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What to buy

Discussion in 'Import and Other Trucks (Light Duty)' started by Maine_Snowman, Sep 28, 2005.

  1. Maine_Snowman

    Maine_Snowman Junior Member
    Messages: 27

    Hi all-

    I have a 1999 Tacoma that I am planning on using as a personal snowplow. I have a 290' gravel driveway and a 25' x 30' parking area. I also plan to clear my parents 25' x 30' paved driveway which is 15 miles away.

    I have the following questions to answer before I spend my hard earned cash.

    - Do I need timbrens? How much are they?
    - Steel or Poly? What are the advantages/disadvantages of each?
    - What brand works best with small trucks?
    - Used or New?
  2. Kramer

    Kramer Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    I can only speak from experience on this one...have only used a steel fisher 6'9" minute mount plow. I have the plastic cutting edge on it. It was about $3000 installed. I believe it weighs in at about 550 lbs. Is your truck an extended cab???

    I did plow one gravel drive with it and found it to work very well. Very little dis-location of driveway to fix in the spring.

    No idea if a poly plow might be better for you, but when the ground is frozen, any plow should be OK on the gravel. Before it freezes is when you're going to push the gravel around so the first and last storms of the yr are really the issue.

    The size of your drives should be no issue for any plow. If thats all your doing, I don't think you need timbrens....but if you get the steel plow, ballast of at least 350 lbs is required. If you're driving the 15 miles to your folks house, is it all beat up back roads?? This is where I might say go for the timbrens.

    I might consider the snow bear plow if I were you...unless you really are going to start more plowing for people, your needs can easily be done with a light duty plow, and it saves wear and tear on the vehicle. Other people here have more info and experience with these than I do...so I shouldn't even recommend anything...but I heard good things about them.
  3. Maine_Snowman

    Maine_Snowman Junior Member
    Messages: 27


    Thanks for the info. It is a regular cab. And the road to my parents' is smooth. In the future I may want to pick up some driveways to plow. I was at the Fisher website and they only suggest the 6'8" or the 7'4" poly Homesteader. If I can find a used Fisher 6'9" plow will I be able to make it fit?
  4. Kramer

    Kramer Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    If you go to a dealer, they might help you out on the light duty steel plow. As long as you have a regular cab, they were suggesting the light duty steel plow 2 years ago, and your truck didn't change in the last 2 years!
    I put mine on a 98 reg cab 2 years ago and after that, I noticed they stopped suggesting the steel plow for your truck. I believe the same mounting and wiring fit a 97-2000 Tacoma... I transfered mine from a 98 to a 2000--no problem.

    I believe the homesteader is much lighter but I think Fisher probably wants to reduce how many models are available for the residential users. I can't imagine why the homesteader wouldn't fit your needs very well. I just don't like the rubber bands...no real reason, just the way they look. I just envision them crapping out at 20 below at 2am and I get chills on that one...but I'm sure their engineering is better than that.
  5. sixspeed

    sixspeed Senior Member
    Messages: 306

    If you are planning on picking up more driveways I would not suggest the homesteader/suburbanite. It's just my opinion, but I am not a fan of homeowner type plows because Toyotas can handle smaller regular (and light duty) plows nimbly.

    Both Fisher (and Western and Blizzard and others) make plows that will fit the Tacoma and are heavier duty than the homeowner grade plows. Unfortunately with the introduction of the Homesteader and Suburbanite I do believe they are in the process of phasing them out. That's why their online plow matching systems no longer show them.

    You might also want to look at a Curtis Home-pro poly plow since it is in-between the light duty Homesteader and the regular duty plows in size, strength and weight. And it's mounting system is the most modern...

    Timbrens (especially the front) will definitely make the truck handle the weight better. You will notice a slightly stiffer ride. They are a Do-it-yourself install, the front takes less than 5 minutes since they simply replace the stock bumpstops in the a-arms. The rears are a bit longer due to tricky hardware access!

    As for new or used, I'd price the plows and go from there.

