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Do I need bed weight?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by MsQueen, Oct 22, 2003.

  1. MsQueen

    MsQueen Member
    Messages: 76

    should i through something in the back of my truck to add weight or does it even matter?
  2. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Adding weight in the rear helps pull weight off the front axle,and balance the truck.3-400 lbs would do the trick.Whatever you use,just make sure it's properly secured back there.
  3. jokatico

    jokatico Junior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 20

    The first year I plowed I never carried any weight. Sometimes I would lose traction in the rear. The year I bought my sander, I found myself plowing in just 2 wheel drive on small snowstorms. Even when my tires were getting low on tread I would add a little sand in the back and still got plenty of traction.
  4. BWhite

    BWhite Senior Member
    Messages: 496

    Weight is good

    Right over the rear axle . Better yet get a nice 500# backplow
  5. wxmn6

    wxmn6 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,037

    The amount of ballast required to help counterbalance the weight from front end, and to give more traction to the rear vary greatly depending on the truck configuation and plow setup. I know of least that Fisher have kit selection guide which is a chart of which plows you can put on a specific truck, and if it is recommended, they will tell you what is the recommended amount of ballast. They can varies from 250# to 1000#. According to the Fisher chart for current half ton Chevy pickup, the amount of ballast varies from 250# to #550, some even more than that (up to 800#). For current 3/4 and one ton Chevy pickup, the amount of ballast varies from #400 through 1000#.

    So I think you would want to put in a little more than 3-400# of ballast. I used to have a Toyota pickup that I would put in 450# of ballast in the rear and it helped significantly with counterbalancing and greatly improved traction in the rear.
  6. illday

    illday Junior Member
    from RI
    Messages: 9

    where can I find that chart?
  7. BWhite

    BWhite Senior Member
    Messages: 496


    Fisher website ,I believe
  8. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,224

    Well the easiest ballest that can be handeled and stacked would be solid cement blocks.Put them right over your axel and that will be good for exta weight to give you traction.Any weight that you can put in the rear will help.
  9. digger242j

    digger242j Senior Member
    Messages: 672

    Personally I'd be wary of concrete blocks, or anything with big, solid, square corners. It's forbidden to use that type of stuff to weigh down construction signs or barrels along roads. There's a good reason for that--if the signs or barrels are struck by a vehicle those weighty objects can be thrown, and become lethal projectiles. They only permit sandbags, or something similar. It doeesn't take much imagination to see how concrete blocks in your own vehicle could be just as hazardous in an accident.

    Our trucks always have more than enough bags of salt to provide the needed weight in the bed. I'm sure it would still hurt, but if I had my choice I'd rather get hit with a 50# bag of salt than a 50# concrete block. :dizzy:
  10. gslam88

    gslam88 Senior Member
    Messages: 168


    What I have done is simple... I went out and found a couple of pallets from almost anywhere... lumber yard, store, wherever... people always throwing them out.... put this in the back of the bed first... so you now have a frame and it also pushes the weight to the rear of the truck bed... I then went to walmart, staples and got several plastic storage bins.... I fill several of them with salt sand mixture.... I have a couple or so customers that need to be sanded... our local highway dept lets local residence fill for them selves... and I am not that big that there will be any complaining....

    I figure 150 to 200lbs per bin... so approximately 500 to 600 lbs in the rear of the truck... for maybe $15 or so... cheap way out for now until I do either get a sander or some other choice... like move to Aruba all year round.....

    The only real big down fall of the whole thing.... if I want to take the ballast out of the back of the truck... and try to put it back on... boy is that heavy to do by your self..... I will try to figure out something this year to make it easier... should not be too hard....
    then again... lifting a pen after some of the nights all of us had in this area last year would be tough

    Just an idea...

  11. Big Nate's Plowing

    Big Nate's Plowing PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    I have used big rubbermaid totes full of water, or ice once it frezes. a 60 quart tub makes for 250# of ice. want it out of the way? pull it out of the bed and dump.... want your ballast again? refill from your garden hose the day before you hang your plow:D
  12. gslam88

    gslam88 Senior Member
    Messages: 168


    The reason I opted no to use water is it could break apart the plastic bin.... any problems with that...

    and I figured I might need the sand mix.. so why not use it....

  13. Big Nate's Plowing

    Big Nate's Plowing PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    it is always a possability, but if you use a good pliable (sp?) rubber tote it should be fine. I have never had one break
  14. EZSnow

    EZSnow Senior Member
    Messages: 205

    ballast placement

    adding weight directly over the rear will definitely add traction to the reear axle, but its effect on reducing the weight on the front axle will not be greatly affected. In order to reduce weight on the front axle, weight must be added behind the rear axle. The rear tire acts and a pivot point (fulcrum?) The goal is to use the weight to lift the front, not just hold down the rear.
  15. griffithtlc

    griffithtlc Senior Member
    Messages: 213

    I am a big fan of sand bags. If you spin and get a layer of ice under the tire when/if you get stuck, you can crack one open and get some traction. Just like EZ Snow said, put it behind the axle for better weight distribution.
  16. Adams plowing

    Adams plowing Senior Member
    Messages: 195

    i personaly prefur the bags of tube sand they work well and like griffithtlc said they can come in handy if ya cant get traction on a large sheet of ice. also at around 70# a bag their not too hard to get in and out when needed.
  17. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Re: ballast placement

    Adding weight directly over the axle WILL still pull weight off the front.Try it on a scale,you'll see.If the weight is to far rearwards the truck will be a real handful in slippery conditions.You don't need it dead center over the axle,but don't pile it all up on the tailgate either.
  18. EZSnow

    EZSnow Senior Member
    Messages: 205

    I agree, chris, that weight over the axle will pull the CG back and take weight off the front, just not as much as if the weight were placed further back.

    When you lift your plow, it loads the front, but because the plow is in front of (not over) the front axle, it pivots across the front axle to lift weight off the rear.

    Likewise, placing ballast over the rear axle will change the CG, and therefore change the weight that is on the front axle. If you were to put ballast in the front of the bed, the front axle would carry some of the weight, no? Doesn't it then stand to reason that putting the weight behind the rear axle would reduce the load that the front axle has to carry?

    mental exercise is fun... how come physical exercise sucks so bad?
  19. Nuttymopar

    Nuttymopar Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 60

    I have built using a couple of 2 x 4's a boxed section (screwed together) that fits over the rear fenderwells. Then place Granite chunks that weigh about 100 - 150 a piece (damm heavy) in that section. That stops them from floating around, places it over the rear axle for traction and still allows me a couple of feet to the tailgate for putting other things there (boxes to hold straps, tiedowns, chains, groceries, whatever). Then I just unscrew it for the summer and throw the granite over board somewhere as it is just easier for me to get new stuff each year then pick those heavy things back up.
  20. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    The further back the weight is mounted will increase the amount of weight that is pulled off the front axle.If you put to much weight in front of the rear axle centerline,then yes,you may actaully increase the weight on the front axle.It's all about balance.Getting enough weight in the rear to balance the truck out,pull some weight off the front,and not affect handling too much.You have to watch too that you don't exceed the max GVWR as well if carrying a lot of weight.