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V-Box or Tailgate

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by JML, Jan 21, 2001.

  1. JML

    JML PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 70

    What are the major advantages of a V-box spreader over a tailgate spreader. How much more of an area will a v box do over a spreader. thanks

  2. Wilburn Parks

    Wilburn Parks PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 64

    You can hold a lot more salt at one time in a v-box spreader ,also you don't have to handle bag salt. Cheaper to buy bulk.
  3. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    The amout of salt you can hold and the amount of sq feet you can cover will depend on your truck.

    For pick ups 1.5 to 1.8 yard v-boxes are just about right
    For 1 tons and higher GVWs you can use 3 yard boxes but they are pushing a 1 ton's GVW's limits.

    The advantages you are not reloading your spreader as often.

    You can buy bult salt much cheaper.

    The only cons to a v-box that I can think of is. It takes up your whole pick up bed, talks a little longer to remove than a tailgate. Your truck will see more wear and tear witha v-box.

  4. JML

    JML PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 70

    i have a 1998 and a 2000 GMC 3500, each have additional leaf springs.. I can get bagged salt and bulk salt/sand at cost, from my cousin who owns a landscape supply yard. I plan on doing mostly small to medium sized condos, so what do you guys think. thanks again

  5. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    If they are GMC 3500 pick ups go with a 1.5 yard or 1.8. The 1.5 yard model might give you a little more flexablity.

    If they are C&C 3500s than I would go with a 2.4 or 3 yard model.

    If it was me I wouldn't waste my time with a tailgate. To get a good tailgate spreader ya need a two stage model. A two stage model will run you about 2K, for another 1000 to 1500 you can have a nice V-box. The money and time you save using a v-box vs a tailgate spreader will equal the price difference.


    PINEISLAND1 PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 664


    Will my 3/4 ton Ford handle a 1.5 yard, or is there a better option? I think I remember John Di talking about a 1 yarder. What would work, and what would still be legal?
  7. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    I think the payload on a Ford F 250 Heavy Duty 97 or older is 3800 LBS? I may be wrong.

    The weight isn't really the ishue, it is breaking power. I have put 5000 lbs in an F 250, It handles the weight, just doesn't stop very well.

    Here is something else to think about? What will you be spreading, sand/salt mix, or salt. A yard of sand/salt mix weighs around 3200 lbs for a yard when wet. It is hard to keep sand/salt mix dry. Salt is easier to keep dry, and I am sure most suppliers keep their salt dry. If your spreading salt I wouldn't worry as much about weight as sand.

    Here is my $ 0.02

    1. Get a 8' 1.5 or 1.8 V-Box weighs around 800 lbs. You now have 3000 lbs of pay load. Now remember you don't have to fill it to the top, put 1.5 ton of salt in it, or a little less than a yard of sand.

    2. Get a 7' V-box weighs under 700 lbs so now you have a 3100 payload. With the 7' v-box you would have room to store shovels and other needed items in front of the box in the truck bed.

    You can have a v-box in your truck ans still be legal. I also wouldn't worry about finding a 1 yard V-box. Sometimes the "standard" v-box, the 1.5 yard model cost less, because it is more popular. Figure a v-box will weigh around 700 to 800 lbs and subtract that from your payload. Remember just because ya have a 1.5 capacity v-box doesn't mean you have to fill it to the top. Maybe just put 1 yard of sand in it, if you are spreading sand. I think you could carry 1.5 yards of salt with out much problem.

    One other little thing to consider is this. When we sand or salt with our F 350s (11000 GVW models), we plow first than sand or salt. Why because we have 3 yard v-boxes yes we are way over the payload. When you have 9000 lbs ( 3 yards of wet sand/salt mix) on the back of the truck, your are just working that truck that much harder when plowing, and you don't need too.
    In your case you would be plowing with an extra 4000 lbs or so weight on the truck. Plowing is harder on the truck as it is, so I wouldn't recomend plowing with your max payload. Why work the truck any harder than needed. Then when all your lots are plowed, go plow or salt them. However if you only had 1 ton of salt on the truck and the spreader, I wouldn't bother me as much to plow and salt at the same time.

    Also add some extra leaf springs in the rear. Have them built up, because you will want to add about 9 leafs to the truck. I know a guy with a Chevy 3/4 ton 97 Model, extended cab, and have 15 leafs in his rear springs. His truck handles the box pretty well.


    [Edited by GeoffDiamond on 01-21-2001 at 09:42 PM]
  8. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,468

    Geoff, You actually overload your trucks? Never done that before.
    I disagree with Mr Parks, though. We had an '87 Dodge 1 ton that we were regularly loading with at least 4 tons of straight salt. This works great until the truck starts getting old.

    The two biggest advantages of a under tailgate are
    1) when you do load them up, your center of gravity is much lower than a V-box.
    2) when you are not salting/sanding/plowing you have a completely usable dump truck.

    You do need the right hydraulic setup for under tailgate spreader, though. This makes all the difference. We have a clutch pump system for ou under tailgate on our dump and a PTO off the transmission on our 750.

    Tom: you are only overloaded if you get caught.
  9. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    We are overloaded and that is why we no longer putting v-boxes on F 350s. As we replace the F 350s we will put v-boxes on F 550s.

    Currently we have 1 F 750, and 2 F 650 that also spread sand or salt. We only really need 2 3 yard v-boxes so, next year we will be replacing 2 95 F 350s with F 550s and V-boxes. The 2 other v-boxes that we have on 97 F 350s will are sold, and will be removed from the truck in may.

    From then on out we will be legal with our payloads.


    [Edited by GeoffDiamond on 01-22-2001 at 09:30 AM]
  10. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,468

    What's legal mean?

    Our blacksmith builds and repairs everything differently for us, something to do with the way landscapers and snowplowers test their equipment the first time out--by overloading it. I thought the GVWR stickers were just general guidelines. lol.
  11. Wilburn Parks

    Wilburn Parks PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 64

    I think or thought he was talking about the tailgate spreaders where you put 800lbs. of salt in not the kind used under dumps. If he only does a few condos maybe he should use the smaller spreader then he doesn't have to handle bags.
  12. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    I have a bradford small truck v-box,its is .85 yds struck,1 yd heaped.It weighs 400 lbs empty.I have it in a 3/4 ton LD GMC.The truck is only a 7200 GVWR.If I had an 8600 or larger truck,I d definetely get a 1.5 yd.My truck weighs 6250 ready for sand with me in it,so 950 lbs and im overloaded,so im always overloaded,unless im almost empty.If i run sand,its pretty heavy,and im sure its overloaded,but with salt its not bad at all.If it were bigger,Id put more in,so its a good thing its not bigger.As far as legal,unless you have an F550 with a 2 yder,they all will be illegal with sand in them,if you fill them.Take my friends new Ford F250HD,it weighs 6350 empty,its a PSD,he has a 8 ft western plow-820 lbs,and an airflow spreader 700 lbs,its a 1.7 yd.with him in it,it weighs 8150 at the scales,with the spreader empty,the GVWR is 8800.700 lbs of sand is about 1/4 a yd.So you will be overloaded big time.Its one of the things you are going to have to deal with.So use a 3500 if you have it,and drive carefully,add helpers if needed,keep rear brakes adjusted good.Stay away from heavily cop traveled areas at peak times.According to the literature that came with my spreader,a yard of wet ,coarse sand weighs 3100 lbs,and a yd or salt weighs between 1250 and 2100 lbs depending on how course it is.

    [Edited by John DiMartino on 01-22-2001 at 11:46 PM]