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Plow for F250 & F350

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by wxmn6, May 30, 2001.

  1. wxmn6

    wxmn6 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,037

    I am thinking about getting a used Ford F250 or F350. I am not sure if I should buy those truck with plow on it already or not. If an used truck have a plow on it, it mean that it had been worn, but sell for less money. A truck that never plowed should last longer. What do you suggest me to buy, an used F250 & F350 truck with used plow on it or a truck without plow on it and buy a new plow for it?
  2. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,224

    It all depends if that will be your primary truck or not.If it's going to be your primary or every day driver for work I would go for a 350 that had not plowed plus get get a diesel.If your going to get it as a back up truck then get it with the plow to save on the expense of a new plow set up ,but it always help if you know who had the truck before.Any truck that comes with a plow have a good mechanic look at it .But if you can always try to buy a truck that hasn't plowed or been towing something.A F350 is the best truck for your $$ if your going Ford don't get me wrong a 250 would be fine to but the 350 gives you just that little bit more capacity when hauling. Good luck and let me know how you make out.
  3. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    I'd suggest an F350 for this reason: The TTB (Twin Traction Beam) front end on the F250 isn't as strong as the straight axle in the F350 - an important consideration if you're going to be hanging a plow on the front end of the truck.

    Last winter I got to crawl under an F250 and weld one of the traction beams (actually more of a square tube) after it cracked across the bottom & up both sides. Good thing the customer spotted it then - had it let go while driving/plowing it would have been a LOT more expensive to repair.

    Cat320's got a good point regarding main vs backup truck - start looking now at both options while there's still lots of time before snow season.
  4. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    But Chevy don't MAKE an F350! :)

    I know, I'm being a wiseguy now, but I just had to say that.

    JD PLOWER PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 751

    WXMN6, I have to agree with cat on this, if its your everyday driver go for the 350 diesel. You are correct to look at a truck that if used, hasn't been plowed with. Our company has purchased 4 trucks over the last seven years, all used, some with plows some without. The trucks that are used on an everyday basis are diesels and did not come with plows. The trucks that are only used for snowplowing are gassers and all came with plows.
  6. wxmn6

    wxmn6 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,037

    May I ask why it is better to go with diesel F350 than regular? Also, some F350 comes with long 8' bed, and I don't know if it is not good for plowing. I think I heard that a shorter bed is better for plowing. I am not planning on doing sanding.

    JD PLOWER PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 751

    If this vehicle is an everyday driver than a diesel is worth it for mileage alone! Also all ford 250's an up come with at least a 133" wheel base. If your looking for a short box, I would go with a dodge 1500, solid axle (last year for it though)big v-8 gasser, if you don't mind the gas mileage. To find out why a diesel, go to Ford-Diesel.com.
  8. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    Diesel advantage: Better mileage with (currently) less-expensive fuel.

    With regard to pickup bed length, obviously a shorter truck will be handier in tight areas like small residential driveways. That's the only way I can see bed length affecting the plowing ability of the truck. The kind of plowing you plan to do (commercial/industrial vs residential) will be a factor here: Crewcabs and/or big duallys are great for pushing snow in large, open lots, but not much fun in a small driveway! For all-around use, a regular cab pickup with 8' bed is a good compromise. (I'm thinking strictly "plowing" here!)

    Does Ford make a 350-series truck with a short bed? I didn't think they did.

    Hey JD - you answered my question regarding truck bed length while I was still postin' - so I had to do an "edit" on myself and add this line!
    Last edited: May 30, 2001
  9. wxmn6

