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I am a member of a home owners association and we have two Ford trucks with snow plows on the front end.... and the trucks have been experiencing a high rate of repair lately (transmission problems especially). The maintenance supervisor was explaining that when he plows, the blade begins to rise as he is plowing, which forces the front of the truck downwards, which he described as "wedging" the front end of the truck down. He then went on to explain that it is hard on the engine and transmission as he puts it into reverse to get the truck out of the described "wedged" position.

Utilization of trucks worked well for 30+ years but in the last few years, w/ the change out of maintenance personnel, truck repairs have been excessive. Now the maintenance foreman has convinced a majority of the board to purchase a Kubota 9540 w/ an 8' quick push snow/light material blade and a 901 rear pull snowblower w/ Hyd Chute and deflector. He alleges that the new blade and new snowblower on the near new Kubota will work in tandem and solve all the plowing problems. (claims he can plow and blow snow at the same time...I don't see how)

Any thoughts on the truck problems and whether the new equipment will suffice?

Location is Northern California, 3800 foot elevation.
 

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1. How old and what size are the trucks?

2. What brand and size of plow do you have now?

I'll save any further comment for those answers
 

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I second Mick, we need make and model of trucks and plows... :popcorn2
 

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One thing comes to mind to me is that the driver is hitting the gas before the tranny is engaged. When shifting from drive to reverse. Also if they are running ford diesels from 04-07, or 94- 98 dodge's trucks, they are known for bad tranny's . But most of all it sounds like the guy is full of crap.
 

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He said they were Fords. But, mainly I want to know how heavy the plow is. The key is that they are riding up on the snow. Why? And why are they spitting transmissions? Not just from riding up on snow.

The tractor combo is way overkill.
 

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Utilization of trucks worked well for 30+ years but in the last few years, w/ the change out of maintenance personnel, truck repairs have been excessive.
this is what i really question, if the trucks worked fine for so long, why is there suddenly an issue. i would ride with him one time when he plows to see how the trucks handle and personally see how the trucks "wedge" when plowing.

like mick said, how old are the trucks and how many transmission issues have you had. is it just one transmission per truck or has it been multiple times.
 

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I have been involved in the snow removal industry for over 35 years. I will not comment on the why of the transmission failures but it was not uncommmon for us to go through a transmission once every three years until the Allisons came out. They have been relatively problem free for us.

As far as the tractor goes, they are made to pull implements and have held up well when used for snow plowing when matched with the proper implements and properly set up. We use a Kubota in our operation as well and have been very pleased with how it has performed and how it has held up.

The important thing here is purchasing the proper unit. If you are comfortable with your maintenance persons expertise - go for it. If not hook up with a contractor or dealer in your area with first hand knowledge of using the equipment suggested for your operation. You don't want to end up undersized nor do you want end up oversized.

Finally, as a contractor, I wonder if your association has considered contracting the service? End of maintenance, labor, and purchasing issues. IMO, in house operations are not necessarily more efficient or cost effective.


Herm Witte


President
Witte Lawn Maintenace, Inc.

Our family serving West Michigan since 1957
 

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"The maintenance supervisor was explaining that when he plows, the blade begins to rise as he is plowing, which forces the front of the truck downwards, which he described as "wedging" the front end of the truck down. He then went on to explain that it is hard on the engine and transmission as he puts it into reverse to get the truck out of the described "wedged" position.
I have never heard of this happening my thought would be the plow was not in the "float" postition, not enough counter weight, or over loading the plow. Putting into reverse will surely kill a transmission FAST if the truck has not completly stopped. I would first question the training program in place for truck operators. Esspecially before dropping BIG money (I assume) on a tracor combo. If he can't handle running the truck properly, I doubt he'll be able to handle the tractor (& that will cost even more to repair).
 

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Sounds like the guy is trying to pack a full blade of snow into and over the bank when he gets to it. The snow stopped moving but he keeps pushing which is nose diving the front of the truck then has to horse it to get it out of the bank.
 

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He alleges that the new blade and new snowblower on the near new Kubota will work in tandem and solve all the plowing problems. (claims he can plow and blow snow at the same time...I don't see how.
Sounds like the guy is full of BS

Common sense will tell you you can't plow snow with the blade on the front and use a pull type snowblower on the rear at the same time.Once you go past the intial length of the tractor there'd be no snow for the blower to blow.
 

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You have operator issues. Contract the work out each year by bid with specifics stated in the bid offering. End of issue just cut the check.
 

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You have operator issues. Contract the work out each year by bid with specifics stated in the bid offering. End of issue just cut the check.
I think we can safely say that by 2019– if this not solved by now 9 years later— it is a lost cause.
 
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