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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I think I know the answer before I ask, but is it possible to buy a reasonably-decent (not professional Al-Can highway-quality) snow plow for <$4K? One that would stand up to a few dozen miles (at most - more likely just half a dozen) every ~4 years or so? I grew up in South Louisiana, and I now live just outside Memphis, just to put my knowledge of plowing into perspective. My F250HD has handled this current mess flawlessly (despite a trashed front u-joint that I was about to replace when the snow hit), and it has a front receiver (that I don't really need or use).

(click this link)


Is that enough to mount a real plow, or only the ultra-light-duty homeowner-type I-can't-shovel-my-30-foot-driveway plows that I see on Amazon?

Or do I need to remove the receiver to put a decent plow on? My driveway is ~1/4 mile of gravel (currently) with some hills/turns/low-spots, and there's another ~1.25 mi. of paved roads (without manhole covers or other obstructions) from my driveway out to the highway (which gets plowed by the county). But I'd probably do some extra for my neighbors, and maybe a little paid work (but a LOT of people around me have tractors, so not much). I know the difference between full-trip & trip-edge, but I don't know which one would suit my purpose best (or if it really matters for such light use). Do I need wheels or shoes on the blade? Round shoes, or swivels? Metal upper blade or plastic? I can do all the installation/wiring & any fabrication necessary, and unload it from an 18-wheeler.

Are there any other factors relevant to choosing a plow? How much would I have to spend to get a plow that would last with such LIGHT use? I'd prefer that all components be made & assembled in USA or Canadia. Got a link to an etailer that will ship it this far South for a reasonable total cost? Thanks.
 

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while they sell and put plows on F250's of your era, if you put a plow on the truck plan on not driving it anymore, or putting a new front end under it every other year.
the TTB D50 will not hold up to the 750 to 1000 lbs of plow hanging off the front of the truck and will self destruct.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Which parts have you seen wearing out or breaking, and how many miles of plow use did it take for them to break again after installing new high-quality replacements? I just replaced the Left front wheel bearings & U-joint, but the brakes, leaf bushings, pivot bushings, tie rods, & Left ball joints were still good. I'm about to change both Right U-joints and inspect those BJs, when the snow melts and the 2WD is usable again.

The plow I linked weighs 419 lbs.

And can anyone else answer the original question about the cost of a plow that would fit my needs?
 

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i would replace wheel bearings, ball joints, springs, and bushings every other year, every third year if i was lucky. a plow truck should really have a solid axle under the front.
then you have the rust/rot factor. within 5 years of starting to plow, the truck will start falling apart.
with snow plows you get what you pay for. the one you linked is for a jeep.
for your truck, you want a LT plow, (light truck) MINIMUM 7.5 foot for straight push, 8 foot if there is turns. otherwise your tires will be running on snow and not the cleaned path. 7.5 foot wide plow only clears a 6.5 foot path when angled. 8 for clears 7 foot, 8.5 foot clears 7.5 foot. i run 8.5, 9, and 10 foot commercial plows depending on depth and weight of the snow. thick wet heavy snow is a 8,5 plow, light fluffy dry snow is 10 foot plow.
a decent used plow is going to run you around 4 grand. new they are between 7 and 11 grand.


i am not trying to talk you out of starting plowing, just informing you of what it costs, and what to expect as a return.
plow insurance is VERY expensive.
unless you have GOOD customers, the pay sucks.
i was very luck for 50 years to have good accounts, and i made a lot of money.
then the are years where there is no snow, and it costs you 4-5 grand to have the plows.
i stopped plowing last years after two years of getting stiffed by non paying customers that took over a few accounts and wanted me to continue service.
 
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Tom covered the basics. Meyer or Western is the only way to go, and you need feet not wheels. Carry spare springs and hydro fluid. The plow on a gravel driveway is going to spend more time down than up. And when I say that I mean laying face down on the road from hitting bumps and ridges
Ttd is not the way to go with a plow. I even broke the frame on one of my trucks. One curb, or big rock your done.
Ball joints take a lot of abuse. 450 lbs dont sound like much, but going down the road at 45-50 mph with the plow bouncing up and down beats the hell out of the truck.

