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older trucks?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by insnow4fun, Feb 6, 2005.

  1. insnow4fun

    insnow4fun Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 43

    if i am able to pick up a good deal on a older truck (76-82) and buy a blade from like ebay or something, am i still going to be able to buy the truck mounting plates or what ever... for that old of a vehicle? i went to the boss website, and no applications are for that old of vehicles (76-80).

    or should i just look for that old of a vehicle with a blade already

  2. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    Try not to buy an old plow truck,they are selling it cause it needs alot of repairs/parts or it's near death. Plow mounts and stuff are around, you just have to search for the stuff. I have places around me that have stuff to mount plows to any year truck. Just keep in mind that the older the truck is, the harder it is to find parts for! You have carbs/chokes and stuff to deal with too.
  3. kl0an

    kl0an Senior Member
    Messages: 215

    There's plenty of reasons someone could be sellin an old truck.. This guy never said he was buyin an old PLOW truck, just an old truck.. As for parts, they're everywhere.. I can rebuild my 76 GMC with no problems findind parts whatsoever. There's websites and catalogs dedicated strictly to old trucks..

    The main benefit of usin an older truck is they used REAL metal back then, not a lot of this plastic and fiberglass stuff nowadays.. If it's your first attempt at plowing on your own, I don't see any reason not to get into an older truck.. Plow parts are available and as for the mounts, any decent welder worth his salt can make the brackets you need.

    At least with a carburetor, you can still work on them.. No computer chips or anything like that to go wrong.. Keep it simple..
  4. CyberJay

    CyberJay Junior Member
    Messages: 29

    I'm in the process of selling my '78 3/4 ton suburban plow truck. It is most certainly not near death. It does need regular maintenance and deffinitely more upkeep than a new truck, but the parts are dirt cheap.. As long as you have a shop and some free time(I have neither) you could make tons of money with it. As it stands I got an '04 super duty and I'm really looking forward to not doing all those little BS repairs laying on my back in gravel.

    I wouldn't want to have my own contracts and drive an old truck. But if I had several trucks, or worked only as a sub(which I do) then an old truck can be a good investment. Just be sure to check the truck over very carefully for anything that might be lurking.

    As for the mount, I have a Western unimount on my Suburban. Western does not list a mount for the older trucks but they do have an '83 to '91 mount which is what I got. It went on with very little modification. Try and talk to you local dealers. I was 95% sure the mount would work before I bought the truck thanks to my local Western dealer.

  5. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation Senior Member
    Messages: 408

    If it pushes snow , its a good plow truck . older trucks are fine front line snow pushers. Snow doesnt care if its an old or new truck. I run 4 , a 1986 , a 1984, and 2 1993's . No customer has ever asked how old the trucks are , just " Can you handle the job". One BIG advantage of older trucks is that I have ALL 4 out there for about half the cost of 1 brand new F 350 diesel .
  6. mmwb

    mmwb Senior Member
    from wyoming
    Messages: 114

    You can't judge a truck by its age. The most reliable truck I've ever owned was a '68 F100. Loved that truck. My "newest" current '91 k1500 is a nice ride, but the frame looks pretty chinsy and I'd be glad to trade that nice comfortable front end for a solid axle and leaf springs. On the other hand, it hauls a ton of hay okay.

    Older trucks are the way to go for us mere mortals who can't afford to pay a shop to do the work for us and who don't have the equipment to do the advanced diagnostics. "You get what you pay for" is more often than not true, but there are a lot of exceptions. Be patient, shop around, really check a vehicle out before you purchase....
  7. CrazyCooter

    CrazyCooter Senior Member
    Messages: 119

    I agree, my 70 Charger had a more solid frame than my 3/4 chevy! BUt boy wouldn't that look funny with a plow strapped to it; but I'm sure I'd get a lot more accounts that way!
  8. Mainiac

