They all run close to 2k with installation. I have 2 airflow mss. I also have a sub that owns a Fisher 2 stage.
We have our airflows adapted to fit into reciever type hitches, and that works well, still need to people to remove it. The fisher mounts into a custom designed reciever hitch, so if you already have a hitch, get the mss and adapt it to slide in.
If you have any more ? give me a call at 860-859-0739
Its will be alot easier than typing all the details.
I have a Pro Flo 2 (Western). I'm VERY happy with it. There are two types of installation available for this spreader:
1. The truss mount (which I have) which involves taking your tailgate off, sliding a bracket into the bed, and the turning two hadle-bolts down to hold it in place. You then hang the spreader on the truss, and place two pins in to hold it down. Plug in the connector, and you're ready to go.
2. Trailer hitch mount. For this style, you have to buy a Western class IV hitch. Kinda pricey. From there, you slide the spreader in, and pin it in place. Not sure on how easy it is.
Weight is right around 325-lbs... brackets and all. The spreader itself probably weighs about 200-lbs. Not too bad. My wife and I lift it onto our truck.
It cost me around $1800 installed (truss mount). Putting it on my truck takes about 5-minutes. Spends most of the time on the truck, I only take it off when there's no snow forecasted for a week or so.
Tim is talking about mounting to a pickup. If you have want to mount it to a mason dump there are 2 brackets that get welded or bolted to the tailgate. You then hang the spreader on the tailgat & pin it to the brackets so it doesn't jump around. Real simple. I just moved my Pro Flo 2 from a mason to a pick up. If you can fabricate (or know a decent weldershop) you can make an easy mounting bracket to go on any class 4 hitch. When I get the pictures back I can E-mail them to anyone who cares to see it. Works out good & I have the whole bed free to work with. I got this idea from a plow dealershop and after writing this it occurs to me that this may in fact be very similar to what Tim talks about, I'll have to investigate. Anyway, it was much cheaper to have the welding shop fabricate this for me than buying the real pick up mounting kit.
Just a quick add on thought to BRL comments. I have my Fisher on the back of Mason dump and it comes of in less then five minutes by pulling two pins. Need two people to pick it up and fishers designed lift bars right into it. However, after hearing how my old boss had two meyers blades stolen from his yard, I just installed one of those hitch receiver locks through one of the pins. Quick removal is great, I just want to be the only one removing it.
In my opinion the airflo is the best all around spreader. Only drawback is that it only holds about 350 lbs of salt. If you only doing lots no bigger than 40,000 sq. feet buy teh Airflo MSS.
The Western/Fisher holds much more salt and from what I've seen they can spread a wider pattern, but they are no way as strong as the airflo. As a matter of fact around here some small municipals use them and they love them.
bottom line is that any one of these three spreaders you will fall in love with. Take your pick, you can't go wrong.
I would tend to disagree on the not as strong part. My Pro Flo 2 will hold about 650-700 lbs. of salt, and won't miss a beat. Yes, the plastic hopper starts to bulge a little, but nothing to the point to make me worry.
Oh... and YES, it will throw salt pretty far. If I did roads, I could cover both lanes easily in one pass.
I have the Fisher speedcast 2 and love it. The main reason I bought the unit was do to storage space when it's not on the truck. I built a cradel for the unit and can wheel it around the driveway and store where ever I want. Takes about 5 min. to have the entire unit installed.
I usually fill the hopper and carry enough material in the bed in sand bags in order to reload the hopper. If storage is a big consideration you will not be disappointed in this unit. I picked mine up from a guy who only used it once and got a good deal on it. One of the Fisher dealers in my area was selling them for $1600.