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Discussion Starter #1
Just wanted to throw this out here to gather some input:

1. Is there a preferred percentage or rule of thumb for the amount of ballast weight? In other words, something like 40-50% of plow weight, etc.?

2. Where's the preferred/best location to place the ballast in a truck bed?

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In my case, I am carrying about 45% in ballast. 10% of that weight is attached as an aux. bumper guard while the remainder is tube sand placed between the wheel housings in a framed lumber "keeper". I need the room nearest the tailgate for hauling small stuff, so placing weight there isn't ideal for me. Because I have the aux rear leaf pkg. I could go even higher with % of ballast, but it seems that 350lbs. does fine without the need to haul unecessary weight and waste more gas or affect vehicle handling.
 

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Roger Dodger said:
1. Is there a preferred percentage or rule of thumb for the amount of ballast weight? In other words, something like 40-50% of plow weight, etc.?
No, it vary greatly from vehicle to vehicle because it depends on how much the plow weighs, the truck configuation like motor weight, cab size, bed size, etc. It could range from 250# to 1000# for the same plow on two different trucks. In case if you did not know, Fisher have a kit selection guide (chart) on their website which will show which plows are recommended for a specific truck, and if it is recommended, it will tell you how much ballast you should put in the rear.

Roger Dodger said:
2. Where's the preferred/best location to place the ballast in a truck bed?
It would be the best to put it as far back as possible. However because sometime we take tailgate off our truck when plowing so it will make it easier to see when backing up, and also to keep the tailgate from getting messed up from tailgate spreader. In that case, place the ballast between the wheel wells and reinforced with two length of 2x8 board to slide in the truck bed and hold the ballast there.
 

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Roger, you can go to the Fisher site and look at the application guide for your year truck, then find the model plow you are using.

The application chart is very specific as to the exact amount of Ballast weight required.


I agree, that ballast should be placed as far back as possible, but between the weheel wells is as good a place as any.

Just make sure its secure. I read somewhere that a guy was using concrete blocks loose in his bed, another was using Granite chunks.... I think I prefer tube/bag sand
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The Fisher chart shows 300# for my truck.... that seems kind of light but, then I gather they aren't factoring in a 2880 payload capability and tire tread traction either as I was assuming. I'll stick with their recommendations and lighten things up a bit. Thanks guys.
 

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Roger are you sure you picked up the right figure?

My 2000 GMC has 600lbs recommended as Ballast with my XBlade

I just looked at the Dodge application guide, your truck with a 6.5 foot Bed shows 350 lbs and 400 lbs with an 8 foot bed if your are carrying a 8 foot HD MM
 

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Best thing to do is use a truck scale.Place the front end on the scale with the plow up.Add ballast to the back of the truck and you'll see just how much weight it pulls off the front.Moving it forwards,or backwards will also affect it.Do this with someone in the vehicle,and a full tank of gas.The object is to try and get as much weight off the front end,and stay under your FAWR.You have to be careful too,that you do not exceed the GVWR with the ballast on board.Scale the entire truck afterwards to make sure.

The further back you can get the ballast,the more weight transfer it will provide...BUT,if it's too far back it will start to affect the handling of the truck.Over the axle,or just slightly rearward is the best spot.

I wouldn't recommend any type of wood structure to contain it,unless it's braced with some steel,as it will not hold the weight if you hit something hard.The last thing you want is 600 lbs flying through the back window.
 

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wyldman said:
[The last thing you want is 600 lbs flying through the back window. [/B]
And you call yourself Wyldman, sounds like FUN! :D

Just kidding.:zoom :headwall
 

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ive found that using some chain attached with closeable links to the tiedown holds the weight in plave pretty good... but i also run tubesand in the box so if it breaks loose the sand wont do as much damage as a flying cinderblock.
 

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I like to use the tube sand as well, comes in pretty handy if you get stuck and need a little help with traction.
 

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I was always told to put the secured weight over the rear axle as close as you can . But my 500# back plow hanging 3 feet off the back seems to do a great job
 

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Okay so now I'll give you the laugh for the day, What the heck is tube sand???? call me dumb but I cant figure that one out. But hey I read a post last night about someone removing the doorstops off their ford and I couldnt find any on my truck, sooo I asked Snowplowjay where the hell are these doorstops on my truck? he said the plowshoes dummy stop looking at your doors.:headwall
 

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It's just plain old sand put into a bag. The bag is long and skinny, so lit looks like a tube:cool: We can get a real good deal on sand around here-free! The local cub foods has 2 pallets left over from flooding last spring:D :D
 

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Prosno said:
Okay so now I'll give you the laugh for the day, What the heck is tube sand???? call me dumb but I cant figure that one out. But hey I read a post last night about someone removing the doorstops off their ford and I couldnt find any on my truck, sooo I asked Snowplowjay where the hell are these doorstops on my truck? he said the plowshoes dummy stop looking at your doors.:headwall
Prosno,

You are killing me!!:grinz :rolling

Hang around awhile, you'll get the lingo;)

Was it in reply to chayesf250??


By the way, tube sand is sand in a tube, kind of like a sausage:smile3
 

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I used to run 8 50# bags of sand. Last year, when I got a spreader, which being all steel, weighs about 150-200#, plus about 500# of salt I had with me, kept my ballast at about 700#. At times it seemed like it was a little light, so this year I'm going to add a few bags of sand in additon to the salt and spreader.

Purely out of conveneince, the salt was always piled up behind the wheelwells, for easier access and loading of the spreader. If you think about the moment arm of the weight of the plow (about the rear wheels) and the moment arm of the ballast, also about the rear wheels, it should be behind the wells, this way the forces will be closer to equalibrium.
 

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Prosno said:
But hey I read a post last night about someone removing the doorstops off their ford and I couldnt find any on my truck, sooo I asked Snowplowjay where the hell are these doorstops on my truck? he said the plowshoes dummy stop looking at your doors.:headwall
those that dont refur to them as doorstops like to call em boat anchors too... gotta find some good use for em :D
 

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Discussion Starter #17
JCurtis said:
Roger are you sure you picked up the right figure?

My 2000 GMC has 600lbs recommended as Ballast with my XBlade

I just looked at the Dodge application guide, your truck with a 6.5 foot Bed shows 350 lbs and 400 lbs with an 8 foot bed if your are carrying a 8 foot HD MM
Well, I looked twice at the chart (which is for the MMII not the MM that I have) & it listed 300#. As it is this morning the truck is bouncing pretty wildly (apparently coming from the rear) between 55-60mph., as if a wheel was out of balance. Quite a serious bounce too. I'll have to check tire pressure throughout; I know for sure it's under the cold inflation recommendation of 80psi. by about 20lbs. so that's a start. I'm wondering if the installation of those Reflex shocks are the culprit when under the extra 1000lb. load of the plow/ballast? It didn't do this at any highway speeds until the plow and ballast got into the mix. For now, I'll suspect tire air pressure and eliminate things one step at a time.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Bounce & clunking is gone. Found the plow to be mis-attached!!! Put butterflies in my stomach to think what could've happened if it would have fell off at highway speeds! Whew!
Definitely a guardian angel working overtime on me yesterday! :greenange
That's the last time I allow someone to distract me while I attach the plow!!
 

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I have my Pro Flo 2 on the back, along with 200lbs of CC, and 900lbs of salt. That works great.
 

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Rodger

By Misattached you mean the pins were not engaged and the plow was resting against its truck frame ? That would have been a wild ride
 
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