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My F350 and I have moved to snow country

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by brain, Nov 27, 2010.

  1. brain

    brain Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    I've spent a good while reading the forums trying to soak up as much information on plows as possible, but it appears I've gone as far as I can go without some guidance. I hope folks can help a snow plow newbie.

    My history with plows is from long ago, cumbersome hitch systems, welded mounts (not sure if they was required, or just the way the father decided to do it) and hideous mounts on the truck year round.

    Things have come quite a long ways, which is impressive.

    The truck is a 4x4 F350 LB, DRW, crew cab, 2006 Ford PS6.0. HD front end package. Timbrens are on the back, but I can install on front if needed. New shocks are probably in my future anyway (we do quite a bit of offroad campering in this unit). I'd probably prefer to not do much else to the truck.
    The location is north of Sioux Falls, SD. Country gravel road. Newly purchased land, 300' single lane driveway, with treeline on both sides for part of the way. minimal grade.

    Issues: Neighbor has already been over chatting and noted that the driveway and road I'd take to work is often drifted badly during the past winters. So much so that it is impassable. I'd expect the driveway treeline to minimize drifts there, but that leaves the road and 100-150' of driveway and a mile of gravel road to the main highway.

    I've marked Snowbear and the other lightweight plows off the list. My father is pushing Hiniker for their use of the old IH two point hitch system, but I've noticed less time is spent discussing them versus Boss, Western, Fisher, and Blizzard.

    Given that drifting sounds like a big problem, advice on the site trends towards V plows. I do remember that breaking open a lane with a straight blade was very hard to do, but that was years ago, when I was but a lad. Still, I would be happy with a V. I am assuming at this point I'd need to break my own lane and the mile of gravel road to the pavement.

    My concern is installation/removal. If a big snow is forecast, I'd prefer to mount the night before, position the truck, and then hop in it in the morning, plow, return, drop quickly, and then head to work (My job is computer related, downtown, in a parking garage. The F350 will fit, but not with a blade, any kind).

    From what I can see of the Western Ultramount, the Fisher Minute Mount, Hiniker's Quick Hitch, and Blizzard's Power Hitch, those all look pretty painless to operate. Boss doesn't seem to put much on the site about how their system works (I see it's three steps, but it's short on details. Meyer looks like pins to position, and I see that as a showstopper. My son's not old enough to help me mount, so it'll be just me doing the mount.unmount. I need something I can drive up to, get close enough, push onto the blade, lock, and plow. If you want to think "I bet he can't back up wagons either", you'd be mostly right. Yet, it appears all of the quick mounts are not created equal. Some real world comparison experience there would be helpful.

    Unmounted positioning is important to me as well. I like the Western spring loaded pads that will position the blade for re-attachment. It looks like the Fisher has that as well (the bar in the middle shown in the 30 second mount video), but I could be wrong. I think having such a "jack" system is a must, but it's unclear if Boss has it, or Hiniker, Blizzard, etc.

    I am also concerned with the truck mount. We use this truck to haul a 4200# truck camper (2 slides, 11.5') and we go places that require quite a bit of clearance. While having some hang is fine, I want to minimize it. I see the western mounts are in pieces, so you can remove the lower part. I like that, while the Hiniker looks to be on full time (not as preferable). I know the verdict on this site is that you all think the mount makes a truck look better, and I would dare not question that, but I'm odd in that I don't prefer the look, so would like to minimize it on the off months. Or, if I have to have it, I'd prefer to set it up with a 2" tube for a front carrier for the truck.

    Given the snow around here, and the fact Sioux Falls is the largest city in the eastern part of the state, I can visit the Western, Boss, and Hiniker dealers in town. Blizzard is 1.5hr away, but if the Speedplow is worth it, I can make the drive.

    I suspect many would say a residential plow would service fine, and it might well do that. Thing is, I'm hard on stuff. I don't plan to abuse the plow, but sometimes my actions put extra stress on things I own. Thus, I plan to overbuy a bit on quality as a safeguard against any rough handling I may inflict upon the plow.

    I don't plan to buy another one at any time. So, I would rather buy a plow that is built well, can do a lot of things, even if it's not the best in any category (I read in the posts about straight blades doing well for lots and such, and the speedplow doing better than a V in certain cases, but I keep coming back to the fact I think I will find myself trying to carve a lane into heavy drifts on this homestead.) Unlike a commercial operation, I'm less concerned about time to finish, and more about versatility of a single unit.

    I know plows are a religion, but I thought some of my criteria would present a smaller list of plows I should consider. If nothing else, some key points to ask the dealers when I visit would be appreciated. I've seen some units have trip edges instead of blade tipping, for example, and I don't know if I should care or not. As well, I see other companies like Sno-Way, Sno-Pro (Curtis), and Snow Dogg. I wonder if I should care about these units. I've seen them in action (farm shows around here bring out the plow manufacturers), and they have quick mount systems as well. But, like the Hiniker, I don't seem them mentioned on the site nearly as often. Are they not built as well?

