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Dedicated Salt Trucks

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by jerpa, Mar 10, 2015.

  1. jerpa

    jerpa Member
    Messages: 92

    I'm looking into setting up a semi-dedicated salt truck. I don't have a great deal of use for it in the summer yet so it's primary use will be snow. I'm thinking something in the 5 yard range. I will put a plow on the front so it can serve as a backup and assist on larger lots but plan on taking care of most of the plowing with my current truck and most salting with this truck.

    I like the idea of a dump because I could put it to some use during the summer but know nothing of the various spreaders available for dumps and visibility will suck.

    A flatbed or cab and chassis won't give me as much utility the rest of the year but I'm more familiar with V boxes operation and it seems visibility would be better.

    So in an ideal world what would you use and why? I will be purchasing something used.
  2. procut

    procut Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    I would go with a Isuzu or Mitsubishi fuso cab over type truck. Have a 10' -12' aluminum box/bed with fold down sides. It could be a salt truck in the winter and then anything you want in the summer. There is a guy in the for sale section that has two of them for sale right now, I was just commenting in the thread how I always wanted a set up like that.
  3. Ty27

    Ty27 Senior Member
    Messages: 599

    There are a lot of companies around here that use that kind of setup. It seems that they work real well, and if you put a ️️plow on it your visibility in the cab would be pretty good.
  4. merrimacmill

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

    Used international 4700 or 4300 with a dump body (mason or grain style) and put in a Henderson or Swenson spreader. These trucks typically come with the DT466 or T444e 7.3L engine, wide parts availability, and can be had very cheaply. I've seen good renovated trucks (newly painted body and cab, new tires, etc) for $14k to $20k.

    The reason I say Henderson or Swenson is because those two brands have a pretty neat leg system for the V boxes that allows a single person to take it out with no machine or help at all.

    Also consider that dumping snow from a mason dump is difficult at best. A grain style body with the barn style doors in the back is much better for getting the snow to slide out - if you plan on hauling snow that is.
  5. leolkfrm

    leolkfrm PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,978

    watch the government auctions, some towns and counties have resources to replace equipment after 10 yrs and there are some good bargains to be had
  6. lawnboy2121

    lawnboy2121 Senior Member
    Messages: 470

    We have one a f600 it sits in a garage until needed it has a 10 ft plow also for cleanup only
  7. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    This winter convinced me to build a dedicated salt truck as well. I decided not even to put a plow on it. It will be used for salt only on a 30 plus acre site I do. I found a 1977 GMC cabover 6500 truck with hardly any miles on it as a cab and chassis. I am just finishing up the steel frame bed and rear fenders now. I should have everything painted by the end of next week. I am mounting a Snow-ex 9500 salter on it, so I will have the capacity of 4 yards of salt per load, and the salt is stored on site so I won't have to drive anywhere to fill it up the 3 or 4 times per event.
  8. Triple L

    Triple L PlowSite Fanatic
    from Canada
    Messages: 6,078

    A 30 acre site and you couldn't get anything newer than a 1977????? Or did you mean 1997?

    I wouldn't be relieing on a 1977 for anything snow related, even if it was my own personal driveway
  9. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,931

    i agree , if you setup a brand new customized cab over just for this, it may not make you your money back very quickly or be as rugged as the heavier older truck.
  10. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    It's not at all the fact that I couldn't get anything newer. Yes I do mean 1977. I have no problem with the older stuff. If it breaks I can fix it, or junk it. That's the option. I have other trucks with salt spreaders on them, and I have subs with salters as well if something goes wrong with mine. I don't want to go off topic on a rant, but I can't see spending 40 grand to go beat the crap out of something that is always the first thing out in the salt. I personally like the style and class of the older trucks, and equipment. I buy them, fix them up both mechanically and body wise and put them to work. Out of 14 trucks/loaders the newest thing I have is a 2000 GMC dump truck, and the oldest thing I have is a 1965 Michigan Loader. Everything I have I trust to go to work and earn it's keep, or I will replace it and move on. I plow a total of close to 50 acres each storm, and I never get complaints, and the work is always done in a timely manor. Just a little over 7 hours to go through the entire route from start to finish. If I have to do it twice I am done in 15 hours. I just don't see a problem with older equipment. It also keeps my costs down, instead of spending 14 or 15 grand on a truck, then equipping it with a 10 grand spreader, then putting lights, and lettering on it, I would have a total of close to 30 grand invested in a truck that is just going to salt. As I sit, I will have a total of 12 grand in this truck, it will look just like my entire fleet, and I just saved 18,000 dollars. That gives me a lot of breakdowns before I lose out. Plus the truck only has 35,000 miles on it. I went through and put new gaskets on the motor, put in a new clutch, and slave cylinder. I should be good for 10 years or so of it doing nothing but salting. with only minor issues to deal with then.
  11. lilsteve08

    lilsteve08 Senior Member
    Messages: 186

    Don't let anyone try to change your mind, I run older trucks for a small operation and with just me driving and proper maintenance they never really let me down during a storm
  12. Ty27

    Ty27 Senior Member
    Messages: 599

    I agree, why buy a brand new 40-50k dollar truck, to just salt with. If that truck only has 35k miles on it, and you keep it in good working condition it'll serve its purpose just as good as a new truck. Sorry to comment on something that doesn't affect the person looking for advice, but that was well said.
  13. On a Call

    On a Call PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,077

    I just looked at a Top Kick as a dedicated unit. Has 64,000 on it and is a 1998 but in great shape. Has a heated bed and a spreader. Live hydro's.

    he wants 13,000 for not sure if that is fair or not ???
  14. jhenderson9196

    jhenderson9196 Senior Member
    Messages: 615

    I like old fire trucks . Low miles , good maint, stored in a heated garage.
  15. On a Call

    On a Call PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,077

    And...what do you do with a fire truck ? Lay water ;) ???

    I agree...nice trucks
  16. beanz27

    beanz27 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    Thought about doing that, taking the body off and having a nearly new condition truck for cheap.
  17. peteo1

    peteo1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,660

    Might make a good liquid deicer truck
  18. jhenderson9196

    jhenderson9196 Senior Member
    Messages: 615

    It's a good 1st. thought but it won't work. PTO is not live and all the plumbing and tank are mild steel.
  19. thatstherule

    thatstherule Junior Member
    from Waukee
    Messages: 14

    I have a 2001 Fuso FG 4WD, 113K Miles for sale. Please let me know if interested.
  20. bhmjwp

    bhmjwp Senior Member
    from kcmo
    Messages: 309

    I am right in tune with this guy. My salute to you! I prefer to buy in the 90's range. Clean, well cared for with great bones. I beef them up a little, get in top shape, and run forever. I maintain 4 decimated snow trucks.

    Last years repairs, 1999 k1500, fan blower motor, was original factory17 yo, cost $40 and 30 min. !995 K2500, alt, factory original, 21 yo, $ 110 and 15 min. 1999 k1500, 4 ball joints, had the shop do, $150 + $65 alignment.

    Very typical year! Compare those costs to a 2009 or newer.

    Same with lawn care, I make about .25 a mile taking the mileage deduction.