Plowing With Tandems

Chuck Smith

LawnSite Senior Member
Nutley, NJ
In my area, Northern New Jersey, most of the main roads that are not town roads are cleared with tandems. I think mostly because there's just so many of them around here!

Here's a few pics of some that stop in a diner we plow.

Some of the plows are really beat up bad! Those of you that know about road plows, may be able to tell what brands they are. I have no clue.




Those are cool photos Chuck. I shouldn't even be responding to this thread because of all the heat i got from responding to "sticker shock." I will probably never plow with one of those, just take photos of them. A trucker who has his trucks in the next town over,Jeff Benvuto Truckin'.He has has an Internationl bi-axle with a plow and sander. Since photos are something I take a lot of, I have experience and that's why i responded to this post.

p.s- chuck, please erase all my responses on the sticker shock thread, thanks


LawnSite Senior Member
The one truck you can see well is a Mack Rd very similar to the truck we use,they even have a third axle like ours.The blades are relly beat up though, are these guys just employed by the dept or are they actually dept trucks?

Chuck Smith

LawnSite Senior Member
Nutley, NJ

They are all independent truckers who plow in the winter as sub contractors for whoever wins the bid. They swap the chrome bumpers off for the winter, and slap on any old plow they can find to earn more cash it seems. Yes, they are really beat to $*&@.

The trucks are in decent shape. One of the large quarries here in the area, does rt 80, and they have a whole fleet of Macks, in top shape. No chrome, but in excellent mechanical shape, and no rust. They get painted A LOT. The company is Mt. Hope Rock Products. They run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The place even generates their own power from a lake on site somehow, enough power to supply about 20 of the houses closest to the quarry too. During the blizzard of 96 here, they had their road graders, and MONSTER loaders out on Rt 80 clearing 30"+ of snow. I'm talking loaders that my 80 GMC K/25 would get lost in the bucket. They had 6 of them out I think. Took them 2 days to do about 10 miles of road. Not to make it passable, but to clear all the snow off 6 lanes, and the shoulder. They had it passable the same day the snow fell.

I have a feeling here, whoever gets the contract, hires all the other bidders as subs. The same trucks seem to do all the roads every year. There's one guy that is out every year with an old Diamond Reo. He has no body on the back, just straps a 6'+ diameter log on the back, right on the frame rails, and plows away. Maybe I'll get a pic of that this year.



Snow wrote>>p.s- chuck, please erase all my responses on the sticker shock thread<<

Bad move Bryan, your responses were as valid as your original post there. The equipment you mentioned is applicable to the trucks in the size range that was being discussed, and your opinions, based on reading specs are as valid as those based on hearsay.

One thing that helps keep confusion down is if a poster qualifies his posts with "I read" or "I have heard" it tends to come off as somewhat less like pontificating


LawnSite Bronze Member
Those photos make me want to start plowing with, one of my L 9000s. Frink plow, wing and i would be in business, only i think i would damage too many cars.

Alan, again i am sorry for my "hearsay". I try to provide as much good information as possible to this forum. However i manage millions of dollars of equipment, and have tons of specs in my mind. Sometimes everything blends together, and the wrong answers come out. I think its pretty bad, when sometimes i can't even tell you what the specs of all my trucks, loader, exevators, ect, with out haveing to look up some of them. Only that is my life, and thats the way it works.


[Edited by GeoffDiamond on 10-17-2000 at 12:40 AM]


LawnSite Bronze Member
Somerset, NJ
The state roads (NJ) are usually bid out in sections for 3 year contracts, which is why you'll see the same trucks doing the same spots year after year (especially if the same contractor wins the same bid more than once). They also require that the subcontracted tandems use plows that they (NJ) supply (I don't have any idea what kind they are but they are generally painted light green). At the beginning of the contract the state mounts the frame that you need onto the trucks. There are different regional locations set up around the state & when the callout comes you have to have your truck(s) at that regional yard within an hour to hook up the plow & go. When they're done with your truck you drop the plow off & go home. If you're not using the truck during the winter I would assume they would allow the plow to stay hooked up instead of remounting it for every storm. This info is gleaned from reading NJ state bid specs & talking with a contractor that has a lot of tandems doing state work each year (his yard is a regional hook up location).

Aspen Snow

LawnSite Member

That is correct about the way NJ bids out the State Highway work. The contractor use the plow all winter then in the state comes and get them in the spring. The state repairs them in the summer and returns them to you in the fall. The repair shop is not that great.

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