    Any assistance would be appreciated. I know there's much I don't know about plows, but I'm trying to pick it up as quickly as possible. As for used options, I've already checked Craigslist, but only 1 Hiniker is online at present. Still, I think, given that this is the first plow, it might make more sense to buy new and have it professional installed at a dealer

    Last edited: Nov 27, 2010
  2. FordFisherman

    FordFisherman PlowSite.com Addict
    from 06611
    Messages: 1,593

    Hey Jim, welcome to the site. Have you considered getting a dedicated plow vehicle? Leave the blade on and use it when needed (while warming up the f350). If not, the Boss V, Fisher V or Western V are all plenty capable for your application with mounting/ dismount systems to suit your needs. I'd suggest the Boss VXT.
  3. mercer_me

    mercer_me PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,358

    Boss VXT is what you need.
  4. 91AK250

    91AK250 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,641

    boss 8'2" V would be perfect.
  5. winged1dur

    winged1dur Senior Member
    Messages: 124

    Not for a dually, 9'2"V or larger.
  6. jkiser96

    jkiser96 Senior Member
    Messages: 401

    One thing to check is what dealers are close by & customer support. Even though it will not be commercial use it is stil nice to have a support of a good dealer close by.
  7. erkoehler

    erkoehler PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,252

    Boss 9'2" vxt and you will make quick work of that drive!
  8. DCSpecial

    DCSpecial Senior Member
    from IL
    Messages: 408

    The Boss 9'2" VXT is what I run and I am very happy with it. Works great on drifts.

    As for hookup, you drive into the plow until the truck bracket is all the way in the blade side, then you flip a lever on each side, plug in your plow harness and power/ground cables, hit the switch on the tower, and the tower raises up and locks in place.
    Controller in the truck needs to be on and in float position.

    Very simple to attach and remove the Boss V from the truck. There is no jack or foot on the V, just need to put the plow in V position to drop it and the tower powers down and tilts forward.
  9. csx5197

    csx5197 Senior Member
    Messages: 209

    since it's a dually, I'm going to push for the Fisher XLS, that way you are sure that it will be wider than the truck.
  10. pmorrissette

    pmorrissette Senior Member
    Messages: 175

    With a large tract of land like that, do you have a tractor ? Put a snowblower on it, and replace the bucket by a straight blade. That way you can push when not too deep (faster), or blow when very deep (easier).

    Last edited: Nov 27, 2010
  11. 91AK250

    91AK250 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,641

    i missed the DRW part. so yeah your right a 9'2" would be better.
  12. BlizzardBeater

    BlizzardBeater Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 420

    The boss seems to be the overall leader so far. Just one thing to think about, with the F350 being your main ride into work, if you blow a hose on that boss your dead in the water. I know you can jack it up with a floor jack or something and chain it but it still becomes an issue. I've never had an issue with a fisher being too small or lightweight for a job. Check out the stainless xtreme v's, they are serious plows.
  13. brain

    brain Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    I hadn't, but I did after you mentioned it. My concern there is getting the plow vehicle going when I need it. In my experience dedicated vehicles get used infrequently enough they won't work when needed. I'm concerned about the main truck even, since it may not get driven everyday in the winter.

  14. brain

    brain Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Understood. Fisher, Western, Boss, and Hiniker all have dealers in the area, though I don't know how well the dealers support the brands as yet.

  15. brain

    brain Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Sadly, no tractor as yet. I like the idea, but we just got into the country, so we're starting from scratch.

    Is it possible to buy a blade now and then buy a mount for a tractor for it later?
  16. brain

    brain Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    I'll do that. I notice there's been quite the forum postings about the center pin on the Fisher Vs. Can you elaborate on the status of the issue, and the comments comparing it to the Boss V center pin?

  17. brain

    brain Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Can you expand on the reasons why? Is there a calculation to determine the width? Is it because the plow will shorten in width in the V formation and thus no longer be wide enough?

    I'm assuming the latter, but I thought I would ask.

  18. pmorrissette

    pmorrissette Senior Member
    Messages: 175

    The plow needs to be wide enough to clear a path for the dual rear wheels...otherwise you'll end up driving the rears over unplowed snow...possibly getting stuck.

    Dually's run 9' wide plows.
  19. eludemann

    eludemann Member
    Messages: 37

    What happens if it gets windy during the day? Your plow will be nice and cozy at home, and you will have to walk home through the drifts.
  20. brain

    brain Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    True enough. If I can find a suitable alternate parking spot downtown, and I get on top of the forecast, I could drive it in to work, but the company parking garage barely accommodates the DRW/CC truck.

    Another option is befriending the neighbors on the corner of our road and the highway, and parking the plow there. The rest of the trip is country highway and interstate, of which I am less concerned (though, this is our first winter here, I might be assuming too much).