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New member, noob q's

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by Ewcelectric, Jan 9, 2015.

  1. Ewcelectric

    Ewcelectric Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    Hi there, new here have a couple questions I'd appreciate some insight

    Ok I'm looking at buying a plow for my residence. My driveway is not substantially long, about 150 ft then 90 degree turn and another 100 feet to the house. At the 90 degree turn there is another section that continues going straight 100 feet then turns 90 degrees and takes me to where my equipment is, trailers, trencher, tractor etc.. All gravel.

    This is my 3rd winter here, i built the house on a brand new lot, no trees. There is a ton of wind here. First winter used can am outlander with a plow. Was not up to the task. Snow blows, and drifts so hard it was too hard for the quad. (And its a POS). I bought a tractor with a loader which works ok when the weather is fair, but when it's cold, it's hard to start (even plugged in) it's hard to keep water contamination out of the hydraulics so that starts to freeze up as the winter continues, and no cab which is too hard on the operator.
    Now I'm looking at getting a plow. I have 3 trucks that could be used, all half tons. A 2001 ram which could stay a dedicated plow truck for the winter as its my garbage/acreage truck. Reg cab/long bed. However it's reliability is probably questionable. Next truck is 2009 ram crew cab 140" wb. That is my daily driver. Next is a 2013 ram crew cab, same truck as 09 essentially. That is my wife's daily driver. There's no set budget as I will be looking to make the switch for next winter. This is intended only for my personal use.
    Now with the info out that leads to questions.

    I'm not going to get into a which brand is best deal, but what sort of options should I be looking at getting given my outlined variables?

    Which truck/s should I use?
    I sometimes work out of town, so easy to mount/use for my wife is a consideration however there is a guy with a skid steer who has moved the snow when that has been the case in the past.

    Another factor is even though the driveway isn't too long I move snow and stack it along the north and west property lines to slow the wind down.

    Thanks in advance
  2. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 9,092

    Having persistent drifting issue's I would put up snow fence to help keeping the snow from settling into the driveway to start with.
    Out of the "3" 1/2ton Dodges you have the 2001 is a better design to handle a plow since it has a straight axel, more ground clearance (less likely to get stuck/hung up) and in the event of backing into something it's a beater. By putting a plow on the 2001 it sounds like it can be left on all winter which would make you wife happy and you're life easier when you're out of town. I would look at getting the reliability issues taken care of.

    Some things to consider is typical snow depths and your wife's ability's when it comes to running a plow. A V plow would take care of just about any scenario, drifting, deep/heavy snows and maybe the best route for your wife since there's less technique required when dealing with drifts/ deep snows. Where a straight blade you need to widdle away at the snow and constantly push it off to the side.
  3. Ewcelectric

    Ewcelectric Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    2001 has less ground clearance than my newer trucks. (But the bumper is higher) my newer trucks are levelled, and have larger tires. Probably a moot point though. Backing into something is considerable however it'd likely end up being the newer trucks I ended up backing into:realmad:
    The reliability, there are no issues per se. Just age, and unknown history. I thought a v would probably be nice but I'm probably pushing the limits of the truck. May be able to find a 3/4 ton between now and next snow season, if necessary.
    My wife has the ability, she has plowed her dads property (8 years ago) with his setup which is a flat top boss V, and she only would need to do the house lane.

    That Boss plow could possibly be available to me, (not to borrow) but would need a bigger truck, as it sits the front down on the 2, 3/4 ton trucks I have seen it mounted on. (Dodge, GM)

    Snow fence is not an option. I put up 50 feet that lasted ~ a week. That was well mounted with steel posts and rope through the top row of holes and bottom anchored. Wind shredded it. This year the snow fence is $1/ft. To do it all is 350ft.
  4. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 9,092

    Sounds like you wife is able which is a huge help to you.
    You can put a 7.6' Boss Flat top on a 2001 Ram 1500, there's a guy called maxwellp on here that ran one for years, you can search using his name to find pic's of what he had.

