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First Plow...1985 F350 diesel, dually... want recommendations

Discussion in '<a href=http://www.plowsite.com target=_blank ?>Sn' started by DanH, Nov 4, 2000.

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  1. DanH

    DanH LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    My '85 F350 diesel dually, with auto trans, has a stakebody dump bed (single cylinder). I believe it has a 411 rear end (in any event, it's winding out at highway speeds, and the speedometer is off for sure). I've been searching around for a used plow, but haven't found one yet. Maybe I'll buy new. Would like any recommendations from experienced people as to setup / width and type of blade, and any modifications/ warnings / suggestions for my particular truck.

    Being in Central Pennsylvania, snowfall is not assured, though we sometimes get a couple of decent snowfalls (quite different from NE PA, which has the lake effect and much more snow) .

    I do have an offer of $55/hr to sub for a large company (plowing only... more if I get a salt spreader... would like recommendations on that, too) . But with my contacts, I could probably get some small lots, private drives and long driveways.

    Any help would be appreciated. I've enjoyed reading many of the other threads... very nice to have this resource on the 'net.

    lefty in a righty world
  2. plowking35

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

    Welcome DanH, I hope your stay here is a nice one.
    You will get alot of opinons from this ? so use what will work for you, and throw away the rest. If you buy new, first decide if you like full blade trip design, or trip edge design. Then start shopping. My personal recommendation is that a 8.5-9' plow blade is minimum for the wide track of the dually's. Less than that and turing turns, the inside rear wheel will be in the snow. One other thing to consider is a v plow. If you buy new, the difference is cost is relatively minor, and the increase in production is alot. Many contractors will pay subs more for a v plow, I know I do. There are 2 makers of an 8.5' v plow, and boss makes a 9'2" v plow, both would work fine for your truck. The make of the plow,should be secondary to a good dealer with parts in stock.
    If you buy used, shop around, but still stay with a 8.5-9'plow. Many times a used plow can be had for less than a grand, it will easily pay for itself in a few storms.
    Now spreaders are easier, look for a used one in good condition, check for rust in the bottom channel, and the condition of the apron chain. The engines are cheap enough to replace if need be. Anything over 3 yrs old should be no more than $ 1200-1500, newer than that may be closer to two thousand.
    A new one should be able to be had for the high 2'K to,low 3K dollar range, and a stainless unit usually goes for about 4K.
    One option is a smith stainless with electric motor. I have one and I like it, it is quiet and effecient. That unit is in the mid 3K range, so a good compromise for an all stainless unit.
    I am sure other will chime in, so have fun.

    [Edited by plowking35 on 11-05-2000 at 12:31 AM]
  3. DanH

    DanH LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Thanks for the reply, Dino... I've read quite a few of your other posts, too.

    You know, I've not given much thought before to a V plow, before, but I'll look into it some more... I'm wondering about plowing patterns for a V plow. Seems it would be a bit different than with a straight plow with a power angle.

  4. GeoffDiamond

    GeoffDiamond LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 1,651

    Dino, has hit the plow recomendations right on the nose, I couldn't have said it better myself.

    However for the truck:

    Change your trans fluid, right now.
    Come to a full stop before shifting.

    Diesels and plowing didn't mix with older Ford trans.

    However if you change the trans fluid 2X a year, and come to a full stop before shifting, your trans should be fine.

  5. plowking35

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

    Well the plow will go from < and then to > and everywhere in between. In wide open spaces(Dixie chicks no pun intended) you can use the straight blade option, but I fond that unless I am doing access roads I use the scoop position all the time. It captures the snow, with little tailoff.
  6. justa hick

    justa hick LawnSite Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 17

    Hey Dan i'm from central Pa too check bradco supply they have a 9.2 boss v plow with a new pump for 2200.00 i think the plows only 2 yrs old right off a ford to boot.
  7. landscaper3

    landscaper3 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,354

    Not sure what that sub work does but our average per storm per truck is $100.00 to $150.00 hr on commercial and res properties.
  8. iowastorm

    iowastorm LawnSite Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 370

    I noticed that you mentioned that with your contacts you could get driveways and small parking lots. That right there tells me you'll need to backdrag quite a bit. Therefore, most of the V's are out, unless you can tolerate their lack of performance during backdragging as opposed to the straight blades. Furthermore, you could also save around a grand by purchasing a poly or steel straight blade in the Boss line, but still have a superior plow. Although we're not using subs at this point, I too would pay a little extra to a sub with a v. Anyhow, I believe in having the right equipment for the work you have today, therefore, give some thought as to where you are and make your decision from there. Good luck and welcome to our crazy house.
  9. plowking35

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

    The reason why most v plows dont back drag is because the boss plow uses trip springs to control the return of the plow from v to straight. With the newer v plows boss installed cyl locks to keep that from happening. However with the fisher and western v they use double acting cyl. and they back drag as well as a straight plow. In fact in the v position it works just like the scoop postion but in reverse, and there is no tail off. I use the v plow for both residential and commercial and they are better than a straight plow for both applications IMO. Many times it is easier to scoop the snow and carry it way from openings, sidewalks and other obstacles. Also by time we get to many residential drives, the town plows have left a huge winrow, so the v breaks right through it.
    However if you come across a used striaght plow in good condition then jump on it. No reason to pay 2x as much just to get a newer plow.

    [Edited by plowking35 on 11-07-2000 at 03:41 AM]
  10. DanH

    DanH LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Thanks, people! This board is an excellent resource! I'm going to look into that one for 2200, and am going to try to hook up with some local guys to see if I can "apprentice" under them a bit this year... maybe take up some of their slack, if we get some big weather.

    thanks again, folks... guess the plow biz has a lot of good hearts behind those plows.

    Regarding having the right equipment for what I'm gonna do... I think my strategy this year will be to find some decent equipment at a bargain, and then go after the work that equipment is best suited for. I guess if I can get a good deal on a V, then I'll be looking more for lots than driveways.


    [Edited by DanH on 11-07-2000 at 03:43 AM]
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