My First Plow

fivestr19

Junior Member
i just had my 8' boss straight blade put on my 99 3/4ton dodge today. It looks awesome, its really touchy but i guess thats something i have to get used to. this was the first time that i had every been behind the wheel of a plow truck so i have to admit it was a little intimidating, i was watching every car that i got close to and every turn i took. Im sure ill get used to driving it and plowing with it in no time. They had a problem putting the plow on because my truck has a 3 inch lift and with the kickstand in the last hole it barely gets on the truck. I still might have to remove the lift kit when my cutting edge wears down. So all went well and now i am just waiting for my salter to come in then i will be off into action.

Thanks for all the help :)
 

cat320

2000 Club Member
Location
stoneham,ma
Once you get use to your plow you will have no problem at all i was like that the first time too.What kind of sander are you getting?
 

zimm4

Junior Member
Im not looking foward to snow and ice. Oh well if you can make money. At least some good comes of it.
 

HandyHaver

Senior Member
Location
Phila, Burbs
Hello everybody!! First post here. I'm getting my first plow put on my f250 super duty xlt next week, can't wait. I plowed many years ago when I worked for a Car Dealer but it was a little Nissan with a no name plow on it. Anyway just wanted to jump in here and this was a good topic to start. I am also looking to purchase a new snow thrower, small 2 stage. I have looked at mtd, craftsman, toro, & arien. Looking to spend 6-800.00. If anybody has any feedback on these blowers, I'm listening
 

GeoffD

PlowSite.com Veteran
OK here is what i do for blowers.

Single stage: I buy the name brand, my case toro, they stand up well. However my 2 stage i go to home depot, and buy the biggest one they sell. Why they are realitivly cheap compared to the name brand, and they work well. I get about 5 seasons out of a cheap one from a store like Home Depot (started buying them at HQ back in 90, before that we bought all name brand, but had a lot less then we do today.)

Geoff
 

Snow Pro

Senior Member
Welcome Handy Haver!Are you sure you know what you're getting into? There's still time to bail out while the bailing's good. I wouldn't get an off brand, which is what I consider MTD and Craftsman. Craftsman makes 3 million products. I admit their tools are great. I buy them and take advantage of the lifetime replacement guarantees. But their power equipment is made for Joe Homeowner, not Joe Contractor. You need to stick with the name commercial brands, like the Toro you mentioned. I know somebody who bought an MTD and couldn't get replacement parts through the Menards he bought it from or the local repair shop. You need to get those parts immediately when you need it. Every minute you lose to down time during a storm costs you $$$$$$.
 

HandyHaver

Senior Member
Location
Phila, Burbs
I was looking at the mtd 5.5 or 8 hp units. I live just outside of Philly, Pa and don't think I'll need a monster, although they are impressive!! Thanks for your advise on this. Home Depot is the way I'll go. I'm a contractor and live there anyway. Shouldn't have any problems with customer service.
 

GeoffD

PlowSite.com Veteran
SnowPro mensioned something i forgot. I have 3 2 stage back up blowers. What i do, well, i don't see how they are used. However i know they get the tar beat out of them, becaue when they come in the day after the storm, my mechanic just shakes his head. I will admit this part of my equipment line get beat very hard. Also i only keep these blowers 3 or 4 max 5 seasons. I bought some in 93, they were disposed over in 96, and i got plenty of use out of them. However the ones i bought in 96, haven't had the use the ones 93-96 got, so i will replace them this year and keep as back ups, others i will keep anothe year.

Geoff
 

Snow Pro

Senior Member
Zimm4 -

Check your attitiude at the door, dude. If you don't absolutely love snow plowing, you're not going to make it in this business. Maybe you'll change your tune after the checks start rolling in. You gotta be able to get up every hour all night long to check the weather, go out to work after 3 hours sleep, and work 42 hours straight with no sleep at all. If you don't think you can handle that, don't even start and save your reputation. Your customers will pick up on your lack of enthusiasm and if you cut their lawns or do something else for them in the summer, you'll lose that business too!
 

Chuck Smith

2000 Club Member
Location
NJ
Craftsman is an off brand? Parts are readily available, for shipping right to your door. They don't make the blowers, but have them made by someone else. They just have them painted to spec, or the plastic colors to spec. I got a Craftsman roto tiller, and it's really a Weedeater brand. Like I said, I like the older ones as far as blowers go. The 1970's and 80's models. Sears doesn't make anything themselves. Take their tires for instance, I knew back in 1985 when I worked in the shop at my local Sears that all the tires were Michelin. Now they advertise that they are. I'm not saying that all Craftsman power equipment is good. What I'm saying is that A LOT of it is. If you get past the name, and look at the design, you will see much the same as the popular brands. All have the same Tecumseh cast iron bore engines. The same "sno hog" tires. The same disc drive that Ariens and Snapper uses. The only other parts you might need are bushings, and the drive disc (they wear out fast sometimes) that replaces the "real" gear box older machines had. That is, unless you break something by abusing the machine, or having it fall off the truck. I guess I am biased, I don't look so much at the brand of snow blower, as I do at the design. The brand of engine, size of auger, size of impeller. You will find more parts are made of steel on older machines. To me that is good, because I can weld steel. When a plastic part breaks, you need a new one, period. Seems all the new machines have plastic parts galore now. Sometimes plastic is good, and sometimes it's bad. Good plastic is the discharge chute. Bad plastic is the auger bushings that most new machines use, and the levers to engage the auger and drive. The older machines had auger <B>bearings</B>, with grease fittings. If you can fix little on a machine yourself, then a new plastic blower, with a dealer down the street is the way to go. Me, I'll stick with the oldies I can fix myself. Oh, and since that 5 HP craftsman blower was new, in 1986, all I've had to replace was drive belts, and the scraper bar on the bottom. I replaced the original spark plug in 1997, just because I figured it was time. The machine still started on the first pull. The machine went from "homeowner" use, to commercial use in 1992.