    If your wind is so bad it shredded your snow fence I would look into something a little more robust. I'm in wind country and planted Cedars and Spruces for a wind break/shelter belt and use wooden snow fence. IMO Wyoming seems to have a handle on how to deal with wind-snow. http://www.dot.state.wy.us/home/eng...ntenance_office/winter_research_services.html . It may seem like over kill but it works very well.
    If you plan to live where you're at you really need to manage the drifting otherwise you'll be fitting it all winter.
  5. Ewcelectric

    Ewcelectric Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    Ok I'll look into a smaller v
    Trees are planted, just takes time to grow.

    Have had trouble getting them established.
    First year they got sprayed and killed.
    Second year lost some to winter kill, couple to flooding, and some cultivator blight (from me).
    Last summer planted about 350 more. So hopefully they will be ok.

    Big kickass fence would be nice but once the fast growing trees establish it would be a bit redundant.
  6. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 9,092

    My tree were just whips about 8-12" tall when I planted them and build miniature wind barriers and staked them into the ground out of scrap wood to reduce winter kill the snow would settle in on top of the tree which watered them when it melted. The barriers wee V shaped, about 14-16" tall and the V was about 12" per leg or wing. Also had/have them on a drip to water and feed.

    The nice thing about snow fence is when the snow melts it becomes a source of water. We're in a arid part of the country and water is a resource we take seriously. My uncle has a ranch in Wyoming and he has snow fence set up in this pastures for collecting the run off to supply water holes for his cattle. I use the same approach but for watering my trees. Obviously this source is only good in the spring but it's free water.
  7. Ewcelectric

    Ewcelectric Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    Other than a v is there other options/features I should be looking for?
  8. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 9,092

    Just a good source for parts, preferably local. If buying used look for tweaked A frames, tweaked mold boards, corrosion on electrical components, rust bubbles in paint and welded/repaired areas. Also make sure a truck mount is available for which ever truck you decide to mount the plow on. You may luck out and find a used plow with the correct mount. I'd stick with Boss, Western, Fisher or Artic (being in Canada).
  9. leolkfrm

    leolkfrm PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,980

    no budget?....spend $30,000 on a decent compact tractor with cab and front mount blower
  10. Ewcelectric

    Ewcelectric Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    No set budget does not mean no budget

    If I had 30k to spend I'd never move my own snow again
  11. allagashpm

    allagashpm Senior Member
    Messages: 797

    My opinion I would put a small v on the older ram. Just have it be a dedicated plow truck even after it is no longer road worthy you keep it to plow your yard. Lots of people do that here
  12. allagashpm

    allagashpm Senior Member
    Messages: 797

    Also considering the drifting I wouldn't bother with a straight blade but that is just me. On a big storm drifts can be over 5 feet. During a blizzard I plowed through a 6 foot drift (only did it because I could see bare pavement on the other side). Not saying you cant use a straight lots of guys do, but the drifting makes it worth it
  13. Ewcelectric

    Ewcelectric Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    It has not been my experience to see drifts that large in my yard yet. But as trees grow and winds blow it's hard to say what could happen. I know the drifts get rock hard. That's for sure. It's very apparent that a v is the way to go. The old truck is fine to stay on the plow for me but it cannot become a derelict as the municipality would tell me to fix or remove. Which is fine as I do use it on road from time to time. 8 foot box is nice.
    Boss dealer fairly close, quoted 6k for a 7.6 v with control and mount. That is not a flat top though, no longer available. Does that seem right? Used flat top 7.6 for sale 4500 with everything ( wrong truck though). Is the used one overpriced or do they hold their value that well?
  14. leolkfrm

    leolkfrm PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,980

    but you can use the tractor for 4 seasons instead of one
  15. Ewcelectric

    Ewcelectric Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    I can use a truck 4 seasons too.
    If you are comparing the tractor to the snow plow than that's a silly comparison. Compare the plow to the blower. Same amount of use per year. Probably less since I have all crushed stone so I'd have to back drag the snow with the blower till it was frozen enough that I didn't fling rocks. Don't really want to do that.

