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Western Cable

Discussion in 'Western Plows Discussion' started by mattpiotrowski, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. mattpiotrowski

    mattpiotrowski Junior Member
    Messages: 26

    How many of you guys like the old style Western Cable plows? i just bought one for my 86 GMC and wanted to know how you like it before i put it on?
     
  2. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    Your brave, asking for opinions on a plow that was discontinued many, many years ago.... I have never owned one but I have been condemned to work on a few. The worst thing I found was getting the valve adjustments right. Yes, yes I know that statement will result in numerous people here barking back responses contridicting me and raving about how easy it is to adjust. And that may be true for someone who spent years working on them. But I live in the 20th century and like to take advantage of the technological discoveries made in my lifetime. All plow manufactureres these days (not just Western) use electrical controls, some (including Western) are shifting to electronic controls like multiplexing. Bottom line here is that they use the new technology because there are advantages. As much as people are annoyed at the error beeps and flashing lights on the new multiplex plows they rarely mention how these beeps and flashing lights tell you what is wrong. I would like to see your cable plow tell you what is wrong with it. When something goes wrong they just don't work, and trust me, things will go wrong. Beyond the concept of antique technology another big disadvantage is that because you can't just unplug your control cables you also can't easily remove the plow from the truck. Ops there I go again, people are going to rip me a new one for that comment. Yes yes the blade comes off but the other half of the plow stays on the front of your truck all year round. That means the wind and rain gets pushed into it at highway speeds and you have to pay for the fuel you use to carry the extra weight. Modern plows, like the ultra mount slip on an off in just a couple of minutes. Finally, I guess the last dissadvantage I will mention is the problem getting parts. I know there are some people on this site who have inventory for them but they are like hen's teeth. But other than these few things they are / were a great plow... but then again steam engines were great in there day too. Ok guys... now you can go ahead and start slamming. Just don't take 40 entries to get it off your chest please. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  3. fordman22

    fordman22 Senior Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 102

    im not going to bark. but i have to disagree and this is my 1st year going commercial. its easy to adjust. but at times can be frustrating. i picked it up for real cheap but if i had the extra money i would go with a newer plow. the plows are easy to install but at times it can be really frustrating. its like a high up keep redneck girl. hahaha. the cables will need adjusted depending on the snow fall about 3 times per season. i had a awesome fabricator make the plow fit my truck. and as for the wiring...really simple.. i wasnt to knowledgable about it. it was one of those "learn as i went" situations. and another thing i like about it is that around here replacement parts are easy to find and usually cheap
     
  4. mattpiotrowski

    mattpiotrowski Junior Member
    Messages: 26


    give me a break man im only 17 get what i can afford for now........lol i get what your coming from my father has a ultramount for his 03 chevy. i went ahead went with the cable over the new style well for
    1)its was in my budget.
    2) i kinda wanted to go with the old school look on the older truck
    3) really all you got is cables and a few valves. something breaks down in the middle of the night it can maybe be like 1 of 4 things unlike with the newer electronic stuff something breaks down if you really dont know what your doing or what to look for with all these solenoids and things and relays it could be 1 of 20 things so may take a little longer to narrow down. but thats if they break down haha
    and 4) i dont mind taking the bracket and stuff off in the spring i salvaged a wireing harness off a boss plow at the junk yard so im going to use that and the lights and stuff will be on a plug.

    But i really guess it depends on the person i just do 2 banks a post office and 2 McDonals and a parts store in town so its not like im plowing the Tashmahal parking lot haha. but its a good start for what looks to be a good future Thanks :)
     
  5. fordman22

    fordman22 Senior Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 102

    know exactly where your coming from! im only 18 and i picked mine up for $500. i had to remove it from the old truck which was a 88 bronco going to the scrap yard. so Mr. torch helped me out alot :). had to buy a new motor which was $78 from ebay. and then lights which was $100. and a little more with plow oil. a new adjustable cable and shoes. but i like it does the job! less stuff on the cable plow to go wrong and easy to fix!
     
