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just got done with cleaning up the blizzard...need advice!!

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by whtdahell, Dec 28, 2010.

  1. whtdahell

    whtdahell Junior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 8

    I had a new western midweight plow setup installed on my 06 dodge ram 1500 hemi. I know its only a half ton but its what I have and with all the mods on it, its not your ordinary half ton ;)

    anyway, got done after two days of near steady plowing after this 2 foot blizzrd and the truck and plow did good, with one problem... I got stuck about 10 times. I even brought the truck to my buddies shop and tried swapping snow tires off his plow truck and that didnt help... The dealer that installed the plow said I didn't need any ballast weight because I have a short bed...is he correct? I think that is the reason I was getting stuck... as I'm pushing and the weight of the 24-30" of snow on the blade builds up I am getting slight rear wheel hop....then....STUCK!!!

    what would your suggestion be for ballast weight? I'm sick of diggin out.

    And I'm not completely new to the industry...I'm a heavy equipment operator for the county so I plowed for years...but ona bigger platform that a pu..so I am new to this

    thanks for any help
  2. got-h2o

    got-h2o 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,440

    Ballast would definately help. Another problem is the truck/plow combo. No offense. A half ton with a midweight plow is not designed to commercially plow 2' snow storms for 2 days straight.
  3. whtdahell

    whtdahell Junior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 8

    yea I get that, but the plow wouldnt be the reason I'm getting stuck...I dont think? my half ton has chrome- moly axle shafts and locker in front, bullet proofed trans, re arched springs in the back and spider trax gears in the rear (thik they were spider trax) also has new higher rated stiffer torition bars...so the added weight of the midweight over the hts western recommends wont be an issue, I get 1" front end sag with the plow on vs. with the plow off.

    I'm not overly concerned with the wear and tear on the truck as I built it so I know its stronger than most 3500's out there today. my concern is how much ballast the experts think I need to eliminate the wheel hop.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2010
  4. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    What does that have to do with getting stuck?

    Yes counter weight will help ( not the same as ballast)

    Ballast is ANY place in the bed counter weight is BEHIND the rear wheels.

    I use #400 on my jeep mounts into the receiver hitch.
  5. whtdahell

    whtdahell Junior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 8

    thank you! I knew I needed something after the first time I got stuck and went out to check out the situation....the back tires were just spinning on top of flat powder...lol...NOT a good sign!! I read somewhere online just now that a guy withthe same plow on a chevy 1500 needed 1000 pounds,maybe I'll start around 800 and work up from there.
  6. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    Is the truck just getting stuck in a spot, or is the plow riding up over the snow and your hanging up the front end?
  7. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    My guess would be the snow is too deep for the shorter moldboard of a mid weight plow, so you are hanging up the plow. Counter weight will not help this problem much. I don't want to rain on your parade, but a heavier plow, and a heavier truck is going to answer most of your problems. If you think about how much snow your trying to push, it will boggle your mind. 2 feet of snow is 3 feet of snow less than 5 feet into your push, and becomes many feet of snow by the end of your push even with the run off from your plow. Plus every foot you move forward, is compacting that snow, which in turn makes it heavier. Best advice I can give you is to plow with the storm as much as you can, and throw between 800 and 1,000 pounds of weight as far back in the bed as you can, and secure that weight from shifting around. Good Luck
  8. whtdahell

    whtdahell Junior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 8

    just getting stuck in a spot...for instance, one of the lots I plowed was a v ery large funeral home. We got to the lot around 5 am and it had over a foot on it already. I made my first attempt with the blade fully down and made it about 15 feet till the back hopped and I was done. Got out with it in drive (accidently) and the back tires were just turning, not even touching the ground...floating about 1/4 inch above.

    I was able to back out of that one while working the plows angle controls to help push me. Once out I decided to make a half deep pass first...well that sucked cause I was able to go further but once the weight got enough the truck would hop and I was stuck again...but now had ruts cause I was only plowing the top half of snow so I was driving on 8" or so, so I had ruts and compacted snow to shovel...it was a LONGGGG Night.

    It really reminded me of watching the truck pulls...once the weight on the sled got to a certain point the pulling trucks would hop and they were done....that was me...but much frikken colder!!
  9. whtdahell

    whtdahell Junior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 8

    the moldboard height makes sense... I never really had any issues with the lots we did first, when there was like 8-12 inches onthe ground...it was only that one lot that we did last that gave me all sorts of trouble...and thats makes perfect sense. Thanks for pointing that out. I do think that adding more weight in the back will have to help some....having the back tires off the ground when pushing cant be benificial to the power to ground ratio.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2010
  10. bigthom

    bigthom Senior Member
    Messages: 105

    First problem is u need counter weight. Load sand bags or blocks behind ur axle. Next with a light truck and residential plow take smaller cuts with the plow. And last less pedal. My dodge has over 900ftlbs of torque. When I snows I put it back to stock and lower tire pressures a lot and I dnt get stuck after that
  11. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,246

    Put some weight in the back and take smaller bites like everyone else stated and you will have better success. But IMO your truck and plow is not made to take on the type commercial work you are subjecting it to.
  12. whtdahell

    whtdahell Junior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 8

    maybe I'm naive but why does the 1500 badge on the side of my truck make it less suited to plow than say a 2500 badge on the side of a chubby? I have already listed what my truck is and the fact that it was built as a 1500 does'nt mean it is still a 1500. I've got leaf springs rated for a 5500, front tortion bars rated so stiff that I have near zero front end sag, chrome moly axle shafts, a trans that will never die, gears, a ride height 3" taller than a 4x4 3500,...all HD parts everywhere but yet it says 1500 so its not meant for commercial plowing...thats completely insane. My frame may be that of a 1500 but that also has been supported in areas where they are known to be weak...so again, why is this your asssumption?