    Mainiac Member
    Messages: 46

    I plow for a living in the Winter, this is my first year on my own, but have been plowing 10 years with my 79 Ford. I bought it for $1500, put some time in it, new panels welded in and a paint job, rebuilt my drivetrain. Did all of this myself, only had machining done out of the garage, if your mechanically inclined and confident in keeping an older truck going, do it. My truck makes me a boatload of money when we get a couple inches of snow and I don't have to pay a bank a dime!
    Up here in Maine we have a weekly magazine that you can put ads for things in, it's called the Uncle Henry's weekly swap or sell it guide, this thing has it all, I bet I counted 20 plow setups in the that were more than likely not junk. There must be something like that in your area, just look around the trucks are out there, I know, I just bought an 83 F250 with the 6.9 IDI for $1500, have to paint it after some cab corners, but it'll make me money the next 2 years until I sell it and do it again. Nothin better than wrenchin in my garage, beer and all.
  9. 440trk

    440trk Senior Member
    Messages: 112

    My daily driver and plow truck is a 77 Dodge W150 Club Cab. It's had the same Meyer ST90 plow on it since 1978 according to the paperwork that came with the truck. It's still holding up fine. I have done a good deal of maintenance to it (replaced all U-joints, all Brake lines, and keep it properly lubed). I will have to do some minor rust repair this year and give it a repaint. I made more money plowing with it just last year, then I purchased the truck for 6 years ago. It's plowed snow, towed a few cars, hauled lumber, you name it. I replaced the transmission about a year and a half ago...but that was largely due to the previous owners lack of servicing (trans fluid looked like Root Beer when I bought it). I expected the trans rebuild when I got it...but even it lasted several years before reverse started to slip pretty bad. When I put the new trans in, I added a trans cooler, a deep pan, and a trans temp guage.

    I like not having monthly truck payment too. :)

    Maintenance is the key. If you are willing to do some mechanical work and maintenance, an older truck is a great way to go. If you have no mechanical ability and/or no desire to do maintenance work, an older truck will probably not be for you.

    As for getting the proper plow mounts....Keep an eye on E-bay. There always seems to be someone selling used brackets and such. Also, some of the older stuff is still available from the manufacturer new...they just don't list it in the catalogs as it's not a big seller. Call them up and ask....you may be surprised what they have in stock.
  10. mmwb

    mmwb Senior Member
    from wyoming
    Messages: 114

    I contacted western recently about a conventional mount for a '91 chevy. They said that they didn't have them anymore. Later I talked to the local distributor about finding a used one. He said the factory will make one per order, but is pricey. As stated above there are often some on ebay.
  11. jweigle

    jweigle Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    old truck

    i drive a 78 k20 3/4ton keep it lubed, if you hear a noise that doesn't belong when your driving check it out and fix it, go out and make money
    i bought mine for $1200 i own it i've spent about $250 doing regular maintenance and the truck paid for itself the first season out now it's all profit. but then again if something breaks i have no problem tearing it down and fixing it myself i wouldn't know where to begin on a newer truck. computerized,fuel injected, i don't think so
  12. insnow4fun

    insnow4fun Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 43

    thanks guys

    your insights have helped a bunch, as a 32 year old wanting to "start" some snowplowing ...as the name implys....for fun...(and a little legal cash)...i cannot afford the 90 something trucks....so late 70s and early 80's may be what is me... besides, first truck, was a 78 ford 150, three on the tree....lol...might come full circle.....
  13. Runner

    Runner Senior Member
    Messages: 957

    Older trucks are only for guys that want a vehicle that's tough enough to keep pushing - even when many of the newer ones are breaking things. Yuo can't even compare the frames on the 70's and 80's trucks to the ones on newer trucks, unless of course you are using HD's to compare them to. Even then, even though there are large frames out there, the hardness isn't the same. The newer trucks are much softer and BUILT to collapse on impact. They weren't think too much in that direction in the 70's. You can take an older truck (especially if you're fortunate to find a solid bodied one - like from the south), go through it entirely and have a better, more practicle truck than a newer one. I have an '89 3/4 ton, and while it's a decent truck, nice ride and all of that, it isn't even CLOSE to an older solid axle truck - and this thing is all built with the heavy duty options for plowing. Like I always said...'87 was the last of the big boys.