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New Snowbear Owner

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by sday88, Mar 14, 2007.

  1. sday88

    sday88 Member
    Messages: 59

    I recently bought a PS100 Snowbear from Home Depot and finally got it installed on my '97 Ford Ranger. (Just in time for Spring!) I have a 4.0L with a 5-speed and a 6" suspension lift. Like others, I've been lurking on here for a while trying to soak up information. I've got some questions that I hope you can help me with.

    I already asked about mounting with my lift on another thread, but I thought I'd revisit this one. I was told by Snowbear that the cross member should be 12"-15" from the ground for proper operation. Mine is 18" because of the lift but the blade still touches the ground. Is it now at a bad angle with the ground that will cause it to get hung up on things easier? It looks fine to me, but what do I know? Should I make lowering brackets to get it back to where it should be?

    I have a gravel driveway. Is it important to use skid shoes so that I don't scrape away gravel every time I plow? If so, how high should I set the blade above the ground?

    I've seen things like this on other threads: "crank your t-bars and add timbrens and maybe ballast". I have no clue what any of this means. Do I need to do something to prevent damage to my truck?

    My wife worked as a secretary for a fleet garage and when they would put plows on vehicles they were always concerned about the airbags. Do I need to be concerned about this? I would think not since the airbag sensors are in the bumper, correct, and the mounts are on the frame? If I start ramming snow do I need to worry about the aribags deploying?

    I think that's it for now. Any other general suggestions welcome. I think I'm actually kinda intimidated by this. It'll be a lot different than the little blade I have on my lawn tractor.


  2. snowfighter75

    snowfighter75 Senior Member
    Messages: 124

    If your truck is lifted it will change the angle of your mold board I know that for sure. It will want to dig in more. You'll want to put shoes on for sure and set them to help with this problem. As for where to set them I am not sure, you may have to test plow a couple of times to get it right. The air bag thing you are right the sensors are in the bumper so it shouldn't be a problem.
  3. cjcocn

    cjcocn Member
    Messages: 78

    Welcome to Plowsite, Congrats on your new plow, and hopefully I can provide some useful info ....

    When SnowBear reps told you that 12"-15" is optimal, I assume that they were referring to the angle of your frame that is directly attached to the plow (ie. that part of the frame that moves up and down when your plow does) in relation to the stationary portion of your frame (that portion that is directly attached to your truck frame and does not move up or down).

    Before I can be certain about it, I would have to look at mine once I get home. However, it sounds like they are concerned that, when your plow is in the down position on a lifted vehicle, the movable portion of your frame is not as in-line with the stationary portion of your frame.

    Think of it like this .... when your arm is straight, you can hold a certain weight for a certain time. When your arm is bent at the elbow, you can hold that same weight, but not for as long (probably). What will happen is your arm will give out at the elbow and the weight comes crashing down. In regards to your plow, if the angle is too severe then your frame may give out at the pivot point.

    hmmm .... I hope I am not as clear as mud on this point!

    snowfighter has a great point as well regarding the angle of the moldboard so I need not touch on that one.

    Prior to the ground freezing up, you should use skid shoes to keep the blade off of the ground, thereby reducing the amount of gravel that you remove each time you plow. Once the ground freezes, you can take the skid shoes off and should not remove much (if any) gravel as it will be one frozen mass.

    When I had my skid shoes on I set them so that my blade was approximately 1" above the ground. The idea is to keep the blade above the loose gravel (even if and when the shoes dig into the unfrozen gravel a bit).

    [/QUOTE]I've seen things like this on other threads: "crank your t-bars and add timbrens and maybe ballast". I have no clue what any of this means. Do I need to do something to prevent damage to my truck?[/QUOTE]

    T-bar = Torsion Bars. A bar that makes up a part of your suspension. You can turn it a certain direction to tighten up your suspension (stiffer ride), or turn it in the opposite direction to loosen up your suspension (softer ride).

    Timbrens = that rubber piece in your suspension that prevents the suspension from bottoming out "metal on metal."

    I just did a Yahoo image search on the two above items and found many online pics that would show you what they look like. Do an image search to get some visuals.

    Ballast = a weight (sandbags, salt bags, rails, etc) that is placed in the bed of a truck to counteract the weight of the plow and reduce the stress on the truck's front end (also increased traction). Generally ballast is placed behind the rear wheels (right up against the tailgate) to reduce the amount/weight of ballast required.

