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how much abuse to expect

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by crazymike, Nov 1, 2005.

  1. crazymike

    crazymike Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 639

    Most of my experience with snow removal is using tractors, etc... and the wear and tear on them is minimal. I'm having trouble finding a comfy job this year and have a chance to put my name in for subcontracting with a fairly large compny and gaurenteed min salary.

    I have an 05 dodge ram 2500 CTD QC. Usually the plow trucks I see are well wethered and have taken quite a bit of abuse... however, the people driving them are usually not the owners, or they treat is purely as a work truck.

    If the truck is well cared for, what type of repairs can I look at making to the truck other than the odd dings, etc... aswell as tires.

    I've been avoiding putting a plow on this truck but I also need winter work. Who else plows with a newer truck?
  2. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Shocks, ball joints, engine and transmission.
  3. Bad Luck

    Bad Luck Senior Member
    Messages: 741

    Here's the thing, when comes to abuse on your rig and plowing, it all boils down to YOU. Are you the kind of guy that likes to baja into snow piles for fun? Are you too lazy to perform routine maintanence on your equipment and take peventative measures like cleaning and greasing the hell out of everything?............then expect to replace a ton of stuff.

    If you are the opposite of above, and the truck gods are on your side, while you will experience more wear and tear overall on the items that Mick said, it should last you a good while and provide you with years of trouble free service. IMO.
  4. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,257

    Making sure the truck is stopped before you shift, keeping it well greased, oil changed, tranny fluid changed once a year. Take the plow off when it is not in use. Learn the property so you can slow down for the pot holes and sewer covers and it can last a long time.

    The longest I had a truck was my 1994 GMC 3500 SRW. I kept it for 7 years and besides normal maintenance I spent $2,700. It was sold with 180,000 km and the first person that looked at it bought it.
  5. OneBadDodge06

    OneBadDodge06 Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 770

    Speaking of which, is there any place on the newer Chevy's that have grease zerks on the suspension?
  6. Makndust

    Makndust Senior Member
    Messages: 324

    Bad Luck is right, it all boils down to you and your plowing habits. Another big thing is how you book your accounts. I typically really take it easy on my pickup (87 Chevy), because I plow only by the hour, but last year I over booked myself. Each time that it snowed I was having to push the pickup pretty hard to get businesses cleared off in time for opening in the morning. It cost me reverse in the tranny and the transfercase. $500. in lost business and a $2100. repair bill taught me that it doesn't pay to take on more work than you can handle. Sometimes I think that if I didn't learn things the hard way, I wouldn't ever learn anything. The only think that I replace yearly is the ball joints. I am big on maintenance, especially the tranny. I flush the tranny and change the filter every year at least. If we have a big snow season I will do it in January also.
  7. finnegan

    finnegan Senior Member
    Messages: 313

    a dodge?????good luck and keep your wallet out because you'll be sending your service guys kids to college -had the same truck and it basically fell apart-some of it wasnt plow related...........payup
  8. Fastcar

    Fastcar Member
    from MA
    Messages: 87

    You had a 05 and it fell apart? Care to elaborate??

  9. c_maint

    c_maint Member
    Messages: 46

    I would use Timbrins. It takes the stress off your suspension. I have an 03 F-350. What a diffenence.
  10. Bad Luck

    Bad Luck Senior Member
    Messages: 741

    There's 11 on the front end components.

    Upper and lower ball joints on both sides = 4
    Inner and outer tie rod ends on both sides = 4
    Driver and passenger side steering links
    On top of the Idler arm (this one is a PITA to get to) on passenger side. What I usually do it turn the wheel to the right slightly and snake the grease line up over the frame rail and on top of the arm. The reach up with my left arm and hold it on the zerk as I pump the gun against the tire or frame.
  11. finnegan

    finnegan Senior Member
    Messages: 313

    no it was an 03 , and just about everything that could fail failed and they bought the truck back,2 days off the lot the starter went,1 month later the carrier bearing in the rear end ,then the ac compressor went -then the water pump then the throw out bearing went,then alternator went ,some airbox sensor went,then the radiator failed,then the transfer case was messed up and some linkage broke inside -then it stareted to run erratically -it would run one day but not start at all the next ,plowed only one season with the truck and it was junk ....will never buy another dodge in my life time....:realmad:
  12. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,362

    Exactly why I'll never buy a Ford again. Unless it's a good deal. :)
  13. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,362

    I've got a 2005 and a 2003 as my backup. I plow about 15 - 18 hours / snow event, with accounts that I can push snow just about anywhere, I move it after the storm if needed with a compact tractor, so I'm not ramming piles of snow trying to stack it with my truck.

    My Dodge's each year we switch the fluid and put synthetic fluid in. We change the engine oil about every 10-15k miles, again running synthetic. I get about 100k miles on these trucks in 4 years and trade them in. Most of the wear and tear is the 20k miles I put on in the summer mowing, pulling a 24' enclosed trailer with about 9k lbs for a load.

    I too drop the plow whenever there's no snow. I've never understood why you'd carry all that extra weight for no reason.

    If you're good to your truck, your truck will be good to you. As far as Finnegan's response, there are bad trucks every once in a while, no matter what brand it is.

    My dad had bought a brand new truck once, put it in four wheel drive and about went through the windshield. Turns out they had a 3.50 rear end in the rear, with 4.10 gears in the front. Needless to say, that didn't work too well.
  14. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    I agree. I'll never buy another Ford no matter what the deal. My 96 Ram is a tank!
  15. crazymike

    crazymike Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 639

    EVERY manufacturer produces lemons. Atleast dodge bought theirs back.

    I've put on 50,000kms so far. I switch between a float trailer with 11+ round bales and horse trailer with 6 round bale eaters. I've yet to have a single problem, not even a rattle in the dash or a creak in the suspension. (aside from the back window, in which the float trailer top deck went thru :p, but the only person other myself I can blame is dodge engineers for moving the axle forward... another story)

    I went to a few plow dealers today, I'm not sure wether I will lease or take a 9 cheque interest free plan. But I'm leaning toward a western.
  16. 04superduty

    04superduty PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,354

    exactky why i wont buy a GMC again. :)
  17. Nascar Fan

    Nascar Fan Senior Member
    Messages: 167


    My signature says it all.Vehicles and peoples loyalty to them are usually well founded for reasons but then again opinions are like a-holes everybody has one and usually they stink...
  18. Killswitch

    Killswitch Senior Member
    Messages: 246

    Really man, and fords look stupid as **** too. Never owned one, and will never.

    And whoever was in charge of agreeing on the headlight design on the newer Chevys would be fired tomorrow if I had hired him.

    Ive never seen anything as ugly since the Ford Granada.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2005