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Unimount falling off truck!

Discussion in 'Western Plows Discussion' started by mishnick, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,353

    A few days ago I replied to a thread discussing an old unimount that was shifting. As I recall the headlights had actually hit and dented the truck's hood. I suggested checking the vehicle mounts but never heard back at what the problem was. I felt that my suggestion was discarded because "the plow was professionally mounted".

    Well for those of you who don't believe it can happen have a look at these photos I took today of a plow that came in with the same kind of complaint. The headlights sometimes point at the sky and other times they point down six feet in front of the plow!!!

    The plow is probably about 10 to 15 years old and has been transfered from one truck to another. The most recent tranfer was done only a few years ago. Not sure if the mount was transfered or if it was new at that time.

    Notice in the photos how the bumper ends look bent, they are actually being pulled down by the weight of the plow mount trying to fall off. Also note the angle of the headlamps as they point toward the ground.

    How common is this? Anyone seen this before? I am not suprised to see a unimount fall off has anyone seen an ultramount fail like this? Comments & thoughts please....




  2. bizzo15

    bizzo15 Senior Member
    Messages: 107

    Why are you not suprised to see a unimount falling off a truck? Is it a poor design that is prone to failure? Reason I ask is because I'm looking at one tomorrow and don't want to buy it if it's going to be unreliable and prone to failure. I always thought the western unimounts were supposed to be pretty stout.
  3. Dissociative

    Dissociative 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,066

    either thats a crappy mount or that guy was slammin some curbs....that doesn't make sense to me...
  4. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,353

    Crappy mount, bad install, hitting curbs, poor engineering.. All valid as probable causes. The fact is that Western stopped selling unimounts years ago for a reason. I have been doing plow installs and service for more than five years now and this is the first time I have ever seen such an extreme case so don't cancel a purchase just because of one unimount failure. What people need to understand is that it is possible. I have been flying for more than 40 years and I have never crashed, but planes do crash. I wish I could find that thread where the fellows light bar hit the hood to show him that it is possible. Like any machine if their life span is exceeded or it is abused even the best equipment will fail.
  5. no lead

    no lead PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,308

    that is abuse pure and simple. driven rearward and down. what could cause that kind of load.

    not a chevy thats for sure.:laughing:
  6. no lead

    no lead PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,308

    that truck is also a 99'. the first year for the super duty and that mount. there is a bolt missing in the rear trust arm also visible in the pics. that isn't helping.
  7. k5PlowGuy

    k5PlowGuy Member
    Messages: 40

    Salt and Rust are not your friend. I inspect my mount every year for excessive rust and any stress cracks, more than likely his mount has had a crack in it for a while that got larger and larger until it gave. Either that or he hit an imovable object.
  8. Milwaukee

    Milwaukee 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,180

    Did that happened on you or your drivers?

    That DEFINABLY from RAM stack up pile HARD or curb. It not western's bad design. It from ABUSED!

    It amazing that frame on superduty didn't break from that impact.
  9. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,353

    This is a Doge Ram not a Ford. Didn't happen to me or my driver. It is a customer so I don't yet have the whole story. We sold them the plow many years ago and switched through several trucks over those years. Will probably pull bumper today for a closer look at which time I will try to get more pics and details about what happened.
  10. no lead

    no lead PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,308

    not trying to start anything but i think the truck in your picture is a ford super duty.

    am i missing something from your post?
  11. affekonig

    affekonig Senior Member
    Messages: 909

    Leaf springs and an F250 front end tell me that's an F250. I agree that anything can break, even well designed, good mounts like the Unimount. I don't think Western stopped making the Unimount because there was a structural design flaw, but because they came out with a better, easier, less obvious mounting system.
  12. americanlawn

    americanlawn Junior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 24

    Had this happen a couple years ago. 3/4 ton GMC truck w/8 foot unimount straight blade. Seems the bolts were loose under the truck. Then the plow came loose all together. Ended up needing a tow truck, etc. This happened on the 2nd snow of the season. We were kinda mad cuz we just had all our plows serviced by our dealer.
  13. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,353

    You guys are all right about the Ford thing... Sorry for the confusion it is in fact a 250 superduty. I was working on Rams all day and had a Freudien slip....

    I had a chance to pull the bumber today and look underneath. The front brackets were clearly cracked for a long time judging by the rust. There was only about 1/2 square inch of unrusted metal on one side. The two bolts that link the front part of the mount to the back portions were loose but still had to cut them off with a torch as they were seized.

    Since Western no longer makes these mounts the owner has chosen to replace the mount with an unltra mount and adapter. This way they can continue using the old unimount until there is some cash at which time it is ready for a newer plow.

    Will post a couple more pics of the broken parts this weekend.

    Thanks for the feedback.
  14. Tony350

    Tony350 Senior Member
    Messages: 546

    If he dosen't wnat the mount back you sould keep it. Have it rewelded/braced, just like you said they don't make them anymore, people will pay good money for them.
  15. no lead

    no lead PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,308

    western still makes that mount to this day. but only in pieces. the thrust arms alone are $275 each. the whole mount is about $700+. i would rather have the unimount frame instead of the adaptor myself. we have 9 plow trucks and 6 of them are uni's. just my opinion.
  16. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,353

    I suggested welding it, after all I am a lisenced welder as well as a HD red seal mechanic. But management felt it would be too much of a liability if it broke again down the road. But that is a good idea to keep it... If the owner says toss it then I will snag it and repair it. Who knows, maybe I can sell it on the plowsite...

    As far as the uni vs ultra mount & adapter goes... I think the adapter suck big time. They hang down far too close to the ground! But if he is going to buy a new plow in the fall then this solution gives him a head start.
  17. 01lariat

    01lariat Member
    Messages: 96

    I bet what ever broke it, caught the drivers attention. Looks like one of them abusive types of failure to me.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011
  18. wahlturfcare

    wahlturfcare Senior Member
    Messages: 323

    i have seen plows with damage like that and it is caused by user error. if you look at the bottom of the pin area on the mount, its hits curbs all the time and the back of the mount still has paint.
  19. Eggie329

    Eggie329 Senior Member
    Messages: 123

    One dumb thing Western did was make that darn Ultra Mount to Uni Mount converter come out so far from the truck. My plow naturally sags from being so far from the truck. I'm just waiting for it to fall off on a big bump. I wouldn't have gotten it if I knew it was that bad, but I wanted to be able to get a Ultra mount plow in the future.
  20. mishnick

    mishnick 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,353

    I agree that the uni to ultra adapter is a terrible thing. Way too low and pushed the plow out putting strain on the front suspension. I would never own own myself.

    As promissed here are some more pics from behind the bumber. You can see that the cracks are very rusty indicating that the break was very old. Also notice how little clean metal there is suggesting that there was almost nothing holding this plow before it broke.

    As far as abuse goes I can say. The plow is very old and so is the owner. I would say he is almost 70 but who knows what kind of idiots he has running it for him. We can all speculate but of course when se asked him he said it just dropped as he was driving with the plow up.