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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

This is my first post and potentially an explosive one to Chevy, Ford, Dodge or Toyota supporters.

We bought a nice piece of property in S.Bristol, NY and it has about a 1/4 mile long relatively flat driveway. I need to buy a truck to tow my 22' aluminum fishing boat and I would like to plow my driveway in the winter with a decent dependable rig.

I guess I'm looking for a tow truck and a plow I can attach and detach myself that's not too complicated to use and that's dependable. I'm also torn between buying a 1/2 ton or a 3/4 ton truck. My son tells me the 3/4 ton truck have beefier transmissions then the 1/2 tons have especially since he needed to replace his babied 2014 silverado transmission when it hit 100,000 miles.

Personally, I'm not into all of the new gadgets bells and whistles these new trucks have and I would much rather buy something older, simpler and more reliable that doesn't cost a fortune to repair and something I can maintain myself in my shop. All suggestions would be most welcome. SH
 

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Theres an awful lot of issues there for a "simple" question

In general, a 3/4 will always be heavier duty and take more abuse than a 1/2 ton. 1/2 tons are personal use trucks. That said, I wont say that a 1/2 wont work for personal use plowing and towing a 12' boat.

I'm not sure what you mean by "complicated to use" - I gather you are imagining modern plows work like an iPhone with all sorts of techno stuff. They arent. A modern plow will work with modern trucks. Itll be much easier to take on and off. And parts availability wont be an issue. An old, obsolete plow will be much tougher to take off, you may not be able to adapt it to modern trucks, and parts to fix it when it breaks may not be available. Old plows are not inherently more reliable.

Not to mention, buying used plows can end up being money pits if you arent very familiar with the plows and know what itll cost you to equip the truck which can top $2k in some cases before you've even bought a plow.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the advice.

From what you are suggesting a 3/4 truck would probably be the safest plow/truck to get because of the added abuse it will probably take. Now if you only had @ $12,000 to spend on a truck and plow combo, and didn't care about the creature comforts, year, make or "style" of the truck, are there any recommendations you could give to this first time truck/plow owner??
 

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Thank you for the advice.

From what you are suggesting a 3/4 truck would probably be the safest plow/truck to get because of the added abuse it will probably take. Now if you only had @ $12,000 to spend on a truck and plow combo, and didn't care about the creature comforts, year, make or "style" of the truck, are there any recommendations you could give to this first time truck/plow owner??
Short answer? No.

Long answer: $12,000 to buy a plow and truck doesn't really give you a lot to work with. Since we are talking very-used, it really depends on what is available in your area, in your price range. I have no idea what that is. Luckily being July you have plenty of time to shop. Ideally I'd want to stay in the 2000s. Anything early than 2000, plow-wise at least, will likely lead to headaches & parts availability. Obviously, the newer the better both on truck and plow. Your best bet would be to find a plow and truck for sale together. Trying to buy them separate will be trickier since you aren't likely to know the true value of the plow or the final cost unless you are very familiar with them.

Avoid pseudo-plows like snowbear and the like which uses winches and that kind of crap but you aren't likely to find one of those on a 3/4 ton. Also, ideally you'll want a plow who there is a local dealer for, so you should probably look into what is around in your area.
 

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Totally agree with cwren, 12k does is not much of a budget for truck/plow combo. I just put a new plow on my 3/4 ton ford 2 weeks ago, $8300 out the door. With something really used your also buying someone else’s problems with it. You don’t want to be out there at 3am working on your plow in the snow and cold ( they never break down in front of the shop lol)

This time of year you can get some really decent deals on new plows, wait a couple months when everyone is getting new plows for the up coming season and the price will jump. You don’t need anything as big or beefy as what I just bought (SnowEx 9’6” HDV) but a decent snowdogg, western, or such straight blade would do you fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you both for the advice. 3/4 ton, newer than 2000 with a plow that can get serviced locally and obviously the newer the better. Any preference on vehicle types since this will be my working truck and it mostly will be used to plow (my own driveway) tow and haul materials pretty much within a 30 mile radius from our home. I have had only Chevys all my life but I am willing to change brands if Dodge or Fords are proven more reliable when it comes to work trucks.

Someone suggested I can use a plow on a 4x4 suburban since my driveway is fairly level and that option would give me the ability to take my family out. Any thoughts on that??

Again thanks so much for the input, I can only buy one vehicle for this job and since I'll keep it until the wheels fall off, I need alot of help choosing the right one.

