1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Why do we put up with it?

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by dieselboy01, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. dieselboy01

    dieselboy01 Senior Member
    Messages: 795

    Over the past few days I have spent countless hours reading about Vbox salters on this site. I will be in the market for one for next season.

    I have found there is really no clear cut "winner". They all seem to have problems, some more then others, most just silly issues that the companies R&D dept should have found.

    This is what I found from reading pages of posts:

    Salt Doggs have cheap controllers that burn up or are dead when you get them. There was a guy on here that said he went through 3 before he got one that worked. The plugs and wiring harness are junk I'm told, hell there is a company that makes USA made aftermarket harnesses for them. I don't want to spend $3500 on a salter and another $300 to replace plugs and a harness. I read a lot about there "funny" spread patterns too. People making deflectors and baffles so the salt hits the spinner different to have a nice even spread. THAT'S SOMETHING YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE TO DO!!

    SnowEx wasn't really talked about to much. From what I read the have controller issues too. I'm also not of fan of a mild steel frame for something that handles salt. Replacement parts and the spreaders themselves are expensive.

    Western Tornado/Fisher Poly Casters Seem to be the crowd favorite. Everyone that has them loves them and I couldn't find any complaints. I do like the lid VS. tarps and bungees. The only thing I don't like is the height of the box, seems to be the same height as my cab. I get into some tight areas and I like to use the back window to see.

    It would be sweet to take a little from each one and build one really nice spreader.

    So why do we put up with them? Why can't they make a spreader that will do a great job, from the factory and last a few years before a motor or controller burns up? Don't they know they need us as much as we need them? Why can't they see when there cheap controller burns up at 2am its gonna cost me half a day? "But it's okay, it's under warranty" WTF?

    I would have no problem paying a little more for there products if they would use better parts to build them. Maybe they should read this site and all these posts to find out what really works and what needs to be fixed.

    Thanks for reading. Have a wonderful night!

  2. dodgegmc1213

    dodgegmc1213 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    i see a lot of people complaining about saltdoggs as well. we run 2 of them, shpe1500 and shpe2000. never had problems with the controller or the harness. they been great salters. unplug them for the summer and put them away, take them out grease the bearing plug them in turns right on no problems. I do realize it shoots alil more to the driver side then the passenger, but nothing to worry about it
  3. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    I have a gas Swanson SS Since early 90s its on its sec chain its been the best and only V box I have owned avg about 30 ton per winter

    In the off months I remove the chain soak in a tub of oil Clean the rest and put inside for the summer
    I think the extra attention I give has pro long its life
  4. NorthernSvc's

    NorthernSvc's Senior Member
    Messages: 781

    I am no expert but I would also venture to guess that a lot of the problems come down to:
    Installation -
    how they are used....

    Lots of guys put little to no effort on the install ( dont use weatherproof connectors...) don't fasten things appropriatly....
    they don't maintain the spreaders like they should - grease points, di electric grease the connections - tape or saran wrap them to keep them protected from salt water...

    Electric spreaders are also not hydraulic, I don't know how many posts I have read about people complaining that they are getting jammed, the electric motors cannot tear up hardened salt clumps like their hydraulic or engine driven counterparts. - They also don't empty out non used materials and reload with fresh non clumped up hardened salt before each use... so motors burn out quicker....

    but regardless... IMO the best electric V-box on the market right now is the western tornado...
  5. Longae29

    Longae29 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,953

    We have two western tornado electrics, one fuse on one in two years, snowex electric 0 problems in 4 years, 4 hi-way gas, each one has at least one problem a year be it starter, controller, drag chain busted, engine chain breaking, etc. 3 western ice breakers also a problem a year on each....the undertailgate dump salters that are hydraulic seem to have much fewer problems than the v-boxes.
  6. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,403

    A lot of those salt Dogg problems are old too

    For every one problem you read there's 50 that have no issues. We have 3 or 4
  7. dieselboy01

    dieselboy01 Senior Member
    Messages: 795

    I'm sure they are not all bad. It just seems like a lot. I would hate to invest money into something that will not hold up.
  8. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,403

    Look at the 2250...its all new. Much Berger. We brought 3 more 2 yards this year
  9. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    That's the ticket right there. For the longevity value, and if you are running through any sort of volume of salt, the under-tailgate hydraulic units are the way to go.

    Our main truck, with a central hydro unit that runs the dump, plow, and spreader has been deemed old reliable...... 20 minutes to install in the fall and always operates.

  10. chachi1984

    chachi1984 Senior Member
    Messages: 416

    I have a hi-way gas spreader. Prob 10-15 yrs old not to sure.
    I try to grease and oil everything once a week or so. It ran good the last few years but i did have a few problems this year. I had to replace the original 10 plus yr spreader clutch and a few chains. cost me 1500 then i had to fix a short in the ground wire causing problems trying to start the engine.
    Since then i ve put about 20 tonne though it with no trouble
    I try to start the motor everyday. also I don't leave any salt inside.

    snoway ss spreaders seem to be pretty good
  11. rblake

    rblake Senior Member
    from dayton
    Messages: 293

    I have several highway stainless steel spreaders that are 10 years old. Never replaced the controllers, maybe a on off switch. Sure I have had to replace an engine after 9 years, several clutches, solenoids, bearings, but it depends on how much material you put through it and maintenance.

    My thoughts, metal and salt do not mix.
  12. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,594

    Look at the new Boss v-boxes, that's what I would get.
  13. dieselboy01

    dieselboy01 Senior Member
    Messages: 795

    The Boss boxes look great, but this is going in a short box and the VBX is 8' long.

    I was looking into 1.5 yard elec. I don't think the truck will handle more then that and I don't need to bring more salt then that, not yet anyway.
  14. dieselboy01

    dieselboy01 Senior Member
    Messages: 795

    Do chain fed spreaders like the Tornado drop salt off the chain under the salter into the bed of the truck as the chain moves around?
  15. Westhardt Corp.

    Westhardt Corp. Senior Member
    Messages: 845

    1. Stainless.
    2. Hydraulic.
    3. Rinse after every use.
    4. Live forever

  16. fireball

    fireball PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 545

    had the same old guy on the back of the truck for years. He grumbles a lot now, so I gave him a dime per hour pay raise and a new shovel
  17. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    I know one guy took a truck and removed the bed and mounted a vBox to the frame For winter time Come summer he puts his flat bed back on

    My self Salt lays on the rubber mat on my flat bed and every so often I'll remove spreader and clean up the salt put back in the bin
  18. Whiffyspark

    Whiffyspark 2000 Club Member
    from SOMD
    Messages: 2,403

    The boss will fit.

    They say a 2 yard won't fit in a short bed either. It does just fine.
  19. SNO-PRO

    SNO-PRO Member
    Messages: 66

    We have 7 Salt Doggs and yes the spread a little more to the drivers side but I honestly think there a good spreader. I have put one new spinner motor on and a bunch of connectors because I agree the connectors are not great but I keep up on the dielectric now and I am usually good to go. I grease the front bearing excessively and wash them out, nice and simple. Knock on wood I have never had a controller issue and I have analog and digital.
  20. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    My Buyers electric Vbox has been incredibly reliable so far. I also have an analog controller and if/when that ever goes out I'll simply buy a Karrier controller just like I did for my Snowex.

    I didn't wash it out when the temps plummeted but I try to do it often. I also keep that front bearing greased up. It's very easy to get to so there's no excuse for not doing it.