Another thing to mention, the e4od does not like heat and plowing heats it up pretty quick not to mention going down the road with the plow up is like having a big wind breaker in front of the radiator.
I put electric fans on all my plow trucks, and aoil cooler for transmission with an electric fan.

If you love that truck enough to use it in your signature dont use it for a plow truck. It will die a horrible death and make you sad

Keep your eyes open you can buy a whole truck at the end of the season plow and all that needs repairs for little to nothing.
I just bought a 98 gmc supercab 2500 short bed with a meyer plow for $1000.
Needs a timing cover and intake gaskets.
The plow is worth 3 times that. I can fix the truck and use it, or turn it over for a profit.

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I would look for a retired plow truck for your use, if you charge people to plow you will need insurance, so favors or beer is better for your friends.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
cf & Charlie: There are no used plows or plow trucks in this area - we don't get enough snow.

Charlie: I won't be plowing commercially, or at highway speeds on the ~2 miles of rural roads that I might use it on twice a decade. If it won't work in my gravel driveway, I won't use it there. The last time it snowed (3 years ago), I cleared it with my riding mower, but that was probably <3".

203391


I think this freak storm (which will probably never happen again while I live here) dropped 2 batches of ~5"ea. Where are you, and do you want to get rid of that Meyer plow?

Tom: I keep the undercarriages of all my trucks clean, even though I don't plow with any of them now - if I used the red '97 to plow, I'd wash the underside thoroughly a few times in the spring, even though there's NO SALT or sand on the roads I'd be plowing (which is why I'd have to plow them). Good to know about the plow widths vs. truck width.

I spent 5 hours yesterday clearing that ~1.5-mile path from my house to the highway (an maybe another 0.5mi nearby) using my father's 65hp Deer with a loader & 3-point blade; much of that time, with my neck & spine cranked around backward since that 3-point blade is for pushing. It's better than being trapped at the house, but the tractor won't be here much longer, and I'm still sore today. So I'm just exploring the option of getting something affordable (new) that will make this job easier, as rarely as I'll ever have to do it.

203392
 

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if it is just for your driveway, look for a jeep or a little 4X4 beater and hang a smaller plow on it. a 6.5 foot poly blade plow will go a long way on a jeep.
this will also give you a beater to play with in the summer instead of taking your baby off road.
i never plowed with my daily driver .
when i got a newer truck, i would make the old one a plow truck and keep the new truck new. i still have 4 of my old "daily drivers" here as plow trucks.
the exception to that rule was back 89 to 94, when i contracted the escort trucks to the town to keep the drivers busy in winter.
but after each plow event the trucks came in the shop, and the drivers steam cleaned them top and bottom, then oil fogged the complete undercarriage.
those trucks were all F350's, and when i sold them to their drivers were all in showroom condition. and all had over 300,000 miles on them.
 

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Plow won't go on your Ford. You have to have the carrier frame that goes under the truck.
The hitch will have to come off, then the frame comes up
Most "mold" to the frame, and use the frame holes in the frame already there. Some drilling.
The shock brackets on a ttd have to come off, and go on the outside of the frame.

I have a plow catalog in the shop that would explain it better, normally I would walk out and get it to show and set you in the right direction but I am in the middle of another health event like the other day. Tom probably can help there, or maybe tomorrow I will be ok to walk over there.
In any event last time I bought a plow frame setup for a f 250/350 it ran around $600

Addanother$50 for hardware
This is the part the plow you posted from Amazon fits into.

Now about that plow. It will not do what you need, probably will be bouncing in the air on a stone road the whole time.
You need a substantial plow.

Tom has a few sitting. I only have 2 broken ones, and the one for the centurion
The gmc i will probably keep as a whole unit, and after plowing this crap with the skid steer here yesterday may keep it here just for my lane.

