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Better V-Box Spreaders?

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by NorthOfEden, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. NorthOfEden

    NorthOfEden Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    Any advice or experience with some of the newer truck mounted v box spreaders?

    I run 4 v-box spreaders, 3-4 yds, 2 swenson 2 western, all have inverted v’s. I’m getting a little tired of failures with the engines (despite being honda’s), clutch’s, belts and chains. Despite being good with maintenance, have to replace the odd worn out bearing once and while, belts, clutch's and chains are causing down time during events.

    Push on average about 200 – 250 tons of salt through the machines in season. Use bulk salt which can be a little rough (clumpy). Last year getting salt 1st part of the year was “thank sir may I have another” so I couldn’t complain much. Nevertheless there are always some bridging issues.

    I have about 6 seconds of patience for down time during a snow event.

    All that said.

    Can 3/4 hp electric motor handle 200 tons a year? Year after year?
    Do augers get clogged/jammed? In either a tailgate spreader or snowex 9500 spreader?
    Is there a lot of extra training involved in using augers?

  2. ajslands

    ajslands 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,033

    get a snow ex, no belts no chains and made in america :ussmiley
  3. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    Equipment, t!ts, and tires will let you down at some point in life. Make the best of it. :D

    I have heard good things about the SnowEx brand, but dont own any,. Good luck.
  4. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    I don't think I've seen electric spreaders in your size, but they might be out there now. My next spreader will be stainless, electric.
  5. OldCrow

    OldCrow Member
    Messages: 36

    Smith makes a SS vbox in electric drive. Looks like up to a 3 yd. Maybe more, but you'll have to check it out. We have their under tailgate spreaders, but they run off of central hydros. They run great and the manufacturing is quality.

    We also run Bonnell vboxes for the heavy trucks. So far, one of the best I've come across in a while. But, everything we run is central hydraulics.
  6. forestfireguy

    forestfireguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,276

    We just got swenson under tailgate electric, hasn't seen a strom yet, so no expeirience as yet, but the quality is there no doubt, seems very user friendly, bottom opens for easy clean out or jam clearing. At a past employer we ran downeaster stainless electric v-boxes, I'm pretty sure they make 3 yard model. Was easy and trouble free, we got average 4 seasons out of a motor before they started to have issues. The motors were not cheap, like 800 to replace. I heard they were having issues in production this year though!
  7. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    I bought 3 new downeasters this year and they were a month late.I owned them in the past and quality was good. All hydro units though.
  8. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    Get a Torwel/Curtis.

    They still have the gas engine but no belts/chains/clutches to break.
  9. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Do you convert yours to diesel? :gunsfiring:
  10. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    Whiskey..........Errr.......I mean Ethanol. :drinkup:
  11. ColumbiaLand

    ColumbiaLand Senior Member
    Messages: 790

    Salt Dogg And Snowex And Smith All Make Electric Spreaders.
  12. Westhardt Corp.

    Westhardt Corp. Senior Member
    Messages: 845

    I've run several SnowEx units so here's my $.02. If you have dump bodies, I'd say the SnowEx 2400 over the 9500. Price is better, and the 2400s are pretty tough and hard to find fault with. The 9500 I ran last year was a royal PITA, but that was mostly due to constant bridging due to bad (fine & clumpy--very "grade 8-ish") salt. Being that it's a "grown up 8500", the increased vertical load and the inherent compacting of the material in the hopper that happens in v-boxes just made it too temperamental. The motors are *very* strong though--the auger will shatter rocks and spit them out. The 2400 (& the 8500s) ran that very same material with no problems other than getting it to slide down the bed into the spreader (a liner solves that). That and the 9500 renders your truck completely useless while it's installed. I also ran a 4-yd Swenson gas unit (with extensions to hold 6 yards), and when it worked it was a bad mofo. Luckily it wasn't mine, because the new motor that made it run so well wasn't cheap, lol.

    You'll be happy with the 2400 if you go SnowEx, but I would suggest picking up a spare controller. They don't break very often anymore, but when they do, it is always in the middle of a 14" event on a holiday weekend.

    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
  13. mullis56

    mullis56 Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 824

    I don't think you can successfully and cost effectively run as much salt as you do without gas or hydraulic, IMO.
  14. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    I now have three electric spreaders. 2 smith boxes and 1 ice oway formally gas now converted to electric. Get a 1 hp electric motor and run 4 gauge wire.
    Here is a pi of the conversion.
    I used a 60 tooth sprocket from the motor to gear box to help with start up torque.
    In all the conversion cost me close to $ 1000.00
    $ 500.00 for the motor
    about 200.00 in sprockets and chain
    and 200.00 in electrical components.
    I added a 2 nd battery to the spreader that is connected to the truck battery via an andersen connector.
    I now have 2 x battery power and you should be able to make out the HD solenoid next to the new motor driven off a 12v cab switch. That is all there is activate the spreader. Flip a switch and good to go.
    Not having the gas motor to deal with is soooo sweet.
    I got a good deal on the spreader but after the conversion and broken gear box due to that owners neglect, I now have alomost as much as a new spreader would have cost.

    electric conversion of ice o way.jpg

    ice o way old engine.jpg
  15. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    I put about 100 tons of material a year through the smiths and in 10 yrs all I have had to replace is the # 40 roller chains 2 x on each spreader.
    2 apron chains in each spreader due to stretching not to breaking.
    And I have upgraded the motors from 1/3 hp to 3/4 hp.
    I have a spare on the shelf if need be.
    I also made custom drop off shutes so I can tow in the winter.
  16. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Huh? Are you saying electric won't cut it? Nothing cheaper or easier to use then electric.
  17. mullis56

    mullis56 Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 824

    Not common in our area but if you can run BIG spreaders electrically I like idea!
  18. Pristine PM ltd

    Pristine PM ltd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,891

    We run nothing but electric and have very few issues. Motors do go, but overall we are fairly happy with them. We don't run as much as the original poster, but after 100 yards, what is the difference.
  19. Wayne Volz

    Wayne Volz Senior Member
    Messages: 694

    SnowEx has something to look at

    Check out SnowEx line. They have what you are looking for. Both a 3 and a 4 yard electric spreader. Yes there is a bit of learning that takes place when you go to an auger feed system, but trust me you will like the result. You will save material with superior flow control.

    We've been using SnowEx spreaders for six seasons running five different spreaders and they work great. The only issue we have had was one vibrator. Other than that, they work. I have about the same amount of patience as you said you have. SnowEx has given us that security.
  20. triadpm

    triadpm Member
    from 21771
    Messages: 48

    I got to use my new Salt Dog Poly/Elec. 2yd box for the first time this morning. Loved it, I hope it holds up. I won't be spreading a large amount this year but it will pay for itself and then some. Although I don't think it will hold 2yds without boards. Might buy the 4yd next year if this works out.