1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Life expectancy of a plow truck

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by Easy, Apr 8, 2007.

  1. Easy

    Easy Senior Member
    Messages: 325

    What do you folks consider a good expectation for the life of your plow truck before having problems?
    I have a 2005 Dodge (bought new) with 19K on it. I am having nothing but rust and corrosion problems, mostly with the wiring.
    I went to use the truck this morning, and the plug at the back of the starter had corroded off. Just had the trailer plugs replaced due to corrosion, and the instrument cluster was replaced due to intermittent trouble with the gauges.
    I keep the truck in an unheated barn with a concrete floor, and it gets washed every 3 weeks or so if needed.
    I guess I am just venting, I had an 01 Ford and had the same type of problems. On the other hand I had an 88 Ford until I bought the 01, never had the trouble until the very end when it was 13 yrs old.
    Guess it is just the metal they make them out of now.
  2. Sydenstricker Landscaping

    Sydenstricker Landscaping PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,882

    Don, first problem is you bought a Dodge!!! LOL, just kidding!!:D But you should wash your truck much more frequently than every 3 weeks. That is ALOT of your problems there. I wash my truck after EVERY event, and make sure to flush out the inner fenders, under the cab, and under the truck bed. I bought my Chevy back in Dec. 06 and hae not one problem with it. It has been a plow truck since it rolled out of the dealer back in 00' and it has 91k on it, and it is fine. Some guys trade in their trucks every two years. I would say trade it in for a new truck, cause those electrical problems could lead to a damaging fire down the road!!! Lets hope not, but it could happen. I have read horror stories on here about guys that had electrical problems and the truck caught fire!!! You truck's life expectancy will be as long as you take good care of it!!!!
  3. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    My oldest truck is a 1978 F250 and it is still going and ben plowing sence new.. I suspose it all depends on how you take care of your equipment as to how long it will run. Now run cost efectively (sp) is another story.
  4. NoFearDeere

    NoFearDeere PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,724

    My truck gets washed after every event...spreading or plowing. Waxed about once a month. I touch the spreader and plow up with rust-oleum when surface rust appears and all my equipment looks brand new and rust-free! And it's not just because of Dodge either! ;) :D
  5. Easy

    Easy Senior Member
    Messages: 325

    I had a problem with the electrical hook up for the trailer, the plug (back side) got full of salt and shorted out, killing the battery. When I put a charger on it and took the plug apart, it was smoking, but never blew a fuse...
    I wish I could wash after each event, the closest car wash is 10-15 miles away. By the time I get back home, the truck is as dirty as when I left. I should have put heat and water in my barn when I built it!!!
    Oh well, maybe this summer.....
  6. itsgottobegreen

    itsgottobegreen PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,351

    No matter how much grease you put in the trailer plug. If you have a spreader there is a 90% chance you will be replacing your trailer plug or in my case catching the wiring on fire. Everyyear.
  7. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    My truck's been a plow truck it's entire life ( 1989 ).
    Stuff rusts out and connections need attention.
    It's a fact of life with plow trucks.
    They are worked hard and put away wet.
  8. 'Rude Dog

    'Rude Dog Member
    Messages: 56


    part of the problem is ODOT's use of LIQUID CALCUIM- this stuff gets into places that plain old salt NEVER got into, their so called"pre treatment " for the highways in ohio- just comes with living in northern ohio - btw odot in tuscarawas county loves to throw this stuff on THICK... 'Rude Dog
  9. Easy

    Easy Senior Member
    Messages: 325

    I agree with washing the truck often, but the last problem I had was with the wiring harness at the back of the starter. I don't think anything less than a spray up under the truck would have cleaned this area due to where under the truck it is located. For me it was hard to get my hands up there, and I can't imagine a 10-15 sec. spray cleaning this area very well.
    I wonder why the folks that never wash their vehicles never seem to have these problems. I drove a company truck for 8 years, and I'll bet it wasn't washed but 3 times, never had these problems with it......
  10. Bobby Blaze

    Bobby Blaze Member
    Messages: 92

    The best thing you could do is undercoat the truck if you plan on buying a new one, get the full package with the rustproofing and the tar underneath,I to have a dodge its an 01 and I got the package and the truck still looks brand new.
  11. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,557

    My truck had some rust when i bought it on the undercarriage (body is rust free). I wash it at least once a week when it is nice, waxed sometimes once a month with two coats of wax everytime i do that, interior is vacuumed, and everything is armor alled and the underside is compltely coated in fluid film :) I love my truck!
  12. Ole Tower

