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installing a plow yourself

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by crazymike, Oct 31, 2004.

  1. crazymike

    crazymike Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 639

    I'm still in the market for a truck and I'm having trouble finding what I want, with a plow.

    What is entailed with stalling a plow yourself? Is there any cutting/welding involved? I've checked the manufacturer websites for install guides but I'm not having much luck finding what all is entailed.

    How many of you installed your own plows? What all is entailed? How long did it take?

    I've found a few used plows in the area and all I would need is the proper mount for whatever vehicle I choose.
     
  2. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,202

    Most of the mounts just bolt on if you have the correct one. Most of the wiring just plugs in. If you find something and get really stuck we will be able to help you out. We have put most of ours on ourselves.
     
  3. crazymike

    crazymike Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 639


    is there any advantage to a professional install? Other than a possible warrenty if you got a used one from a dealer.
     
  4. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,202

    If you are buying used from a dealer they may offer you a warranty. On some of these plows you would not believe how easy the install is. Check the post where some of these guys are putting them in in less then 3 hours.
     
  5. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    Mount is bolted to the frame, you need a good strong drill as you will have to drill into the frame. You need a torque wrench. Wiring can be a PITA, if the truck does not have plow prep then its not always plug in. Some splicing is necessary. You also need to run the wire for the controller into the cab. It will take you all day to do with the help of someone else. I would say spend $400 to have a pro do it for you and it will be over in 3 hours
     
  6. Eyesell

    Eyesell 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,101

    I would say spend $400 to have a pro do it for you and it will be over in 3 hours[/QUOTE]

    I can't agree more, I was going to re-install mine on my new 05 F250 but additional brackets are required, looks to be a real pain in the butt.
     
  7. qualitylawncare

    qualitylawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 501

    Took the dealer 8 1/2 hours to install my 8'6" Western MVP.. I said, for $500 let the dealer do it.. Better than me screwing it up :nono:
     
  8. crazymike

    crazymike Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 639

    By installing the plow myself, will I learn anything usefull?
     
  9. Eyesell

    Eyesell 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,101

    Only if you plan on installing plows for a living, cause once it's on your truck and learned a few short cuts what is that going to do for you ??
     
  10. Boast Enterpris

    Boast Enterpris Senior Member
    Messages: 745

    If you have never installed one before, I would say spend the $400.00 & let a dealer do it! I installed the plow on my 1993, only because I always take the plow off before I trade & let the dealer install it on the new truck. Doing these removals has let me become familiar with the hardware. I had plenty of time to do the install because it is my backup truck & it took me two evenings. It wasn't that hard just rather involved! If you are not familiar with snow plows then let the dealer do it, it will probably pay off in the long run. BOAST
     
  11. ratlover

    ratlover PlowSite.com Addict
    from IL
    Messages: 1,325

    I put together my 9'6" V blade by my self. For 400$ and the close to a day it took me.....hmmmmm let me do the math on the $ per hour. Its pretty easy. Most of the new stuff(regardless if your truck has the "plowprep" or not) is plug and play with the same factory type conectors. Its not very hard skill wise if you can follow directions. On my truck I didnt have to drill holes in the frame, some trucks do. Most trucks require no cutting of the truck other than some plastic stuff on some models. Yes, you will learn lots in the way of what goes were and what parts are involved and IMO it will help with trouble shooting if need be. A good dealer should give you the same support and service if you installe it or if they do. Warantee is the same although you wont have any warantee if someone does a crappy job on the install(so dont do a crappy job :rolleyes: ) If the dealer forgot to tigthen bolt X and something happend he would be responsible, if you forgot then you would be. If you have the tools(basic hand tools really) and the place to do it and are 1/2 way mechanicly inclinde i would say go for it on the newer stuff. Some of the older stuff and mounting used stuff it can be a crap shoot if its all bolt together and plug and play and if all the widgets and whosits are there. That may be were i would be inclined to let someone else do it. You may need a friend or 2 to help out Doing some stuff like moving the blade and floping it over and such depending on what you buy and if you have a peice of equipment to help you out. I did mine by myself with a bobcat. Oh yeah.....better find a way to get that 1k pallet outa the back of your truck too, might pop a hemroid if you try to do it by yourself by hand :p

    If your buying a new plow then get the manual of the plow you want from the manufactureer. I'm pretty shure fisher has thier manuals online?
     
  12. crazymike

    crazymike Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 639

    okay, thanks people.