  6. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    You guys are all correct, I too had to start with old hand me downs and good for you for showing that much ambition. I am not discoraging your initiative I was just answering the question put forward. If a friend of mine was debating buying a used cable plow for $500 or spending $6000 on a new plow I would give them the same story. None of what I said was wrong, just maybe not what you want to hear when you don't have money for a new unit. But the bottom line is if you have a new reliable plow you will make more money, be taken more seriously and be further in debt too. You all have to weigh the advantages against your financial situation. If you look around you will see that large, profitable, serious and respected snow removal companies don't have 30 year old plows. However, look further and you will see young, ambitious up and coming operators buying whatever they can afford to get started and then down the road they upgrade as the money comes in. Now ask yourselves, if you had $50,000 to spend wouldn't you rather have a new truck with a new plow both with warranty and the latest technology? Me too. Fortunately for me I am 50+, own my own company, have a full time well paying job during the day and have a wife who is a nurse (makes more $ than me) and have had half a century to work my way up. When I was young I too started my carear with used junk and spent more time fixing it than running it. Don't get me wrong guys, I am not bashing your cable plow. Go for it and make it work. The long nights plowing and fixing it when it breaks will make you better men. Everyone needs to start somewhere, don't let me bring you down.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  7. fordman22

    fordman22 Senior Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 102

    o i know what ya mean. and right now where i live at i am really happy i didnt invest heavily into a plow...well cause i havent been able to even plow right now at all. and unlike other people my age....i have to work for what i have and personally i like it better than what other kids got there mommy and daddy to buy them. it gives me more sense of accomplishment. and if you lived around where i did you would understand there is alot of those kids. but as i see it. i have something to show for my blood sweat and tears.. (kinda got off topic!)
     
  8. mattpiotrowski

    mattpiotrowski Junior Member
    Messages: 26

    i know what you mean i kinda got lucky on mine i think. the guy nextdoor was scrapping a 87 chevy and had the plow on it. the pump was totally rebuilt a year ago with warranty and paper work. new cables. new lights off a unimount. new cutting edge 3 years ago. and the blade its self was in perfect condish with no rust spots or holes. i gave him $400 for it and he even helped me take it off..i wasnt gotta pass up with him helping lol.
     
  9. mattpiotrowski

    mattpiotrowski Junior Member
    Messages: 26

    yeah i know what you mean and like you said gotta start somewere. Thanks for the information its something that ill pry keep in the back of my head for a long time now.
     
  10. fordman22

    fordman22 Senior Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 102

    damn! you gotta hella deal! i had to repaint mine..just surface rust nothing major
     
  11. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    Hey fordman22, you sound like you have a great attitude. My daughter went to school with a bunch of kids whos parents are oil people $$$ you know what I mean. While their parents were giving them brand new cars on their 16th birthday my daughter got a $400 fifteen year old for fiesta. She had to work at McDonalds every Saturday just to pay the gas and insurance but she said she felt like she had achieved more than the kids with the new cars because she earned it herself. And on the topic of having to pay for what you buy.... I feel the same crunch just on a different scale. I have been building and fixing Western plows for about seven years now but this year I thought I would try my hand at running my own rig. I bought a brand new Wide_out for $6000, insurance for $1000 and I have so far only had three good snowfalls. I was hoping to at least earn enough to pay for it this first winter but that's not going to happen unless some white gold starts falling hard and fast and lasts for a couple more months. My wife is on my back constantly for "yet another bad investment". Man if I had a half million $ I would quit my job and go into business for myself but at my age I have kids in University, mortgage and so on. I wish I was 20 again so I could start over doing what you guys are doing with the experience I have now. I would skip the parties and spend my money on a little shop, a skid steer and a nice flat deck F550 that I could use for landscaping in the summer and plow & sand in the winter. I really hope there are lots of guys like you in my area because my next plan to make a buck is to sell my house in town and buy a little acerage out of town where I can have a plow junkyard. That way I could buy old "bucket plows" (plows people took apart and couldn't fix so they put all the pieces in a bucket) at auctions and then make one good one out of two or three in my free time during good weather and then mount them on an old truck & sell them to guys like you who want to get started with an operational but inexpensive rig. We get a lot of old stuff come to our shop all the time but they turn it away because most people with that sort of equipment can't afford to pay $100 an hour shop rate. If I had a little shop and a yard full of old Western stuff I bet I could make a small fortune working nights for guys like you for half the price the day shops cost.
     