My grandfather had an "off brand" Yardman blower he got in 1967 from JC Penny. In 1977, he gave it to us because he moved to Florida. We used it until 1986, when we got the Craftsman. We gave the Yardman to my neighbor. My neighbor got up in years, and wanted a lighter machine, that he didn't have to pull start. He gave the 1967 Yardman to his son in law in 1993. Guess what? That 1967 Yardman is still used every year. At 20 years old, that little 5 HP blower I have worked the blizzard of 96 here, in 30"+ of snow. No troubles. So much for homeowner design. Like I said, would I buy any machine from any manufacturer based on the name? NO. IF you look closely, The new Yardman, and MTD are the same machine. I have a feeling they make them for many other manufacturers to put their name on as well. Who knows, the new Craftsmans may even be MTD in a different wrapper. Then again, they may be Ariens, or Snapper too. Just be more diligent looking at the design, and features, rather than the brand. Tecumseh are good engines, but so are Briggs and Kholer. Parts for these brands are available at ANY small engine shop.

The Toros are good machines. Expensive, but good machines.

~Chuck
 

HandyHaver

Senior Member
Location
Phila, Burbs
Craftsman looks like a nice machine but in the hp I was looking at, mtd had a bigger throw shoot. I would think this would be better for slush, newspapaers ect?? Am I thinking to much???
 

Chuck Smith

2000 Club Member
Location
NJ
Careful! A newspaper, well, a Sunday newspaper will jam any of the small machines. My friend's Toro 13HP shreds them right up, but a smaller machine, it will cause the auger to shear the shear pins, or jam it up. The chute size, well, height is important. More important is how steep the curve of it is, The steeper the curve, the harder it is for the impeller to throw snow. All of the newer machines have less of a curve than the older ones. This is good. As far as the HP, more is always better. Try to get the most HP for your money.

For slush, the HP makes the biggest difference, as well as the impeller diameter. The bigger the impeller, the more snow it will move. The more HP, the easier it can move the snow.

You might also want to check out Northern. They sell the same ones as Home Depot, for less. They offer free shipping on blowers too. The only ones I'd avoid buying, are the ones that have tracks instead of wheels. The only way to move them, is to start them up. More moving parts to wear out too.

http://www.northern-online.com

They have plow parts too, not OEM ones, but parts, They also sell the plow wings you've heard about. A good selection of grounds maint. tools in general too. You'll want to save that site to your favorites!

~Chuck
 

HandyHaver

Senior Member
Location
Phila, Burbs
Thanks Chuck, I will check them out. Have to make up my mind soon. I want to be ready to roll when that white stuff comes floating down to earth, looking forward to it. Have a few irons in the fire, but nothing in stone yet. Know alot of locals, drives, small lots, ect. Added plowing to my liability ins. policy today, not too bad. anyway thanks for your input!!

Mark
 

Chuck Smith

2000 Club Member
Location
NJ
Yes, because when I find something that works, and is good, I stick with it. When something "takes care" of me for 20 years, it means a lot to me. From work boots to jeans, to trucks, to power equipment, to tools. As far as that Craftsman blower, if it broke beyond repair tomorrow, would I buy another one? Maybe. Maybe not. I'd use what I've learned, to buy one that suits me. There's no one "brand" I'd rule out. In fact, I saw an Italian made one a few years back I'd consider. Much like the old Gravelys. More of a power unit. You can change implements. The blower it had on it was 100% stainless steel. I have a weakness for stainless steel. I know I'll be dead and buried before it rusts.

Oh, and I only worked at Sears for 6 months. That was long enough for me. It had nothing to do with why I have a Craftsman blower.

~Chuck
 

Lazer

Senior Member
fivestr19,

Congrats on your new plow. (8' SD Boss = most reliable, out-of-the-box pick-up plow manufactured, IMO)

As your cutter edge wears out, the mounting end will be higher and easier to mount on your truck. (We're talking fractions of inches here)

Myself, I put 3/4" cutter edges on all our trucks. They wear much longer, never crack and add strength to the bottom of the plow.
 
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