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Backup Truck Input

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Petr51488, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. Petr51488

    Petr51488 Senior Member
    Messages: 265

    I dont plow too many accounts but i like to have a backup just incase. I have another 2500hd truck that i can put a plow on but i dont want to drop the cash and set that up with a plow and wiring. My thought was to outfit the other truck with just the bracket and wiring just incase my current truck has an electrical issue or truck issue. That way i can just switch trucks with the plow. Has anyone done this? It would save me quite a few thousand by doing it this way and not actually buying a second plow. Any thoughts? Oh, and buying used is not an option.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2011
  2. Carpenter98

    Carpenter98 Member
    Messages: 41

    That might be ok truck-wise, but what if something happens to the plow?

    I'd put the brackets and wiring on the 2nd truck and find a used plow. That way if you have truck problems you can still use the good plow, but if you have plow problems you have a back-up
  3. Kwise

    Kwise Senior Member
    Messages: 123

    Depends on your budget. That is what I have, a backup truck only, up fitted with spreader and plow wiring and mount. Not sure of the condition of your equipment, but in my case, I'm not too worried about the plow. I have a Boss plow that I am confident in, and if I do have problems, my local dealer is open 24/7 when it is snowing, so I can go there in an emergency. I always feel that you are more likely to have truck problems rather than plow problems. Maybe keep some spare parts with you that are most likely to go bad. Quicker and easier to work on a plow in a pinch than the millions of things that can go wrong with a truck
  4. scott3430

    scott3430 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,008

    i like carpenter's thought, you can maybe find a used boss plow, mount, and wiring for your other truck. then you have a full backup if your main truck or plow break down. and if you get too many accounts for one truck, your now set up with 2 trucks to take on more acounts.
  5. mkwl

    mkwl 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,362

    This is exactly what I did last winter- outfitted my '06 for a plow but I didn't actually buy a second plow until I came across a deal too good to pass up this past July.

    Always good IMO to have a backup- glad my '06 is equipped to plow since it might have to for the first time b/c my '03 is 200 miles away getting new brake and fuel lines installed....
  6. Petr51488

    Petr51488 Senior Member
    Messages: 265

    Well if something happens to the plow, oh well lol

    All my equipment is taken care of to the 9's. Pristine condition. Unfortunatly i dont have a dealer that is open 24/7 or will take me right away. I hear about this all the time and around here i've never heard of it. I agree with there being a higher chance of a truck problem than the actual plow itself. I got a price on both the plow and plow and bracket+wiring. Just the wiring and bracket itll be 1400 plus tax and with everything its 4895 plus tax.

    I agree. but if i end up getting more accounts, i can always just buy the new plow.

    Yup, its a price difference of 1400 and 4900. I dont know if either is worth it at this point.
  7. NicholasMWhite

    NicholasMWhite Senior Member
    Messages: 175

    I did this last year. I had 2 trucks and one plow and last fall I set up the second truck with a used plow mount and wiring. I spent about $1000. It's a good thing I did because my main plow truck's ignition coil went out midway through one night and I did need to swap the plow and controller to the other truck. This summer though I found a plow identical to my current plow just a little older and rustier and paid $1400 for the plow, mount wiring, and controller. I stripped the plow and repainted it and it looks like new. Now I have an 2 complete plow trucks and a spare wiring harness and mount if needed.

    One thing to keep in mind is unless your dealer is really willing to work with you, they won't sell you just a plow without a mount and wiring. So if you do decide to just install a mount and wiring and then install a plow on your backup truck in the future you are going to be out the $1400 you spend on the mount and wiring. And stuck with the extras. Of course you can sell them on ebay, but you're not going to get your full $1400 back. Just something to consider.
  8. dan6399

    dan6399 Member
    Messages: 87

    That was my idea a couple months ago; buy a truck and set it up for a plow incase mine had issues. So I did. Then I found a good condition MM plow for $1500 and bought it. The backup truck now has its own route and now Im worried about if either of my trucks break I wont have a backup.
  9. Petr51488

    Petr51488 Senior Member
    Messages: 265

    I never heard anything like this. It seems kind of strange though. Why wouldnt they just sell me a plow without the wiring? They will do just wiring and mount. I'll give them a call and see what they say.
  10. NicholasMWhite

    NicholasMWhite Senior Member
    Messages: 175

    Because when they order a complete plow from the manufacture or distributor they have to choose a mount and the plow comes with wiring. Unless they are willing to stock those as parts in their inventory and credit you the difference they can't do it. When you order just the mount and wiring they are selling them to you as individual parts and not a complete setup. Some dealers might do it for you but when I inquired about it with my dealer they said they would not.
  11. why not a used one? I know you don't want someone elses issues and there is no warranty but consider the following.

