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View Full Version : First year with a plow


Bray D
11-19-2014, 12:00 AM
I got my hands on an old 7' 6" Western Unimount and modified the frame to work with my truck. We'll see how well it does this winter. Just doing my driveway for now. Nothing commercial by any means.

https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/10801554_998227234432_5840740114034713423_n.jpg?oh =f8fbac666371ad394acb4bb092790b89&oe=5518687E&__gda__=1423534973_56a71f42846fdfe1540f135cff2d833 c

https://scontent-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10314485_998227214472_5891052693747753113_n.jpg?oh =b9edfda81814c5e5fa06428edc848c4f&oe=551AD457

Still clears the headlights, so I could run it down the road if necessary. I drove into work with it the other day. It's damn heavy. I'll avoid highway driving it at all possible this winter.

https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfa1/v/t1.0-9/11111_998227164572_4319717602320769849_n.jpg?oh=ae dc2ef6675d2772956a198f8039ee1c&oe=54DB2DC6&__gda__=1427651214_7a73ccd9e909bef1134f1a92060fd2c e

RonD
11-19-2014, 01:48 AM
Very nice.

I am sure you will make alot of new "friends" this winter, and a few relatives will be calling "just to say high.....", lol

Just as a heads up if you haven't done it yet, snow plow and winch will draw more power than just winch, and you spend most of the time at low RPMs, so 2nd battery is a nice add-on.

Adding a little weight in the back to balance load and give traction won't hurt either.

rangerbum
11-19-2014, 02:48 AM
Do you have it mounted directly to your axle?

RangerSVT
11-19-2014, 04:49 AM
Do you have it mounted directly to your axle?

Yes. If it was mounted to the frame, it would pull the front end way down. Bray has soft springs on his truck for wheeling. Putting a plow on the front would require a lot heavier springs than he's currently running...

SVT

PlumCrazy
11-19-2014, 05:49 AM
I almost did this exact setup last year...winch and all.lol Found a 6.5' poly blade setup for $200..but decided my Rangers winter/Salt days were over.

Doofy
11-19-2014, 01:01 PM
Very interesting...never saw a plow mounted to the front axle. Keep us posted on how this works out.

Bray D
11-19-2014, 06:08 PM
Thanks for the comments, guys. Regarding the electrical, I have a 135a alternator so I'm hoping that helps a bit. I have a beefy deep cycle battery that I got when I first installed my winch years ago. With no more than I plan to use it, hopefully it'll be sufficient. I'll be sure to keep an eye on it though.

Mounting it to my axle helps while the blade is down (absolutely zero load on the suspension), but the suspension is still supporting the entire weight of the blade when I have it lifted. It's actually supporting more than the weight of the blade right now, because I'm lifting it from behind the assembly's center of mass.

Here's a pic to show how it squats with the blade lifted. I have about 1.5" of compression before I'm on my bumpstops.

https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xap1/v/t1.0-9/10734034_998227089722_4067432413345626206_n.jpg?oh =9f70e1ba1d80d7cfafdaca2fc603b465&oe=54D8DB25&__gda__=1423816264_3161871dbacb1b534e43263f5726387 a

Think of carrying a bowling ball with the finger holes vs carrying it while it's cantilevered out on a 4' rod. Your arms (my winch and suspension) see a far greater force when lifting a cantilevered load. I may modify the lifting point to take some of the weight off of my suspension when I'm going down the road, but it's drivable right now.

I picked up a flat 2" strap to replace my winch rope as well. That'll prevent damaging the end of my winch rope from lifting and lowering at such a steep angle.

And yes, I've already heard from relatives and friends, haha.

rangerbum
11-20-2014, 04:30 PM
I understand the reason for not mounting it to the frame, my concern is the stress it's going to put on the links, driveshaft, and steering components.

Bray D
11-20-2014, 09:10 PM
Other than the radius arms, the stress on the other components will be minimal. It's mounted to the caps of my radius arms, so the plowing force should be driven through my arms straight to my frame.

I'll be plowing in 4low. Slow speed stuff. I like to think that wheeling introduces far more stress on my components than this plow will.

85_Ranger4x4
11-21-2014, 10:48 AM
Might wear the RA bushings a little faster but as long as you take it easy and don't snag anything I would think you would be ok. But those fancy truck blades have springs on the back that help with that too.

I actually throw 4 75# slab weights on the front of my tractor to help with steering when I have my rear mounted blade on for moving snow. The blade isn't all that terrible heavy either... but it adds up quick when you put leverage to it

rangerbum
11-21-2014, 11:19 AM
I guess it just depends on how much snow you get where you are, and how heavy it is. I've seen frame mounted plows crack frames on one tons up here in Montana. I'm sure it'll be fine though if it's just your driveway and you take it easy.

Bray D
11-21-2014, 03:14 PM
Everything in moderation. Plow trucks get beat up because they're plowing at much higher speeds, catch things that aren't snow, and are pushing up into huge banks. I don't plan to do any of that.

bigmark303
11-21-2014, 03:45 PM
Nice fab work and good thinking of placement for the force to follow at least the path through your axle to your frame via radius arm.

Just keep an eye on it. No axle is designed to take force direct like it will be applied by having the plow attached and pushing. Make sure you at least have a couple inches of play in the slip yoke for the front driveshaft just incase those radius arm bushing shred and push through.

85_Ranger4x4
11-21-2014, 04:59 PM
Everything in moderation. Plow trucks get beat up because they're plowing at much higher speeds, catch things that aren't snow, and are pushing up into huge banks. I don't plan to do any of that.

Time is of the essence and they are not driving their personal truck most of the time is a lot of it.

If they were in their own trucks I bet a lot of guys would be easier on the equipment.

