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Where to mount the joystick, radios, etc?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Roger Dodger, Dec 12, 2002.

  1. Roger Dodger

    Roger Dodger Senior Member
    from nw Pa.
    Messages: 240

    When are truck mfgrs. going to give consideration to facilitate the mounting of a plow controller, trailer brake controller, CB/Business radio, etc? I would think a good many of the HD trucks employ these devices and I'm sure a majority of us surely don't want to be drilling and hacking our dashes! Velcro II has some successes depending what it has to support, but there's no substitute for a solid, nut, bolt, or screw attachment. The latest effort to provide an underdash wire connector to accomodate a brake controller is nice and eliminates tapping into the wire harness but leaves little in the way of where to mount the device itself.

    Since I don't smoke, I removed my $75 ash tray (yep, that's what they cost in a RAM) and carefully designed and fashioned up a solid block of hardwood for a mount. I used a milling bit in a drill press to rout the necessary grooves to imitate the ashtray, painted it to match the dash, secured it in place as well, and mounted my radio, and both controllers to it. No dash holes and no dangling or visible wires. All wires run through the ashtray opening, of which is not visible, from the equipment that covers it. Everything is within easy and safe reach while driving. Maybe I should get a design job with Dodge Corp.?;)
  2. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Really sucks they couldn't do a better job designing the dashes for work trucks.It should be a factory option for a "work truck" dash whith lots of places for stuff.

    Another trick is to bend a piece of flat steel to fit the contour of the centre of the dash and secure it using the factory trim/dash/bolster screws using longer ones.Line the back side with thick foam tape so it won't scratch and screw it on and mount all you stuff to it.

    We also used to use a fairly thick legal side clipboard,or even a thin piece of steel,aluminum or wood,which you can slide uder the centre console/armrest,or strap to the seat,then mount all your stuff to the front.Add quick diconnects for the wires,and it comes out in seconds.Really nice if you only lease or keep your trucks for a short period of time.
  3. Earthscapes

    Earthscapes Senior Member
    from WNY
    Messages: 577

    I had the same problem so here is what i did. I took a piece of flat stock 1/8" thick 3" wide and found a spot under the dash to drill some holes. Then i just kept bending it till i got it in place. I took tape and wrapped the whole thing so it wouldn't scratch my dashboard,,,plus i added some pieces of sponge behind it so it wouldn't shake and rattle


  4. Earthscapes

    Earthscapes Senior Member
    from WNY
    Messages: 577

  5. Earthscapes

    Earthscapes Senior Member
    from WNY
    Messages: 577

    last one and no i don't hit it with me knee:drinkup:

  6. Roger Dodger

    Roger Dodger Senior Member
    from nw Pa.
    Messages: 240

    You must have sore knees from entering and exiting your truck... that controller looks rather large!:eek:
  7. TLS

    TLS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425

    May not be able to do this on all plow controllers, but heres what I do. Just set it between my thigh and the door panel. My left hand operates the switches, and my right hand steers/shifts. When its time to get out of the truck, I just put it up on the dash. It has a quick disconnect plug, and I just unplug it when I take the plow off. Sure beats drilling holes in my dash. Anyway you mount your controller, your LEFT hand should be the hand of choice. This leaves your right hand for shifting and steering. The only other real slick thing to do is for you straight blade/stick shift guys....Mount the single slick stick on your transmission shifter. Buddy of mine uses 2 gas line hose clamps. He takes if off in the spring.

    Anyways, heres a pic of my setup.

  8. TLS

    TLS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425

    And when I get out of the cab....

    I throw it up on the dash real quick!

