Have heard about them for insert pick up bodies, and have watched one work. The ones for the insert bodies appear to work well, however they will not work on larger truck bodies.
I haven't sean any electric under the tailgate spreaders for regular dump bodies, only hydro. On your F 550 the hydro system would be a good investment, if you have the pto on your trans. I think that the Pto is the only way you could power a hydro system on an F 550, with the 7.3 under the hood, I think you will have a hard time finding room for a belt driven pump. It may be possible, I don't know haven't tried it yet.
BTW before ya buy an under the tailgate spreader, look into a replacement tailgate spreader. The replacements appear to be another good option.
There was a company named Grotech. About five years ago we purchased a tailgate replacement salt spreader for an F-350 dump truck. This spreader had its own 5 horse engine and was controlled from the cab. It worked fairly well, there were some poor design features and I think Grotech wet out of business. However, Western purchased the rights to their parts. I have no idea if there is a spreader like that available today.
Geoff,Idont have the pto i wish i did o well.I havent checked on a under hood pump yet.who makes the replacement tailgate and how much? Ineed a system that i dont have to load every time because i dont have any way to load it and no pits around to load when i need it.Ihave my airflo tailgate sander that i can mount and keep a load of sandmix covered in the dump then just shovel when needed.Iknow alan uses an auger to load his, how does that work alan.Any other ideas.Iwould buy a vbox if i could load it.
The replacement tailgate spreader is built by meyer/swenson, their may be other manufactures out there. It has some advanatges over the under the tailgate spreader, however i haven't used one. I would recomend the under the tailgate model, because there is proabably more dealer support for them, because more of them are used. I have used my under the tailgate spreaders once this season, and have had good results with them.
There is a way to power the spreader so don't worry about that. It can be done at any good truck shop, I would recomend useing electric valves if you plan on useing this truck a lot. As Alan will tell you, once you run all the hydro stuff into the cab, it becomes a two seater.
Total cost for a under the tailgate spreader, and all the hydro work, will be right around 4K.
In your case figure a 3 yard v-box with 12" add on high sides your looking at close to 4K, with a gas engine to maintain and worry about starting. So if you have a F 550 or larger truck the under the tailgate or replacement tailgate are good options.
There must be a supply yard out there, where you can buy sand before after and during a storm? If there isn't I am very supprised, start call exevating companies, asking if they sell sand/salt mix, or know anyone that does, you will find someone, because it is there, might be the next town over, but it's there.
I read on the back of downeasters brochures that they made an electric undertailgate spreader for 2-3 yrd dump bodies. A dewzee underhood pump would be a good start for a central hydro. Also, northern sells pump, alan has one for his 5500's central hydraulic. Miketech has done quite a few central hydraulic systems and is located in NY. If you want his work #, email me and he'll be glad to help you.
Geoff,I'm not woried about getting the hydo on i can do that w/friend who is a truck mechanic and would go w/electric valves.Iwill probley stay w/airflo this year and put the hydo on in the summer.Just trying to get all the options and see who likes what the best thats the best thing about this place!!
Sorry it took me so long to get around to answering your question about my auger setup. I have a 5" auger that I use for loading salt into our tailgate hopper spreader (Tryn-Ex, formerly Grotech). It works good for that application. Even if I had a loader of some sort to load the big truck there is no way to use a loader to dump into the small (10 cu. ft.) hopper on one of the small spreaders. I also use it to load my bin and mix Magic with the salt in the process. It was originally an 11' long unit and I added a 5' extension so I could get it to reach the far end of the bin. I tried it with salt/sand mix on a small pile I had on hand adn it seemed to do OK with that as well, but that was when it was still only 11' long, I'm not sure just how well it would work now that it is longer. This year I raised the bin and set the auger up under the floor, cut a trap door in the floor so I can just push salt to the hole and let it drop into the auger hopper. If I could find one at a decent price I'd go to a belt conveyor for loading out and keep the auger for filling and mixing Magic. I got this one at CT Farm & Country. I was at a farm acution last month where they had a couple conveyors I was interested in but they went too pricey for my budget. The conveyors are made by Patz, the same company that makes barn cleaners and dairy equipment.