  12. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    Back to the original question... there are advantages to the cable plow.... Many problems with later model plows come from the cable connections at the grill. Since your motor stays on the truck all the time you have no quick disconnects so you won't have any of those problems. So there you see I am not all negative.
     
  13. fordman22

    fordman22 Senior Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 102

    my 1st vehicle was a 1995 f150 flareside ( refuse to own a car) had over 200,000 miles on it. gave 1500 for it to my brother who was leaving for basic training. that truck did me alot of good! but with my attitude i dont like "handouts. i like to be able to say " i earned that" instead of "my mom and dad got it for me" and dont get me wrong. sometimes you have no other choice but to take the help. i have worked my way up to what i have gotten and im damn proud of that. im only 18 but my life is to busy to worry about girlfriends partys and all that useless stuff. i work full time and attend college. if im not doing either of those im hittin those books. and back to the plow. its something i could afford and invest in. may not pay off now but it will sometime. if i had that kinda money i would open up a car shop and a gun shop (2 favorite things)
     
  14. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,243

    I joined the Canadian military when I was 18 back when Americans were still getting drafted to go to Vietnam. Fortuneately I singned up as a mechanic rather than a foot soldier so I learned a trade. I have always loved machines and tinkering, and yes I enjoy my guns too but here in Canada, as you probably know, things are different in this regard. Back when I was your age I was too ugly to attract a girlfriend or get invited to the cool parties, too poor to be able to buy my way into the party group and too proud to be some cool guys bitc* so I spent all my time working on old cars, buying, fixing reselling and learning. Now I am 53, have my own little corporation, I own a F550 mobile service / welding truck for summer and switch it over for plowing in the winter. I own more than a half million $ worth of tools and I am the lead hand at a truck shop where we do what we call body building here in Canada. We take brand new trucks (cab and chassis) and make them into whatever the customer wants, cranes, dumps, rolloff bins, decks, stone slingers and yes we build a lot of plows & sanders of all sizes. I spent 17 years in the military after which I went back to school to do what we call grandfathering here in Canada. That means they evaluated my past experience and then told me what I needed to upgrade to become a lisenced technician in various fields. I had to take 16 weeks of welding, and 16 weeks of heavy duty mechanic to get a wack of red seal certifications. Now I am a welder, heavy duty off road mechanic, heavy duty highway mechanic, trailer mechanic, automechanic and I graduated from the electronics program at DeVry too. And I started out just like you did, buying old junk, making a buck and then re-investing it again and again. If my first wife hadn't taken most of everything I had accumulated when I was 40 I would be so much further down the road now but we all suffer set backs, Now I am going to give you my favorite quote and then end this diatribe.... " The definition of sucess is going from one setback to the next without giving up." Keep up the good work my young friend, you have a great future ahead of you if you can maintain the good work ethics and positive attitude. I wish more young people around my neck of the woods had your ambition.
     
  15. mattpiotrowski

    mattpiotrowski Junior Member
    Messages: 26

    My first one was a 95 Chevy 3500 with the 6.5 Turbo Diesel and 4l80e tans i bought it with 196,000 miles and blown transmission i took the transmission out and rebuilt it my self front to back and replaced injectors and glow plugs on the motor and injection pump. sold the truck 2 months later. still see it driving around town last i heard it has 250,000 miles
     
  16. fordman22

    fordman22 Senior Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 102

    getting back off topic... got to plow my 1st time with the plow tonight....and proving mishnick right... after finishing the lot i did...cables came out of adjusment. so i spent 20 mins re adjusting them out in the freeze cold at 1 a.m. running back and forth between the controller in the truck and the pump. finding dropped screws... and mishnick i stole that quote and its not my facebook status! hahaha