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Electric vs Hydraulic?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by kranker022, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. kranker022

    kranker022 Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    Hello all... I am not near an expert as you guys. I am in my early 20's and have decided to put a plow on my 97 Dodge Ram 1500. While i have done much reading on putting plows on a 1/2ton vehicle.. I am pretty aware of a lot of the risks, and a lot of the upgrades I should be looking at doing. However, my question comes in regards to which plow i should buy?

    I am going to be doing mainly driveways of some of my lawn customers, as well as a few small parking lots, and a few small apartment complexes ( i have been paying someone else who has a truck to take care of them). But someone I know.. I guess you would call him a mentor in this business... has 2 different plows he is going to sell to me for pretty cheap in my opinion. $500 per plow.. complete besides the mount. So here is my question--

    The first is a meyer.. the second is a western. Both are 7.5 foot. The meyer looks alot newer and has the electronic controls. the western is a little older and all completely hydraulic....

    I have tried to do some reading and asking advice... the mechanic next door and my father both say to go with the hydraulic western because they claim it will have a lot less problems.

    What are your guys opinions?? Any suggestions are completely welcome.. and i want to thank anyone who responds ahead of time. Thank You.
  2. Sp3cialized

    Sp3cialized Member
    from CT
    Messages: 58

    How are you with electrical issues? How are you with welding (do you have a welder and the knowledge to properly repair your equipment? If you're trying to do it on the cheap- honestly save yourself the aggrivation and either expect to spend a bunch of money or expect to have unreliable equipment. I just spent the least amount I could to get what I consider a reliable plow setup on my truck- mm2 HD 8' straight blade. I got the blade used in good shape for only 1500$ with only one year on it- found the harness and controls used as well- under 400$ all inclusive to install it- bought a parts truck with the plow mounts and sold the tranny out of the parts truck to pay off truck- free mounts.. so 1900 or so for plow and that was about as cheap as I could possibly get- for a heavy duty, reliable electric setup that easily fully removes from the truck and is clean when uninstalled on the truckside.

    I must say that I tried to do it with the 500$ setup last year and I broke the first push out both of two storms- BOTH times because I underestimated the amount of snow and the ability of the equipment (old used stuff that was well beaten, worn, sloppy pins, etc.. KNOW what you're getting into with a piece of equipment selling for less than 1/5 the new price..)
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2010
  3. wva

    wva Member
    Messages: 78

    my advice would price a complete plow then price truckside as truck side are not cheap
  4. ShorePower

    ShorePower Senior Member
    Messages: 116

    The electric meyer is not that complex. one pump 3 solenoid valves. The newer the plow the better.Parts availability is paramount. Western all hydraulic is probably over 20 yrs old.
  5. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    Both plows are hydraulic. one is controlled by cable? the other is with switches? My first plow was a cable control, then electronic. I like the electric control. for one thing you bust your knee on the controller (cable).

    and one plow is a Meyer. Ive had fisher and boss plows I fix my friends Meyer plow.... a lot.
  6. kranker022

    kranker022 Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    well i appreciate the information so far. as far as how well i am with welding and whatnot.. I would say I am a beginner. I however am unlike many, and do have an actual interest in fixing things. i get a somewhat satisfaction from it. This year I had one of my helpers drop a bolt down the carb of a 25hp kohler and it went into the engine block.. and shot it out the piston. My father told me I would never be able to rip it apart.. and well it took me about 6 weeks.. but I got both sides of the motor completely torn down, new pistons, rings, heads, valves. I guess where I am going is that I do not have a problem with fixing things. I think everyone needs to start somewhere right!

    I am sure that the western hydraulic plow is old. And like I said.. although my neighbor and father both recommend it, i personally believe they choose that one only because thats the kind of plows they had back when they were young like myself. So i guess my only question is simply.. are the electric controlled plows recomended over the hydraulic cable style? Like are there much more repairs on the electric side?

    And in case I forgot to mention.. the ones I am looking for are complete both truckside and plowside. All I plan on doing is getting with my neighbor and fabricating the current mount to mount to my dodge.
  7. CrazyCooter

    CrazyCooter Senior Member
    Messages: 119

    I have two trucks that are hydraulic and one that is electric over hydraulic. It's nice having the hydraulic (the one that runs off of the engine) as you don't have to worry about draining the battery. I just started my old 1969 Chevy and the battery was low, but I had no issues lifting the plow blade whereas if it was my EOH I would have had issues, not to mention I would have to charge the battery before I dared plow.

    Oh, and I'm 37, so I'm probably not your dad's age. I do think sometimes older tech is better.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2010
  8. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    I'm a fan of the hydraulic set-up over electrical. Wiring problems and battery drain don't sit well with me.

    The problem with the old style joy-stick, cable operated controls though is the fatigue of running the stick. I had an old Meyer plow with a pump under the hood and the cable joystick put a kink in my back last year.

    Luckily my truck now is set-up better and there is two levers for the plow operation rather than one joystick. Much easier to deal with.
  9. Sp3cialized

    Sp3cialized Member
    from CT
    Messages: 58

    Get the newest technology you can comfortably afford. Fix anything that breaks right away, etc.. good luck!