow, but new vs new v plow for me.

    [Edited by plowking35 on 11-07-2000 at 04:20 AM]
     
  14. diggerman

    diggerman Senior Member
    from Ames
    Messages: 700

    So does that mean that the pump runs both on the out and in on the Fisher and Western wings?
     
  15. plowking35

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

    That is how dual action cyl would work. They have hydro pressure on both the in and out, and the hydro pressure is what hold the wings in place no matter wher you leave them. Of course they have a relief valve to keep from damaging the cyl, or wing if and object is hit.
     
  16. diggerman

    diggerman Senior Member
    from Ames
    Messages: 700

    So your pump run twice as much,just curious, just another reason neither of those brands are for me. I hardly do any back dragging and what dragging I do are single spaces and I have no trouble at all.Guess I'd rather have the pump life.
     
  17. iowastorm

    iowastorm Senior Member
    Messages: 358

    Boss says their new cyliners help to v plows with backdragging performance, but I have yet to purchase a new one w/ those features. I agree w/ you on all points, Dino; I'm just thinking of a guy needing to save a few hundred or a thousand bucks by buying a straight plow if he can get by w/ it. Taking the windrow at a slight angle with help prolong the life of the plow.

    Digger: Aren't you supposed to be in your room having a time out? Remember, your still grounded, young man!
     
  18. plowking35

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

    I agree with that Iowa, in fact that is exactly what I posted.
    Diggerman big surprise I dont agree with you. The pump were designed with that type of operation in mind. And if you have a straight blade, the pump would run the same amount, because every time you move the plow the pump runs.Probably the highest wear item would be brushes, or at worst the motor rebuilt. I biggest worry is that the plow has 8 solenoids, and if one of them go, trouble shooting will be a bear. Again its one of those things, if you havent used one, I dont know why you would knock it so much.
    I have used the boss, and the concerns I have with that set up are far more overwhelming then the pump running when the wings are moved.
    By the pump running the wingsboth directions, the wings move in and out 2x as fast as the boss we used to have, and with the hydro lock, I never have to worry about wing drift.
     
  19. DanH

    DanH Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    How about plowing patterns for the V?

    I noticed there is a difference in technique breaking through the berms left by the city trucks, using a V vs. using a straight plow.

    When you're plowing lots, I'd assume you'd use the V in a scoop position, which seems real nice, but it seems like you'd wind up with more of an intrusive pile at one end, where you'd pushed all the snow. What's the technique for cleaning that up?

    ================================

    Also, I'm wondering about insurance. I'm a little nervous about bringing this up with my agent yet... I'm still figuring out if I can afford to get into the biz this year in a small way. Any comments on liability insurance? I'm a careful guy, and will do my best to compensate for my lack of experience by thinking each job through, walking the lot or drive, and looking at it before the snow hits. But I'm sure you all have some horror stories, or near-horror stories... it being obviously a dangerous proposition, what with everything covered in the white stuff.

    Are there special policies for plowing? Are they expensive? Any particularly good companies? In addition to hitting something with the plow, what about if you were supposed to clear and salt a lot and walkways, and someone slips... how does one limit their liability?

    [Edited by DanH on 11-07-2000 at 12:58 PM]
     
  20. BRL

    BRL PlowSite.com - Veteran
    Messages: 1,277

    Dan,
    Welcome to the looney bin! Go to the top right of the screen and click on the search button. Try Insurance & then maybe Liability and you will see a few great threads on this subject already here. And I'm sure you'll get some more responses here also. Good luck!
     
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