The "best" is the brand that's sold locally, for dealer support. A good 7.5' blade for the front will run about $3500 to $4000. Can't help you on the back blade. I wouldn't advise putting anything on a truck that's been lifted 8". Advise - go buy a used truck with any brand of plow on it. Get some experience plowing your own driveway and a couple of friends'. At 16, you can't plow commercially anyway.
Why can't he plow commercial at 16? I did. Is that some sort of law in Indiana?
Depending on the suspension lift is may be be heavy enough to handle a plow. At 8 inches you are pretty high but I have seen people put plows on F350s with small lifts and that probably works out to about the same height. It may be possible to combine some parts to do this but in the long run may be better off buying a truck just to plow with.
As far as I know, the state wouldn't matter, he wouldn't be able to get commercial insurance (General Liability) or Commercial Vehicle insurance. Your regular insurance won't cover the truck while you're plowing for pay. No business would (should) hire someone to plow unless they were insured.
CT18Fireman is right about the 4x4. Some guys have said they do ok with a 2wd if they don't have any hills to climb. A good used truck with a plow will depend on location, but around here you could expect to pay at least $7,000 for an "inspectable" 1/2 ton 4x4. Usually the plow just goes with it. I usually figure at least $10,000 for something reliable. Again, it depends a lot on location. Around here, used trucks with plows are common as flies.
You might want to take off a wheel from each side of the DRW. Some have said they get better traction that way.
If I remember correctly, Indiana is mostly flat. I was out there in '79 for the Indy. 2 wheel drive would probably work OK for most snows, provided you have limited slip. The heavy storms might give you trouble, you'd want a set of chains and ballast out back. I do a lot of my municipal plowing in 2 wheel drive but have to use 4x4 on the mountain run and heavy wet snow. Mick is right, you'll get better traction by removing one wheel from each side, but don't overload the remaining tires.
I can't recommend plowing with a lifted truck, especially to the degree you describe. There are some who will argue against me, but lifted trucks screw with the designed geometry of your plow frame, putting different forces outside of design strength to different areas of the plow and truck frame. Try a search here on lifted trucks, you'll get some other opinions from both sides.
I did too back in 1973 but times were different, nobody sued you for looking at them funny .
As for plolwing with a 10" lift you can do it, I did it with a 8" lift on a 1972- CJ-5 with a Meyer plow all I did was Fab side brackets to lower the bottom mount to the correct height & added a couple of links of chain . I took the brackets & bottom mount off in the summer so I could race off road & not get hung-up.
I think you would be alot better off buying a used plowtruck.Being from sw Mi.I know you can get some big time snow.If you plan on doing this for any length of time
look for a 3/4 ton plow truck.And if you plan on doing commercial plowing I would say buy a boss v plow.Hope this helps.
Now I'm curious. Can a 16 year old get both Commercial Liability and General Liability insurance? I had understood from talking to my insurance agent that no commercial insurance underwriter would write such a policy. Then, how about you employers? Would you hire a person under 18? How about as a sub?
That's a good question Mick.I know here in sw mich.no sub would hire somebody unless they are at least 18 and then you better know the right person.Insurance is pretty costly to start with but being 16,WOW you are takling big bucks if you can even get it.Then some of the towns you have to get a license to plow res.or comm.I think he would be better off just buying a used plow truck and do res.
My recollection (and I'm recollecting from driver's education, which was a long time ago), is that at least here in PA, you're not allowed to drive commercially (meaning "for pay", not just a "commercial" class of vehicle), until you're 18. Also, I'm having vague recollections of 16 and 17 year old drivers having to be home by midnight. Not sure if that's changed either...
N.Y. was (is?) similar, you got a Jr. license from age 16 through 17, and had a 9:00 pm curfew. If you kept your nose clean, it became a Sr. license at age 18 with no restrictions, and you were permitted to start drinkin'. Remember when ???