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

Where is the ballast pros

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by smcunningham, Feb 10, 2007.

  1. smcunningham

    smcunningham Member
    Messages: 69

    How much ballest should I put in the back of my 1991 ford f-150 w/ a western 7' 6" plow
    its a 1/2 ton truck 4x4 regular cab..........Did aright with 3 to 4" of snow with no ballest at all but there calling for possabilty 12"+
    500ibs.........not enough or to much???????????????????
  2. DJ Contracting

    DJ Contracting PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,392

    Just my opinion

    This is my experince with ballest, this is the first year using ballastand I have been plowing since 98". All I have are 1/2 tons, and at the start of the season I set the ballest (450lss.) behind the rear wheels which seemed to work Ok, then I set the ballest between the rear wheels and it seemed to work even better, the truck sits nice and level as far as anybody saying that thats the wrong place to put it it, worked better for me that way, anyway hoped this helped and good luck.
  3. smcunningham

    smcunningham Member
    Messages: 69

    Dj contracting did you notice a big difference once you started using ballast
  4. snowsniper1

    snowsniper1 Senior Member
    Messages: 239

    500lbs would work great and not effect your trucks handling very much.make sure your tirs are at the max psi
  5. DJ Contracting

    DJ Contracting PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,392

    I sure did, don't get me wrong I still used four wheel drive but when driving from one job to another it helped in traction when I did not have it four wheel drive, anyway I'll always be using ballest.
  6. DJ Contracting

    DJ Contracting PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,392

    I keep my tires at 55 psi all year around it helps the front when turning, seems that there is not as much effort turning as compared to running 35-40 pis.
  7. lawnMaster5000

    lawnMaster5000 Senior Member
    Messages: 105

    i had a chevy 1500 with meyer 7.5' and I put 7 - 90# retaining wall blocks along the back of the bed. The blocks have a hole in them and i put a chain through the holes and to the bed rails, worked great but it is hard on the bed rail stake pockets.

    I now have a 2500HD and blizzard 810PP. I still use the same ballast configuration but should add on about 5 more blocks.

    Blocks work great b/c you can move them easy enough when not in use and they are cheap at $5-8/ea.

    Remember to keep the weight as far back as possible and SECURE it very well. I broke some straps before i switched to chains and ratchet binders.
  8. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,990

    Go0 to the western site they have a program that will calculate the ballast suggested.
    I suggest doubling it.
  9. cornbinder

    cornbinder Senior Member
    Messages: 347

    i use ballast in my 91 dodge 3/4 ton with a cummins. i acquired a die out of a press that was in a factory. it's 4" tall and 2feet by 3 feet and weighs 1,200 lbs. there was a couple of holes in it so i drilled right threw the bed and bolted it right to the bed, then covered it with the bed floor mat. with a skid of salt and salt spreader that's over 3,000 lbs. in the bed. needless to say i havn't used the 4-wheel drive in over 3 years. i can literally floor it in 2 wheel drive in 6 inches of snow and not even spin!! truck rides like a tank, but with the cummins turbo diesel , it could care less how much weight i have in the bed. just my 2 cents. later, pete
  10. DodgeRam1985

    DodgeRam1985 Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 82

    ballast = good idea

    I use ballast in my 2002 Ram 1/2 ton, and it makes the world of difference. I generally just have bags of salt in the back (which I later put in the shed when that supply runs low so they have ample time to dry out) and then I just replace it with more salt. Sand tubes also work good, and are cheaper, but for me they serve no purpose past the winter season IMO.
  11. smcunningham

    smcunningham Member
    Messages: 69

    thanks everyone for the replys

    Think I'm gonna use 10 50pound bags of salt and make a slide in frame system that holds it in the back up against the tail gate they have a blue print on the western plow site going to make tommorow.............getting ready for the big snow comingwesport
  12. GTMS

