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Plow Storage

Discussion in 'Western Plows Discussion' started by KC2LLW, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. KC2LLW

    KC2LLW Member
    Messages: 55

    I have a two month old PRO Plow and want to know any tips on storing it for the off season. Should I drain the fluid, coat the cylinders with oil or grease, should I cover it with a tarp? I will be storing it outside in the elements.
  2. MarkEagleUSA

    MarkEagleUSA Senior Member
    Messages: 321

    I'd be interested in hearing storage tips from the pro's and seasoned veterans around here as well. ;)

    Besides the basics covered in the owners manual, what else can or should be done for off season storage?
  3. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    Do NOT drain the fluid, leave it filled as that's what keeps things from rusting together. Putting some light grease on the exposed rams is a good idea to keep them from pitting. Take some of that dilectric grease that comes with the plow in the little white tube (or buy more) and put it in the electrical connections on both the truck and the plow then close the caps or place the plugs in the rubber reciever if you have one on the plow. Covering the plow with a tarp is a good idea to keep the paint from fading and the wires from breaking down. Don't park the plow where plants will grow around it because the moisture from the plants will cause rusting. Some people I know use a spray gun and used engine oil to spray their mould boards so they don't rust so bad but I am not convinced that the mess is worth the benefit.
  4. Dakota Dave

    Dakota Dave Member
    Messages: 44

    Covering it with a trap is a bad idea. it traps the condensation in and premotes rust. for 20 years Iv'e just cleaned it off and droped the plow out behind the barn. I do Tape up the electrical connectors and put a wood block under the A frame and blade. Leave the oil in it and change in the fall when you put it back on.
  5. MarkEagleUSA

    MarkEagleUSA Senior Member
    Messages: 321

    Interesting point and something I'm worried about myself. I was thinking of just draping a tarp over the plow to keep the sun from beating on it. My plan was to leave the ends open for air circulation to help prevent the condensation.
  6. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,990

    The best way to store the unit is with the rams all the way extended to fill the bores with oil. Then fill the unit to the top displacing as much air as possible. you will need to drain the fluid next fall anyway so overfilling it is not an issue. Guys with double acting cylinders you need to operate the unit a couple times during the off season to keep the internals oiled. Then spray the sucker down with Fluid Film (or one of its imitators) top to bottom. We normally store on a pallet to keep the unit from ground contact and make moving to and from storage with the forklift easier. If you are going to tarp it be sure it is on black top or pavement, if it is on the earth it will just be a big moisture trap. I do not recommend covering with a tarp, IMO it causes more problems then it solves.
  7. PLOWMAN45

    PLOWMAN45 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,815

    I coat my cyclinders with red molly grease and put the tarp on not it so it can breathe
  8. BlueWing

    BlueWing Member
    Messages: 34

    There is NO way I would just put my plow on the bare ground. Get a pallet and set it on a pallet. Use Film Fluid or something like that to coat your plow and cylinders. Then do NOT wrap it up in a tarp unless your storing it inside. A tarp wrapped around anything on the ground will only cause it to rust with moisture. If you wrapped it with a tarp, you WILL be crying when you unwrap it in the fall.
    You CAN drape & tie a tarp over the of the TOP of the plow to keep rain & sun off it and have it all open under the tarp. That would be just fine. You need air to be able to move around the ground area.
    Just make sure you change the fluid in the fall and then wipe the grease off the cylinders. Then make sure you seal up the electric plugs.
    Oh, before you grease your plow, touch up any painted areas where the paint is missing.
    If you do this your plow will look like new for years to come.
  9. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    The tarp issue seems to be quite contentious... My concern with not covering some how is the damage that the sun does to the wires and other plastic parts. Cetainly condensation would be an issue if there is no ventalation at all. I belive that the tarp is a good idea if you leave it open on two ends so air can curculate effectively.

    One thing I do dissagree with is extending the cylinders and then overfilling the reservoir. The gland nut seals are very tight and keeping as much of the ram inside as possible is the best protection for them. Regarding the overfilling, well that is a whole other issue. You need to understand that original blue Western plow fluid is a desacant, that means is absorbs moisture. Every time you open the filler cap you are letting moisture in and that is bad! Some would say that the reservoir is vented by the plastic filler cap but that is not exactly true. You see that plastic filler cap is like a radiator cap in that it has a 5 psi valve in it. That means that it does NOT open unless pressure in the reservoir exceeds 5 psi in order to let air OUT. It does not let air in! Think of the air space in the reservoir like a bladder or balloon. The air is compressed and decompressed as the fluid level goes up and down during use. Opening it lets that pressure out which is also bad. When there is no pressure it is more lilely that rain could get in too.
  10. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,990

    Page 20 of the Meyer owner's manual instructs you to do exactly as I described. Leaving the cylinder bore empty allows the surface to oxidize shorting cup life.


    I should have said Guys with double acting cylinders you need to operate the unit a couple times during the off season to keep the internals oiled and prevent a ring from developing in the bore from sitting. Fully collapsing the DA cylinders is best but that requires disconnecting one end in most applications.