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Plow sensor ? Why not

Discussion in '<a href=http://www.plowsite.com target=_blank ?>Sn' started by Lou, Jan 6, 2001.

  1. Lou

    Lou LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    A continuing problem for most plowers is ripping up the turf,cinder.gravel etc. The float position works if your on pavement or frozen ground. Canting, or changing the pitch of the blade can help, but is no guarantee.

    There's a lot of high tech sensors out there. There must be a way to configure one to sense the distance from the ground to the blade. It would function when the control pad is in the float position for example. Just thought I'd run this idea on the forum and see what some of the innovators think.
  2. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 849

    The sensor itself is not too far fetched. My portable sonar "fish finder" was less than $200 a few years back. The display screen would show the density of the lake bottom. You could tell if it is muck, or rock. Obviously, it showed fish on the screen, so it knows the density of fish. Pavement has a consistent (or near consistent) density. Now, getting the plow to react to the change in desity fast enough, is another story.

    They already have a wheel that rides on pavement to measure how slick the pavement is. A sensor to measure pavement temprature. Cameras aimed at wing plows, and cameras (like Geoff has) to aid when backing up.

    A few years back, the weather channel did a short piece on the ultimate plow vehicle. It had cameras, the pavement temp sensor, the wheel to measure how slick the pavement is, and more. I never was able to video tape it. I searched their website for it right after it aired with no luck.

    Finnegan, this sounds like a job for you!

  3. blades

    blades LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Cool idea, and the technology is most definately available, but I think the main roadblock here would be the sensors ability to truly determine actual ground level. It would have to decipher (sp?) between the snow and the ground, which may be a tall order for a reasonably priced and rugged sensor.
  4. finnegan

    finnegan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 109

    chuck you know i'll get right on that one as soon as it stops snowing around here.
    also came up with away to beat rust will post...
  5. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 849

    Blades, I don't think it would have to determine the ground level. It would just have to automatically raise the blade 1 - 2" instantly, when a density less than pavement is sensed. Snow has basically no density compared to pavement. Now if a sensor and system like this was to malfunction, it could be an interesting experience to say the least, LOL.

  6. finnegan

    finnegan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 109

    say we had a sensor that worked --it would have to be on a boom of some kind at least 8ft in front of the blade taking into account truck speed, hydraulic speed and then add time for info from the sensor to tell the plow to pick up at the speed of electricity6/10th of a second-this ones making my head hurt,better off with some kind of forward looking doppler radar system...
  7. finnegan

    finnegan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 109

    I got it ! not practical but it would work perfectly,if you could bury a single 18 gauge wire around the lawns or areas to avoid,you could use one of those electric dog collars,just put it on your neck and every time you get shocked---pick up your blade!!!!

    isn't technology wonderfull!
  8. John Allin

    John Allin LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,488

    You guys need some more snow.
    You got wayyyy too much time on your hands now.
  9. Deere John

    Deere John LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    Your ideat made me think that such a system would be relatively easy to cobble onto a system that uses a direct hydraulic linkage to raise/lower the plow (Boss and Snow way, at least me thinks). Hydraulic pressure sensors on the suck and blow ends of the lift cylinder could use logic similar to anitlock brakes. The operator could select a mode of sensitivity, and the plow could maintain various levels of downpressure on a continuous basis.

    Lots of potential, lots of potential pump wear too.
  10. MJ

    MJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 312

    Finnegan, you and Deere John need to start a company for Research and Development of snow removal technology. Locate some investment money for production and marketing. Maybe hook up with a couple of major established companies, sit back and wait for the money to roll in.


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