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When Buying a Used Plow Truck

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by JLC Lawn Care, Sep 1, 2014.

  1. JLC Lawn Care

    JLC Lawn Care Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Hey guys I got here from Lawnsite and I am planning on getting in to plowing this winter. The first step unfortunately is to buy another truck. Right now I have a 1998 F250 but its 2WD so I can't plow with it. I don't want to sell it unless I have to.

    As of now I have found one deal in particular that I like.
    It is a 1993-1995 (don't know the exact year) F250 single cab split window with a Western plow and 351 Windsor engine. They say it runs good and has plowed every winter the last 6 years. No issues, and 90,000 original miles. It has rust of course, but is there anything I need to look for or check before buying? There asking $4000, and it KBB's in fair condition for 3800.
    Thanks guys,

    Also I am heading over there to get some pics now so will ad those soon.
  2. jstevens66

    jstevens66 Senior Member
    Messages: 151

    What are you gonna be doing for snow removal? Commercial or residential? How much snow do you get in an average year? I would take that into consideration before you purchase a truck. If you are going to be doing a lot of snow removal you might want to invest in something a little newer and more reliable. If you are just doing commercial properties, maybe look for a dump truck with a plow, that way you have something for snow and for your landscaping!!! I use a Toyota Tundra for my snow properties and I do some commercial properties for a friend, never had a problem with it. had more than enough power to keep up with my buddys F-250 for snow and I use it for landscaping too. Just let us know the details of your snow removal plans and we can help you out a little better
  3. JLC Lawn Care

    JLC Lawn Care Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Im doing strictly residential plowing, mostly just driveways for my mowing clients as of now.
    This truck will also be used for my mulch and landscaping crew next summer so it has to be at least 3/4 ton. Unfortunately a dump truck is out of my budget, and I'm going to wait until I can afford a nice dump truck before i put in a ton of money into it
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2014
  4. JLC Lawn Care

    JLC Lawn Care Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Here in Ohio we get very little snow compared to most of you
  5. JLC Lawn Care

    JLC Lawn Care Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Heres some pics





  6. JLC Lawn Care

    JLC Lawn Care Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Last few....


  7. JLC Lawn Care

    JLC Lawn Care Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Is there anything specific I need to look for/check/beware of? any advice is much appreciated. Thanks,
  8. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,750

    That's a lot older. Approx, 85_88 front end
    Also looks like the tires (front end parts) and leaning in
    That's also what you wanna Ck, all the front end parts...I would personally pass
  9. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,396

    Front tires will tell the story.....
  10. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    Run away. Those years are notorious for wiring issues. I had an 89 F250 that would engage the starter going down the road. Good times. Not an isolated thing, the 1987 thru 1991 F series were wiring nightmares.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2014
  11. 496 BB

    496 BB Senior Member
    Messages: 789

    Thats waaaay to high priced for that POS. Always something better out there. Look at it from a business standpoint not an emotional or urgency standpoint. I waited FOREVER to find the truck I was after albeit it was not something that was very common.
  12. cubplower

    cubplower Senior Member
    Messages: 182

    Definietly 87-91, 1/2 and 3/4 tons up until the new body style had the worst designed front ends out there (Cross beam front end rather than solid front axle). As soon as one thing(ball joints/springs) is worn the front wheels camber in. When replaced they usually camber out requiring a kit to change the angle. Both camber in and out wear the tires unevenly on the sides. I would stay away and find something newer or 1 ton.
  13. JLC Lawn Care

    JLC Lawn Care Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Thanks guys, Im really glad I asked sounds like this could have been disasterous :dizzy:

    I will keep looking, don't want to rush like 496 BB said.

    Thanks again... ill post more when I find another option ussmileyflag
  14. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    If you going buy use truck to plow snow Buy one that hasn't push any snow
    Will be a better truck will have less rust on it
  15. MI Green

    MI Green Member
    Messages: 87

    Ha it's funny when people one thing and other people say something different. The only good experience I've had with Ford's is that year period. There is a reason the Kbb on those trucks are high. I would check for leaks, deep frame rust, wiring, u joints, 4wd, hubs and so on. Honestly if you don't know what to check then mechanically this is not the truck you Want. I would offer him 3k if it is minor things. You could get 2k out of that plow.
  16. oarwhat

    oarwhat Senior Member
    Messages: 156

    If you do buy one with the cross beam front end check the beam near the differential . It cracks where it goes from the boxed beam to 3 sided stamped metal. We broke at least three of them!!!!!
  17. allagashpm

    allagashpm Senior Member
    Messages: 700

    You are smart to take your time. You may not get a lot of snow but when you do you want to be sure it is ready to roll. I don't know your budget but I would try to get at least a 99+ superduty. If you look you can find them for pretty cheap. If you are looking for a cheaper truck make sure you have some cash for repairs and I would also buy a small plow for your other truck and put some weight in the back so you have a backup. Anyways things to look for: tranny fluid/transmission. Just because the fluid is clean doesnt mean anything they could have just drained and filled it. See how it shifts and run through all the gears.
    Rust...every where. Tires...all front end components, electrical such as alternator batteries starter etc. For the plow check hoses for rot check electrical connections hydro fluid dents or deep scars can indicate abuse, check cutting edge for excessive wear knowing you will need to replace it they are expensive, check springs and cycle the plow through all possible positions...just be careful slamming it down on their driveway or parking lot haha. Check out the front end with the plow raised see how it looks.
  18. Mega cab

    Mega cab Member
    Messages: 56

    Hubs. Not the most expensive repair but usually need done at that age of truck.
  19. Fannin76

    Fannin76 Senior Member
    Messages: 731

    Trans and frame ball joints
  20. beanz27

    beanz27 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    If your looking at cheaper 3/4 Ford,get 95+. Dana 44 is pre 95, 95 and up are Dana 50 I believe, stronger axle. Best bet is honestly a 350, you get the Dana 60 front axle.