Use of Plow Skid Pads - How, Why, Where?

Discussion in '<a href=http://www.plowsite.com target=_blank ?>Sn' started by cjtatar, Sep 24, 2000.

  1. cjtatar

    cjtatar LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29

    In my ongoing project of adapting an older Meyer's 7 ft plow to my 94 Z71, I've got to the point of purchasing plow parts. The plow I purchased did not come with the Skid Pads as it would if purchased new. The guy I got it from said he never used them and the plow worked fine. Should I spend the $40 for both and install them? I'll be plowing my 200ft stone driveway only. My thought is yes, I do want them, to reduce driveway tear up.

    Can anyone offer advice? What would be a proper height to set the plow? Is it not adviseable with my type of driveway?

    Thanks

    Chris
     
  2. Alan

    Alan Member
    Posts: 1,185

    I've never seen where plow shoes did one lick of good at keeping the edge out of the gravel. There isn't enough area there to spread the weight out much and the shoes just cut in as much as the edge. If the stone isn't frozen enough to carry the plow, with out without shoes, you will move it around. Urethane edges are supposed to be good on gravel, expensive for your application, but might save you a lot of raking. Dino has experience with them in gravel, I will have after one storm. For what it's worth, we don't run shoes and we do a lot of gravel drives, gravel in this case being either natural gravel or crushed stone, they both act the same.
     
  3. plowking35

    plowking35 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from S.E. CT
    Posts: 1,687

    I agree with Alan, shoes dont work. However raise the plow about 2" of the gravel and you will save 75% of the driveway. Install a urethane edge, and you will save 100% of the driveway.
    Dino
     
  4. diggerman

    diggerman LawnSite Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Posts: 702

    I give mine all away, we have never used skids on straight blades. We use one in the center hole on our Boss's raised all the way up to protect the plate on the bottom of the center section.
     
  5. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,412

    my skids are used to keep the wind from blowing the garage door closed...
     
  6. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 849

    The skids also make great jon boat anchors! With two, you can use one for the bow, and one for the stern!

    There is a great little opportunity because plows are designed with them. Not everyone can benefit from this fact but some of us can. I can't personally, but I'll explain why.

    I don't know if any of you have done something like this, but....

    A friends father is a machinist. His son, and his son's friends who plow keep their plows in their garages. Naturally, they keep them all the way in the back, out of the way, in fact both keep them under a huge shelf in the back of their garages. It was hard for them to "walk" their blades back there after each use.

    He came up with a good idea. He made solid steel 2" dia. swivel wheels, that fit into the sleeves that the skids would normally go into. They swivel in the holes easily, and are held in by a simple hair pin. They keep the edge of the blade about 2" off the ground. (He made them when the plows were brand new, with no cutting edge wear yet.) After the edges wear, the blades will be a little higher off the ground. The wheels keep the A frame the same height from the ground regardless of the edge wear.

    Making the 2 swivels was the easy part. He then took it a step further. He made mounting the plows on the trucks easier too. He did this by making a third swivel wheel, that attaches to the cross piece between the pin hole mounts on the A frame of the blade. This gives the blade a "3 point stance", at just the right height. So they just pull in with their trucks, roll the blade up to it, and right into the mounts. Put the pins in, lift the blade, and remove the 3 wheels. They can mount their plows quickly, and easily by themselves. This set up works better than the "kickstand" that plows like the Western Pro Plow use.

    After plowing, they pull in to the garage, blade up, mount the wheels, pull the pins, and roll the plows out into the driveway to wash them down, then back into the rear of the garage for storage until the next snow.

    This is a great idea if the same plow goes onto the same truck everytime, and if the plows are stored on a LEVEL concrete surface. They tried mounting the plows on the blacktop of the driveway, but it wasn't "level" enough to allow the pin mounts to line up perfectly every time like in the garage.

    Like I said, this may work for some of you, but those who keep their plows "out in the yard" can't benefit much from this. I thought about it some more, and I think wheels from a scaffold may actually fit perfectly into some of the skid sleeves. They just might have too large of a diameter to swivel properly. If they can swivel properly, then a third wheel is all that would be needed to do something like this. If not for making mounting easier, at least for making moving them around the garage or shop easier.

    ~Chuck
     
  7. Chip

    Chip LawnSite Member
    Posts: 187

    Chuck
    Thanks for the great idea. I have a Northman plow that I keep tucked in the back of may garage under a shelf. I have often thought about putting the blade on castors to make it easy to move around. I'll put my tech school boy to work on this before the first flakes fly in the Northeast.
     
  8. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 849

    Your welcome Chip :) that's what this forum is all about, helping each other and sharing ideas.

    I have another one, and I'm sure many of you might have thought about this as well. I usually have a flashlight in one hand when trying to hook up my plow at night. We all know you need all the hands you can get when trying to line up a plow. The last thing you need to be doing is holding a flashlight.

    I had a pair of driving lights, and one got smashed (well the rust was holding the lens to the housing, I broke it prying when trying to change a bulb). I saved the one light, "just in case" like half the other junk in my garage.
    I recently though of mounting it on the back of my front bumper, to make hitching up easier. Should be really easy to do. It grounds to the bumper where it mounts, so all I need to do is drill a hole, run a power wire, and install a toggle switch on the dash.

    On that note, I like to use lighted toggle switches, that way I know when an accessory is "on".

    It's the stuff like this you want to do now, before the cold sets in and makes all repairs and mods no fun :(

    ~Chuck
     
  9. # 1 PLOWTECH WES/MEYER

    # 1 PLOWTECH WES/MEYER LawnSite Member
    from IL
    Posts: 28

    I love plow shoes...but for the right reason.. MONEY! 1ST of all plowing gravel drives suck, unless they are frozen.
    Even when they are frozen i usually use the shoes to keep the blade off about 1" for powder,and 2" for the wet stuff.

    This is one reason i love plow shoes:
    About three maybe four years ago, we had a wicked ice storm after a 3"-4" snowfall. With people driving thru that snow/ice mixture and the temp. dropping, there were frozen
    lumps,clumps,bumps etc. etc.. Everyone had there plow shoes off trying to scrape the ground even after salting w/o good success. Plowers were tripping the blades and snapping springs and eyebolts one after the other. After selling out of every new, used spring and eyebolt, we then sold out of every new or old shoe we could get our hands on! The shoes were used to raise the blade about 2"-3" just to get some sort of smoother surface on lots. It was great! Those "shoes" made alot of money! I can hardly wait for the next one. Best wishes, #1 PT.
















     
  10. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 849


    A wicked ice on top of 3 - 4" can be messy. The smart guys plowed before the changeover. The situation you described sounds like the plow guys that plow after all has stopped falling, not the real pros that are out when the first flakes start falling. I can appreciate what you are saying, but to me personally, it would be disgraceful to let any of my accounts end up in that state, with clumps frozen, and a mess. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, it just has never happened to me.

    What has happened is I have plowed all the mess off before it could freeze, and ended up with a sheet of ice that a heavy app. of rock salt took care of.
    Trying to melt a frozen mess of 3 -4" is foolish.

    Sometimes, you have to try anyway. Some guys try like you described, and other know how to do it properly. Expensive, yes, but properly.

    Yes, I've broken trip springs, and mounting eyes, but carry spares anyway. Nothing could convince me to put the shoes on.
    Plowing with the shoes on, and keeping the blade up 2 - 3" trying to get a smooth surface would lose accounts for me. That's what it means to keep a lot "free of ice and snow". They want blacktop, and they get it. That's why we run no shoes.

    ~Chuck
     

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