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Safest plow truck ballast

Discussion in 'Equipment, Tools & Vehicle Pictures' started by aeronutt, Dec 10, 2009.

  1. aeronutt

    aeronutt Senior Member
    Messages: 262

    I've always been a little paranoid about heavy stuff becoming deadly projectiles in the event of a rollover accident. Concrete blocks make decent ballast, but keeping them restrained when things go wrong could be a real problem. Also, the farther back you can get the weight, the better it works. Keeping both of these ideas in mind, I decided to spend a couple bucks on used tractor weights and fabricate a hitch mount that keeps them firmly bolted to the truck's frame where they can't hurt anybody and it maximized the center of gravity benefit. The truck now handles beautifully and I feel much safer.




  2. KL&M Snow Div.

    KL&M Snow Div. PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,616

    Looks like a good idea. Too bad I use my hitch during storms....
  3. JohnnyU

    JohnnyU 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,040

    I had the same idea a few years go. It worked great until I needed the weights for the tractor. Now I'm on the lookout for more weights to use my weight bar again!

  4. mkwl

    mkwl 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,362

    Looks good to me- I's sure hate to slide into the back of your truck :laughing: OUCH!
  5. dj89

    dj89 Senior Member
    from wny
    Messages: 112

    They cost to much around here for that. Plus I spend to much time painting them to look good on my 44 John Deere b.:nod:. Good idea if there just extras..
  6. 04superduty

    04superduty PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,354

    i want to do something similar but those weights go for around .50 to 1.00 per pound if not more. it seems that all the tractor pullers and truck pullers want them so bad that the prices go to high.
  7. TommyMac

    TommyMac Senior Member
    Messages: 530

    Awesome idea & I bet it work's great....I have a question for anyone with a 5th wheel hitch in there truck has anyone tried a "Mafia Block" with a 5th wheel pin in the middle of the block....We run them on our Mack Tractors & they work great

  8. JeepCreepn01

    JeepCreepn01 Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 331

    great idea..... now you cant use your back up camera i would much rather have that
  9. aeronutt

    aeronutt Senior Member
    Messages: 262

    The backup camera works for about 15 seconds in a blizzard before the lens is covered with snow and road grime. I'm not missing anything.

    For those who commented about the cost: Tractor weights were certainly not the cheapest option considering the cost of broken concrete, but then again neither was the plow I chose. I live by my grandfather's wise advise: "You'll only care about the cost once, You'll care about the quality as long as you own it."

    I found these 95# weights on Craigslist and I also ended up with a set of 5 90-pounders that I need to resell. Fifty cents per pound really isn't that bad of price considering what new ones will cost at a tractor store. I paid just shy of that for mine, but I know they can be found at farm auctions for $25 if you have patience and go to multiple auctions.
  10. Deco

    Deco Senior Member
    Messages: 453

    ballast works best when over the wheels :nod:
  11. hedhunter9

    hedhunter9 Senior Member
    Messages: 212

    For those that need to use hitch though, here is something I did a few years back so I could keep using my bed and have a safe ballast.

    I took a sheet of 1/2 osb board, cut it to a "T" shape that lays in the bed, that fit behind the wheel wells up against the back tail gate then up between the wheel wells.. I then cut 2 by 4s to fit around the perimeter. Screwed the 2 by 4s to the osb board.

    Now I have a 4" deep T shaped mold.. I then filled it with cement with some Re-bar rods
    pre-bent and stuck down in the cement, so I would have some way of loading it with my
    fork lift.

    10 bags of cement... 800 pounds.

    Doesnt take up much room. 4 inchs in the bottom of the bed is all you lose.

    Cant slide around with a couple of anchors holding it down. and the wheel wells
    prevent it from sliding forward.
  12. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    Unless you need counterweight.
  13. schmol

    schmol Senior Member
    Messages: 120

    How does it make a difference if it's behind the wheels?
  14. dj89

    dj89 Senior Member
    from wny
    Messages: 112

    If you put it behind the wheels it takes weight of the front end.
  15. EGLC

    EGLC PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,733

    if you have a 800lb++++ plow hanging of the front of your truck I dont think by taking off some weight would be a bad thing nor hurt traction even worse hahaha
  16. AIMscapes

    AIMscapes Member
    Messages: 38

    Don't drive home from the bar with those weights hanging off the back............. that is an invitation to get pulled over. If I were you I would store those weights for the winter and put some ballast in the bed. Those are way too pretty to risk some dum dum rear ending you and damaging the weights and the rear end of your truck. Besides, imagine the damage you would do if you backed into a garage door or another vehicle. The concept itself is a good idea, but realistically you would be better off with some weight in the bed.
  17. Grassman09

    Grassman09 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,808

    Is that not too much tongue weight?
  18. AIMscapes

    AIMscapes Member
    Messages: 38

    I don't think that tongue weight is an issue here.
  19. aeronutt

    aeronutt Senior Member
    Messages: 262

    You sir, are :dizzy:

    First, I don't drive home from the bar, but that minor detail aside: Pulled over? For what? Those weights stick out less than a tailgate left down and much less than a hitch-mount carry rack. I used these specifically to AVOID ballast in the bed. By placing the weight several feet behind the rear axle, 600 lbs of weights subtracts 200 lbs off the (badly overloaded) front axle thanks to the see-saw effect of leverage. The 200 lbs gets transferred to the rear axle so the net effect on rear axle traction is equivalent to 800 lbs placed directly above the axle. If some dum-dum rear-ends me, I've got 600 lbs of cast iron inertia that needs to be accelerated forward before it gets into the truck. Cast iron plates are a little less susceptible to damage than sheet metal or a 40 lb stock bumper and will cause much crumpling and deforming to his vehicle which absorbs the shock.:laughing: That's why it's called a "crumple zone". So, realistically, I'm much better off without weights in the bed.
  20. Grassman09

    Grassman09 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,808

    It would depending on what class it was. Looks like a typical factory GM hitch which is class 3 no?

    But then again I drive a 3/4 ton truck and put 2 tons of salt in the back with a 8611LP up front.. Guess I shouldn't talk.

    Class 3 (Class III) trailer hitch

    Trailer hitch with weight carrying rating of up to 5,000 lbs gross trailer weight and 500 lbs tongue weight. Also sometimes used to refer to a hitch with any 2" receiver, regardless of rating.

    Class 4 (Class IV) trailer hitch

    Trailer hitch with weight carrying rating of up to 10,000 lbs gross trailer weight and 1,000 - 1,200 lbs tongue weight. Although many times any hitch with a capacity greater than 5,000 lbs gross weight is referred to as a Class 4.