Snowplow Forums banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, guys I'm new at this. Just bought a new F350, V10, dually as plowtruck and lawn maintenance platform. One truck, small operation. Well, I may not have done my home work well enough, so I am looking for some thoughts. I'm running a Fisher 8.5 V plow and a Smith 1.6 yard sander on a dumping rack body flat-bed. Racks are off for the winter. Fords GVW rating is #11,000. When I have plow and loaded sander on, I weigh out at the salt/sand pit at #14,500 or there abouts. I am registered for #20,000 as Maine makes you register for Truck and trailer combined weight, I am not worried about DOT.

So, for the short time I am loaded with salt/sand am I really beating this truck up? Should I run it like it is? Should I put in add a leaf springs, an air lift? Or, go back to the Ford sales guy that specked out the whole package and throw a hissy fit? Either a F450 or F550 would get there weight wise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,272 Posts
Well if your runs are short or close by don't load up that much and make an extra trip but for the weight carrying i would of went with the 450-550 .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
More Back ground. When loaded, #14,000 or so, the rear spring stack is flat, the "over load" is fully engaged (as you would imagine) yet there is still travel left in the suspension. Seems to handle fine, you can't drive it like a empty half ton, stopping distance increased, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Cat,

Oh yes, hindsite being 20-20, a 450 or 550 might have been the way to go. Not practical, or sensable to half load this sander. I want to figure out the best option to load this sander to capacity and use this truck. Again short of throwing a hissy fit at the Ford guy, should I run it as is, add a leaf, or do air suspension.

thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
3,500lbs. sounds like an awefull lot to be over weight in that small of a truck. I would either take less salt/sand at one time, or step up to at least a 450. Overweight tickets are BIG bucks around here, and it something we just don't chance. Though the truck may handle it, if something happens while your overloaded you might as well just ig a hole. :shades
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,272 Posts
Where the ford has leaf springs in fron and back the would be a good way to get increased capacity my freind did that with his '84 chevy dump when he had it but it ran very hard .You could put the timbrens in it which would give you added capcity when you need it whith less of a harsh ride . www.timbren.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
As for the DOT, you will need to worry about them. Even though Maine may make you register for CGVWR your axle weights will be way over! And you are over the trucks GVW also. Doesn't matter what you register it for, if it's over the mfg or upfitter's capacity you are out of limits. Upfitters usually put a sticker on the door jamb over the mfg stick that show's the new GVW.

As for beating it up. Sure, running something 30% or so over the design is pushing it. Brakes, transmission etc will be working much harder. And for the suspension, although I am a huge fan of the Timbrens, I think in your case you should look at an air bag set-up because you will be trying to add capacity as compared to just basically boosting overload. Just my humble opinion.

Good luck!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
GrassWacker said:
OK, guys I'm new at this. Just bought a new F350, V10, dually as plowtruck and lawn maintenance platform. One truck, small operation. Well, I may not have done my home work well enough, so I am looking for some thoughts. I'm running a Fisher 8.5 V plow and a Smith 1.6 yard sander on a dumping rack body flat-bed. Racks are off for the winter. Fords GVW rating is #11,000. When I have plow and loaded sander on, I weigh out at the salt/sand pit at #14,500 or there abouts. I am registered for #20,000 as Maine makes you register for Truck and trailer combined weight, I am not worried about DOT.

So, for the short time I am loaded with salt/sand am I really beating this truck up? Should I run it like it is? Should I put in add a leaf springs, an air lift? Or, go back to the Ford sales guy that specked out the whole package and throw a hissy fit? Either a F450 or F550 would get there weight wise.
Ok here is the thing. The F 550 would have been a better choice, however do you want to go back and spend the extra for a F 550? Before 99 there wasn't anything like the F 550 around, everyone would just use a 1-ton, and it is pretty much still the same. There is no difference in tranny between the F 350 and F 550. Here are a few tips, one during a big storm do not load the spreader to your done plowing. If you avoid plowing with a loaded sander you will increase the life of your truck. Second, go to Lynn Springs on Rt 100 in New Glouster and they will set you right up with a spring upgrade that will help a lot.