    CAUTION: When using ballast, try and secure it so that it does not fly around in the bed of your truck, or worse, fly through your rear window if you come to a very sudden stop. When I drove a 2WD truck I used concrete blocks, but built a wooden box for them to keep them from flying around and damaging me or my truck bed.

    I have airbags in my truck, but have no concerns about them deploying as I have a SnowBear as well and do not (well, try not to) hit anything hard enough where the airbags have been deployed. Please note: I am very inexperienced when it comes to plowing so when it comes to airbag concerns my words are probably only worth what you paid for them!

    Do not make any decision on airbags based on what I say. I am only telling you my (very limited) experience so far. Hopefully someone with some real experience will speak towards the airbag issue.[/QUOTE]


    I am new to plowing as well, and spend most of my time reading as opposed to offering suggestions. However, I will say that the more knowledge and experience you get, the less you will feel intimidated. Just keep reading and asking questions and you will learn as you go.

    A few things ....

    1. Push your snow piles back farther than you think you have to - SnowBears do not like frozen piles of snow. Pushing the piles back early on will leave you with more room later in the winter and will reduce the wear on your plow.

    2. If you ever think that your winch is failing, check the four bolts that hold the winch strap to the winch drum. Sometimes they get loose and will not turn your winch strap even though the drum is turning.

    3. Poke your head around the plow and frame every once in while to make sure that nothing is coming loose, breaking, etc.

    4. Buy a few spare bolts and pins to keep in the truck with you. That way if one breaks while you are out somewhere you should be able to replace it and keep on going. If your strap ever gives out, drive your plow into a pile of snow. That should cause it to lift enough to attach that tall C-looking bracket - that should keep your plow up until you get home (I carry rope, straps, chains, etc so I would secure mine using something else as well just to be sure.

    ..... okay, I'll shut up now. :D
  4. sday88

    sday88 Member
    Messages: 59

    Chris and snowfighter75:

    Thanks for all of the comments. I'm sure that by next Winter I'll have learned enough here to be dangerous.

  5. bdhunter

    bdhunter Senior Member
    Messages: 158

    Happy pushing with your new snowbear. Mine has been doing fine (just wrapping up its 2nd season with me).

    Tip coat your electrical connecions good with the electrician's silicone

    Tip if you don't care for that big switch banging agains your window, take a look at a DIY alternative. Just search for "BigUglySwitch" for some details.
  6. dboling

    dboling Junior Member
    from Poconos
    Messages: 17

    I'll finish up the mounting on mine tonight. There saying 6 - 7 inches for today and tomorrow. :)
  7. sday88

    sday88 Member
    Messages: 59

    I read that thread yesterday. The picture is a little hard to read. Looks good though. Another guy on this forum bought an ATV winch switch from eBay that looked good. That eBay seller now has one with a wireless remote that I might buy.
  8. 03SuperCrew330

    03SuperCrew330 Member
    Messages: 72

    My snowbear worked awesome, I just put a curtis on so I will have to sell it :cry:
  9. CrazyCooter

    CrazyCooter Senior Member
    Messages: 119


    Yes, you will want watch the angle of the plow due to your higher setup. Try plowing with it with frozen ground and see if it trips up. If it does, then, well, you get the idea.

    I never plow with shoes on my plow. I have a 8 1/2 fisher xblade. I plow 99% dirt drives. First plow is generally bumpy. Last plow, I end up raising the blade. Even with shoes and muddy conditions, the shoes will end up rutting the drive. Best just to go slow and keep an eye on blade height.

    I don't worry about airbags. Last storm was 14" and slush. Drives I would plow at 10 mph I had to plow at 25 mph and beat the poopola out of my truck. If there was ever a time my airbags would have gone off, it was this. It was dukes of hazzard version of plowing :)

  10. das fisch

    das fisch Junior Member
    from maine
    Messages: 25

    have you sold the bear yet? i've got an 05' colorado. if you still have it for sale, email me at drumaps2003@yahoo.com
  11. topdj

    topdj Senior Member
    Messages: 396

    ANYONE know what GAUGE the steel is on a snowbear Im thinking 16ga
  12. bryanj23

    bryanj23 Senior Member
    Messages: 135

    another tip

    Before plowing the first time, let some snow accumulate on your driveway and just drive over it and pack it down. The Snowbear isn't that heavy and won't cut through the packed snow to mess with the gravel. I had a gravel driveway at our old house and the Snowbear was just fine without shoes.