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What's the best plow for my 95 F-150 truck?

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by Warren Clark, Sep 1, 2007.

  1. Warren Clark

    Warren Clark Junior Member
    Messages: 1

    I just moved to Colorado and my home is at 9350'. According to the neighbors, we get 9 months of snow each year. Last winter was a record 26'. Snows like that have not occurred here 14 years prior though. I have never plowed before and I plan to only plow my 500' driveway. Most neighbors recommend a high quality plow (Meyers, Western, Boss) yet a fair amount use only a snow blower or a lawn tractor/ATV with a plow. My driveway is down hill and steep with a couple of 90 degree turns. I was given a classic (large) old John Deere snow blower that needs repair but will work great once fixed. After a lot of research into differnt snow plow brands I have found their web sites all recommend a 7.5' plow. What is not apparent is these sites assume a 3800 lb Front Axel Gross Weight Rating (FAGWR). My 1995 F-150 4x4 regular cab long bed is 3125 lb FAGWR. There seems to be a lot of differing ideas about FAGWR. Snow plow sales people either don't know what is required for their plows or say it is a non issue. Some recommend a suspension lift or heavy springs to reduce the sag of the front end to prevent bottoming. When I talked to a frame repair/suspension mechanics they strongly feel putting a plow on that exceeds my FAGWR is trouble to the point of breaking my front axel. The text book definition of FAGWR is the maximum amount of weight one can put on the axel. Ford does not offer a snow plow prep package for my old truck. Also the heavy duty front suspension option for my truck (also not available) comes with heavy-duty coils, a heavy-duty front axel and heavy-duty truck frame. My truck is in great shape (101,000 miles) and is used only for camping, pullling a boat, going to the dump, etc. I really do not want to buy an old plow truck just for plowing. We already have 3 vehicles for 2 people plus a boat and a forth vehicle is not what I really need. So, am I stuck with a light duty personal plow like "Snow Bear" (315 lbs) or do I go ahead with a quality Boss plow (3500 lb FAGWR minimum required) that exceeds my FAGWR by 375 lbs. The Snow Bear is light and can handle only 6" of snow. One dealer said with the plow on the ground, this weight exceedence is no issue. It is only an issue when I lift the plow up. Can I get away with a high quality plow since it only my drive way? The price of the Snow Bear makes it tempting. Or should I buy the forth vehicle. Thanks for reading this small novel.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2007
  2. itsgottobegreen

    itsgottobegreen PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,351

    I would get a 7.5' western MID Weight and install some timberns. Excellent set up, heavy duty design, yet still light in weight. Not light in ablity.
  3. RipT

    RipT Senior Member
    Messages: 184

    First of all Warren, let a neighbor from Bailey welcome you to the forum and to our mountains!

    Although I am "only" at 8000 ft, I plow a mile of private road and parking areas with a 7.5' Western on a '98 Chevy K2500. Last year was a b*tch.... worst in 26 years according to "official" statistics.

    The MID Weight Western suggested above would be a very good choice for your truck. If your drive is dirt/gravel I would also recommend a rubber edge I would also add Timbrens on the front axle and run 500 to 800 lbs ballast in in back. Have TWO sets of chains - one to use regularly, and the other as backup and for the serious storms.

    The weight really only becomes an issue when transporting with the blade lifted. You should be fine with the blade mentioned above so long as you remove it before driving all around. (And if you do have to drive with it on once in a while, take it easy)

    Some tips as you admit to not having plowed before:

    For your steep drive, I suggest plowing slowly in low range with chains. Watch out for soft edges and drop-offs. You may want to get some of those reflective fiberglass marker rods from Home Depot to mark certain areas such as culverts.

    If you can store and mount/dismount the plow in a garage or carport that is ideal. Otherwise, hook it up Before the snow starts if at all possible. Make sure you start out with a very good battery (one is enough) and charging system. Do not over-use your lift and power angle and use as little other vehicle electrical loads as you can. (I am still on original 10 year old stock size battery & alternator) If convenient, put on battery charger before & after each plow event.

    Probably would be worth it to fix up that JD blower....you will find good use for it even with a truck plow. ATVs, garden tractors, and SnowBears are only good in the light (weight and depth) stuff, although some folks up here have gotten lucky in some of the past milder winters.

    Yes, while we can have snow at some point 9 months of the year, we generally have better winters than most of the northeast, upper mid-west and Cascades. Things are changing climate-wise, so got to be prepared for whatever may come.... keep that boat gassed up and ready to go!

    Once again, welcome and good luck!