    GTMS Senior Member
    Messages: 101

    Cunningham, Where are you in MD. I'm in Hagerstown, It says it's gonna snow and the deer are feeding like crazy!
  13. smcunningham

    smcunningham Member
    Messages: 69

    GTMS, Westminister,Carrol County......Accually I have a rental prop in Taneytown that stay sometimes too Most of my accounts are in Burtonsville Md thats between DC and Baltimore............I'm in your neck of the woods often too..have family out your way..
  14. go plow

    go plow Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    i had a half ton, same issue you have, i dont have a picture of what i did but its simple,
    what i did was , i made a FRAME between the rear wheel well in the bed of the truck using 2x6 lumber put two going across , one on each side of the wheel well. then get a plastic tote about a 30 gal with a good lid on it. put that in the center of the wheels, then take two more 2x6's and cut them to fit between the ones going across, this will make a box that will hold the tote from sliding around, then just fill it with salt/sand, the reason i did it this way was so i could use the sand for walks, and still have room between the tote/ frame work and the tailgate to put my snowblower/ shovels. it really worked out great... and nothing ever slid around or even moved.... if you need help with the build let me know... hope this helps you or gave you a idea to modify.... my partner at the time said that it was about 600 pounds, he put the truck on a scale, but i didnt see the numbers... all i know is that it worked great!!

    DAFFMOBILEWASH PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,581

    Ballasts A Must As Snow Depths Increase

    As a general rule,


    As the depth of snow increases the use of ballasts become more crutial. This will give the rear and more of a bight in the snow and you can plow in 2wd most of the time. Only when the snow gets realy deep 6"+++, you will need the use of 4wd. Unless plowing in a hilly section.

    You might use a little more fuel but you will be able to push more snow before tires start to spin. As a added plus when in transit your truck will be planted better to the road for better control and added safety.

    Even those with the larger 3/4 tons with nothing in the back add a little weight you will be glad you did.
  16. Rcgm

    Rcgm Senior Member
    Messages: 613

    I use salt bags.It makes a world of difference in a 1500 I say it is a must do.

  17. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Most vehicles require some ballast to even the plow load on the frame- not to add traction. Traction is a byproduct.

    The ballast should be behind the rear axle- as fas rear as you can get it, so strap it to the inside of the gate. This makes the ballast actually offset the plow load instead of partially adding to it.

    Yes, putting ballast over the rear axle adds more traction than behind the axle, but again that is not the point of the manufacturer (plow or truck) specified ballast. If you add weight over the axle a portion of that weight is transferred to the front axle as well (basic rotational physics).

    I usually run about 1000lbs ballast in my 3/4 ton. About 600lbs of sand (tubes, 5 gal pails now since the tubes gave out) over the rear axle toward the rear, and around 400 to 600 lbs in totes at the gate. three totes across, one pure salt, one sand/salt mixed, remaining either pure sand or pure salt in bags. These are consumables for me. Truck sits nice with that arraingement AND pushes great.
  18. LINY Rob

    LINY Rob Senior Member
    Messages: 478

    my old cherokee requires no ballast, it plows great as-is and has enough weight in the back.

    the pick-up I line the bed with cinder blocks, at about 35lbs a piece its something like 1200 lbs.

    truck rides like a caddilac and sits nice and level and sometimes I dont even need 4WD.

    I just line the bed, I cant be bothered trying to get ALL the weight behind the axle.
    First heavy snow I put em in, and they stay there until the spring. Allows full use of the bed as you only lose the height of the blocks, which is like 8".

    as for how much YOU should use- I say the weight of the plow, give or take- so 500-600lbs should be good.
  19. Antnee77

    Antnee77 PlowSite.com Addict
    from RI
    Messages: 1,056

    Well said. This is the most accurate post in this thread!
  20. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 7,921

    Please use the correct terminology.
    Ballast is what boat uses to Keep it's self up wright, yea, like a weebles wobbles.....

    Counter weight is what you use to off set the weight of an object.

    Can you explain what " 4501ss" is in reference to?

    You have been plowing for 7 years with out using it?

    Experts, like engineers have determined that it is best to place counterweight behind the rear wheels.