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truck/plow question

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by yardguy28, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. yardguy28

    yardguy28 Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    i'll admit i'm a little lazy in using the search feature but i did do a little reading on here before making this thread.

    my question is i have an 07 dodge ram 1500 quad cab hemi truck. last season with the help of my friend i purchased an 8' super duty boss straight blade.

    when going to the boss website and filling out the information for the plow selector the blade i have is not suggested. only a 7' or 7.6' blade.

    the truck seems to handle things fine. once in a while i seem to have a power flux where the dashboard beeps and a check gauges light comes on for a second and my battery meter drops down for a second but other than that it handles things great.

    i only do residential driveways.

    my main question is i'm interested in beefing up the front end. on certain driveways if i enter the driveway straight on something (i think the truck bracket) scrapes the entrance of the driveway. if i come at an angle this does not happen. my friend said it's because my front suspension is week so i'm thinking of beefing it up.

    i have no idea what would be involved. i was thinking just shocks and springs.

    can someone help me.
     
  2. Red02F250

    Red02F250 Senior Member
    Messages: 109

    I'm not a Boss owner, but most manufacturers follow the same guidelines for what plows are suitable for what trucks. Your truck, a 1/2 ton, is probably a little on the light side for an 8' blade. Typically you don't get anything larger than 7'6" until you're in a 3/4 ton or larger truck.

    That said, you have several options for beefing up your front suspension. First, I'd determine how much the entire plow setup weighs and see how that compares against the rated capacity of your front suspension. You could try adding a leaf to the spring pack, or using a leveling kit. Timbren springs are popular around some circles, or you could get an air-leveling kit and use that. It depends on what you want out of your truck and the ride you expect, and of course your budget.
     
  3. South Seneca

    South Seneca Senior Member
    Messages: 474

    I put Timbrens in my GMC this year. They made a big difference in how the front end sits with the plow on. I also replaced my 10 year old, OEM front shocks that were dead, and cranked T-bars up 3 turns.

    These three things made a huge difference for not a lot of money, or time.
     
  4. yardguy28

    yardguy28 Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    thanks guys, that gives me some options to consider and now i know what to discuss with whoever would be doing the work.

    the reason i have an 8 foot blade is because my friend was helping me look for blades and he came across one on craiglist last season for a good price. i'm almost positive he knows i have a half ton truck but he said this blade would work.

    i didn't actually go on boss's website and use the plow selector until after i already had the plow. the difference between what they recommend and what i have is 250 lbs.

    so far the truck seems to handle what i do with it. but i'm debating doing something to the front end so it's easier on the truck. not really something i feel i need to do, more of something i feel i want to do if the price is right.

    i really don't mind going in at an angle but i wanna check out my options and see what it would cost me.
     
  5. jhall22guitar

    jhall22guitar PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,044

    My dad had a 8ft boss on a Dodge ram 1500, worst idea ever. I would go with the smaller one. Our truck had a beefed up front end, cooling system, alternator, the works. Any time we raised the blade the battery would drop and the lights dimmed, never had the problem with the dash lights coming on. But we sold it for the same amount we bought it for, so not to bad, but it wasnt worth it.
     
  6. dixiejwo

    dixiejwo Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    That might not sound a like a lot of weight but it is. Your front axle has a GAWR of maybe 3600 lbs and your truck is maybe 5500 lbs. Since 55-60% of the truck's weight is on the front axle you only have capacity for 300-500 lbs of plow. And that's not counting ballast, you, salt, or anything else.

    Just rough numbers but the point is that the lighter Boss setup would be right at the capacity of your truck. Every pound beyond that is a pound more than your truck was designed to carry. No matter what you do to the front suspension you're overloaded by a decent margin.

    Why spend more money trying to get your truck to carry that blade anyway? I'd just sell it and get something more appropriate.
     
  7. Lkohan

    Lkohan Junior Member
    Messages: 25

    No reason to beat your truck up and cause yourself more problems down the road. Get hourly work and now its a win/win when you downsize.
     
