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How much weight for the bed when plowing?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Playboy, Sep 20, 2004.

  1. Playboy

    Playboy Senior Member
    Messages: 335

    I'm new to plowing and was going to get some sand as weight (balast?) and I didn't know how much weight to get. I have a 94 F240 long bed with 8' Fisher plow.

  2. Bolts Indus.

    Bolts Indus. PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,176

    I assume you mean sand bags placed rear of the rear axles. Myself I use 12"x 24" patio stones. Easy to handle don't absorb moisture. Anyway start with about 400 lbs rear of rear axles and raise plow and see if the truck sits level or better. If not add a little more and adjust from there. Sometimes you can't get it to sit level.
  3. Boast Enterpris

    Boast Enterpris Senior Member
    Messages: 745

    I like to plow with 20 to 25 50 lbs bags of salt in the bed. 1000 to 1500 pounds. May sound a little heavy for some or a little light for others, but it allows me to plow in 2X4 most of the time. You never know when a customer will want you to spread a bag or two in front of the doors.
  4. Playboy

    Playboy Senior Member
    Messages: 335

    Well I was thinking of getting sand bags but i'm not sure where to find them other then playground(sand box) sand from home depot. I was thinking of using some salt/calcium bags for cases like you said. I don't have a sander yet but can use my broadcast spreader for salt.
    So the truck needs to sit level in order to plow correctly? Is that for corret blade position?
  5. Playboy

    Playboy Senior Member
    Messages: 335

    Are there advantages in plowing 2x4?
  6. ZamboniHDB

    ZamboniHDB Senior Member
    Messages: 338

    Yes, less wear and tear on your vehicle. If you are concerned about fuel mileage, unlike myself, you'll see a slight increase. No front end binding when making relatively sharp turns on cleared pavement. Just to name a few advantages.

    I prefer to plow in 2 X 4 as much as possible also.

    Just my .02¢

  7. Boast Enterpris

    Boast Enterpris Senior Member
    Messages: 745

    ZamboniHDB, Counldn't have explained it simpler. I think it is less wear on the front tires as well. :waving: BOAST
  8. scottL

    scottL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,613

    I agree in trying to stay in 2x4 as much as possible. With a k3500 crew cab it is just quicker for the turns. When I through it into 4x4 it is a bull ox moving everything in sight.

    Has anyone tried using water softner salt bags as ballast? I'm sick of the sand, don't want the bricks slipping around and wouldn't mind useing the ballast in my softner when done.

  9. Boast Enterpris

    Boast Enterpris Senior Member
    Messages: 745

    Those water softener bags (PLASTIC) will work fine in my opinion. I have had to purchase these late in the season when out of regular #4 rock salt & spread them around doorways and entrances. They melt the snow & ice just fine if you walk on them & smash them up. I would think that if you get a few bags that start coming apart you could put them in you softener and replace them with new ones in your truck. Do you spread salt on any parking lots? :waving: BOAST
  10. scottL

    scottL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,613

    I haven't gotten into salting yet. My truck with plow is about 27' long and adding 2" feet would be ugly - I think. K3500, crew cab 8' bed. My sand bags from last year are falling apart and it's tough to dispose of. Maybe I'll give the water softner salt a try - for ballast.

  11. Playboy

    Playboy Senior Member
    Messages: 335

    Just went to the Fisher web site and it says the new version of my plow is 717# plus add 60# for the mount. Does that mean I need to add close to 800# balast? Thats 16 50# sand bags! I found a place local that charges $3.70 a 50# bag of sand and $8.50 for a 80# bag of salt.
  12. dlcs

    dlcs 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,160

    My truck is always loaded with water softner salt cause thats what i spread in my salt spreader. I buy the granular(not the tabs) sold by Cargil. The bags hold up well and don't seem to get wet.
  13. Young Pup

    Young Pup PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,522

    Salt price sounds high. I pay half that here in Ohio. But it does depend on where you live. Check other dealers.Check your lawn equipment stores. That is where I get mine.
  14. CENLO

    CENLO Member
    Messages: 61

    If you don't mind spending a few hundred bucks, get some 1/2"-1" thick steel plate for the back of your truck! You can have it made so that more weight is behind the axles. It won't move around and it gives you lots of room in the box if you have a sled or something to haul.
  15. PLOWMAN45

    PLOWMAN45 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,951

    i run 500lbs over the reae tires on the f350 works out good
  16. b2driver

    b2driver Member
    from MD
    Messages: 89

    So, if I just keep adding weight to the back until my truck is about level, that is a good way to find the proper amount of ballast?
  17. scottL

    scottL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,613

    Don't expect total level. Your more or less trying to find a spot in which you lift your plow and it goes up while your tail end does not. Usually, 400-500 pounds does the trick. Some like more while others don't use anything. I like the weight for traction and for speed of lifting the plow ( ie. plow comes up and the rear stays steady ).
  18. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    I run 600 LBS of tube sand in the bed + 2 or 3 5 gallion buckets of ice melt which each weigh about 40 LBS. I could plow in 2X4 but never do most of the time its 4H and when i need to, throw it in 4L and it can push anything i want it to.