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Truckcraft Aluminum OR Downeaster SS?

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by Burkartsplow, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,246

    Alright I am in the market for a dump insert. I am either going to go with the Truckcraft aluminum insert and salter or the downeaster stainless insert and salter. I Know the truckcraft is more expensive and weighs less. I have found numbers for the truckcraft on there site,but i dont know how accurate they are, but no numbers for downeaster. But i wanted to get some opinions on guys that have either one, plus what you paid for the entire combo. Insert and Spreader. It is either going to go in a 2500 or 3500 hd Chevy. I was going to get a new dump truck, but I would rather get an insert instead for a new pickup truck. Thanks for any suggesions and opinions.ussmileyflag
  2. mvhauler

    mvhauler Senior Member
    Messages: 171

    Just purchased a TC-120. Fitting it to truck as we speak. F250. Went with Truckcraft because weighs less. Will be going with TC-130 spreader, weight again and also it will mate right up. If I had a dually pickup, i would have consided Downeaster SS more. Have called both and asked queations. Both very helpful. Truckcraft had a lot more pictures and information on their site, though. As for price..... the numbers you are looking at are right on the nose in this area. One dealer did screw up and told me $4500 for the TC-120. took him up on it immediately. Options were regular price, as are the price for the TC-130 from him and also another dealer. Yes, it is a lot of $$$$..... but am looking at it as an investment for years down the road. They have had some issues on the sander control box, but from what I can see, they re-designed it about 2-3 years ago. The new one appears to be designed by some super electronics wizzard. If it ever went kaput, I would go with a Karrier. Also, the spinner motor has been re-designed. Now for Downeaster...... talked to Ray @ 207-729-5101, very helpful. $2992 for sander, $405 for adjustable spinner controler, $300 for vibrator (really need one?), plus shipping to me, assuming no tax. No dealers in this area, factory direct. Yes it is cheaper....by some. 290# to 175# for truckcraft. Really do like the center discharge and SS, and simpler controller. I think Downeaster is a very good product, but am going with Truckcraft. As with either of these products....."Quality is remembered long after price is forgotton."
  3. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    PM member Pristine, he has like 5 of them and he has had complaints with one kind, not sure which though.
  4. MileHigh

    MileHigh PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,827

    Damn...I wish I was purchasing one of those inserts...

    I too would like to know the prefered dump insert.
  5. T-MAN

    T-MAN PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,363

    Well to throw a curve ball in the mix do any of you plan to use Magic salt or Ice Ban treated salt ?
    If the answer is yes then you only have one option, Downeaster.
    Both of those de-icing products contain Mag Chloride, they dont mix well with aluminum.
    I destroyed a brand new alminum pump that I was using to pump Magic-0 with. It started locking up with in a couple weeks of use. I later learned Magic eats aluminum.
  6. mvhauler

    mvhauler Senior Member
    Messages: 171

    Well snap my girdle!!! You do make a good point. In my situation, I use sand treated with calcium liquid.... at the moment in a mild steel V box. Treat the entire unit with a mixture of diesel and motor oil. Excellent results. Of course I am kind of anal about cleaning and treating the equipment. I will keep a close eye on the aluminum and consider treating it also. I have heard about Fluid Film. Might it work on aluminum?
  7. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,246

    Thanks for the input so far. I am thinking of going with the downeaster since i have heard some pretty good things about them, but if any one else has anything to say about the issue please chime in. Thanks.
  8. LHK2

    LHK2 Senior Member
    Messages: 205

    I have a truckcraft insert and spreader for a pickup and tc 160 spreader for a dump. By the time you buy a pickup and a insert, you can buy a new dump cheaper. I bought a chevy 3500 4by 6.0 this summer and installed the truck craft tc160 tailgate spreader. was cheaper than the pickup. Just my thoughts. I have a 3500hd flat bed dump for sale that you can put a plow on and 4 yard v spreader in the back. With wieght in the back you don't need 4 wheel drive. I rarly use it in my new dump.
  9. dmontgomery

    dmontgomery PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,238

    Sorry I didnt respond to the PM I actually just saw it... I am pretty happy with my Truckcraft. It was great for my leaf operation and I have run 80+ tons of salt through it this year with zero problems.....besided that one pole I backed into.....

    I would like to have power down....and I am looking into having that modified to do so... Functionally I dont think there is a better option if the insert is something you can use year-round.....the spreader is easy to store and easily mounted with 2 guys. I did modify the bottom slide pins on the spreader because I found that they were vibrating loose... The Downeaster looks like a good unit also.... But there is no dealer around here. I bought my TC in PA about an hour outside of Pittsburg.....and saved big bucks (1000's) from the local dealer........

    I easily haul and spreader 2 tons at a time in my 2500 Ram CTD...and I have the 6 foot TC unit...

  10. Triple L

    Triple L PlowSite Fanatic
    from Canada
    Messages: 6,078

    I bought a Downeaster a few years ago off a guy on plowsite... Best thing we've ever bought, Picked it up mad cheap and havent had a single problem... Heck last spring we put it in the truck without strapping it down, Lost the ratchet straps and stupid me decided to rip on er a little bit... before i knew it, it was layin in the middle of the road... Tow truck just happened to be driving by so i threw him $50 and he picked it up and put it back on the truck before the cops or mto could show up... hahaha, did i ever get lucky... even after that spill... still works flawless, nothing but compliments to downeaster... but she is one heavy s.o.b.
  11. dmontgomery

    dmontgomery PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,238

    mine is aluminum..... by the way....
  12. mvhauler

    mvhauler Senior Member
    Messages: 171

    Derek, please tell me more about your modification to the two lower slide pins. Also, please keep us informed if you find a way to do the power down thing. Thanks, Stu.
  13. hlntoiz

    hlntoiz Senior Member
    from NW, CT
    Messages: 588

    I just bought a downeaster dump insert and spreader this past year. I personally would never buy one again. Nothing but problems with both the insert and spreader. poorly designed if you ask me.
  14. dmontgomery

    dmontgomery PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,238

    I don't want to hijack the thread....so quickly I removed the bolts with the hand wheels and replaced them with stainless bolts that have a nut run all the way up to the end of the threads....add a washer and replace........now I use a socket to tighten the bolt and it does not vibrate loose....simple but effective.....I will take a pic later today...
  15. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,246

    Any suggestions are appreciated. I am getting the aluminum truckcraft insert for sure. Downeaster never gets back to you when you call or email.
  16. dmontgomery

    dmontgomery PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,238

    I can give you the name and number of the place I got mine........he may be able to save you some money if you don't mind the drive.........
  17. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,246

    I would appreeciate that. pm me
  18. dmontgomery

    dmontgomery PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,238

    here is the replacement bolt and a shot of the LED work floods I added on the spreader


  19. mvhauler

    mvhauler Senior Member
    Messages: 171

    Thanks for the pics. Am thinking of going with LED's also.
  20. dmontgomery

    dmontgomery PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,238

    I love them.....they are a little pricey.....but worth it