Like I said, and another member stated end of season is best time to buy a plow. Buy one in season they rob you. End of season it's in the way.
Plow frame on the truck I probably would buy new. Had to weld and repair too many used ones.
Most of my plowing was with my dump trucks. The pickups were for cleaning up the entrance and exit ramps when the plow train pushed on through. I very seldom dealt with the public.
I'll try and get to a catalog so you can get one coming to you, or look it up on the web, as you have to have spare parts, like the feet, springs, hoses with you. There is always something breaking even on a simple road/driveway push

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ain't that the truth!!
forgot all about the "oh crap" bags.
each truck has a set of wrenches, three quarts of pump oil, a set of springs, a set of hoses, three sets of pins, a spare set of shoes, a spare controller, and a crimp connector pack.
and one truck (usually mine) always had the miller gas powered stick welder in it for the inevitable "oh crap this is bad" event.
although for a home use only plow you would not need that, if you break you simply turn around and go back to the shop and fix it.
 

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Unless he blows off pins and a line and he can't pick it back up.
Also, you probably already know about the broken neck thing at the end of the day from constantly turning around on the tractor.. Worse in a truck
Positive on that is your in heat, and the pine trees full of snow dont flop a full load in your face every tree.


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Here in Kansas a old plow truck with a plow on it is the same price as a used plow, for the service you think you will need it for you have a spare vehicle to use and a ready to go plow truck(well maybe lol) instead of rigging up the last 90% which takes the most time and effort to do.

My neighbor sold his plow truck which was a 95 f250 I think to the business on the other side of my house and they just use it to plow their lot, and usd the truck with the plow off to run and get parts for their heavy trucks during the rest of the year.

For your service I would also consider a utv or atv with a plow
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The '97 F250 isn't a baby - it's just a thoroughly-repaired beater, like my other 3 trucks.

203408


I'm not getting another vehicle to be used a couple times a decade, even if I could buy a used plow truck, which I can't (locally). The Amazon plow is specifically for front receiver mounting, like this one:
I'm sure you'll all think it's a joke/toy, but it appears to be exactly what I need since I don't plow commercially; or at highway speeds; or more than once a year in the few years that it snows heavily enough to need plowing; or in deep snow; but I do need to do my gravel driveway. And even-more-importantly: it's such a simple design that I could probably build it myself for <$500.

That doesn't mean I WILL; or that I'm going to buy it; or that I'm going to buy the Amazon plow; or that I'm not still interested in everyone's opinions & suggestions. I appreciate everything that has been posted, and I've considered every point that has been raised. But they all seem to presuppose that I'm plowing a LOT more than I actually ever will. Really - it'll be VERY rare. But on those rare occasions, I'd rather use my 4WD F250 with the heavy diesel anchor over the front wheels than anything else.

I wouldn't use an ATV/UTV, but I've always wanted my own skidsteer (I've spent many hours using them professionally), so I'm always on the lookout for one. I nearly bought one from my neighbor a few years ago, but another neighbor got it.
 
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the aluminum plow for over a grand just makes me feel like I would have a thousand dollar aluminum taco in no time

I just bought a tractor , my aging back thanks me ,, it comes in handy for a lot of stuff
but I get what you're saying good deals are impossible to find on them
and I wonder about the diy plow thing? I would probably use that bronco for the plow since it has that big arse bumper and i would weld two receivers spaced out for that amazon plow diy double upright deal it rides up and down on
 

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ok, i thought your 97 was your only driver.
i would still upgrade to a better plow, those "go into a receiver hitch" style units are very very low quality.
and i would not be surprised if it broke first time used.
 
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I'd put a decent plow and frame on the bronco.
Better turning radius, shorter wheelbase to get in tight spots.
The receiver hitch puts all the weight on the front of the frame
Regular plow frame is the whole under frame of the truck. Think of it as counter balance.


I was not telling you what to do by any means, just offering some suggestions from 45 years of experience.



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49 years here.
the first 4-5 were on open tractors with back blades.

for the price they want for one of those hitch plows, you can buy a decent snow plow and modify the frame to fit whatever truck you decide to put it on.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The Bronco's front bumper already has 2 receivers - that's what those big shackles are mounted in, and they're also how the bumper is attached to the frame.



Thanks for all the input - I've probably got a couple of years to think about it, and maybe stick something together myself. So I'm still open to more comments, tips, opinions, links, sources, designs...
 
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You know you could use that winch to raise and lower a diy plow.......

I have some traeger (pellet smoker) lids pulled from a iron bin that I'm going to weld together and make a plow for my golf cart. I got the idea from the forklift from the same place that made their plow with lids lol.
 
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