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Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by mayhem, Aug 28, 2006.

  1. mayhem

    mayhem PlowSite.com Addict
    from Peru MA
    Messages: 1,016

    Glad I found this place.

    I've been plowing my own place for a season ater receiving a free plow truck from my brother (85 GMC 3/4 ton with Fischer 7'6" plow) and after a couple minor incidents have gotten fairly confident at it. Unfortunately my truck is now dead nd I'm looking at replacing it with a newer truck that can actualyl be registered and I ahve a few general questions for the guys in the know.

    - I'm sure Ford/GMC and 1/2 ton or 3/4 ton have been beaten to death. For a single driveway I'm going to venture that it probably doesn't matter much beyond "running with good plow blade". I'm tentatively looking more towards 3/4 ton GM products with the extended cabs (2000 or newer) due to the significantly more generous rear seats than the Ford offerings, but if I see the right Ford or Dodge for the right price I'll grab it.

    - I'm not planning on going into the plowing business. I already have a career and I'm doing this to save the cash layout I was paying to my plow guy...plus its alot of fun.

    My question is regarding the plow. I'm looking at buying a plow used if the truck I find doesn't ahve one already and I was wondering how do I know what I need to get. If the truck already has a set of quick mount brackets but the brand of plow is unknown how do I find out if I need a Fischer or Western or Boss or whatever? I only need a light duty plow...7 1/2 foot should be plenty to do my driveway and I don't think I need any wings or anything too fancy apart from a hydrauliclly adjustable blade, right?

    Whats the general consensus on the poly blades? I see more and more mention of them here...are they as long lived as the steel blades? Lower TCO? Durable enough to push the snowbanks at the end of my driveway like I did last year with the GMC or is flexing the plastic a real concern?

    Any plow brands or models I should either look for or avoid? I'm guessing for general homeowner purposes it comes down to a question of availability and cost more than any particualr features one offers over another.

    Last question. I'll need to get rid of my old rig. Am I better off stripping the old plow off the truck and selling it outright or maybe better off by selling it as a whole unit. Truck is in good running order, but has a blown (split in two really) transfer case so it will not move under its own power.

    Thanks in advance for your advice.
  2. Tommy10plows

    Tommy10plows Senior Member
    Messages: 345

    the old one

    tell us about your current truck, what died on it, as well as your current plow set up, who made it, condition, what lift do you use, is it power angle, etc.
  3. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    There are three major groups of components to be concerned with - The mounting hardware that is attached to the truck; The wiring and: The moldboard/A frame. All need to be compatable with the others unless you really know what you're doing to mix and match.

    To find out what mounting system is on the truck - unless there are emblems or it's stamped on, you just need to "know" by looking at it what brand it is. There have been several threads here where people posted a picture of a plow wondering what it is and the guessing games started. My advice would probably be to use the plow you've got even if it means buying truck-side components for it. Different models of the same brand are not interchangeable as styles changed.

    As for plow brand - all brands have their advantages and disadvantages. Decide what's most important to you between cost, reliability, manual vs power angle, straight blade vs V-plow and so on. Make a list and then get the plow that best fits your list.
  4. mayhem

    mayhem PlowSite.com Addict
    from Peru MA
    Messages: 1,016

    85 GMC 3/4 ton. 350, 3 speed auto, manual locking hubs, about 120k. Spent the last 10 years as my brother's pickup and he always ran it hard and put it away wet...unfortunately also over a muddy area so there's rust aplenty. Enough that its been running about $500/yr to keep an inspection sticker on it. Sheared the rear driveshaft this spring when I went to move it from its winter spot to a dry spot for the summer. Found a replacement shaft at a junkyard, installed it and the transfer case split right in 2. At that point I decided that no matter how much time and money I put into it I'll still have a beat up truck that I can't drive on the road so I'm going to get a decent used truck instead.

    Plow is a 7 1/2 foot Fischer rig. Straight blade, hydraulic pump under the hood, up/down, left/right rams...in pretty good shape considering its a good 20 years old.