  8. yardguy28

    yardguy28 Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    oh every time i raise the blade the battery does drop and the lights dim as well. then on occasion the truck dings and the check gauges light comes on for a second.

    i'm not really concerned about the lights dimming and battery dropping. the battery goes right back up after a second or two.

    i appreciate everyone's comments. though they do bring me to another question since most are suggesting i sell the blade i have and get a smaller one.

    the installation was done by a professional business, not myself. so would they have installed this blade knowing it was not right for my truck? they did it without even blinking. no questions asked and never said a word to me about it being too much for my truck.

    i guess thats why i'm not worried about it not working. i've had it for 1 and half winters now and its worked out great. i do residential driveways and don't plan on doing commercial parking lots at all.
     
  9. dixiejwo

    dixiejwo Junior Member
    Messages: 12

    Yes, because as you've found out it will work and it's not really dangerous (provided you deal with the airbags). It's just not good for the truck. There are some shops up here that wouldn't do it and an awful lot that would.

    If the installer was really thorough he would've pointed out that the 1500s aren't recommended for a plow AT ALL. Go here and download the manual for your 2007 Ram: http://www.ramtrucks.com/en/owners/manuals/

    Then take a look at page 406-407:

    "NOTE: Do not use Dodge Ram 1500 Models for snowplow applications"

    "WARNING! On 1500 Models, snowplows, winches, and other aftermarket equipment should not be added to the front end of your vehicle. The airbag crash sensors may be affected by the change in the front end structure. The airbags could deploy unexpectedly or could fail to deploy during a collision resulting in serious injury or death."

    "CAUTION! Using 1500 Model vehicles for snowplow applications can cause damage to the vehicle."

    "The 1500 models are NOT available for snowplow applications"

    I'm not saying you shouldn't plow with it...it's your truck...but I would just use a setup that's closer to the truck's capabilities. And unplug the airbags.

    -j
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  10. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH PlowSite.com Addict
    from pa
    Messages: 1,132

    Just get a timbren kit for the front. It will help carry the added weight.
     
  11. linycctitan

    linycctitan Senior Member
    Messages: 588

    I find it hard to believe that no one else offered this suggestion yet, so here goes...

    ...You already have the truck-side mount and wiring installed and working, it's just the "off-truck" side that is overweight for your truck, so why don't you try posting up an ad on CL or here offering to swap your 8' off-truck setup for a 7.5' in similar condition? You may not find someone right away, so refresh the listing every once in a while. I know there are plenty of guys around with 3/4 & 1-ton trucks that are running 7.5' Boss blades, and I'm sure many would jump at the chance to step up to an 8 footer without spending money.

    This is just my opinion, and what I would do, as the added weight will surely add up to increased maintenance and repair cost on your front end, though you still may want to add timbrens and/or a leveling kit.
     
  12. yardguy28

    yardguy28 Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    yes i've read the manual a hundred times about that section. but you see an aweful lot of 1500 serious trucks plowing snow in the winter.

    i'm leaning towards this idea since multipul people have suggested it.

    i personally already feel the truck carries the added weight just fine but i'm not a car guy so i have no idea what is going on with my truck. nothing has happened so far but i've only had it a winter and a half. i'm sure things take time to break.

    just thought it would be nice to go straight into all my driveways and not at an angle on some of them.

    thats really not a bad idea, i just may consider it.
     
  13. As many others have stated on this site before, Timbrens DO NOT increase the GVWR or Safe load carrying capacity of a vehicle, nor do anything to help the wear and tear on your trucks front end parts etc, they are simply a bump stop that may slightly increase the ride height of your overloaded front end. Believe someone refered to them in another post as a Band Aid and I agree with that! I agree with the post stating the simple solution of trying to swap it for a 7'6". I also see so many guys with 3/4 or 1 tons running a 7'6''(never did understand that) so shouldnt be hard to arrange.
     
  14. Red02F250

    Red02F250 Senior Member
    Messages: 109

    Bottom line is... its YOUR truck, YOUR plow and YOUR money, so do what you want to do with it :) Just be safe.