RangerSVT
11-21-2014, 05:59 PM
I'm sure Bray knows what he's doing :icon_thumby:

SVT

Bray D
11-21-2014, 08:46 PM
bigmark - Ideally, the axle housing sees zero force. It goes into the cap, through the arm, straight to the frame.

That's only true if the cap and RA have metal on metal contact though. I had planned on adding washers between the cap and RA to ensure that was the case, but I struggled to break my bolts loose to add the washers so I didn't do it. I'll keep an eye on it, but I highly doubt that anything catastrophic is going to come of this. I'll notice a loose front end long before it gets to the point of no return.

85_Ranger nailed it. Time is money when commercial plowing.

Listen to SVT :D

bobbywalter
11-21-2014, 09:56 PM
theres no electrical issues or excessive load at all with this if your winch is working correctly. but i am sure you know that.


the gm trucks were having issues here from 07-12 or so with destroying the front frame sections with certain plows and conditions. even not commercially plowing.


the mounts on the axle are a decent idea, to work with what you have to work with, as it will do a very nice load transfer...seen it work real good for limited weight rigs like this with soft suspensions.

but mounting to those caps is not a good idea at all. building a heavier mild mount welded to the housing next to it is better...i have seen the caps fail on eb/150 when mounted that way. i was going to do it on my bronco and remembered seeing them failed that way.

Bray D
11-22-2014, 12:43 PM
but mounting to those caps is not a good idea at all. building a heavier mild mount welded to the housing next to it is better...i have seen the caps fail on eb/150 when mounted that way. i was going to do it on my bronco and remembered seeing them failed that way.

Interesting. I'll keep an eye on it for sure.

Do you remember exactly how it failed? I assume it cracked the cap in half.

PlumCrazy
11-22-2014, 12:45 PM
If it cracks..then its time to get busy with the ol' mill and make a billet steel cap.lol

bobbywalter
11-22-2014, 01:46 PM
pretty sure they are available...theres moly units but shaped similar to stock.

Bray D
11-22-2014, 03:07 PM
If it cracks..then its time to get busy with the ol' mill and make a billet steel cap.lol

It would be awesome to mill them with the tab already on it. That'd be pretty slick.

pretty sure they are available...theres moly units but shaped similar to stock.

I can't TIG so welding anything other than plain carbon steel becomes risky.

Bray D
01-06-2015, 09:05 AM
Did my first legitimate plow job today. We got ~5" last night, so I cleaned up our drive as well as a buddy's lane (almost 1/2 mile long). The plow did great, but man is it rough! I suppose that's just the nature of the beast though.

I was in single low range, 1st gear, approx 1800 rpm. It took a while, but I wasn't comfortable really pushing it. I have the feet set 1/4" below the cutting edge so it rides on the feet the majority of the time, but the dirt lanes are still rough as hell.

Mickey Bitsko
01-06-2015, 09:50 AM
Did my first legitimate plow job today. We got ~5" last night, so I cleaned up our drive as well as a buddy's lane (almost 1/2 mile long). The plow did great, but man is it rough! I suppose that's just the nature of the beast though.

I was in single low range, 1st gear, approx 1800 rpm. It took a while, but I wasn't comfortable really pushing it. I have the feet set 1/4" below the cutting edge so it rides on the feet the majority of the time, but the dirt lanes are still rough as hell.

FYI... unless you are cleaning pavement , drop the plow to the ground then lift up about 2" saves the plow feet AND the truck. better to leave a couple inches of snow , makes less mud.

Bray D
01-06-2015, 09:53 AM
So long as you don't catch ground with it raised a couple inches up. I've read of guys snapping winch lines taught-lining the blade like that.

Mickey Bitsko
01-06-2015, 10:10 AM
So long as you don't catch ground with it raised a couple inches up. I've read of guys snapping winch lines taught-lining the blade like that.

^:icon_thumby:

Bray D
01-07-2015, 09:41 AM
I did some reading last night and saw where guys were putting axial slits in 2" pipe and sliding that onto the cutting edge to keep it from digging. It's secured with straps/bolts to the ribbing on the rear of the blade. It would be a cheap and easy mod. I may give it a shot for the next snowfall.

PlumCrazy
01-07-2015, 10:00 AM
When I use the 3 point blade on one of our tractors I run the blade backwards in softer ground/driveways so it doesn't dig in, but unless you are going to back drag it all...it doesn't work for a truck mounted plow.lol

85_Ranger4x4
01-07-2015, 10:37 AM
When I use the 3 point blade on one of our tractors I run the blade backwards in softer ground/driveways so it doesn't dig in, but unless you are going to back drag it all...it doesn't work for a truck mounted plow.lol

There was a guy on here that made a setup to use a 3 point blade on the front of his truck. Didn't really use any of the 3 point setup though.

Over in Europe front 3 points are all the rage so that route could be a possibility too. :icon_thumby:

You can also shorten the center link to reduce the bite of the bit into the ground too. The more you angle (to dump it off the side) it the more the forward end will want to bite though.

PlumCrazy
01-07-2015, 10:53 AM
Unimogs have the option of front 3 points...

85_Ranger4x4
01-07-2015, 01:04 PM
Unimogs have the option of front 3 points...

Yeah, and they are from Europe too...

Bray D
01-14-2015, 08:57 AM
Did some more plowing yesterday. My buddy had a ~2' drift in his driveway from the last snowfall, so I ran over there and pushed it out of the way for him. It had hardened substantially and it took some serious pushing to get through it. I would make it a little ways, then the blade would tip hard. I'd have to back up, lift the blade a little, and knock the top off - then come back and take another chunk from it.

I was able to get the whole thing cleared eventually though. Definitely the hardest pushing I've done so far. It was fun.

I have't got around to building the tube edge yet either. I have material on hand, I just need to whip it up. Maybe this weekend.