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Back blades and ballast...

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by 7d9_z28, Dec 4, 2011.


Half ton Pickup with front and rear plows, Ballast or No?

  1. Yes, Ballast recommended

    14 vote(s)
  2. No, Unessecary weight

    11 vote(s)
  1. 7d9_z28

    7d9_z28 Senior Member
    Messages: 240

    I searched around, couldn't find much, though I'm sure someone has asked before...

    But when you run a back blade, should you still use any ballast in the bed? I'm thinking the back blade is probably enough weight... 1998 Slverado 1/2ton ecsb.

  2. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    Example: Front plow = 750lbs
    Back plow = 350lbs

    In this scenario, I would put 400lbs(sand,salt, or whatever you need/want) as far back in the bed as possible. Therefore having equal(or close to) weight in front and back.
  3. 7d9_z28

    7d9_z28 Senior Member
    Messages: 240

    That makes sense, Thank you!

    See? I never woulda thought of it like that
  4. Lbilawncare

    Lbilawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 144

    I don't run any ballast with my Snowman 7', it is plenty. I have 3/4ton truck, I especially wouldn't add ballast if I had a 1/2ton.
  5. 7d9_z28

    7d9_z28 Senior Member
    Messages: 240

    Uh Oh... conflicting opinions...
    Alright keep 'em coming then.

    Last edited: Dec 4, 2011
  6. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    Please explain why.....
  7. Jfive

    Jfive Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    I would not, as a 1998 1500 has very poor leaf springs, and the weight of everything should be enough. I would advise good tires over ballast. Maybe two or three 75lb sand bags right over the axle not at the rear, at most. Always put the weight over the tires, not behind.
  8. 7d9_z28

    7d9_z28 Senior Member
    Messages: 240

    I kept the weight over the axle in my last truck, but i didnt have a back blade either. My truck holds up pretty well, the front barely drops at all when i raise my blade, i havent had much weight in the back yet though
  9. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Ballast makes plowing much easier. You spin less, therefore you have better control of the truck.

    I would start at 400 lbs, then make 100 lb adjustments till you get where you feel the truck works best.

    Airlift or Firestone bags would be a great improvement. Allow you to keep the truck level as you add ballast. And of course, good SNOW tires.
  10. dfd9

    dfd9 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,475

    The thing about a backblade is, it is a counterweight, not ballast. And being that counterweight is 3 or 4 or maybe 5 feet behind the rear axle, it has the same effect as much more ballast does.

    Try it out, but I've never added weight if I have a back blade on a truck. Whether a half ton or 550.
  11. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    The weight of the back plow may be enough WHEN THE PLOW IS UP. when the4 plow is down (on the ground ballast would be nice to aid in traction especially if your going to also have the front plow pushing snow too.
  12. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    Personally I would try it first and see what it's like before you put any ballast in.
  13. x.system

    x.system Senior Member
    Messages: 368

    I run a 02 1500 extended cab with a 7' back blade, uni 7.5 front with wings, no ballast. The back blade is plenty. Before the back blade I ran 500 pounds of ballast, with the back blade on I get better traction than I did with the ballast.
  14. 7d9_z28

    7d9_z28 Senior Member
    Messages: 240

    Lots of good info. Votes are 50/50 right now. Sounds like i will have to see what works for me. Last season i just had my front 7'6" and no ballast, i probably wont ever attempt that again. My bfg all terrains (not a fan) spun all winter. How would i know if i had too much ballast???
  15. 91AK250

    91AK250 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,657

    i run 600lbs of sand behind the axle on my f-250 with a 300lbs bumper bolted on the back. without the weight its a pain in the butt!

    i think the back blade and 400 was about dead on. just my opinion ofcourse.
  16. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    BFGs are fair in snow, depending on size/vehicle.

    Too much ballast? When something bends or breaks.:laughing:
  17. 7d9_z28

    7d9_z28 Senior Member
    Messages: 240

    I would like to avoid the bending and the breaking. Might just be me, but, you know, :mechanic: In a storm, is not my idea of fun :salute:

    thanks for all the responses guys, feel free to keep them coming. Lots of good arguments!
    Hopefully this thread helps others too, I can't be the only one with this question
  18. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    Please explain why...
  19. dfd9

    dfd9 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,475

    This has never been an issue. And I've probably been running back blades longer than anyone else here. I can guarantee my father has been.

    Because then it is truly ballast.

    If it's behind the axle it's a counterweight.
  20. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    In some ways, wouldnt the weight thats been placed at the very back of the bed be acting as "ballast" & "counterweight"?

    I can only speak from my personal experiences. With that said, we can plow/move snow with a truck that has front & back plows and no "extra weight" in the bed just fine....but have found that if the front plow out weighs the rear plow by 400lbs (betting this is close to the OP's scenario), adding the extra weight to balance things out allows the truck to perform better.