    wxmn6 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,037

    I think that I will stick to F350 rather than F250. I noticed that some F350s comes with 351 engine and some comes with 460 engine. Some F250s comes with 351 engine. So I would like to know what is the difference between F250 and F350 if both have 351 engine? Is there a big difference between 351 and 460 engine? Because I am looking through the ads and saw some F350 with 351 engines and am not sure if it is fine to buy a F350 with 351 engine. I know that most of you would recommend 460 engine but there is not much F350s in ads that will meet my preference. I would like F350 with SRW, not dually, 8 foot bed, regular cab is preferred but extended will be fine, 100K miles or less, very little or no rust. I am searching for an used F350 and plan on using it for just plowing, not for daily driving. I want a good used F350 that will last for at least 10 or 15 years because again, it will be used only for plowing. Diesel or gas engine will not be a concern since it would only be used for plowing. Also, I am not sure what model years I should buy. I am thinking between from 1987 to 1997 model years because that is what Fisher Minute Mount will fit. Is there a specific model years between those years that is recommended or something I should avoid? I am willing to spend 8K or less, for an used truck that never plowed. Any suggestions will be appreciated.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2001
  10. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    I'm not able to answer all your questions (I'm mostly a Chev/GMC dude! ;) ) but with regard to the F250/350 comparison, the F350 will have a straight front axle (Dana 60 I believe) which, in my opinion, is a stronger & better front end configuration than the TTB arrangement used in the F250 (as per earlier post, I got to crawl under & reconstruct a TTB axle tube last winter in customer's UNHEATED garage) Not saying that the F350 front end is indestructible, but I do think it's better.

    351 is a "small block" engine, 460 is a "big block". As far as I know, they're both good engines. Obviously, more cubic inches = more power but for plowing I think a 351 should provide plenty of motivation. Can't say for certain, but I don't believe the difference in fuel mileage will be too drastic between the 351/460 when you're out plowin'.

    And I think you're right with wanting SRW as opposed to a dually (more "bite" for traction).

    Oh, one other thing - I imagine you'll want an automatic trans due to all the forward/reverse of plowing, if you do make sure it's got a good heavy-duty trans cooler.

    JD PLOWER PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 751

    WXMN6, if 8k is your price range I'd say to stick with something in the 87-91 years . Buying a truck in that time span that has'nt been plowed should be easier to find than one that has. The only trucks I have ever had have been Fords. A couple of things to watch out for with trucks of this age are cracked exhaust manifolds and oilpan leaks or sparkplugs that have rusted right into the heads. This may not be that much of a problem with trucks that haven't been out plowing however so this is another reason to go for a non-plow truck. My last truck was a 95 f-350 351 4x4, it was a good truck for snowplowing but it can't compare to my 97 diesel. As with any used vehicle check as best you can to be sure it wasn't abused (towing) and if you decide to buy a diesel have it checked by a certified disel tech if you can. Good luck shopping!
  12. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    WXMN6 I thought you were looking at smaller trucks? My vote is always for the 350 over a 250.
  13. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,224

    One bit of advice don't get the 460 you will spend more time and money at the pump.I had it in a '95 350 and it sucked down the gas like crazy but it could push snow like it was not even there.But I would still recomend the diesel but that might be hard to get in your price range.
  14. wxmn6

    wxmn6 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,037

    CT18fireman - Actually the only truck that I own right now is a '89 Toyota. I use it for daily driving and I don't feel comfortable using it for plowing even through it is a good truck. I thought that I would rather buy a bigger used truck for plowing only. Then in a few years when I should be able to afford a new bigger truck for my daily driving to job sites, I could get a small plow for my Toyota as a back up and use it for very small driveways and sidewalks. So I am not getting rid of the whole idea of getting a plow for my Toyota. Thanks for your suggestions for the plow set up for my Toyota.
  15. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    I would definetely get the F350,I wouldnt plan on it lasting 10-15 yrs of plowing,unless you buy new now,and dump a ton of money into it in the last 6 yrs.Plow trucks rust out,and just dont last that long unless you on top of kepping them real clean,and that is not practial in most winters.Id rather work it harder,so it males you more money and replace it sooner,so you keep your truck fairly modern,and reliable.The pre-99 diesel/auto is not a good powertrain for plowing,tranny trouble is a big problem on them,get a gasser/auto or a deisel /5 speed.

    DYNA PLOW Senior Member
    Messages: 295

    the guys are correct on the f350 havin a solid front axle, i plowed with a 94f250 351v8, good plow truck really moved snow however it has the twin traction beam (weaker) front axle. i will save you alot of time and agravation by telling you to change the trans fluid in your auto trans atleast twice ina winter season if you plow alot.
    those damn e40d transmissions do not like to be abused! i went thru 2 of them allready! and remember to come to a complete stop before shifting gears.