    I bought a western mvp in 06 and another in 08. They cost me approx 6 k (7'6") installed and 6500 on a skid (9'6"). I have done nothing to either other then changing oil a cutting edge and one set of packing. and I beat the hell out of the small one doing farm driveways. Come the fall of 09 when a batch of millionaire plowers figured out the realities of plowing I found the following deals 8'6" for 3 k 8'6" for 2800 and a 9'6" for like 3300. I nearly bought one just for a spare plow. Blow a hose(maybe not a hose) or pump or sv drop it and grab a new one. Fix it when the storms over. These were all one year old units used over one average winter. before you go nuts over these prices these are the canada pays 10-20% more premium even with the dollar at par discount.

    Not saying these deals are always here or in your market but keep a eye out in the off season(which is when I came across all three of the above blades) if you were persitent I bet you can find someone that put one on there visa and found out what its all about after the fact.

    1400 for a mount and plugs seems excessive if you can grab a used one for half of a new one. maybe you can't in your area but you sure could here the last couple of years.

    Luke P
  12. bswalks

    bswalks Member
    Messages: 59

    I think its a great idea. I've been thinking about doing the exact same thing.
    I have a 2005 hd2500, with mm2. I'de like to keep it as a back up & find something newer,
    that hasnt been plowed & just install the wiring & mounts. Down the road, if i can get the right deal on a used plow, i'll buy it then.
  13. goel

    goel PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,079

    Can't be called a back up snow plow truck without the full set up (plow included).

    Can be called a back up grocery getter.
  14. bswalks

    bswalks Member
    Messages: 59

    Point taken.
    I'm headin out now for a gallon of milk & some bread.
    Anyone need anything??
  15. Petr51488

    Petr51488 Senior Member
    Messages: 265

    What's your point?
  16. goel

    goel PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,079

    Its a WASTE of 1400 bucks if you have everything pristine and to the 9's - what do you need a partial back up truck for?

    Buy a used plow for around the same or a little more, put some work into it if needed and really learn about your plow.

    And then be like everyone else, your back up will have a route of it's own.
  17. Petr51488

    Petr51488 Senior Member
    Messages: 265

    Why do i need a backup truck for? because crap happens? 4 wheel drive can go out? wiring stops working? there's a short somewhere? mechanical failure? anything can happen with a truck while plowing. I dont exactly have the time to go trouble shooting everything in the middle of a storm. If i happen to find a good deal on a used plow, i'll jump on it. but for now, and many agree, its a good idea to have a back up truck mounted and wired for a plow.
  18. BSDeality

    BSDeality Senior Member
    Messages: 736

    don't let the idiots here run your business.

    You're on the right path, put the mount and wiring on the spare truck. the plow is much likely to be easier to fix in a pinch in a storm than a truck. Keep your eyes out for a spare blade and buy when you have the money ready, if you don't have the money and find a deal too good to pass up... buy it somehow. having a backup plow will save your ass eventually.
  19. NicholasMWhite

    NicholasMWhite Senior Member
    Messages: 175

    Yeah don't listen to those who tell you it's a waste to have just a back up truck. Like I said I had just a back up truck last year and it saved my ass midway through a storm last year when my ignition coil went out on my main truck. Was the problem easy to diagnose? yes. Did I really want to bother diagnosing it at 2 AM when I should be out plowing? not a chance. Furthermore even if I did figure it out right then I would have had to wait until 7 AM when the parts stores open to buy a new ignition coil anyway. And by that point I would have had a whole lot of pissed off customers. That being said I have since purchased a cheap used plow to put on the back up truck to make things easier in the event of a main truck failure and to have a back up if my plow fails.

    It seems you're worried about purchasing a used plow, but if you do like I did and buy a used plow identical to the plow you already have you should be safe. The back up plow won't be used often so you shouldn't have to worry about it failing and in the event that both of them fail you should be able to quickly diagnose at least one of the two problems and swap a few parts from the good to the bad and be back in business. It is highly unlikely that both fail in one night and even further unlikely that the exact same part on both fail in one night.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2011
  20. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill PlowSite.com Addict
    from MA
    Messages: 1,823

    You should wire the truck, and install the mount. Keep the one plow, but purchase 1 of each part on the plow, and put them on the shelf. It seems like a waste when your writing the check, but it sure isn't at 3am and that odd part that never breaks, does just that, and you happen to have 2 sitting on the shelf.

    When I say buy 1 of each part on the plow, I really mean EACH part on the plow. Anything that is not a major structural part on the plow. Being that you have one plow, it won't be as expensive as you think. I stock hydraulic cylinders, hoses, cartridges, coils, new plugs (pins break all the time in those large Boss plugs), solenoids, cutting edge bolts, trip springs, light bulbs, a headlight, and even at some point consider purchasing a entire hydraulic power unit with the manifold, motor, reservoir, etc mounted right on it.

    The only thing that is really expensive there is the whole power unit (around $600 I think), but that isn't even really necessary to start off. Boss told me the number of failed power units that they saw last year and it was literally almost nothing compared to how many were sent out. But at least get extra brushes and springs for the motor as the springs on them can see corrosion and fail. But I do think that one of the improvements on Boss's new power unit change included stainless steel springs to solve that, don't quote me though.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2011