Geoff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
977 Posts
Grasswacker,

I traded a 1986 F-350 in for a 2000 F-450 for many of the reasons that you state. I have a 1993 F-350 in service now that I used as my main plow/sand truck for a bunch of years. I never plowed with the sander full because it was just too much weight as you stated. When I got rid of the 1986 I replaced it with a F-450 to increase the load capacity and moved the sander from the 1993 F-350 to the new F-450 and have since purchased a bigger sander for it (Only because I plow at a college, don't have to plow with the sander loaded because this is the only place I work and I am never more than 5 minutes from my salt pile). Take GeoffD advice and try not to plow with the sander loaded, I also removed the plow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
333 Posts
wow thats kind of a shock to me.ive seen guys run 2 1/2 yard sanders full with a 9 ft blade and no sagging.well maybe ford changed somethin on the new rigs,well a f450 would of been better but i think your 350 should do fine
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,486 Posts
I would also check out Lynn's. I added a leaf on my 3/4 ton, added timbren's, and coil-over shocks. I run a 2 yard fisher. Usually only load it with 1 yard during plowing. Its just right for weight, and the springs are setting with a slight curve. Although DOT is rare during a storm, they show up quick if you get hit or get involved in a scrape.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
620 Posts
Also remember, will you be spreading salt at your first customer? Each time you will be reducing the weight. Thats a lot of stress on the plow mounts, truck frame, and suspension to be plowing with that much weight. I might consider the overload if I was just driving to spread salt, but I wouldn't plow with that much overload.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,329 Posts
I don't think that any class of trucks gets overloaded, as a percentage of the GVW, as badly as the ones we think of as the 1-tons.

I also think that there is a lot more overkill built into these trucks than they get credit for.

We had an 85 F-350 with a 10' dump body that was regularly loaded to 15K. I just went through some old weight slips that showed 15,850 as the highest gross I could find. I remember seeing a few from when I was hauling stone that went over 16K.

I routinely carried a water tank that topped off at 1050 gallons. That's somewhere slightly over 9,000 lbs counting the weight of the tank. Truck tared at just under 9,000 empty. The tank was in the front of the body and that made the front suspension settle pretty badly.

Probably not wise, and surely not legal, but do what you have to do with what you have. One thing that will keep DOT off your tail a little is to get the springs beefed up so it will ride level when loaded. If you're going down the road with your tail dragging somebody is going to get curious and want to see just what you weigh. Make sure all your lights are working and just generally behave when you're on the road. Do nothing that will make you stand out from other traffic.

Your rack body is probably 9' so your vee box is already sitting pretty far back. Since a vee box empties from front to rear the weight shifts further rearward until you get partly empty, tending to accentuate the rear squat. If you run without your plow on it might make the front a little light and cause front wheel lockup when braking under slippery conditions. I have to leave my plow on when using my 3500 SRW pickup and box (which grosses right around 12K with sand in the box) for that very reason.

As far as swapping up to a bigger chassis, I wouldn't go with a bigger Ford. As far as I'm concerned the 450-550 Fords are way overrated. I have had a 550 on the job and the thing was terrible as far as turning circle and maneuverability. If I was going to move up I'd go with a real truck, one of the low-pros from a truck maker, as opposed to a jumbo sized pickup.

No good, or cheap, way out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
Here's an interesting note... When we purchased our new de-ice truck we went with a Mack Freedon series chassis. It's a 26K GVW truck. It's a cabover style, single cab. I was hoping for an extedned cab like the Mitsu's or Hino's, but this is what was available. Well, this thing is laid out great! There is more room in the cab than I realized. Lot's of nice touches.... So far I've had plenty of room to throw all my crap inside and not have to dig for stuff!

Anyway, here we are with this truck with basically a Ford XL level interior, 26K gross weight, 210 hp engine, ability to put up to a 22' body on it (we cut the tail off the chassis and went with a 16' flatbed), a bed height comparable to our Dodge 3500's for about $37K. Truck was about $34.5K and new Knapahide heavy duty platform was found for $2300.

The Hino's and Mitsu's were around $4-5K more with out a bed, and the 550's we looked at were even more than that, if you could find one, plus they would have been grossed out long before this truck. And this thing will out-turn any standard cab full size truck out there! Forget about extended or crew cabs...

