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Is this much weight ok in my truck?

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by watson524, Feb 28, 2010.

  1. watson524

    watson524 Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    Hi all,

    I have a 99 Dodge Ram 1500 and a 7.5' Fisher on the front. I'm new to this ballast thing since my dad was always in charge of the plowing but he's passed away so I've been dealing with it the last 3 winters. This past storm (NE PA), I just couldn't get any traction in the snow so I started looking into adding weight. On the suggestion of someone here, we got some rubbermaid bins and put bags of sand in them. I have 4 bins (3 lengthwise across the back right at the tailgate and one sideways in the middle right in front of the other ones, all being the rear axle). Total weight not including a few pounds for the bins is 660 pounds.

    Is this too much? I think it's ok based on how the bed is sitting over the wheels but wanted to make sure the truck could handle this ok. Went to get gas today with all this in there and the truck actually rides nicer with it there.

  2. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Definitely not too much weight. It will make plowing much easier. Many guys run as much ballast as the plow weighs. So you could go even a little heavier.

    What do you have for tires, and how much tread do they have.
  3. cmo18

    cmo18 Senior Member
    Messages: 815

    I had the same truck, same plow. I used about 800lbs of salt at the start of the season but then we decide to go a different route with salt, so I switched to 400lbs and still found it made a world of a difference.

    IMO, if you dont use ballast your asking for trouble. 1) your only plowing in 2wd really and 2) your rear diff is taking a beating because its always spinning. I learned my lesson the hard way
  4. coldcoffee

    coldcoffee Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    Maybe add some weight w/ bags of salt, then it's easy to adjust to your comfort level. The other benefit is that if you get stuck, it's easy to tear a couple of bags open and burn a trail to help you get loose.
  5. watson524

    watson524 Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    Tires are Mastercraft of some soft if I recall (all season). Tread is ok but I'll likely be replacing them later next year before next winter (since my dad is gone, the truck, which he never put many miles on due to proximity to his work, doesn't get a lot of usage). Got it 11 years ago coming up in two weeks and I just rolled 60k on it.
  6. Bunky1

    Bunky1 Member
    Messages: 48

    You may want to put some of tht ballast behind the rear wheels. This will allow you to use less and get the most advantage.
  7. swtiih

    swtiih PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,179

    I would say for a 1/2 ton truck that is plenty of weight as long as you are over the axle and to the rear.
  8. Kuzanut

    Kuzanut Senior Member
    Messages: 303

    i have a layer of cinder blocks placed side by side from the tailgate to just past the wheel wells, i think its 5 rows of block. then i take a 2x6 and place it flush to the ends of the block (across the bed) and cut two jack that are prob 3/8 to long and knock them in with a hammer. I know i know alot of guys will say that there is a chance of the blocks popping out. well here's my secret. While waiting for the truck to warm up before i go out i shovel all the snow (1) blade width around the truck into the bed, climb up and stomp the snow into the block. rise and repeat.. i've never had them move once. even put a truck on its side a few winters ago. the key to the whole thing is i have weight and i can still slide a sheet of plywood in if i need too.
  9. mercer_me

    mercer_me PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,372

    A good rule of thumb is use the same or a little more ballest as the weight of your plow.