  9. Roger Dodger

    Roger Dodger Senior Member
    from nw Pa.
    Messages: 240

    LOL- my friend has his mounted in the center console at the rear. Why way back there? When he shifts the manual stick into reverse, his elbow hits the joystick to lift the plow! When he puts it in forward gear, his elbow just rests on the joystick and moves it enough to activate the down position!! No power angling, just cable operated up & down. He just might be the fastest operator this side of the Mississippi!;)
  10. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 823

    "Billy Bob will get em, Billy Bobs got the Fastest boat on the river"

    Sorry. that joystick comment made me think of that line from James Bond Live and Let Die.:D
  11. Sno

    Sno Senior Member
    Messages: 320

    I chucked up a small log in my wood lathe, turned it down to about the size of a coffee mug,,,,, then, mounted my joystick to the top of the turned down log and dropped the assembly into the coffee holder in center console.
    GM put the coffee holder at a perfect arms reach from the driver.

    Now my joystick is at a perfect arms reach and can be tucked out of the way after useage.

    About as natural as a trip to the restroom.


    Now I have to reach an extra 2" for my coffee though, it has to ride in the passenger holder now. :rolleyes:
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2002
  12. Big Todd

    Big Todd Senior Member
    Messages: 126

    Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha:D

    Sory, that one just got me....

    Anyway, I ought to have my brother post some pics. of his setup. He took a piece of hard plastic and mounted the controls on it the long way. Then he took two long velcro straps and attached them to the plastic. He just velcros the piece on his left leg and his hand falls right on them naturally.

    On my '99 Chevy, there is a 1.25" diameter bar that runs the width of the dash along the bottom. I took two 1" wide pieces of .125" steel, cut them to size, painted them, and drilled some holes. I attached them to the bar under the dash with some small u-bolts. Then I ran a length of threaded rod up from each one to a base for the two controlers that I made from sandwiching two pieces of 4" channel PVC. I painted it all to match my interior and covered the threaded rod with some split poly loom. My left fingers fall on it perfectly. Yeah, I've banged my knee on it a couple of times, but you learn to avoid doing that real quick.
  13. duke

    duke Junior Member
    Messages: 28

    Fishstick in the right hand, can hit reverse and drive with it in hand as well. my $.02
  14. Arc Burn

    Arc Burn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,141

    duke summed it up best,can't beat the fishstick!
  15. Sno

    Sno Senior Member
    Messages: 320


    I guess you will just have to picture it...

  16. Dockboy

    Dockboy Guest
    Messages: 0

    "What are ya boy?? Some kind of Doomsday machine!!"

    ROTFLMAO!! Matt
    :D :D

    As for the controller, ditto what duke said!:drinkup:

  17. Jerre Heyer

    Jerre Heyer Senior Member
    Messages: 948

    Sno, I might have to hire a guy to start turning down logs for control mounts. I thought using a piece of schedule 40 3" pvc and a 3" cap installed in the cup holder was the easy way to go. Guess the guy with the 22 1/2 elbow will have to wait till I find an offset turing attachment for my lathe.

    Got to agree that the fish/western hand held stick control is a slick unit it works far better than the Boss hand held unit and is the contol to beat for flexible mounting and freedom of movement.

  18. Jerre Heyer

    Jerre Heyer Senior Member
    Messages: 948

    Rodger, Forgot this thread started out bashing the mfg.and not allowing room for accessories mounting.

    Waiting for a built in brake control box with a ( towing package )

    Waiting for a flat area for a full size C.B. radio or an inset in the dash to allow for mounting in or below that can be used for a junk catch for all the guys who don't have a C.B.

    Also room for a 2way radio.

    C.B. Wiring through the fire wall.

    Switches in the Ford super duty to go with the 4 wires the run in the harness for body builder acc. wiring like the aux. switch in the CHEVE's

    The cheve's to add more acc swithes.\

    Real back up lights.

    and on and on and on............Jerre
  19. fastjohnny

    fastjohnny Senior Member
    Messages: 654

    Big Todd

    That sounds like an elaborate set-up.

    Any Pictures?
  20. Sno

    Sno Senior Member
    Messages: 320

    Black walnut, Oak, ash.... I burn the good stuff..

    Definately not top heavy with the joystick.

    And to your specs.

    Actualy, I was just trying out the new lathe.... Made a keeper.