    I really like how we can get lots of different opinions and lots of good free advice on this site. Just for another perspective, here's my setup.
    2002 Ford F-250 XLT 7.3L Ext cab, 6.5' bed with Off-Road and Towing packages, but... NO SNOW PLOW PREP GROUP
    A good friend had an older Meyer 7'6" ST blade laying around and offered it to me provided I help him plow his church lot. SOLD!!! Now, I know darn well, that my truck could do it. Being diesel and with the off-road and towing packages, it has 4x4, auxiliary trans cooler, HD alternator, helper springs in the rear etc. It had everything that the plow prep group would have except for the heavier front end springs. I learned that Ford puts springs on based on cab and body configuration, not taking into consideration the engine. So, my truck at a 4,800lb front suspension for the ext cab and short bed, whether it had the 444cu in engine weight (it does) or the smallest gas V8 which weighs considerably less.

    Long story short... my truck handled the blade just fine, but the front end did drop with the added 675 or so pounds. I have since added the Ford stock, heavier springs (6,000lb) and a leveling kit 2", 2" blocks on the rear, shocks and bigger tires. I've also added to the plow, wings, heavier cutting edge etc, so it now weighs about 750lbs, maybe more. The truck couldn't care less about the added weight now, and the front end drop is minimal and handles great.

    You can do whatever you want to make your setup work better and perform better for you, but IMO, taking a lighter duty truck and using it for heavier duty work, you will likely experience increased wear and tear and probably the issues and associated costs in the long run. But its your truck :)
     
  15. yardguy28

    yardguy28 Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    i see your point red. but i guess in my eyes i don't see plowing residential driveways as heavy as doing commercial parking lots.

    i don't plan to take on commercial parking lots. maybe a very small used car lot at the most but i'm primarily interested in residential driveways. even if i had a 3/4 or 1 ton truck (which i do plan on getting next time i'm in the market for a truck) i don't wanna subject my truck to all that forward/reverse you do with a parking lot. so i would still only be doing residential driveways.

    i appreciate everyone's opinions. you all have been most helpful. i now have an idea of what can be done and what to talk to a mechanic about.

    i can keep you updated if you like as to what i do. as of now i'm highly looking into putting on a timbrens kit. i checked there website out last night and watched a video on youtube of a guy doing is own installation on a dodge ram.

    my main and only concern is wanting the front end lifted a bit when the plow is on so i can enter certain driveways straight on instead of at an angle (and thats really just a preference because i could just continue to enter them at an angle). that was the point for this thread. not really worried about the truck handling the plow otherwise.
     
  16. yardguy28

    yardguy28 Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    to update those that are interested i checked with mechanic on the kimbrens and he's not to fond of them.

    as another posted, it's more of a band aid. so.....

    assuming the weather is nice this weekend (nice meaning no snow) i will be visiting a local spring shop to check on the price of springs and shocks for my truck.

    the idea of an even trade from someone for a 7' 6" blade is nice but i feel not fair to me. my 8' blade is super duty and a 7' 6" blade is standard duty so i feel i would be owed some money.

    hopefully the springs and shocks idea will work out.
     
  17. Luis@ NJ

    Luis@ NJ Member
    Messages: 30

    I do see quite a few ford f-150's ram 1500's with full size hd plows driving around but man they are almost scraping the pavement! :cry:
     
  18. yardguy28

    yardguy28 Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    my truck doesn't sit all that low with the blade on it and raised up. the only problem i'm having is on certain driveways with the way they are made if i enter then straight on something on the bottom, its either the blade, or the blade bracket scrapes the pavement. so i have to enter at an angle.

    so i'm thinking of beefing up the front end a little so this does not happen. otherwise the truck handles the blade just fine.

    so this weekend we will see just what it is going to cost me and see if all i really need is springs and shocks.
     
  19. jhall22guitar

    jhall22guitar PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,044

    id beef up the front end to help a little, and maybe upgrade the alternator just to help the battery. IMO its not a bad setup, i used to have a similar one. Just dont go slamming the gas pedal to push some piles, take it easy and dont push the limits of the truck.

    Where are you located? Maybe on here you will find someone nearby so that if you have a problem they can give you a hand.
     
  20. yardguy28

    yardguy28 Senior Member
    Messages: 485

    i'm in IN......

    yeah my battery does drop and the lights do dim now and then when using the blade.

    i pretty much stick with doing residential driveways and i'm all about not pushing the truck to the limits so i think i'll be just fine with this blade.

    this will be the second winter i've used it and so far no problems.

    we will see what the springs place says.

    when you say beef up the front end what all do you mean? i'm thinking shocks and springs.