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Issue with new plow ... ?

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by Bagger, Jan 23, 2016.

  1. Bagger

    Bagger Member
    from CT
    Messages: 43

    Been plowing my 1/4 mile driveway and parking areas for over 35 years with many different rigs/plows.

    Got a new truck (F250) and new plow (Western 8'6") put on by the same folks that have done so for 7 different rigs and plows.

    Only used it once in light snow with no problems, but did notice that when I got to the parking place and angled the plow left and right ... the radio went off and the dash lights went black for couple seconds. Truck did not stall, or hesitate.

    Thought it may be due to not driving the truck often and battery may be low. Drove truck for 30 miles, parked it ... started it today idled for 15 minutes, drove it for 10 miles and had the same thing happen today. Did it twice in succession, then did not do it again.

    Called the dealer/plow installer and he didn't know what the problem could be.

    Anyone with a WAG as to why this could be happening?

  2. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,391

    What year?...
  3. seville009

    seville009 Senior Member
    from CNY
    Messages: 877

  4. Bagger

    Bagger Member
    from CT
    Messages: 43

    My truck is a 2015 F250 ...

    New 2015 Ford F250 Superduty Lariat with snow plow package. New Western 8'6" w/Unimount.

    Interesting link.

    This is EXACTLY what I'm experiencing ... dash lights go out, radio goes out.

    That said, I just finished 20 minutes of plowing 4" of snow (more coming). I wanted to see what the plow would do (or not do) while it was still light here in CT-land.

    Didn't have any issues. Angled, up/down ... plowed / repeat many times. Everything worked fine.

    But, I did have the heat on, radio on, the lights on and the flashers on. I don't think I had any of these on either time I had "issues" with the system. Must be the extra load of these that made the difference.

    Odd ...
  5. JAJA

    JAJA Member
    Messages: 73

    Should have bought a chevy...all kidding aside how many batteries...put a heavier gauage wire off the alternator could be from voltage loss
  6. Bagger

    Bagger Member
    from CT
    Messages: 43

    Can't quite figure out your post. But, if it were this simple, don't you think the manufacturers of the plows and trucks would have figured this out?

    I contacted my plow dealer yesterday to give them the SP-387 number. He's going to look into it.

    If there are no issues with Ford HD / GM HD from 2012-2013 ... then there have been changes to the electrical systems of these trucks. Shouldn't the makers of these trucks see this difference and adapt modifications?
  7. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,391

    You think it's just that huh?
  8. chevyhauler

    chevyhauler Senior Member
    Messages: 152

    Reading this description reminds me of what GM just got done kinda sorting out. The problem was with their newer gas trucks with the snow plow prep package. One of the things that the Snow plow prep package does is put on a stronger alternator. What was happening was that a bunch of stuff would die as soon as you let off the plow control button. The cause was that the stronger alternator was putting out more juice (like it should) to control the plow then...for a millisecond...when u let off...the increased power would back-feed into the truck and cause various electric device to go dead (protecting themselves from an over power situation). This was not noticed with the no snow plow package trucks (smaller alternator) or with the dual alternator diesels (load sharing by two alternators means less spike to feed the plow).
    GM's short term fix was to make a harness which momentarily kills the output from the alternator when you let go of the button. Bit of a hack solution in my opinion...but they didn't ask me.
    The other solution (and this is what made me think of all this when reading your post) is to keep a bunch of your electrical accessories running. The spike is consumed by the other accessories so it cant back feed. So sit your plow down first....then turn all your other sh!t off.
  9. Bagger

    Bagger Member
    from CT
    Messages: 43

    Your explanation makes sense.

    But, why not just change out the alternator for a smaller one instead of rigging it with the new harness?
  10. chevyhauler

    chevyhauler Senior Member
    Messages: 152

    Its like doctors....they always have to prescribe something
    Honestly, putting the smaller alternator back on would negate any benefits from the power of the larger one (plow/sander/lights/etc) AND then GM customers would be banging the door down to get their money back for the larger alternators that they paid for (as part of the plow prep package). So not only would GM be fixing stuff under warranty (smaller alt) but they would be writing checks too.
  11. jasonv

    jasonv PlowSite.com Addict
    from kannada
    Messages: 1,122

    The electronics in the truck require a certain minimum voltage in order to operate. When the voltage drops below that threshold, the self preservation circuit will disconnect it.

    The reason is because the plow pump motor draws a LOT of current. More than the alternator can provide (regardless of how big of an alternator you have).

