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Under tailgate spreader vs. V-Box unit

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by Snoworks, Jan 20, 2003.

  1. Snoworks

    Snoworks Senior Member
    Messages: 466

    I am buying a HD truck for hauling, plowing and salting. I am looking to upgrade too a larger salter. I own a Western Pro-Flow 2 tailgate spreader, but I have never used or had any experience with the other type of units.

    What are the pro's and con's of these units? Is one more reliable than the other? Does one spread more consistant than the other? etc.

    Chuck B.
  2. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    I would look at stainless if you expect to keep it long term.Also look at either hydauilic or electric,so you eliminate the gas motor as well.Much quieter and one less thing to go wrong.I have used mostly the western,fisher,and air-flo hopper units.They all work great,with the air-flo being the better of the three.

    I had an old swenson,with a briggs and stratton engine,and it was ok,just the auger chain and spinner weren't geared properly,and could never get enough salt out of the back of it,or control the spread pattern very well.

    There are also some like the downeaster,smith,and bradford,etc which I have never seen as no one carries them up here.They seem to get good reviews from guys on here
  3. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Sorry,I just re-read your post and saw you mentioned an under tailgate spreader.If you are referring to the ones that mount on the back of a dump box,or tailgate replacement,then that is the way to go.Very simple,easy to get at and clean out.Also allows full use of the dump bed,and comes off and on easy in the spring/fall.We use Henderson units and have never had a problem.Only thing I would recommend is replacing the spinner with a poly uinit,as the stock spinner fins wear out very quickly.
  4. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Ok this debate can go on forever.

    But there are advantages to each one.


    1. Easier to control material flow.
    2. A few different drive options.
    3. Most you can only have one speed controll.
    4. Generally provides a better spread pattern.
    4. Easier to install on the truck.
    5. The material is placed at the center of the truck.


    1. Allows the body to be eptied very quickly.
    2. Can haul other material.
    3. Allows the operator to control the spinner and auger speed seperate.

    Ok from my experience the best way to decide is to know what types of places you will be spreading.

    1. Driveway, the V-box is the best option the material comes out of the middle of the truck, so center the truck and your done. With the tailgate it comes out at the left side of the truck, so you need to either hug the right side, or waste a lot of material on the lawn.

    2. Parking lots, i still think the v-box can work better because the material is centered. However the tailgate works fairly well.

    3. Roads the tailgate allows the operator to do both sides of the road. So plow in, plow out, and spread on the way out. While the v-box would require a third trip down the middle. There is no need to put material other than in the middle of the road.



    Chain breaks a lot of shoveling.
    Extra Material hard to unload quickly.
    Sometimes an extra motor.
    Unless you go stainless lots of metal that can rust.
    Material is spread behind the vehicle.


    Augar bars will wear out over time, and can break with out warning.
    Material flow isn't as easy to regurlate as a v-box.
    The body needs to be raised, causing the loss of stability, and the chance of hitting stuff.
    Material is pread behind the vehicle.

    There is a third option, that is more expensize, but offers the best of both words. The third option is a multi purpose body.
    These bodies have a spreader chain built into them, the spinner is located at the front of the body. Providing material under the traction wheels. Howeve the spinner is located on the drives side, so the material isn't centered, but allows you to do both lanes of the road. With this body, you can raise the body put more material forward and drop ther body and spread some more. However the chain, and spinner provides better material flow then the auger and spinner. This body also allows you to dump off material if the chain were to break. It allows you to switch from spreading salt, to hauling salt in a matter of minutes. Hydro drive is reliable, and allows the user to change the converyor speed and the spinner speed.

  5. mike9497

    mike9497 Senior Member
    Messages: 466

    i have a tenco dump bed/spreader.i feel its the best way to go.to set it up for sanding i just have to lift up a steel plate in the bed and im all set.i can spread right under the truck 30+ feet to the left.i can spread as little as 2 FT wide
  6. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I use a 2 yd Fisher Vbox with 11 hp Honda motor. Yes, the multi purpose bed Geoff mentioned would be nice, but you'll be deep pockets. I saw one on a new Chevy 4500. I think it was $45,000.

    I really like my Fisher. One thing you'll need to make sure of with a Vbox is that you have a way to get it off the bed. I use a hoist and built a couple of cross-beams for it to rest on in my garage during the off season.

    Now if I had a skid-steer...
  7. mike9497

    mike9497 Senior Member
    Messages: 466

    wen i got my f350 psd xl i paid 54,000.that came with the tenco bump bed/spreader with pre wet system and a 9FT western blade

    the dump bed starts around 9,000
  8. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Ok lets do some math here. Yes multi purpose bodies are more.

    Yea a multi purpose body is about 9 to 11K


    Standard Dump body 3 to 4K cash and carry
    V-box Sander 3 to 4k Cash and carry

    Under the tailgate sander 2500 to 3500

    so you are still looking at 6 to 7K for the standard body and v-box.

    So yes the upfront cost is about 2 to 4K more, however it will save you time and make you more money over time. I guess it depends how much of your business revolves around snow.

  9. fordman

    fordman Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    I think the under the tailgate unit is definitly the most economical, and a decent unit. However a multi purpose dump bed would be the most functional, but as mentioned above it's the most expensive. It all depends on how much you want to spend and what types of lots you'll be using it on.
  10. mike9497

    mike9497 Senior Member
    Messages: 466

    well when i got that truck it was the only sander i had at the time.it was well worth it because local landscapers use to call me out to sand and salt there lots.i charged 75.00 an hour for the truck and it was 25.00 for a yard of sand/salt so i charged double.alot of scapers in my area don't have the storage or trucks to handle spreaders or they just don't wanna spend the money.like this season i sub for a larger landscaper and i just salt for him thats it.he has 6 guys that plow for him.i have never had problems with this unit.when the bed is at full tilt it is almost a foot higher than the lip of the cab protector.so that means u don't have to worry about hitting anything.so if your buying a one ton or larger i feel its the best way to go for the money.my towns public works has the same bed on all there trucks so what does that tell yah.they had all nice new V boxes 3 seasons ago.only thing that they kept were the hoist bays they kept them in now they put bulk salt and some old rigs in those bays now
  11. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    The thing is these multi purpose bodies are tough. When we replace a truck its between 12 and 15 years old, the body is still in good shape. How many can keep a v-box 15 years with almost no down time.