    Good luck with whatever you choose!
  6. Maine_Snowman

    Maine_Snowman Junior Member
    Messages: 27


    Thanks for all the feedback. This will all help with my decision.
  7. hbrady

    hbrady Senior Member
    Messages: 287

    My Tacoma

    I live in Southern Maine and I have an 04 DC with a 7' Curtis. Looks like you got some good feedback here but I thought I would throw in my 2 cents :)

    Here is my rig http://home.earthlink.net/~hbrady77/_images/nov03/truck.htm

    The Timbrens are a must!! I've been pretty happy with my Curtis although I did have some problems last year.... I ended up plowing a private road and 7 driveways in the last few weeks of Winter (when we got 5' of snow)... to say the least that Curtis plow is not made for that much work so I can't complain. I bent the frame of the plow when I was mounting it one day (hit it a little to fast), I have a Hydraulic leak (just a nuisance) and one of the locking pins where it attaches broke.

    I chose the Curtis because it was taller and lighter than all other options but if I had to do it again I MAY go with the Fisher... back dragging is a pain with such a light plow but I'm sure the Fisher is not much better. I think I paid $3600 (that included the installation of 4 Timbrens too).

    The truck itself has done very well... I ended up stuck 1 time in 2 years (when I was trying to push a bank back in 18" of snow :realmad: )

    Good luck
  8. Maine_Snowman

    Maine_Snowman Junior Member
    Messages: 27

    Bought a Fisher 6'9"

    Hi all-

    Thank you all for your input; I bought a Fisher 6'9" MM. Now I am wondering what I need for ballast. And when we are going to get some snow!!!:drinkup:
  9. hbrady

    hbrady Senior Member
    Messages: 287


    I put 7 or 8 bags of tube sand in the back of my truck. Usually the vendor will have recommended ballast weight on thier web site. I had better luck putting some boards across the back section of the bed so the sand didn't slide forward toward the cab.

    Got any pics?
  10. alamarc

    alamarc Member
    Messages: 67


    But im not bias....

    Seriously though the tacoma is one of the dwindling number of light trucks that will accept a steel blade and with that in mind get the Fisher 6' 9" LD..

    Your going to need Tiembrans. And something else you may want to consider...the tacomas have a lot of axle wrap due to the lighter capacity leaf springs in the back. Im looking into getting a set of traction bars and helper springs both to beef up the suspension and to stop the hopping caused by the wrap..
  11. sixspeed

    sixspeed Senior Member
    Messages: 306

    I made some wood cribbing out of pressure treated 2x4's and I put it in to hold back 6-7 5 gallon drywall mud buckets filled with sand (400-500 pounds total). I use ratchet web tie-downs (ones rated for over 1000 pounds) to pull the cribbing and buckets against the tailgate.

    Front timbrens will work but new coilovers are probably best. Be easy in deep snow or you will get axle wrap/wheelhop and break something! I wonder how well any kind of traction bars would would work - they always stiffen ride and limit articulation...
  12. Maine_Snowman

    Maine_Snowman Junior Member
    Messages: 27


    Hey everyone-

    I have been looking for Timbrens for my Tacoma but cannot find them. Where do you find them? And how much do they cost?
  13. sixspeed

    sixspeed Senior Member
    Messages: 306

    Hi! I got mine from Michigan truck spring (www.truckspring.com). They are now up to $154 for the fronts, drop shipped free from the factory to your door... Other choices are new front coilovers or new springs.
    Timbrens are the easiest though, 5 minute install including dragging out tools and floor jack! Easy!
  14. Kramer

    Kramer Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    They recommend 600 lbs for the 6'9" fisher.

    Try this:

    Go to walmart, get one of those big rectangular plastic storage bins (about $20). Then get about 350--400lbs of sand (use bagged sand such as play sand if you want) and load it into the plastic bin. Slide the bin all the way against the cab back and use tie downs to hold it there.

    This makes a decent ballast, keeps it dry, makes it light enough so you leave it there all winter, and if you get stuck the sand is handy. If its bagged sand, it stays dry inside the big bin. Make sure to measure the width of the bed...you can get a bin that fits almost perfetly in there, and you don't have to build anything. In the summer, take the bin out and use it for other storage.