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Snow plow and air bags

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by mrfreeze, Jul 8, 2006.

  1. mrfreeze

    mrfreeze Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    I own a 2002 Ford F-250 XL, Auto Trans, 4x4, extended cab with short bed and safety restraint air bags. I'd like to install a snow plow on the truck for commercial use however from past experience with commercial plowing, hitting big things such as rocks or curbs is common. Has anyone had a problem with the air bag deploying?
    Just for information, I used to have an 83 Chevy Custom Deluxe 20, with an 8' Fisher plow. No safety air bags back then. I used to plow a dirt lot that was used for a flea market, it was about 10 acres of work. Anyway, I was cutting a path around a building and hit a large rock, the truck stopped, stalled the engine and I hit the steering wheel! Since then I started wearing the seat belt! If there was an air bag, it would have deployed without a doubt.
    Has anyone had any problem with stacking snow or any problem with air bags?
    The plow I have in mind is a Fisher Minute Mount, are these as rugged as the older Fisher Plows?
     
  2. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    I have never talked to anyone whom as had a airbag deploy while plowing. In the early days of airbags there where stories of the urban legend type, "somebody's friend knew somebody who's uncle had his deploy" type of thing. Bags require more then a sudden stop to deploy.
    I have impacted something hard enough to stall the engine, flatten a tire, and bend the lower a-arm assembly (no snowplow attached) with-out deploying the airbag.
    Modern plow makers have to insure the plow will not deploy or limit the deployment of the airbags. They all have a disclaimer in their literature, just to cover their butts.
    I had a customer run in to a guard rail. He said he was doing 60 mph when it happened. The impact bent both angle rams, broke the bottom out of the lift ram, basically destroyed every piece of black iron but the blade, and drive the truck away. The only damage the truck suffered to the front end was the parking lights popped out (Chevy suburban), unfortunate the plow tripped in the process and when it snapped back the force sent him back wards into the opposite rail and did a couple thou in body damage. The airbags never deployed
    I would be interested to hear from some one who has had their bags deploy while plowing snow, but I think if it has happened it is very rare.

    :nono: Seat belts and shoulder straps every time all the time.
     
  3. REAPER

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,228

    The plow is mounted to the frame.

    The sensors for the airbags are behind the bumper.

    So unless you hit something hard enough to push the plow into the radiator they will not go off.
     
  4. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    Dito

    all said above is spot on. Plow is on frame, won't trip airbag. It takes alot to get the airbag to deploy, this past winter when an F550 Plowed into the side of my Ram his plow broke off the mounts and put a huge hole in my driverside rear door, but no airbags.

    I've plowed with the HD 8' Fisher MM2 now for 3 years both resi and comm, its tough as nails.
     
  5. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,614


    Another urban legend/ myth.. Maybe at one time but I doubt it.

    You can remove the bumper and you will not see any sensors or the yellow wires with the black striping on them for the airbags.
    Just fallow the wires from the fuse box to your censer.
    The air bag sensor is an inertia sensor, it is usually mounted in the cab some where. On a Dodge it is mounted on the tranny hump right under the dash.
    It is basically an magnetized T with a steel ball on it, kind of like an trailer brake sensor.
    It needs to be an abrupt stop from around +15 /20mph or if you get hit and experience a sudden acceleration of +15/20mph or change in coarse.
     
  6. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    They are putting sensors in the crumble zones as well. You have to totally collapse the crumble zones to activate them. Also if you hit hard enough to set off the airbag you shutting down the fuel supply as well. They require a inertia switch for electric fuel pumps.
     
  7. REAPER

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,228

    I am not going to get into a long useless debate about sensors here.

    There are 3 types of them and the one you mentioned is one of the types.

    I stick by what I said and here is a link you can read up on em at.

    http://www.tarorigin.com/art/Ephillips/

    Part of the artical is as follows.:::Sensor1
    This is a plan view of a typical airbag sensor housing. These metal cases are mounted by bolts to the radiator frame.
     
  8. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    Radiator mounted senors are most common in automobiles with uni-body construction.
     
  9. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,614

    No debate needed.. go look at your bumper, see the wires for the lights. where are the sensors? The wires going to them will be bright yellow with black stripes there marked very clearly.
    On the trucks we all plow with there are NO air bag sensors in the front or rear bumpers.
    :waving:
     
  10. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,614

    Their are sensors mounted to frame rail, inner fender and tranny tunnel. but not to the bumpers.
    The crash has to be a significant event, not just bumping something With your front your rear bumper or there would be air bags going off all over the place.
    Guys out 4wheeling, would have to disarm the whole system if the sensors were in the bumpers.
     
  11. KenG

    KenG Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 100

    The days of the old-school "crash sensors" are just about over. Technology has changed the way airbags operate. Since the first "multi-stage" airbag came out, a typical crash sensor can't do the job. They are only like a switch- on or off.
    Current vehicles use sensors that do not need to be anywhere near the impact area. They measure directional G-force loads. With side airbags now optional on almost everything, the vehicle needs to know the direction of force, as well as the amount of force from an impact, all to determine which bags to inflate and at what rate.

    The point is, you don't need to crush a bumper or fender to set off an airbag these days. If you hit an immovable object hard enough (plow or not), an airbag may deploy.
     
  12. restoguy

    restoguy Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    As stated before, there are several types of air bag systems. But any type could potentinally be set off in plowing . My 'classic' '97 GMC has three sensors on it, two on the frame rails right behind the front bumper and one under the driver, on the frame. If you were to take these apart you would see a mangnetic ring with a gold plated ball bearing seated to it. At the front end of the sensor is a set of contacts. If the vehicle was to decelarate(sp) fast enough to dislodge the ball bearing, it's going to hit the contacts and pop my bags. Newer vehicles have a much more compicated system that actually micro-processes the decelaration and computes which action to take(as previously stated). I used to work in a body shop and when we'd get a vehicle that I hadn't worked on before, I'd take the used sensor(s) out and take them apart to see how they worked. The old style were really predictable but the new ones do some weird things sometimes. Obviously not too many guys are having deployment problems, but don't rule it out. With the newer ones especially, it's all about decelaration over time. Slow down too fast and you'll get a face full of fabric! However, keep in mind that some 3/4 ton and most 1 ton(and up) trucks don't have bags. They have a horn button that looks like a bag, but isn't loaded. I know that more and more of the newer rigs are bag equiped, but some aren't. I would guess that a 1 ton 'pickup' might have a bag where a 1 ton 'cab and chassis' wouldn't because it's for commercial use. Just a guess on that.
     
  13. Turfmower

    Turfmower Senior Member
    Messages: 376

    Wrong my 2003 GMC chassis cab has both driver and passenger side airbags
     
  14. restoguy

    restoguy Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Thanks for the info. If you read it again you'll notice I said "I would guess" and "Just a guess". So I guessed wrong. It was an educated guess with a 50/50 failure rate. Other model years are not the same as yours. I also said that "more and more of the newer trucks are equiped with bags" I know that the C/K trucks are not equiped with pass bags K2500(8600GVW) and larger. I would say that your truck qualifies as one of those said 'newer' trucks. Agreed?
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2006
  15. Turfmower

    Turfmower Senior Member
    Messages: 376

    They added them 2001 when they changed body style. So that is 6 years now since the 2007 are out, not exactly new any more.