In the summer we do a lot of lawn/pesticide work and she will have a coule of 400 gallon tanks plus granular bags. We'll be able to carry everything and given all the narrow streets, driveways, etc., this thing is going to be a welcome relief for sure!

Bottom line for us was that for less than the price of the 550 we were able to get a truck that we wouldn't have to worry about sneaking past DOT and their scales. And believe me, around Goshen NY, that is a major concern. Anyone that goes from Middletown to Monroe NY on 17 knows what I'm talking about. Not a week goes by that they aren't helping us be safe...... It's nice not to have to worry about weights for a change....

Sometimes you gotta look outside the box.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,272 Posts
Sometimes it's better to go that route your get more truck for the buck compared to the smaller for the same amount or more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
Originally posted by HerkFE
Here's an interesting note... When we purchased our new de-ice truck we went with a Mack Freedon series chassis. It's a 26K GVW truck
Couldn't agree with you more. Interesting thread in the Chevy forum in regards to a C5500 and it's value in comparison to a pick-up based chassis. The biggest problem for us Landscapers (and others I'm sure) with a truck in that GVW class (at least in Maine) comes in the "other" season when we are pulling trailers. As soon as the Gross Combined is over 26,000, we fall into a different license class. May not seem like a real big deal, but it does become difficult to find decent qualified and licensed drivers who want to get out of the truck and work too (it's hard enough to find decent help as it is). That is the beauty of the F450 and the 16000 version of the C4500 (26000 or under CGVW with a 10K trailer).

Our HD3500s (15000GVW) seemed like a great solution 5 years ago, but we still find ourselves overweight. I've talked to other companies running bigger trucks, and they too are occasionally over the factory GVW of the chassis. I think that the having a larger truck is great (and safer) but the temptation of always trying to fit "one more bucket" of material or that "extra pallet" of pavers on the truck is always going to be there. As GrassWacker put it,
Not practical, or sensable to half load this sander
Not practical, but that is the reality of it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
I agree that finding drivers with at least a CDL B can be a tough proposition. Heck, it's hard to find some guys that even have a license! The NY CDL driving test was a PITA, only because of the process, not the knowledge or skills.

However, just as most people here would agree that plowing without insurance is an unwise proposition, what do you (insert any company owner name here) think would happen if on the way to your accounts with a full sander, someone "stops short" and your truck rear-ends them with a truck that is 2K or more over the GVW? After the ambulance leaves, then DOT and the police find out that you (as the owner of the company) condone this overweight condidtion because you do it all the time, but only for short trips. (insert smiling lawyer face here). BTW, most accidents happen within about 7 miles from home.

Does it happen all the time? Sure. Have we all done it? Probably. Does it make it right that we kind of look the other way. No. Just as the realities of high insurance are something we have to deal with, so is this. Be careful what you set yourself up for. Remember that most of the time when we are out there operating on the fringes of legality, the road conditions are most likely poor and the other drivers are probably scared %^*@less, waiting for that perfect moment to pull out, or spin out in front of you.

Another quick thought....we tend to disparage the lowballers who don't have insurance or act un-professional. Part of professionalism is doing things right. We all need to make sure we are doing it right. It's tough, but it can be done.

:soapbox Alright, sorry all....I'll climb down now....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
Herk, I agree with everything you said. We have already decided that our next truck is going to be a C5500 (or equivalent GVW range). My point was simply that no matter how big the truck, the temptation to overload is always going to be there. It's not just the snowplowing industry, it's the landscapers, the excavators, the municipal highway trucks, heck, even the Merry Maids cleaning service with 6 people and the equipment in the rear of their yellow Escort wagon is probably overloaded.

I'm not saying that it is right or acceptable to overload, I'm just saying that no matter what size truck you have, it probably still COULD happen. To me it is more about resisting the temptation to squeeze those extra few buckets of material on board so you don't have to make a second trip. If GrassWacker were to upgrade to a F-550, he is still most likely going to be playing the weight game at some point (maybe not with his current winter set-up). But with a 550, he will not be able to legally pull a 10K trailer with a class C license............... even if the truck and trailer were empty!! If that fits his needs than so be it.

Knowing the rules is one thing, being responsible enough to follow them is another........
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top