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How Often Do You Break Down?

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by DeereFarmer, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. DeereFarmer

    DeereFarmer PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,296

    Pretty much just as the title states, how often do you guys break or have a break down on your trucks? I've been plowing with my 2500HD for two seasons now. EVERY time it snows, something breaks on this truck. I'm the only one that drives it... no employees. I take really good care of it, don't plow like a moron, and wash it everytime I plow. Yet, I find myself always having a to do list a mile long. The truck is honestly in great shape, but it seems like I put alteast 1/3 of my money that I make from plowing back into fixing the truck. Is this just a plow truck thing that I have to get used to or do I have a cursed truck?
  2. plowinginma

    plowinginma Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 326

    I think it all has to do with horse shoe status..
  3. mycirus

    mycirus Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 589

    Do you mean break down as in truck wont move? Or nickle and dime stuff? I have put about 1500 into my 01 GMC but I havent broke down. Just lots of maintenance stuff. Wheel bearing, header studs, idler arm, etc. I feel the maintenance keeps it reliable. I give it what it needs at the 1st sign on not being right. I have 111,000 on it.
  4. naturalgreen

    naturalgreen Senior Member
    Messages: 404

    id say u may have a fluke truck but it all depends on what is breaking and maybe why.
    stuff will break from excessive snow wear and tear(ripped off frozen door handle, broken wiper blades).
    but if you are going through steering or suspension etc then mabe crank up prepping in fall and upgrade certain parts. my 05 has plowed(me only) since i got it and except stuff i break the truck is perfect. generally i have had good luck with fords i used to run and gms for last few years. my last few plow trucks are not been base model work trucks and i have issues with elec windows getting soaked and salty but easy fix. i always have belts, hoses, an alternator, and all kinds of fluids etc., but never need them. i replace things when the get a little worn, change fluids and grease like a mad man but mainly only break or lose pins on plow etc.
    i have a couple older chevys 95-98 that get run by workers and they are hurting but usually the things that break are due to operator or having a worn belt or old tensioner pullies and then running a plow for 24 hours. then i expect a belt to blow or alternator to fry but it rarely happens but if it does guarantee it is 2 in the morning and all alone in middle of nowhere with only 1 done and 30 on list.
  5. exmark1

    exmark1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,321

    Out of our 5 trucks normally at least one of them needs something after a snow event... But then again I am very picky about fixing stuff that is starting to fail before it leaves you stranded at 3 AM out in the middle of nowhere
  6. coldcoffee

    coldcoffee Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    I don't really consider myself broken down, unless a wheel falls off or the truck is on fire...both have happened and plenty of other stuff.

    There always seems to be something though after every couple storms, whether minor or major. Some things can be avoided, while others can't...after so many years I've just learned to accept that.
  7. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    Give us some examples of the things breaking.
  8. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    I would think about a different truck.
    We hope to never have a problem but that's just not gonna happen so we try to keep on top of maintenence.
  9. thesnowman269

    thesnowman269 Senior Member
    Messages: 965

    Seems like every other storm something goes wrong...
  10. DeereFarmer

    DeereFarmer PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,296

    Well I guess I should rephrase it. I've only actually broken down once when the plow motor dies and I had to use a come-a-long to get it raised. I am picky, but just feel I have done way to much to this truck in the 1.5 years I've owned it. It's mostly all little things like brake lines, power window motors, rear window defroster, A/C condensor, talgate handle, U joints, wheel bearings, all new emergency brakes and cable, fried radio, etc... The plow on the other hand had some problems when I bought it, so I put a ton of money into it to make it new again, both plow and truck side. All wiring, hoses, motor, etc... All in all I have about $3500 or so in reciepts on this in the 6500 miles I've driven it. I drive it every day but only drive about 7 miles round trip to work and back. I don't know. Maybe I just have bad luck. It just all seems to happen in the middle of a storm. I try hard to to preventative maintenance on it, but everytime I fix something, a new problem pops up. Damn GM lol.
  11. ajslands

