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My Version of Dog's Ballast Retainer

Discussion in 'Equipment, Tools & Vehicle Pictures' started by k1768, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. k1768

    k1768 Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 556

    Since I do not have the tools or skills to work with rebar, I used wood. I built this in the fall and so far it has been working well.
    I was after ballast not counterweight, so I built this with the weight concentrating over the wheels rather than behind the axle. I have since added turn buckles from the wood to the bed tie-downs to make sure they stay put. Each side has three 70# bags of tube sand.
    I will likely modify it slightly next year, extending the length to allow one more tube further towards the rear. The current design also goes into the bed area a little more than it needs to, so I may adjust that dimension as well.
    All in all I'm very happy with the functionality of it and how it keeps the rest of the bed open and usable. Previous years I would strap a pallet of brick or salt down, rendering the bed unusable for the season.

    Thanks to Dog for the inspiration!

  2. derekslawncare

    derekslawncare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,003

    Cool. Quick, easy and can be removed in a flash if need be.
  3. BC Handyman

    BC Handyman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,943

    where do you get tube sand? tube steak sounds better lol
  4. k1768

    k1768 Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 556

    Last edited: Feb 4, 2015
  5. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    I knew you Canadians were a little funny.
  6. Dogplow Dodge

    Dogplow Dodge PlowSite Veteran
    from NJ
    Messages: 3,699


    Thanks for the compliment. I love mine. Im so glad i made them. Theyve been perdect sice install. The bags freeze and cant be taken out, but thats fine by me. Spring will be here soon enough

    Maybe ill make you a set in the summer....if you pay me, that is.... :laughing:

    You like tube steak. ? Really. ? ? ?

    I had no idea you flew that way....and i dont want to know any details...thanks:help:

    Glad we got that cleared up....:rolleyes:

    Go figure... Its always the fat chicks and gay dudes i attract...why cant it be smoking hot women ???? I think its time to jump off a high bridge.... Good bye cruel world!...

  7. k1768

    k1768 Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 556

    Thanks for the offer, but I also prefer how my design does not require any holes to be drilled into my (currently) 6 month old truck.

    That's not to say that I hadn't considered asking if you were interested in making/selling me a set.
  8. Dogplow Dodge

    Dogplow Dodge PlowSite Veteran
    from NJ
    Messages: 3,699

    I didn't drill any holes except for the rear flange by the tailgate. I used existing holes and bolted them in place. Keep that in mind for any future redesigning, or hiring some schmuck to make you a set...:eek:
  9. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    That's because you drive a Dodge ,like gp and get stuck with guys like Randy pushing hot dogs.
  10. Plow_king

    Plow_king Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 41

    I actually just saw tube sand at Lowe's and was thinking hmm that would make great ballast.
  11. k1768

    k1768 Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 556

    When I was looking for it both Home Depot and Blowes did not show any at stores near me. Closest one I found at the time was NE Phila. No way I was going there.
  12. icebreaker

    icebreaker Member
    Messages: 83

    Don't bother with tube sand bags are junk and fall apart easy. Buy their play sand its white sand bags are plastic but mine have lasted 4 yrs , have them in all my trucks
  13. kimber750

    kimber750 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,681

    Nice work but isn't ballast supposed to be behind the axle and not on top of it? I use bags of gravel for ballast, this way at the end of the season I just spreader in my gravel lot.
  14. k1768

    k1768 Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 556

    My understanding of the physics involved:
    "Ballast" puts weight over the axle which increases traction.
    "Counterweight" turns the rear axle into a fulcrum shifting weight from the front axle to the rear.
    While this will also aid in traction, my truck/plow combination (as per BOSS) does not "require" counterweight. Taking too much weight off of the front axle can actually be detrimental because you are taking traction away from the steering wheels.

    For the above reasons, I have chosen to add ballast, rather than counterweight. I am well aware that this topic is as argumentative as chain lift vs direct, plow fluid vs atf, edge trip vs full trip, plowing with a half ton, and many other hotly debated topics. I have no desire to add fuel to any fire; I simply wanted to show how I took what I thought was a good design and tweaked it to match my abilities and needs.
  15. kimber750

    kimber750 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,681

    Not trying to argue. Ballast is by definition a counterweight. Ships use ballast to sit lower to counter a top heavy load. Sailing ship use ballast to counter the force of the wind. This way they don't just blow over. You can think of water line as the fulcrum point. Now the point of ballast in plow trucks is to counter the weight of the plow on the front axle. By adding weight over and forward of rear axle you are actually adding weight to the front axle. By all means do as you wish.. Thumbs Up

    Now I have never read the install instructions for Boss but all others I have installed clearly state when ballast is required it is to be placed as far behind the rear axle as possible.

    I haven't noticed all threads arguing about ballast vs counterweight maybe you can point me to a few of them. :salute:
  16. k1768

    k1768 Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 556

    Did not think you were trying to argue. I see this site as a good place to exchange ideas and I welcome opinions, otherwise I would not post.

    I've positioned the bags to be as centered over the top of the axle as possible. There is some spill over to the front and rear. I do see your point that any to the front would add some to the front axle. This was why I mentioned I would likely tweak the design next year to extend further back.

    I did not mean to imply that all threads discussing ballast/counterweight were argumentative, but I'm pretty sure there were a few.

    Below is a screenshot from the BOSS selector website for my truck/plow configuration, which shows BOSS does not "require" the need for "ballast" to take weight off of the front axle.

  17. kimber750

    kimber750 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,681

    Thumbs Up Agree if no ballast is required then put it where you want it. Maybe it should be called traction modifier instead of ballast. :laughing:
  18. SnoFarmer

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

    ^ I see you got a new spoon.;)

    It would be nice if some of the plow MFG's knew how to use a dictionary.
    From a technical perspective, most would agree that when we say "ballast" we really mean counterweight.

    I dont use ballast as my truck is not a boat or a hot air balloon.

    How can i place it below the center of gravity.
    hang it under the truck?

    any dense heavy material, such as lead or iron pigs, used to stabilize a vessel, esp one that is not carrying cargo
    crushed rock, broken stone, etc, used for the foundation of a road or railway track
    coarse aggregate of sandy gravel, used in making concrete

    A counter weight is a weight that is placed such as to have a balancing effect.

    1. A weight used as a counterbalance.
    2. A force or influence equally counteracting another.

    and i believe this carcase is right next to.
    what tires are best.
    best plow.
    best truck.
    best fluid.
  19. k1768

    k1768 Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 556

    I can agree to that. :drinkup:
  20. k1768

    k1768 Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 556

    I can certainly agree to that. Like calling a relay a solenoid.