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Plow Solenoid / Relay

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by linckeil, Feb 3, 2015.

  1. linckeil

    linckeil PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,265

    so last night my solenoid (or some call it a relay) went bad on my plow. i always carry a spare in the truck and 10 minutes later I was back at it.

    i've always used the cheap $10-$15 solenoids on my western plows and have had good luck with them. they typically last 2 seasons, which at an average of 7-10 storms per season, and 50 driveways per storm, equates to thousands and thousands and thousands of times the solenoid has to activate - so i'm not complaining...

    but this time i figured i'd look into a more heavy duty solenoid. i've found that a lot of people recommend this one made by trombetta:

    http://shopping.murcal.com/Catalog/Bear-DC-Contactor-Family/114-1211-020

    at 4 to 5 times the cost, will it really last 4 to 5 times as long (or longer)? it looks like a pretty beefy unit and although i can swap out a cheapie solenoid pretty quickly, i'd perfer not to have to do it at all.

    i'm curious who runs this solenoid and for how long? what has your experience been?
     
  2. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,005

    Got that one in mine for years now. No issues so far, and I might have ya beat in cycle times.
     
  3. cl733

    cl733 Senior Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 252

    Cole Hersee makes one very much similar, Those are mandatory for blades with a large amp draw, I used to used the cheap one too , but a couple of years back it welded itself on and cost me a motor, so now its the 225 amp solenoids always
     
  4. AccuCon

    AccuCon Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 463

    Are you guys really burning through solenoids that often?

    I can see that if you are using a cheap one that has a very short life cycle...Just seems odd to be burning up solenoids that much, I would def say if you are you are using an under rated solenoid and that is why they are failing so often.
     
  5. linckeil

    linckeil PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,265

    what do you consider to be "that often"?

    like i said, 2 seasons, 7-10 storms per season, 50 driveways per storm. thats a lot of use. how long does your last and how much use does it see?

    here is the style that i've been using:

    http://www.centralparts.com/snowplo...-snowplow-starter-motor-solenoid-4-post/1335/
     
  6. cl733

    cl733 Senior Member
    from Canada
    Messages: 252

    Im on my second season with the cole hersee 225 amp model, its still going strong, I did add a small little led light to tell my when the solenoid is passing power just in case it does ever weld on, I will catch it before it does any damage.
    Those little solenoids only have a rating of 100 amps or less, with a motor that draws 150-175 amps (supposedly) its a recipe for damages
     
  7. AccuCon

    AccuCon Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 463

    Just for ha-ha's

    Say you operate your plow 20 times a drive, not including dropping plow (dropping the plow does not actuate the pump and therefore the solenoid isnt actuated). So I'am saying the solenoid activates 20 times per drive.

    At 50 drives that's 1,000 cycles per storm. At 10 storms that's 10,000 cycles

    The cheap relays are rated for 60,000 cycles (at current range) so that would be every 6 years...Say every 5 years just to add some messing around in..

    Something doesn't seem right if you are replacing solenoids so often, again unless they are under rated.
     
  8. seville009

    seville009 Senior Member
    from CNY
    Messages: 740

    I just replaced the first solenoid in my 7 year old MVP a few months ago, and only because the wiring was going bad.
     
  9. linckeil

    linckeil PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,265

    i dont know what to tell you - ive always averaged 2 (maybe 3) seasons on the solenoid. this has been the case on all my trucks. so are you running the same solenoid i made the link to? where are you getting the 60,000 cycle count from? i could very well hit that count in 2-3 years. cycling 20 times a drive may be the case on my 5 very small drives. most others are probably upwards of 50 or more. curious what solenoid you use?
     
  10. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,005

    Like I said mines going on 5? ish years and never an issue.
    I've had a few of those on the company trks, while they did last, I slowly fazed them out for the bigger ones.
     
  11. linckeil

    linckeil PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,265

    diesel - that's 5'ish years on the trombetta, right? assuming it sees similiar use per season as my plow, then that wouldn't surprise me at all and i would expect that heavy duty unit to have several more years left in it.
     
  12. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,005

    Give or take yea I'd say 5 years.
    Also as was said, you need to look at the normal amp output they will handle. That's another factor.
    Last generally is size. Those little things are just not made to handle the amps IMO
     
  13. AccuCon

    AccuCon Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 463

    I was just drawing on that conclusion from my extensive electrical background...

    I Googled the specs on a cheap western solenoid and it gave me 60,000 cycles...It was about 30 dollars for the solenoid relay....

    I have my BOSS OEM and thanks to this thread have realized Im probably going to be due for a new one soon and should pick one up!