    The correct way to eliminate this problem, is to install a second battery. Use a deep cycle battery to dedicate to the snow plow pump, and install an isolator between the two batteries. The result of this will be that the truck's electrical systems will NOT be impacted when the plow pump draws down the voltage. Deep cycle battery is also a lot more suitable for the kind of loads that will be placed on it by the plow pump, and to top it off, you eliminate the risk of running your main/only battery dead by overuse of the plow pump.
  12. Bagger

    Bagger Member
    from CT
    Messages: 43

    I had someone in my office the other day that said this is what to do as well. That said, seems like a bit pricey ... since I can't do this myself. I'd have to have a shop do it and wonder if they (indeed) know what they are doing to my new truck/plow rig. ??
  13. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,174

    So you have 1st hand knowledge of this?

    You must because if you didn't, you wouldnt be spewing crap if you didn't.

    Op, its cause by a spike or to much voltage, just complete opposite of what Jason has said. This problem has be going on since 2011. It doesn't matter if it's gas or diesel, single battery or dual battery. Trucks with snow plow package the have the higher alternator or trucks with twin alternators seem to be prone to have these issues.
  14. chevyhauler

    chevyhauler Senior Member
    Messages: 152

    You have most of it right, but it is actually a voltage spike that messes the electronics up. The high output single alternators push out more voltage to feed the plow motor while its running, you let go of the button and for a split second, that higher voltage back-feeds into the truck's electronics. They do have a protection feature in them, but in this case, its the excessive voltage that shuts them down.

    Most of what you said is correct.
    From what I have heard (I spend a lot of time with the GM dealership mech who helped test this for GM before being released to the public) the twin alternator diesels are not as prone to this happening as the single (high output) alternator gas jobs. I have a 2011 (dual alternator) diesel. Believe me....that was the first question that I asked. The answer that I got was that the dual alternators (and batteries for that matter) share the load more such that there is not as much of a voltage spike. GM wired a second plug into their harness (that they designed to fix this issue) so I imagine that it is there in the event that the problems develop with dual alternator diesels also.
    And before you ask, no I don't have first hand knowledge, but a very close second hand. This mechanic that I refer to is VERY good. I am in there often. Just last week He just modified the wiring from my ECU on my '02 to better control the aftermarket dual alternators. Thus saving me $2K (not replacing the ECU that was...and still is...bad).
  15. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,249

    I find it humorous that you show up aboot every 2-3 months, miss 98% of what has been posted during that time, then act like an expert, despite numerous threads or posts already explaining the existing problems. :drinkup:
  16. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,174

    I can't speak on GM, Ford guy here. I usually replace my truck every year, on my 4th 6.7

    2011 was single Alt
    2012 was duals
    2013 was single
    Currently 2014 with duals.

    They all have done it, I've never worried about it. It's the BCM that blinks out.

    I am more upset that my satellite radio blinks out on one particular section of highway every day I go through it, that pisses me off and I can't figure out why.
  17. Bagger

    Bagger Member
    from CT
    Messages: 43

    Don't know why ....

    But, I've had a Ford F150 (2009) and a Ram 1500 (2010) all with mounted Western Ultramount plows. All gas trucks. I had no issues with either truck.

    I suppose that as EPA and other regulatory agencies continue to impose regulations on the industry, that changes to the ECU may have changed the way the new truck handles the plow rigs. I'm certainly no expert, just a WAFG.

    Neither of the "lighter" trucks had a snow plow prep like my new truck ... but, heck ... the new truck IS a heavy duty truck set up for plowing. I find this odd that such a new truck can't handle the additional power of the plow rig as well as the light weight trucks from before.

    Did Ford and GM (and the plow guys) just screw this up? How many thousands of these trucks have this problem without a recall .... and, a FIX !?

    Krikey !
  18. chevyhauler

    chevyhauler Senior Member
    Messages: 152

    Hey Bagger,
    The only thing that I can think of is alternator size. Your lighter duty (he said doody) trucks may have had smaller alternators (less output = less spike = less back feed = no problem). If your new truck has a higher amp alternator, such as the GM's with the plow prep package (NON diesel as discussed earlier), then that would explain why u r seeing it now but not previously.
    Now with the GM's (sorry...I know more about the GM's), they did not start offering a plow prep package until 2011. Thus, its kinda a newer problem for them.
  19. Bagger

    Bagger Member
    from CT
    Messages: 43

    I appreciate your input here.

    You'd think that the truck manufacturers would have understood this before offering the "snow plow package" ... which does cost some what more dough .. the plow rig motors do draw a crap load of power. I know this from plowing my driveway at the hacienda for nearly 40 years. Pull the plow UP and the lights dim. No matter what truck or plow.

    But, 40 years later ... with a snow plow package equipped truck/all modern technology and such ... the dang thing causes feed back and makes it work less well. Yes, I can plow and all, but running everything electrical to do so is a PITA !

    And, there seems no fix in sight. Nearly $60K in truck and plow rig and this is the result. How bloody stupid.
  20. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,249

    These are the same idiots forcing crap like traction control down our throats. Because that's so very necessary.