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Poly Spreaders Revisited

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by DGODGR, Oct 14, 2011.


    DGODGR Senior Member
    from s/w co
    Messages: 641

    I have, over the years followed some of the threads regarding spreaders. I have not owned any spreaders to date but for the first time I am bidding an account that will require spreading sand or chips. The site search engine has resulted in mostly threads that do not pertain to the subject and I know that the product had a rocky start yet has had some recalls and evolution.
    I am requesting current information on the product.
    If I am not mistaken the Fischer Polycaster and Western Tornado are the same units with different colors. Both had initial problems that, I think, have been addressed and hopefully resolved. Please confirm or rebut and provide supporting comments. Pros and cons from experienced owners/users would also be appreciated.
    Snow Ex and Buyers also offer a poly product. From what I have found the main difference is the feeder system on the last two is an auger and the fist two it is a chain. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each design?
    I will probably mount it on my 2000 F350 PSD. The truck already has a Western 8' straight blade mounted up front. Since these systems are battery operated are there any electrical system upgrades that should be considered? The truck has an 8' bed but I have a fuel tank and tool box mounted so it nets out at 6'. Can I mount the 7' or 8' long sanders despite what may hang over the back of the bed?
    I see that CPW is offering the 1.5yd on sale right now. Where do you suggest I shop?
    At this time I am leaning toward using 3/8" chips for my application. I have not had to apply de-icers and I don't think I will have to in the future. To my knowledge nobody in my area does and I have not had any customer inquire about using them on anything but small scale foot traffic applications. I may offer it in the future but it is a small consideration at this time.
    I have a quasi-Western dealer in my town. They are primarily a truck repair shop that sells Western and Meyers plows. The repair parts and support situation will not be the best. 15 Miles away is an Ag tractor dealer that sells the Sno-Ex brand. They have units in stock but I'm not sure about support as of yet. I have not been overly pleased with their service department in the past (when taking Stihl products in for warranty and repair) so I probably should not expect anything different regarding spreaders. As I said before, I know this has been discussed previously but I would like to see how things are going with the latest and or recalled/upgraded units, and try to consolidate information in one thread.
    Sorry for the long winded post but my "spreader knowledge" is seriously lacking so I have lots of questions.
  2. cda817

    cda817 Senior Member
    Messages: 284

    I have had the 1.8cy Fisher Polycaster for two seasons now and have had 0 problems. It handles wet and dry product effortlessly and does not seem to have the freezing problems that the steel models do. I had one freeze up when I left soaking wet product in there during a week long sub zero period but that was my own fault for not running it out. I usually load up the day or two before a storm and have had no problems. You will be very happy with one if that is the route you go I am looking at adding the 2.5cy model this season as well.
  3. MatthewG

    MatthewG PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,400

    Im not sure what a "chip" is, problably just small stone. I love the western/fisher/blizzard poly v box, but Im buying a Buyers poly V box. Great revviews and a great price on new of only 3100 from ESI
  4. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    We bought a 2yrd Downeaster last season and the only issues we had were our own fault by leaving wet salt in overnight and it still spread it but froze up in the corner's and we were stuck pulling out chunks for about 30 minutes. Other than that we have had zero problems. The pattern and distance are awesome. Plus it comes with a vibrator (which hasn't been installed yet) and that would have taken care of the freezing corner issue.

    DGODGR Senior Member
    from s/w co
    Messages: 641

    Doesn't the Buyers unit come with vibration?

    Is the Downeaster a poly unit?

    Can anyone comment on auger vs. chain, pros and cons?
  6. battags

    battags Member
    Messages: 65

    Bump ^^^^

    Same questions here
  7. DodgeBlizzard

    DodgeBlizzard Senior Member
    Messages: 526

  8. Montosi82

    Montosi82 Member
    Messages: 62

    I'm researching my first spreader and leaning towards a poly from fisher. I have never used either spreader type but all of what I hear is the chain is much more effective then an auger. Again this is second hand.
  9. MatthewG

    MatthewG PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,400

    ESI is delivering a new poly 2 yard tomorrow, I will report on it when I get to see it first hand
  10. CanuckPlow

    CanuckPlow Junior Member
    Messages: 1

    Esi ?

    Do you have the web address for ESI? Cheers.
  11. MatthewG

    MatthewG PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,400


    R.J.S. SNOWPLOW Senior Member
    Messages: 892

    Yea the chain is more effective on getting Jamed and more things to break
    Auger is my way if it gets Jamed you know where it is unlike a chain setup more places for stuff to hide then you playing guessing game where it's Jamed or broken at
    Auger only two place motor or bearing no converter belt gears chains breaking in a storm trying to fix it. The less parts the less unlikely to break down

    R.J.S. SNOWPLOW Senior Member
    Messages: 892

  14. CGM Inc.

    CGM Inc. PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,598

    Another advantage of the Auger is that you contain the salt in the hopper, with chains you have salt all over the truck bed due to loss or sticking along the chain track.
    Vibrator is anoying when the hopper gets empty! We also have a Buyers and a second one is just on the way. No problem over the last 3 years using it.
  15. billindot

    billindot Junior Member
    Messages: 1

    sorry if mis-posted, newbie! where can i get help for replacing a conveyor chain on a fisher spreader, v-type
  16. pabaker66

    pabaker66 Senior Member
    Messages: 117

    I have a Snow Ex 8500 with the auger and have had no problems so far. Make sure you get a vibrator!!!!
  17. lucky921

    lucky921 Senior Member
    from dracut
    Messages: 453

    i have snowex 6000 love it no problems
  18. gd8boltman

    gd8boltman Senior Member
    Messages: 328

    Snowex 8500 a little pricey, but the auger is excellent, less moving parts etc. Spreads well, and is a quality product. Service is important, but they are a pretty simple design. I would want to know their parts stocking level etc, only snowex issue is steel frame. We have never spread chips with ours so can't speak to that. Snowex overall provides an excellent value. Not a big fan of the chains and conveyors at all
  19. bytheyardlandsc

    bytheyardlandsc Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 68

    I recently went with truck craft dump spreaders, just so we could carry more salt . had a snow ex vpro 8000 before. if I were to buy another poly spreader hears what I would do. I would buy a buyers 2000 black poly. 1. wont rust . 2 holds a fair amount of salt. 3 the auger runs from front to back. this is important to me because the vpro 8000 ran side to side and you had to rely on the vibrator to feed the salt after the bulk pile in the rear was gone. 4 it has a vibrator, witch is needed for bulk damp salt. I don't know much on buyers controllers , but I can tell you the snow ex controller is as smart as they come. if it flashes a code you bet theres a problem. you just need to know how to read the code and how to fix it. and last but not least , I will never run a vibrator thru the controller again. we wire our to a 12 volt constant silanode so that when you hit the switch all your doing is activating the silinoid , when your vibrator starts to where,and it will. it tends to draw more amps, this causes your switch to burn up. the silinod prevents this. jmo.