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Plow Setup

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by pawsoff, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. pawsoff

    pawsoff Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    Hey guys, I have a 2000 Dodge Ram 1500 with a 7.5 Fisher HD straight plow. I do one commercial lot and about 10 driveways. I know the plow is a bit heavy for the 1/2 ton and I am wondering how much ballast I should run? I believe the plow weight is 700-800lbs.
    This is my 2nd season plowing and I am looking to set the truck up a bit better. So far I have not adjusted the torsion bar, added heavier springs to the front or have run ballast. I have always got the job done but why not make things easier?

    1) I am looking for suggestions on how much weight to add to the rear? over the axle or behind it?

    2) If I upgraded the front springs to a used set from a Dodge Ram 2500 would that suffice?

    3) How much turns should I crank up the Torsion bar?

    Your advice is appreciated
  2. maverjohn

    maverjohn Senior Member
    Messages: 902

    Welcome to plow site, As for ballast, I'd try about 500# and adjust from there.
  3. bizzo15

    bizzo15 Senior Member
    Messages: 107

    Isn't a 2000 dodge half ton still a solid axle truck? If so just swap out some springs from a 2500 and that should help it carry the weight better. Ballast is always a good idea. I'm running 500lbs in my chevy 1/2 ton this year to see if it helps carry the plow better.
  4. pawsoff

    pawsoff Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    Thanks for the replies. I did just double check and yes the 94-2001 dodge rams have solid front axles.
    I can pick up a used set of 2500 diesel springs for about $50, so I think that it would be a good choice.

    Any thoughts on how many turns I should give the torsion bars?
  5. OC&D

    OC&D PlowSite Veteran
    from Earth
    Messages: 3,064

    Totally unrelated, but that's a good looking Giant.
  6. KSikkema

    KSikkema Senior Member
    Messages: 179

    don't touch the torsion bars until you see how much the new springs will raise the front
  7. bizzo15

    bizzo15 Senior Member
    Messages: 107

    Am I still missing something? Since when did solid front axles have torsion bars???
  8. pawsoff

    pawsoff Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    After some looking around, you are correct, a solid front axle does not seem to have a torsion bar.
    When I was looking around earlier posts that was a method that some had suggested to help with the weight of the plow but I guess that is not an option I can use with a SFA. Thanks for making me aware :)
  9. Banksy

    Banksy PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,113

    :dizzy: :laughing: Thumbs Up
  10. bizzo15

    bizzo15 Senior Member
    Messages: 107

    That's fine, you're one of the lucky ones who has a 1/2 ton with a SFA. Easiest way to help with the weight of the plow is some 3/4 ton coil springs and ballast in the bed
  11. pawsoff

    pawsoff Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    I have been looking at ballast options and I can get a cement block that has an integrated lift loop built into the top of it, for getting it on and off the truck.
    What I am stuck at, is how to secure that ballast into the truck (over the rear axle) without making the rest of the bed unusable (snowblower) or the ballast unsafe.
  12. jhall22guitar

    jhall22guitar PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,056

    My dads plow we built a wood frame that ran from the front of the bed to the back directly next to the wheel wells, and went to the same height as the bed rails and filled it with stuff to use for ballast. the wood frame was almost a H design. Worked well, but you have to get creative for the ballast.
  13. KEC Maintaince

    KEC Maintaince Senior Member
    from N.J.
    Messages: 265

    use some sand bags a lot safer then usin a concrete block or something that could become a danger if you get into an accident
    also heavier coil springs up front will help with the weight of the plow
    i use 300 lbs in back of my truck with no plow just to stop it from sliding around.
  14. MarkEagleUSA

    MarkEagleUSA Senior Member
    Messages: 335

    Ballast needs to be behind the rear axle, not over it. It's used as a counterweight to take weight off the front axle. If you place it over or in front of the rear axle it actually places more weight on the front axle.
  15. pawsoff

    pawsoff Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    I did a bit of reading on that and its seems as though you are correct. Behind the rear axle to help balance out plow weight, over rear axle if not running any gear and need some traction help.

    KEC Maintainence
    I think sandbags could be a safety hazard as well if not secured right.
  16. KEC Maintaince

    KEC Maintaince Senior Member
    from N.J.
    Messages: 265

    yes but they lay flatter in the bed then blocks or something like that.
    people use a lot of diffrent things.
    i use bagged salt and calcium i also have a tonneau cover on my bed and i mount the blowers and walk behind spreader in a carry all in the hitch this way the stuff stays dry.
    this set up works for me
  17. peterng

    peterng Senior Member
    Messages: 249


    Good to see another east coast kid here, welcome !

    I have 2 of those 4' x 6' 1" thick rubber matts from the tire recycling facility in Minto. I get them here in Fredericton from Dan at Quarry Landscaping. They are about 100lbs each.

    Then I have 2 top locking boxes that sit on those mats left and right at the rear of the bed. One holds 5 50lb bags of sand and the other holds 5 bags of Magnesium Chloride. They have never moved on those mats but I don't ram er to hard. My Toros and push spreader fit in between them, shovels at the front of the bed.

    I found bags of sand turn into bricks of sand that are half ripped open at the end of the year.

  18. pawsoff

    pawsoff Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    Nice gear and nice website, I just checked it out.

    My Brother (the mechanicaly talented one) and I are working on an upgrade for my plow and should be able to finish it off mostly today, I will let you all know how it turns out.
  19. DuraBird02

    DuraBird02 Member
    Messages: 76

    I have taken a small tarp, laid one end of it in the bed, put some bags of solar salt in there, then wrapped the tarp back over the bags and strapped the bundle down. that has worked really well for me, plus i can use the salt after plow season in my water softner.
  20. leolkfrm

    leolkfrm PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,978

    I use tractor suitcase weights inside a 2x4 frame behind the axle....then cover it with plywood to keep the bed usable