Plowing with Small Trucks or SUV's

I currently have a 89 Ford f350 with Western 8foot plow. I would like to have a small truck or SUV with plow to do small areas and driveways. Small areas like Dairy Mart, Speedways, something with tight turn radius. I'm thinking of Toyota Tacoma's or Isuzu Troopers. Something like that. What do you think I could go with
 

75

PlowSite.com Addict
The "search" feature! ;)

And no, that wasn't intended as a smart you-know-what comment, I'm serious. Try a search using "toyota", I found a number of threads (a couple of pages worth) of which quite a few deal with compact trucks & SUV's.

And, you'll have answers right there to read. :)

Of course, after reading all the info there will probably be more specific questions raised - post 'em here!
 

Alan

PlowSite.com Addict
S stands for Stout!

I'm running two of the early style (prior to 93) S-10s, with a third coming online this year. Two short bed, standard cab pickup models and one four door Blazer. 4.3L V-6, auto in them, 3.42 gears, 3.73 would be nicer for pushing. The kicker is that I'm also running 8 foot plows, Series 25 Sno-Way. I know this will generate howls of indignation, but I'd put them up against anything esle with an 8' straight blade. The short wheelbase makes them ideal for residential or any other close quarters work. Personally, I'd stay away from the imports, they just don't have the weight or frame section for working. Before anybody tells me how great their import is, go measure the frame and weigh it. The S chassis is heavy for the size of the vehicle and quite rigid. The same light weight and flexibility that makes the imports so good off-road goes against them as a work rig.
 

CT18fireman

Banned
Location
Western CT
Not wanting to start a fight I will say that I disagree with Alan. I have personally repaired frames on two s-10 used for plowing. I have used a Toyota for years to plow small areas. Toyotas have full boxed frames and are very strong. I run it with a 7ft Fisher and a small sander. All I did was to add a leaf to the rear. These trucks are used world wide for work vehicles where bigger trucks are not available or practicle. They often carry way over their rated weight and are known for durability. Not wanting to get into a brand war. Just saying imports are known for toughness.
Whatever you plow with big or small don't abuse it.
 

75

PlowSite.com Addict
Frames tend to be designed "fully boxed" as a way to keep the weight down while maintaining strength.

Especially on light vehicles, the thickness of the frame material is considerably less on a box section frame compared to a channel one. Strength comes from the square tube configuration.

Only problem with that is, it's a handy place for crud and moisture to collect and once it's in there, it "don't come out" which leads to that common 4-letter word, r*** (rust) :mad:

Having had the joy of repairing a few of these things, I can say that a box section frame is a lot more work to fix than a channel one.

I'd definitely advise soaking the rustproofing to any vehicle you plan to plow with, especially if it's got that type of frame. For that matter, considering the environment the average plow truck lives and works in, rustproofing is a good idea no matter what you use.
 

Alan

PlowSite.com Addict
I happened to run my 91 S-10 (shortbox, 4.3, auto, with heavy rear bumper, headache rack and plow frame) across the scales this afternoon, it weighed in at 3940. No wonder that little sucker pushes so good.

And you're right, there is a spot on the S frame, right ahead of the front upper A-arm mount that is prone to cracking. Apparently it flexes there from the plow stress I had to weld and reinforce one of mine and the other needs it before this winter. I keep telling myself that I should run some sort of member back, under the axle, to the frame under the cab. That would take the flex out of the section where it humps up over the front axle and probably cure the problem. Only reason I haven't is that it will also cut down severely on clearance under the truck and probably cause a lot more hangups in snowbanks
 

CT18fireman

Banned
Location
Western CT
Alan
I will admit that the 4.3 in the S-10 is a powerful motor great for pushing a larger plow blade. Of course the Toyota's have and indestrctable 4 banger that will easily move a 6.5-7ft blade. I think that these trucks fill a niche for homeowners and contractors in need of smaller trucks. Too bad most are no longer warrantying small trucks for plowing. I think it is because many see these trucks as being more personal vehicles. They need to realize that some still use these trucks for work. In the summer and winter my guys still jump at a chance to drive the Toyota over the big Fords.
 

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