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New to plowing....help?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by 75F360, Sep 15, 2007.

  1. 75F360

    75F360 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    Hi all, I am finally making the big jump and am buying an old truck specifically for working and plowing! It is a 1975 Ford F-150 with the 360 and 4-speed. it as a 3-inch lift with 35" tall tires. Trucks I know about, but plows? Fogettaboutit! Any suggestions on what plow I should look for, or just a general idea? Electric vs. hydraulic? Prices? Tips and help are all greatly appreciated. Thanks again
     
  2. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Any name brand 7.5' power angle plow which will cost around $3500 to $4000. Forget used unless you know what you're doing around plows. There are some home-owner type plows out there that the manufacturer even tells you are not meant for commercial use. Non-power angle plows are a lot cheaper, but are a real pain and very unsuited for commercial use. Most power angle plows of this size will be electric over hydraulic, meaning that it plugs into your electical system which activates a hydraulic pump which in turn controls your moldboard (technical term for the blade).

    Be prepared for repair costs to a 32 year old truck - suspension and front end components, mainly. You might want to install a set of load boosters on the front from the start. Make sure to have good set of snow tires and about 350 pounds of ballast in the bed - maybe more. Be prepared for very poor gas mileage plowing with a 360. Get your left knee in shape. That lift is going to throw off the plow alignment. It may have problems even with the lowest settings.

    Make arrangements now for backup.
     
  3. 75F360

    75F360 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    Great info Mick. Thanks. Do you think I should take out the lift? It is going to be an all around work truck so lowering it to stock would probably make things easier, and take care of the plow allignment, like your were saying?

    As far as the front end.......would boxing the frame and swapping heavy duty suspension parts do the trick?

    Lastly, the motor. I figured the 360 would be a gas guzzler. Putting a different crank in it would get it to 390 or even about 410 ci but I don't know in this application if the bigger displacement would help because of it working not as hard or not. I could always throw in diesel! Now I'm pipe dreaming......
     
  4. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I think you anwered your own question about the lift; but, yes, I'd recommend putting it back to stock. Plows are made and matched to trucks based on standard configuration by the manufacturer and anything you do to alter that, changes its functionality.

    I don't know anything about "boxing the frame" but anything heavier duty is going to help.

    On your engine, figure that there are two main components to consider in any truck: horsepower and torque. It's really a balancing act to get the most out of them, but basically increasing HP and torque will result in the truck pushing snow with less effort. The downside is that you're going to get less MPG in unloaded circumstances (think Toyota Tacoma vs Kenworth T-800 dump truck).
     
  5. stangman35

    stangman35 Senior Member
    Messages: 267

    Unless you have already bought the truck,you might want to look for something that is already setup for what you need.

    Even if you are going to get a good deal on it if you spend alot on turning it to stock,changing the motor,ect it may not be such a good deal in the end.

    You would be better off looking for a 3/4 ton or 1 ton for work and plowing,you would be way ahead

    :drinkup:
     
  6. 75F360

    75F360 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    So far everyone's advice is greatly appreciated and is really helping me get started, especially since I know jack squat about plowing/setups. You're probably right stangman, that the old ford probably isn't the best choice. But I'm trying to get back on my feet and was thinking it would atleast get me started and be good for this first winter. Eventually I would like an F250 Diesel or Dodge 2500. But till then I have to make due with what I can get. Think the old ford will make it through a year?
     
  7. 75F360

    75F360 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    Oh, did I mention that I'm getting the truck for $500? A friend has it and has no use for it and as friends go, he's giving me a deal. And it is in pretty good shape. Even if I don't use it for plowing, it was a good buy I think.
     
  8. stangman35

    stangman35 Senior Member
    Messages: 267

    3 in lift you might be ok,you could even find a set of 31's or 33's to throw on it while its a plow truck.It shouldnt be to hard to find an older plow for pretty cheap.If that 3in lift is a body lift you may even be able to run the plow without changing the tires.

    Good luck to you and have fun plowing.payup