SH
 

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Thank you both for the advice. 3/4 ton, newer than 2000 with a plow that can get serviced locally and obviously the newer the better. Any preference on vehicle types since this will be my working truck and it mostly will be used to plow (my own driveway) tow and haul materials pretty much within a 30 mile radius from our home. I have had only Chevys all my life but I am willing to change brands if Dodge or Fords are proven more reliable when it comes to work trucks.

Someone suggested I can use a plow on a 4x4 suburban since my driveway is fairly level and that option would give me the ability to take my family out. Any thoughts on that??

Again thanks so much for the input, I can only buy one vehicle for this job and since I'll keep it until the wheels fall off, I need alot of help choosing the right one.

SH
That’s a loaded question and subject to a heated debate lol. I’m partial to Ford Super Duty trucks, can’t stand their cars, but to me they have never let me down on the 3/4 tons and 1 tons. Basically falls down to user preferences.
 

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^____ what he said

Yes, you can do a 3/4 suburban but those are pretty rare beasts. The vast majority will be 1/2 ton. Oh, and it's the size of an ocean liner. As long as that's your thing, go for it.

A quad cab p/u will do the same job and be easier to find used, so long as you dont actually need the 8-passenger thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
OK
That is good advice,,,I did not know suburbans came in 3/4 ton sizes, I thought they all were 1/2 ton with 2W, 4W or AWD versions. You two have been very helpful and I'll do my best to come up with a decent plow/truck combo.

SH
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hello
I'll be looking at a GMC 2500 with 136,000 miles with a Western plow tomorrow. I looked the truck over Tuesday but he had the plow at a different location. It ran well and except for the fuel level sensor code and airbag light it seemed to run pretty well. I ran a carfax on the vehicle and there is a solid history of oil, transmission fluid changes, tire rotations and nothing that out of the ordinary for the maintained of a work truck which he used primarily for towing a "pot hole filling" trailer.
With the plow attached to the truck, how would anyone recommend a road test to make sure the 4W drive works properly and the functions of the plow work. I'm not familiar with the problems associated with trucks or plows and the 4W drive systems so any road test tips for tomorrow would be appreciated.

Thanks always for helping rookie out!!

SH
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hello again
I purchased a 2009 GMC 2500 with 137,000 miles and a western 8' Pro Plus plow. Except for the leaky exhaust manifold that will be replaced next week (rusted manifold bolts) the truck is awesome.

I only had the plow on the truck until I got home from the transaction and unhooked the plow from the truck on a pallet. We are in the process of moving so I needed to hook up the plow again to take it to our new house. After I hooked the plow to the truck mounting I made a huge mistake. I plugged in the 2 prong power plug and plugged in the two receptacles from the plow instead of fishing the two plugs from the truck. Bad mistake because when I went to power up the plow, nothing lit up on the controller handle. I realized my mistake and rectified the mistake by plugging in the correct plugs to the correct receptacles.

The sad thing is after I corrected my mistake and had the 3 plugs plugged in the right order, I pressed the power on button on the controller the power button would not light up. I unplugged the plugs, cleaned the prongs off and plugged them back in but still no controller power light. The plow worked fine for the demo and before I unhitched it so I'm hoping I did not damage something on the controller when I had the two plow plugs connected along with the two prong power connector.

So if anyone has any idea of how I can rectify this situation. I now have moved and fortunately my plow is sitting on my neighbors property but I'd like to get it operational so I can get it home. Any ideas or suggestions before I have to take it to a shop to figure out what I did to it to make it nonoperational. :( :(

SH
 

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I'm confused- are you saying that the backlight is on now but the power button won't turn the control on?
 

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Well I wouldn’t say it’s a huge mistake, huge mistake would of been forgetting to unhook them and back away from the plow, don’t ask me how I know lol.

Check for any blown fuses.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hello,
I can't get the plow hand controller to power up so the plow functions /hydraulics work. I have everything hooked up, plugged in and when I press the power button on the hand controller.....nothing lights us....:( :(

I'm thinking I may have blown a fuse or something but since the truck is new to me, I have no idea what to look for or investigate to get the controller operational so I can get the plow home.

SH
 

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Start following the wiring harness back to the fuse panel, it will either be tied in to the fuse panel under the hood or under the dash.
 

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Hello,
I can't get the plow hand controller to power up so the plow functions /hydraulics work. I have everything hooked up, plugged in and when I press the power button on the hand controller.....nothing lights us....:( :(

I'm thinking I may have blown a fuse or something but since the truck is new to me, I have no idea what to look for or investigate to get the controller operational so I can get the plow home.

SH
All three plugs are now connected at the front, correct? And the truck is running? (Technically, the ignition should only need to be "on" but it depends how the installer connected to the fuse panel)

Is the back light on the controller on?
 
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