    I never asked about a 30k tractor for a reason
    I own an 80 hp tractor with a loader already. To replace it I would need similar size tractor to replace it with, or buy all new brush hog, deep tiller, hoe drill, baler, etc... 30k would turn into 60k real quick. I already own outright all my equipment with the exception of the 2013 ram. I explained in my original post why I did not enjoy using the tractor in winter. Summertime activities with the tractor are irrelevant to the questions I asked.

    I asked about truck mounted plows. Not compact tractors. I am not going into debt, and paying interest to replace something I already have for some small creature comforts.
    I said no set budget since its intended for next winter. I have 10 months to save my pennies for this, thus the budget will be increasing until I buy a plow.

    But since you could not stay on topic, I have to write a story book explaining my situation. I appreciate input, but I appreciate it more if it stays on topic.
  16. jrs 94

    jrs 94 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    Here you go, outfit the old truck , preferably with a used plow, you have a year to find one. If it gets ratty looking park it inside to solve the municipality concern. That way its always ready if you need it, plow on, battery minder on, ready for use. Normal daily drivers unaffected. Did this very thing for years with a 79 Blazer. Good luck.
  17. allagashpm

    allagashpm Senior Member
    Messages: 797

    That seems high for a 7'6 but thats just me. I think I paid 6 for a 92 vxt installed. The used one is priced high too. Call the dealer you'll be surprised how much it costs for the mount wiring and install you will quickly be looking at close to the same price as new
  18. Ewcelectric

    Ewcelectric Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    I'm in Canada, so we do pay more here.
    They told me installation $750
    I didn't get into dickering over price since I was not prepared to buy it while talking to them, so I don't know if the dealer price is firm or not.

    That used one, it looked ok but for that price it would have to be new old stock for me to buy it. IMO. Too close to new price considering having to buy a mount.
  19. NoProblem

    NoProblem Member
    Messages: 68

    I was sort of in the same situation Brent, I was using my old (1985) JCB1550 to plow, and like you it did the job no problem - but it absolutely, positively and unequivocally hates cold weather. Again like you, my Honda Rancher could handle some of the snow but was basically useless on drifts or hard packed snow over about 3 or 4 inches.

    Anyway, here's what I did: http://www.plowsite.com/showthread.php?t=155939

    I have not gotten enough snow yet to put it to a real test, but I think a straight blade on a 1500 for personal use will suit you perfectly.

    Thankfully most of the posters here are experienced commercial plowers with a wealth of knowledge they freely give, and I've noticed that they pretty much always lean to V blades, but for what you are going to plow, I bet you'd be really happy with the less expensive straight blade on one of your 1500s - just decide which one you want the plow to go on and look for a blade that fits that truck.

    After all, you are only plowing what, less then 500 feet of drive way? Go on YouTube and look at what some of those Ford Rangers, Chevy Blazers, Jeeps and other trucks smaller than a 1500 are pushing around - maybe after seeing what they push you won't think you actually even want a V blade, especially if you don't wait till you have 6 foot drifts till you plow.

    All that being said, I have a 1500 with a blade that functions really well, but almost a month since winter officially began, I've only plowed with it 3 times - and the deepest so far was about 3 inches - hardly deep enough to be worth plowing.
  20. Ewcelectric

    Ewcelectric Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    Thanks for the response.
    I read your thread, my father in law had to do the same on his GM 2500 with his boss. Now he no longer uses it. Maybe 2 seasons on it. Lol. I'd really like to get it but it's a 9.2 v, and I'm sure the brother in law would make sure I got no deal ( or plow)
    I have no doubt a straight blade on my truck would be better than what I use now.

    This was a drift overnight last winter.