    I was thinking that installing the plow myself might help me when it comes times to fix something, but if it's more trouble than it's worth, the $400 for an install isn't too big a deal compared to the $20,000 for a truck :p
     
  13. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    You will have a better understanding of the wiring and things that could go wrong there. Oterwise the stuff you really would want to know is contained in the plow assembly its self ie. pump,hydraulic fluid, hoses, lights, etc, etc.
     
  14. crazymike

    crazymike Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 639

    do you think a V-plow would be too confusing for someone starting out? Should I stick to a straight blade? If I go with buying new, I want something that can grow with me...
     
  15. V-PLOW IS THE ONLY WAY TO GO payup

    Its what I started out with, and once you get used to it, you wouldn't even want to consider a straight blade.

    Oh ya, installing one is a peice of cake-- I installed my fisher v about 2 years ago. I am currently installing a new mm2 fisher v on my truck and sold my other one to my uncle and were installing that one on his truck. It is very beneficial, because as it was said before, you have a good understanding of how everything works.
     
  16. ratlover

    ratlover PlowSite.com Addict
    from IL
    Messages: 1,325

    A V isnt much more work than a straight to set up other than lining up the wings can take some work and there are a crapload of different colored wires and they have some descriptions that is open to interpretation. I had my wings acting funky becasue my definition of light gray with a medium blue stripe wasnt the same as fishers I guess. Switched a wire and all was good.

    You may run into more need for a budy to help lining stuff up and moving things since a V is heavier than a comprable straight.
     
  17. sonjaab

    sonjaab PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425

    IMO........If your buying a new plow with warranty its best to have the dealer do the install.
    WHY????.............Well lets say you screw up the wiring and burn up the modules or control unit..........Dealer sez........TOO bad so sad NO warranty.
    You bolt the plow unit up incorrectly and bend a $pendy frame mount.
    Dealer sez ...TOO bad so sad..YOU gotta pay again !

    I am pretty handy and can spin a wrench on anything BUT............
    My 1st plow new I spent the $300 and let the dealer do it.......
    After that I swapped that plow onto 3 other trucks with the help of a bud with no problems.............

    My new Ultra on my new 01..I let the dealer do it.
    Now its going on my new 04. But I am under the weather after my head operation and unable to do the swap so the dealer is taking care of it.
    I have no choice...............

    Many guys here have multiple rigs and the knowhow to swap and some don't that are new to plowing.
    Go with your gut feeling if you can tackle it or not !

    Good luck.................................geo
     
  18. TLS

    TLS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425

    $400-$500 seems to be the going rate for a plow install.

    What is your time worth?

    Are you a somewhat capable wrench turner?

    Do you have a friend that can help as another set of hands? (definately required).

    If so, even if it takes you 10-12 hrs your still ahead of the game, and the information you gain installing it will go a LONG way in troubleshooting later on if a problem arises.

    Todays plows are a breeze compared to ones of the 70's and 80's.

    Most today DON'T require drilling the frame.

    Most today DON'T require drilling the firewall.

    Most today DON'T require wire splicing/tapping.


    So really, the only problem is if your not totally confident in your direction reading ability.


    Back in 1989 I was at a LARGE plow dealer (Pickups all the way up to Municipal Trucks) picking up my plow for my then brand new truck. They originally asked if I needed it installed. I said no, I'll be doing the install, I just need you to load it in my bed and I'll be off. Well the guy that I dealt with was their shop foreman/head installer I guess. He brought me through their shop where I was looking all around at the different installs going on. I saw this one guy with a big honkin' Hole-saw skip across the dash as he attempted to drill a hole through the dash to mount the controller. I almost fainted! If I were to have them install it, sure as I'm sitting here, the same thing or worse would have happened to my truck.

    I guess there are good shops and bad, but these things happen, and with a shop doing 90% municipal installs, it's no biggie to them.


    I installed the plow on my '76 Chevy, and two on the '90 Chevy. This week I'll be starting the install on the '04.



    If you can do it (mentally and physically) I highly suggest that you try it.
     
  19. crazymike

    crazymike Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 639


    I'm confident with my installation skills. I've installed everything from remote starters and custom stereos to custom lifts, to you name it.

    I have the time to do it myself so I might aswell consider it. But I will see what the dealer says as far as warrenty, etc... I'm pretty sure they try to talk me into them installing it, but you never know.

    Unfortunately I have to go away for 12 days for my summer job. This will seriously cut into the time I have to get ready for the plowing season :/
     
  20. TLS

    TLS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425

    The warranty from the plow manufacturer CAN'T change due to who installs it. They would HAVE to install it FREE OF CHARGE for there to be an exclusion like that.