1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

What to expect regarding mechanical problems

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by DavidJ01, Jun 28, 2004.

  1. DavidJ01

    DavidJ01 Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Hiya all,

    I haven't been able to find a lot regarding "excessive wear & tear" on equipment and what to expect as far as problems that could result in down time. So I'm looking for some input here on what to expect and what can be done to help minimize problems.

    I'm speaking more from a vehicle point of view, but also would like to understand the problems or failures that can be expected with plow equipment.

    From what I have read, it appears that the transmission is the most susceptible, and that an additional transmission cooler would be a prefered form of preventive maintenance? What about the front end, does anything need to be "beefed" up such as the shocks or steering components? I'm going to assume that Fords, Chevys, Dodges, GMC's etc... could all benefit from some sort of upgrade...

    As this is a new source of income that I'm considering, I obviously have a million questions, one of which is regarding the various types (not manufacturers) of blades, and why a V blade seems to be something that excites some of you, but I'll probably leave those other questions for a new thread once I do more research. Right now I'm looking for the pitfalls.

    Thanks,

    David...
     
  2. ratlover

    ratlover PlowSite.com Addict
    from IL
    Messages: 1,325

    Shocks dont really matter but yes a trany cooler is a good idea as is doing a drain of your ATF after the season is over.

    Front end wear will be accelerated and what you should do or what wll go bad depends on the truck. Timbrens generaly help though.

    Lots of cycling may piss off your battery. And wiperblades will get a work out too.....

    And the salt plays hell on everything
     
  3. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    The best way to cover brakedowns I found is to have a complete backup. that means another truck with plow and sander mounted filled with gas and sand in the shop ready to go at all times. May sound like overkill but it is the best feeling in the world to have it all ready to go at 2:am when a u-joint goes out.
     
  4. wfd44

    wfd44 Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 369

    You are correct, the most susceptible components are front end and transmission. The best prevention methods are cooler, trans temp gauge (high temp is number one killer of automatic transmissions), and regular fluid changes (probably pre and post season). Timbrens won't change the stresses on hard parts (ball joints tie rods etc) in the front end. The best insurance for the life of these components is regular lubrication (more frequent than manufacturer rec.), frequent inspection and replacement prior to failure the same pretty much goes for U-joints and CV joints too. It is pretty much a matter of a little prevention vs a lot of cure. If it is suspect - change it, if it takes lube - lube it, if it can be cooled cool it. Also run a healthy high output alternator and good high quality battery (Optima) or daul batteries.
     
  5. karl klein

    karl klein Senior Member
    Messages: 557

    my 2500 chevy 97 i have replaced, 2 alternaters, 2 batteries, fuel pump, four wheel drive solenoid, and front steering members. i think the best thing to do is look at every thing extremely closely for any signs of wear and replace if neccasary. the worst thing is changing apart at 1:00 in the morning laying in a pile of snow when it is 0 degrees outside.
     
  6. Bchlawns

    Bchlawns Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 147

    I want to get started with plowing, not to make tons of money, but you guys are making me think not too, lol. I dont know what to do. Ne advice?
    Thanks
    Bchlawns
     
  7. DavidJ01

    DavidJ01 Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    Thanks for the input guys, it sounds like I may of been reading to much into potential damage. I'll be looking into the Timbrens, but for now I'm comfortable with preventive maintenance and keeping the transmission temps in check.

    David...
     
  8. ratlover

    ratlover PlowSite.com Addict
    from IL
    Messages: 1,325

    I disagree, Timbrens may help a bit because they will keep your driveline agles closer to stock and take a a bit of abuse off of the springs.

    Plowing in LOW sucks but sometimes depending on the vehical and snow it will help the trany live.

    Bchlawns> Buy a Chevy and dont worry;) J/K, everything breaks, preventive matinance is the key and not exceeding the capabilities of the peice of equipment.

    And more about plowing technique, try to avoid backing as much as possible. First off, you cant push snow in reverse so you arnt making money. Second its harder on the trany for 2 reasons, the first is the obvious added wear(marginal I will give you) but the less obvious is when you are 1/2 tired and not quite paying attention you will put it in drive before you come to a complete stop(this is bad ) And its more dangerous driving in reverse......Try to go forward as much as possible!
    Also, I really try to limit my stacking at all costs. Its like backing, sometimes you have to do it but I try not to stack with my truck.
    And another tid bit.....using a little speed can be easier on a truck than going slow. When you use a bit of speed it will cast the windrow out a ways and roll the snow as aposed to turning your truck into a bulldozer. Trust me, do worry about going fast and hurting your truck. Go as fast as you can for the conditions. I dont mean go 40mph through a lot youve never seen before and weaving in and out of mall trafic. But if you know the lot and its obsticals and the traffic/the rest of the conditions makes it safe to do so then you can pick up the speed.
     
  9. wfd44

    wfd44 Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 369

    True, timbrens may help with CV joints, springs and maybe shocks. However they won't change the amount of stress (weight) placed on the ball joints, control arm bushings, wheel bearings, and tie rod ends which was my main point in reference to front end parts.
     
  10. ratlover

    ratlover PlowSite.com Addict
    from IL
    Messages: 1,325

    yeppers, I agree :)
     
  11. DavidJ01

    DavidJ01 Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    ratlover,

    Great comments on the techniques, thanks...

    David...
     
  12. Bchlawns

    Bchlawns Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 147

    on a new truck, would u recomend timbrens
    Thanks