    I'm not trying to single you out or insult anyone but reading threads here and twice already in this one, this was brought up and its ********. Jeeps plow proffesionally and without issue.... but for some reason its get a 3/4 or 1 ton or go home...makes zero sense.
  13. Kenyou

    Kenyou Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    The way I set up my truck was to have it on flat ground and the plow resting on the ground. I then measured the distance from the cement to the top of the wheel well. I then raised the plow and measured again. The front of my truck was lower with the plow raised, so I put a 2x4 and plywood frame behind the rear wheel wells and added sand bags between the rear of the rear wheel wells and the tailgate until the wheel well distance was just above the original height. I now use mostly salt in plastic water proof bags. Of course, some sand is good if you get stuck. The only problem that I had is that if I want to use the back of the truck for anything else, I have a lot of weight to remove first, about 800 lbs. That gets old real quick. Above all, you have to have a way to hold the weight down in case you hit something, stop quick, and your ballast comes flying through your rear window. In extreme cases you may need to let some air out of your tires to get more rubber on the ground for better traction. I wouldn't leave it that way all the time though.
  14. whtdahell

    whtdahell Junior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 8

    I've done the measuring thing and with the plow on and in the up position my front end sags 1" over no plow or plow down position...I am going to go with 800 pounds and go from there... think I will use ten 80lb bags of cement, watered down to form hard blocks. That way I can take them out and store them in the shed when I'm not using them. I'm going to carry a bag of cat litter or sand too in case I get stuck again. I also bought a propane torch to melt the snow and ice when I get stuck...screw that shoveling crap...lol.
  15. tuney443

    tuney443 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,847

    Yes,you are partly correct there whtdahell,but here is what's happening.Yes,you have a stout 1/2 ton,but for the size blizzard you and I just tamed,it takes weight to push weight.You simply do not have enough ass with your ride for pushing 18-24'' of snow.Period.Believe me,I am not knocking your ride,but with my 3500 ''Chuby''[your word,not mine:D] and my 9-2 Boss V,I was pushing drifts taller than my blade without once encountering wheel slip.You never once mentioned what type/width tire you're running,but I'll bet dollars to doughnuts they're pretty wide and that doesn't help any.Also,you are used to bigger,heavier iron on your job so you probably thought your heavily equipped Dodge could muster through,but it fell short.The ballast will help tremendously,I'd go for at least 1K lbs and change your fat tires to a tall,skinnier snow traction one.Oh,and almost forgot--you have a straight blade--even with the fluffy, cold snow we got,there is only so much snow a straight blade will push---a V will open up a lane,then I will start chewing her up in scoop,angle,or straight applications depending on logistics.
  16. got-h2o

    got-h2o 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,440

    For those that questioned my reply, I agree with tuney 100%.

    I meant no offense by it. But bigger trucks are meant to handle bigger jobs. There is nothing wrong with half ton trucks. I've had them, and all beefed up like yours as well. But I can tell you that I don't miss the days of attacking a large amount of snow trying to windrow only to have the truck half sideways trying to do so. Half ton trucks and mid weight plows have their places, and heavy commercial use isn't one of them. Jeeps have their place as well, but you won't see either on my larger accounts b/c they would waste more time than anything.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2010
  17. DJ Contracting

    DJ Contracting PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,392

    Correct me if I'm wrong but this has happened to me with big snow falls and my half-tons: what's happening is when your trying to push in the straight position the blade rides up which leaves most of the snow under your truck hence the front and rear tires riding on the snow you thought you were clearing. Now I have plowed with both tall/skinny tires and with tall/wide tires, with the same results...this is what I learned, I have to keep the blade up and angle my blade when taking my first pass to clear a lane, once I do that I'll take smaller cuts than normal, oh and make sure to have counter weight it makes a big difference (wont solve the problem but helps.) It's not the only the truck it's also the straight blade plow. -Joe-
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2010
  18. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    next time DO NOT wait till there is a foot of snow...plow with the storm
    put plenty of weight in the bed and take smaller passes at the snow
  19. FordFisherman

    FordFisherman PlowSite.com Addict
    from 06611
    Messages: 1,613

    600-700lbs. of ballast will help tremendously, but plowing 12" all at once is also part of your issue. I know it came down hard and fast, I was out there too. Try plowing at 4" if possible.
  20. Pinky Demon

    Pinky Demon PlowSite.com Addict
    from Ohio
    Messages: 1,121

    First, look at your tires. You want a narrow tire in a snow tread pattern. Not an all terrain pattern, not a MT pattern, a real honest to god winter tread with plenty of sipes and the lot. A good example of this would be a Bridgestone Blizzak or Firestone Winterforce.

    Second, put the weight as far back in the bed as you can possibly get it. Run maybe 700+.

    Third, plow with the storm, I don't care what you are running, if you are plowing 2 ft. plus coverage over the entire lot that isn't a result of major drifting, you have a serious problem and need to re-evaluate. You will break your truck at that rate, doesn't matter how much work you put into it.

    Lastly, don't think just because you added all this crap to your truck that it's snovincible. Your transmission WILL break, with the right combination of stupidity.