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Question for the snowplow experts...

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by NerdBoy, Dec 27, 2004.

  1. NerdBoy

    NerdBoy 1/2 ton status

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    Last week, we got a fair amount of snow dumped on us here in Southern IL. 13 inches, to be exact. With all that snow, the company we use to plow the Bank parking lot couldn't get to us. The boss wants to keep that from happening again.

    He has a 1999 Ford Expedition that he thinks he wants to buy a plow blade for. Keep in mind that this man has never plowed anything in his life. Personally, I think this is a bad idea, and that he should just buy an older, maybe mid-80s truck, something fuel-injected, for reliability. I can't really form any good arguments, as I am not heavily experienced with plowing. Any ideas for *good* arguements against his idea? Or, will buying a plow blade for use 5-10 times a year not be all that bad for his $40k vehicle?
     
  2. BamBamblazer

    BamBamblazer 1/2 ton status

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    I have been plowing snow for about 11 years now and nooooooo way would i put a plow on a vehicle like that. Plowing snow is the HARDEST thing you can do to a street driven vehicle. I pesonaly wont put a plow on anything newer than 10-12 years old because it is just going to beat it to death. There is the 500 -800 ponds hanging about 6 feet in front of the front axle, just think of what that does to ball joints and all the other front end parts. Then there is the constant forward - reverse for the tranny not to mention the strain put on the tranny when actualy pushing the snow! There are a lot of guys who put plows on new trucks but i think it is dumb. Hell even the guy i buy my plows from wont put a plow on anything of his till it is 10 years old, cause he knows how hard it is on a truck!!!!
     
  3. sweetk30

    sweetk30 professional hooker Premium Member

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    plow info

    those fords are vary light in the front and there isnt much in the way of beef up parts. plus like you said he is in over his head. you would likly wind up pulling him out of a snow bank. just my .02cents try that.
     
  4. bablazer73

    bablazer73 1/2 ton status

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    I wouldn't put a plow on it. For many of the same reasons mentioned. But if he is gonna anyways, there are some "light duty" plows that won't tear it up as bad. The way you plow is important. I take my time and don't slam the truck into snowbanks. I am smooth with the plow on my truck. I only really do my driveway and a couple others in my neighborhood. But i won't put a plow on a newer truck either. I love my blazers for plowing. I have less than $2,000 into my 88 blazer with the plow I put on.
     
  5. beater_k20

    beater_k20 Banned

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    bingo! nice and easy with the K20, i've become pretty smooth on the lever as well as my driving.

    i have plowed with my '77, and a '92 K2500. i prefer the '77. mine only gets used for family driveways, and the road to my grandma's house, so it doesnt see too much abuse. my grandpa had a '79 K5 before he bought the K20, as far as handling, the K5 was superior due to its adjility because of the short wheelbase. for pushing lots of snow, the longer wheelbase/heavier truck is better. the K5 also has another disadvantage, the rear window. it likes to get covered up with road grime and ice and snow, severly limiting visibility. the only reason that he got rid of the K5 is that it was in such poor condition bodywise, and we couldnt get it to run right.
     
  6. atho

    atho 1/2 ton status

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    Plowing with any vehicle that has IFS is just a bad idea.
     
  7. original balzer

    original balzer 1/2 ton status

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    i realy sujest helping him find the right plow (a light weight plow) i know there are now plows built for smaller vehicles even as small as a wrangler jeep if its just used a few times a year go with that kind of plow to keep steress off the newer truck

    willow
     
  8. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I wouldnt do it....

    Nope--I would not put a plow on a nicer,newer truck--for one thing,most of the sport utilities and light duty trucks arent up to the task--period--they have wimpy frames,and the suspension isnt beefy enough for any serious use--it might be ok if you get a lexan blade that doesnt weigh much,but the drivetrain and such isnt really rugged enough for heavy use....

    I'd buy an older GM or other truck,in the 70-87 year range,3/4 ton is better than 1/2 ton if possible(beefier axles and springs),and though an automatic tranny is much easier to plow with,even the largest ones like a TH400 or a C-6 will not last very long when constantly shifting in and out of reverse,and pushing snow is hard on them too,as another poster said-a tranny cooler is a must on plow trucks...
    -I've seen several trucks with plows in decent running condition (except for the usual "cancer")for sale in my area for 500-1000 bucks,a manual tranny will last longer,but the clutch usually does need replacing after a long hard winter--if you dont plan on using it for road use,dont bother to get plates for it,just use it as a parking lot plow truck,to save cash....I think it would be wise to spend the thousand bucks on another whole truck--the plow blade setup for the newer truck would cost at least that much ,and why beat a newer truck up for nothing??..and nothing pushes snow better than an "oldie"--my 82 K20 plows circles around my friends 89 dodge 1/2 ton shortbed--his slides sideways,mine just goes straight ahead,like a dozer!!..
     
  9. sweetk30

    sweetk30 professional hooker Premium Member

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    once you put a plow on that thing if he wants to sell it later it will be harder to get top bid on it. for most plow rigs get BETEN UP .
     
  10. camiswelding

    camiswelding 1/2 ton status

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    to convince him its a bad idea you can look at the ford special equipment fitup manual....
    they dont recommend plows on that truck (or the f150)

    This sentiment is also echoed by "Truck and Trailer Body Builders" magazine... a trade publication...
    yes you can find plows for them, even the light lexan ones.. (they arent worth a poop) obviously people will sell you anything they can

    An older well equipped k20 or 30 is a great way to go... a couple of side jobs and it will put cash in his pocket....
    I paid for a new dodge w300"sno'fighter" in one season as a kid plowing
    over 10k.... of course that was in the early 70s


    You couldnt give me snow now if you paid me... Im glad you hearty souls like it

    cam
     
  11. bluejeep

    bluejeep 1/2 ton status

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    I disagree with most of these posts. While I know nothing about the ford listed, my father is a snow removal contractor, has been for 30+ years and the one he currently uses is a '96 Chevy standard cab, stepside Z71. He's been plowing with this truck for 6 years now, Boss 7'6" V plow. He loves it because it's short, comfortable, and easily maneuverible. The truck doesn't see any abnormal wear, doesn't go through front end parts, and is still on the original 4L60E with 220,000 miles on it.

    He believes the reason he doesn't have problems is that when he's done pushing snow, the plow comes off. It detaches from the truck quickly and easily, and he doesn't drive around with it on all winter. When it snows, he hooks it back up in under 2 minutes and it's ready to go again. This saves unnecessary wear and tear on the 1/2 ton's front suspension.

    His previous plow trucks were a K5 blazer and an '84 3/4 ton diesel, which he still runs with the Boss plow.

    It's mostly a matter of how you treat the truck, and how much sense you have, IMHO.
     

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