    ajslands 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,033

    i have had stupid problems like strobe tube goes out.
  12. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    Your truck is 8 years old now and you can expect little things to go wrong. Years ago everybody just had work trucks with very few options so there was little to go wrong. I think once you get all the little things fixed you should have a good truck. I have an 02 also with 190k and little things are starting to go wrong but it's been basically trouble free since new.
  13. lost_cause

    lost_cause Junior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 13

    several years ago i bought a 93 gmc 1/2 ton 4x4 extended cab with 130k miles on it. it had been owned by a business that ran it all over new england doing high rise window cleaning. it had been driven by every tom, dick, and harry to come down the line and by the time i bought it it didn't have a straight spot in the sheet metal that was longer than 6" long. it was literally riddled with dents, dings, and scratches. when i bought it, it needed a clutch ($150), and i did a complete fluid change in the entire vehicle. over the next 5 years and almost another 100k miles i put on a starter and rear shocks (about another $150). other than oil changes, that's really all i did to it. it was a 200k+ mile vehicle you would feel comfortable to hop in and go to california with nothing other than a quart of oil and a gallon of antifreeze behind the seat. i eventually sold it figuring that the good times were bound to come to an end, but i kept hearing stories of sightings of the vehicle literally hundreds of miles away (it was easy to identify due to the hideous orange paint job with massive gouges down the drivers door from a hasty decal removal job). three years later i ran into the guy i sold it to and he told me the thing was still bulletproof.

    i now own an 01 gmc with a duramax, and some days i'm afraid to leave the driveway for fear of not being able to return under my own power. before i bought this, i had a friend pull all the gm warranty information on it, and it had been through a decent amount of replacement parts, which i like to see in a used vehicle. i figure if it's been replaced recently, i won't have to do it. this time i was wrong. it worked fine until the first winter when it pretty much refused to start overnight unless plugged in. by spring it had completely failed and ended up with a +/- $2500 injector job, which i had recently undergone before i bought it. now, this winter, it has had more similar issues which are intermittent, so nearly impossible to diagnose effectively.

    moral of the story is: some are good, some aren't. over the years i've only had a lot of vehicles, and only this one that i don't trust to get me home. i don't think there's any way to explain or justify it really.
  14. DeereFarmer

    DeereFarmer PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,296

    I'm with you. Luckily I trust my truck to get me home, but I don't trust it to get me through a storm. That's probably the reason I'm thinking this will be last season in this truck for me.
  15. cold_and_tired

    cold_and_tired PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,247

    My old truck only broke down once. I lost a relay and lost power to the plow.

    My current truck has never left me stranded. There are little things though like ball joints, u-joints and other small miscellaneous things that I attribute more to the 130,000 miles than to plowing.
  16. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    I bought my 97 K2500 three years ago with 75K. It now has 145K. Three hard seasons of plowing. Occasional towing in the summer, but heavy when I pull - 8K plus. The only true breakdown I have had while plowing was losing the reverse band a year ago. That was $2 grand. Partly my fault due to shifting technique, but the part was defective from day one. Minor frontend work - ball joints, idler arm, pitman arm. One tie-rod end. But these are common items on these trucks, not just from plowing. The transfer case is getting a little noisy. I have one I need to put together and swap in. I have a wheel bearing growling in the rear, but that's what happens when you carry an overloaded spreader on a 9.5 inch 14 bolt semi-floater. Plan to swap in a 10.5 inch full floater. I am amazed by some of the things that I have NOT done. Rear driveshaft U-joints. CV shafts. Starter. Power accessories all still work. I did burn up the original alternator, but that was my fault. The AZ cheapie I put in lasted a day and started to smell. Returned it, took the money to Napa and bought the 155 amp alt.

    I have repaired frame cracking behind the UCA bracket. Common problem, but definitely due to plowing.

    Other than that, routine maintenance stuff. Tune ups, brakes, and of course the fuel pump.

    Overall, it's been a very good truck for me.