    Ole Tower Senior Member
    from MAINE
    Messages: 210

    Life Expectancy

    here in MAINE SALT & CHEMICALS are the Main problem! & in looking over others Equipment after a couple of yrs! YOU can SEE! Who really takes CARE of their Equipment! as the Guys that DON*T Trade real Often! & here theres One GUY that would Destroy an Anvil in a Saw Dust Plie in One Season! Thus! His Equipment Don*t last very LONG! His youngr Brother is just the Opposite--as both are local Contractors--WE Joke the older ones Equip is worth 0,03 cents a LB the Younger GOLD! the younger has an Ole White Mustang Dump single Axle--& People Order Gravel just to See It!--Beautiful just like NEW! a 59? I think?? & it works every DAY! the Younger when Asked? Says every things been Re-placed Except the Roof! & Laughs!--its never been Painted!--all His Equip looks New! a two man operation Father & Son! both very Fusy Guys!--what a Differance in People! --OleTower--
  13. Easy

    Easy Senior Member
    Messages: 325

    I agree, washing and waxing the vehicle is very important, but how do you clean the underside? I take mine to a car wash with a chassis bath. Don't know what more I can do at this point. New truck right now is out of the question, and this one was not undercoated, per the dealers advice.
    Also, would undercoating have protected the wiring harness where it plugs into the back of the starter???? There was so much corrosion , the plugs broke off the starter. Looks like the way it was designed, snow sits on top of the connections. If the connections were turned 90 degrees, the water would run off, not down into the plug.
    Oh well, nothing to do now but keep it as clean as possible and repair as we go.....
  14. Sno4U

    Sno4U Senior Member
    Messages: 480

    Thats kinda weird, my 1 ton looks almost like yours. Same color & everything. I haven't had any problems like yours. As far as I'm aware all our municipalities around here use plain 'ol treated salt.
    I wash mine every couple of weeks in winter and try to get the underbody flush. I prefer a carwash w/ brushes to get the film off. Some people don't like them and call them "grinders".
    I use electrical grease often. my truck is an '04 w/ 60K miles and runs excelent although I was walking around it the other and did count 8 "dings" that its gotten over the years.
  15. DeereFarmer

    DeereFarmer PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,296

    The most important thing that I have found is doing an undercarriage wash very often. Not just a car wash one, but actually getting the hose out and spraying under neath the truck. I do it everytime it snows. If there is snow on the road i wash the undercarriage when I get home. It's cold and takes a while, but a few minutes a day and some cold hands are well worth keeping a truck working well. With a plow truck, it should be done after everytime you plow. Clean the plow really well and get to the truck undercarraige. There are a lot of places for sand and salt to collect under there.
  16. Easy

    Easy Senior Member
    Messages: 325

    I take the truck to a wash that does the "chassis wash" but that didn't do me any good. Hand spraying with a hose would not get to where the problem was unless you were to crawl under the truck and spray directly up at the starter. Just seemed to me that this was a particularly hard place to reach with wash water.....
    Maybe I need to drive the truck more, especially when it rains out, take it on the freeway and let the rain road spray wash off the undercarriage.

  17. fernalddude

    fernalddude PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,106

    My way 2700 psi press washer, 30deg tip, rain suit and wet back. Water, water, water it sucks but the only way to get the salt off is to flush it often......
  18. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,236

    Wash it more often. Try a lawn sprinkler for underneath.

    As my HazMat instructor always said, dilution is the solution to pollution.

    The only reason CaCl would cause more problems is because it is more corrosive than NaCl, not because it gets into areas that salt won't.

    I have a '94 Dodge, '95 Jeep, and a '96 Dodge (plus a few others) that have seen a lot of salt. Have had a few of these problems over the years, but nothing like that with so few miles on it.
  19. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    Was this vehicle in a flood?
  20. Easy

    Easy Senior Member
    Messages: 325

    The vehicle was purchased new by me in Dec. 2004. As far as I know, no flood.
    As far as using a power washer, again, the area is only reachable from directly below the vehicle, and this can not be done unless you are on your back under the truck. (hard to do in freezing weather outside)
    I do like the idea of a sprinkler under the truck, never thought of that, now I just need a place to do it, The truck will not fit into my garage, and there is no water/sewer in my barn.
    I guess what I was trying to find out, was this problem common, or just an isolated occurrence.