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

Loading Docks???

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by medicboot, Jan 1, 2008.

  1. medicboot

    medicboot Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    I have an account that a business has 4 loading docks. It is a pretty steep angle down the docks. I need to backdrag out the docks but it is sometimes hard to get out. Due to the angle of the ramp, my truck struggles to get up the ramp. My tires are good (1yr old) and have no problems pushing snow on flat ground. Does anyone know if there are any tricks to getting better traction when backdragging the loading docks? I use a 3/4ton Chevy Dmax with 400# of ballast. Thanks in advance for any help.
  2. blowerman

    blowerman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,275

    When back dragging docks we plow them out forward first, then turn around and backdrack what's left dropping the plow as you back up. When we pull up, drop the plow, then back up, our trucks get stuck also.
  3. FordFisherman

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

    Have you tried 4 low? Might do the trick. How many inches of snow are you trying to move at once? Try incorporating an extra pass for the loading dock area into your route to limit how much snow yor moving at one time. Then there's also the rear mounted plow option$$. Good luck.
  4. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    Back in first and push out and then it will be easier to back drag because your not fighting with all the snow.
  5. medicboot

    medicboot Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    Im not too sure about 4low. Maybe too much torque but I will try anything if I get stuck again. Ill try doing the top forward first then back dragging the bottom and see if that works. It dosent take too much snow to make those things slick. I was thinking of looking to see if there were temporary studs I can put in to help. Thanks guys.
  6. Peterbilt

    Peterbilt Senior Member
    from IA.
    Messages: 745

    I use my tractor with a rear blade!
  7. lawnproslawncar

    lawnproslawncar Senior Member
    Messages: 605

    plow forward then drag. LOL try a payloader w/o winter style tires...thats not fun using that theory. I did this winter and then you don't have any way to use the bucket to back yourself out!
  8. SnoFarmer

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

    Add another200 to #300lbs to the back and make sure it is behind the rear wheels.

    400lbs really is not that much weight at all.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2008
  9. makplow

    makplow Senior Member
    Messages: 242

    How long are the ramps up to the docks?
  10. Oasis

    Oasis Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    The fact that your tires are only one year old doesnt mean they are good.... Are they factory tires because from experience with my chevy, the tires they came with did not have very good traction on any grades. I replaced them with a more aggressive tread and now I dont get stuck on anything.
  11. medicboot

    medicboot Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    The ramps are about 80' long (approx the length of a 53' semi with tractor). I replaced my tires a year ago with an off make brand (Widetrack Baja A/T). They are a great tire other than on these ramps. They have never slipped while normal plowing. I tried backing in last time and plowing the top out, then backdragging the rest out. This seemed to work better but I still slid around a bit. It scares me a little because there are cement walls on the sides. If you slide sideways too much, you will slide into a wall. I am currently looking for a cheap salt spreader (<$300). It is not in the contract but if it saves me a repair bill on my truck, it will be well worth it. Also the last snow, I had to leave my accounts and pull a friend out of another ramp (same company, different location) because he was stuck.
  12. DJ Contracting

    DJ Contracting PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,392

    I have the same tires on both of my trucks and they work well, add some more ballast i have between 800 to 300 depending on how many bags of salt i go through but i start out with 800lbs in the 99 truck and the 93 has 600 lbs of sand tubs again that seems to work for me.
  13. MileHigh

    MileHigh PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,827

    More ballast and studded snow tires. jmo
  14. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,246

    That is what we do. If you try to back drag the whole way even in the not so bad steep ramps you usually start to get a little squirrley and you dont want to hip check the side of your truck with that cement.....:nono:
  15. medicboot

    medicboot Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    Ill try grabbing a few more bags of salt and add some weight to the back. I think Ill still try and keep an eye out for an inexpensive spreader. Thanks guys.
  16. jeeps rule

    jeeps rule Junior Member
    Messages: 16


    I know they are a pain to install for just a couple of pushes, but have you considered throwing chains on the front tires? Otherwise I would try dedicating a set of wheels/tires to winter and having them studded.
  17. BlackIrish

    BlackIrish Senior Member
    Messages: 902

    Back in 20' push out ,back 40' push out, back in 58' push out, back drag balance. My 96 F350 spanking w/slide in sander(heavy) would backdrag the whole 80' one pass but the 3 other trucks would get stuck. Get true snow/ice tires dedicated for winter. That account should include automatic sand/salt every time plowed charge for it, one dinged 1/4 panel will cost u many many $$$$. And you need a high quality tailgate sander 'cause when it works everytime at 3am...priceless. Cheap sander will not be reliable. By a brand spanking new one and maintain it, probably end up using it on 3+ trucks 8-10 yrs worth.
    my $0.02
    6' snow so far and more tonight
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2008
  18. REAPER

    REAPER 2000 Club Member
    from 60050
    Messages: 2,230

    Well I do something probably that takes a bit longer but it works for me on these types of docks.

    I back drag front 20 or so feet first.

    I will pull forward until back tires are right at the start of the incline and pull out how ever much that is.

    Then I pull in again until the back wheels touch the edge of where the plow dropped the first time and pull that out as well.

    Then I back in push out and back drag what is left after.

    I have a broken rear light on drivers side from tapping the wall on one and will not back down one again unless I do it in the order I stated above.

    This also depends on the snow weight and type.

    If it is the fluff stuff I back in all the way push out and back drag what is left.

    On the slush and heavy stuff I do it the long way.
  19. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,362

    Same here.
  20. tjlands

    tjlands Senior Member
    Messages: 579

    The loading ramps are pre-treated with rock salt for every storm, this helps when clearing as you will have better traction. Then you can push it or back drag it. We also salt them after every push.