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Buy a sander for plow truck or sell truck & buy tractor?


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#1 Wyld Bill

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Posted 03 December 2005 - 05:59 PM

I'm havinga hard time decided what I should do about my driveway problem. For those that don't already know my driveway is 1000' long, steep, & dumps out on blind corner on a major route with heavy traffic going in excess of 50MPH. Right now I have a 3/4 ton chevy PU with a Western plow on it. The truck runs good & most everything works on it but is pretty rough (cab mounts gone, frame rusted, brakes soft,etc.)
So last year I had a bunch of sand dumped in the bed & added calcium to the sand. I had a tarp over the sand. Well, the sand froze solid on the bed so everytime I tried to sand the driveway I had to take a sledge hammer to the sand to break it up :flip: We got a lot of snow so the last 300' of my driveway started getting VERY narrow. I tried pushing the snow banks back some but Icouldn't. One day I was plowing & caught the edge of the banks on the way by a couple times & ended up ripping the entire plow right off the mount on the truck. :kool: Every time I back out into the road to make a run up my driveway someone comes flying around the blind corner & almost runs into me. :hello:

So,..I need a way to be able to sand the whole 1000' driveway quickly (without killing my back) before I go to work in the morning. Other wise I cannot make it down my driveway with my van without wrecking it.

I get a bonus every year around X-mas. Sometimes it's as good as $5000. So at first I was going to buy a new or used sander for my truck with some/all of my bonus money.

Then I got thinking. How the heck am I going to load the sander?? I'll still have certain truck with a plow problems.
Now I don't know if I should just sell the plow truck, use the bonus to pay off the $5000 we owe on our car that has has a rediculus interest rate on it, & get a low rate loan to buy a samll 4x4 tractor with a snowblower on it & a sander attachment.
The tractor is going to be a LOT of money & we are already pretty strapped right now. Then again the tractor is really the better set up & in the summer I could use it to do the landscape work, firewood work, drieway washout repair, etc..
No heat or shelter in the tractor though :lol:

#2 xjeepinhamster

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Posted 03 December 2005 - 06:22 PM

A good 4WD tractor is going to cost a hell of a lot more than a decent plow truck with sander.

#3 Wyld Bill

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Posted 03 December 2005 - 06:25 PM

A good 4WD tractor is going to cost a hell of a lot more than a decent plow truck with sander.

Thank you obvious man :flip:
I already have the truck.

#4 AlexCF

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Posted 03 December 2005 - 06:39 PM

How much would it cost to hire someone else to do it?

#5 Randi

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Posted 03 December 2005 - 06:50 PM

You could pay someone to sand it.
Yeah I know, sucks depending on someone else but you are in a conundrum for doing it yourself.
You need a loader to load a truck bed sander efficiently.
You could get a small RECEIVER MOUNT spreader and spend all your time loading it after a pass or two. A whole bed one would be way better...

Get chains for the van?
Studded snows?


I guess if you staged dry sand storage, and had a receiver spreader on the truck it would work out OK...
The key is maintaining the driveway...
not sure what condition its in now, but I know its easy to let it go, and then not keep up with plowing and then thick ice forms...

Its a tough one.
Personally in your position I'd make dry storage spots for the sand/salt mix and get a receiver mount spreader.

#6 TOZOVR

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Posted 03 December 2005 - 10:23 PM

You could pay someone to sand it.
Yeah I know, sucks depending on someone else but you are in a conundrum for doing it yourself.
You need a loader to load a truck bed sander efficiently.
You could get a small RECEIVER MOUNT spreader and spend all your time loading it after a pass or two. A whole bed one would be way better...

Get chains for the van?
Studded snows?


I guess if you staged dry sand storage, and had a receiver spreader on the truck it would work out OK...
The key is maintaining the driveway...
not sure what condition its in now, but I know its easy to let it go, and then not keep up with plowing and then thick ice forms...

Its a tough one.
Personally in your position I'd make dry storage spots for the sand/salt mix and get a receiver mount spreader.


The hitchmount sanders are great but most will only spread sand, no calcium or salt (What I was told by a few local dealers)

I'd still go with that though...I know the curtis fast-cast spreaders are affordable and will leave you $$ for your dirtbikes.

#7 poorboy

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Posted 03 December 2005 - 10:40 PM

heated driveway :flip:

#8 NEWJO

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 07:44 AM

There have been some really good deals on tractors on Ebay lately.

Well worth it, but if the tractor doesn't have chains you will have some major issues, there isn't enough weight to keep the wheels from spinning.

I have a New Holland TC45 with calcium filled wheels and the thing does not like to go where i want it to when pushing snow, might be differen't with a snow blower but pushing with the bucket puts too much resistance to the tractor and it ends up taking me twice as long to clear with it. I use the plow truck then do the final cleanup and puch backs with the loader on the tractor. I have seen pick up spreaders for around $500 but this time of year you are looking at 3 to 5 times that.

If I was in your position which I was not too long ago. I would hire a local witht a sander to hit your driveway after you polow it and in the spring and summer look for someone ditching there sander and pick it up cheaper.

I would stay away from the hitch sanders unless you can store it inside a heated garage. We had one for the first storm. and the sand froze in the sander and burnt up the motor. Not saying you won't have freeze issues with a full size spreader but less of a chance with the chain and motor system then the gravity system.

Lastly chains on the truck would be a good place to start. Talk to the town or state about putting a blind driveway sign up, and make sure you have a warning light on so you don't get a ticket when someone complains you are making a dangerous situation by being in the road!

#9 CJKarl

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 07:45 AM

Move to Florida, they like your kind down there.

#10 Randi

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 10:30 AM

Problem with a full bed sander is....how does he load it?
By hand?
Just asking becasue I knwo I wouldnt want to.

#11 preach

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 10:34 AM

Leave the van at the bottm of the driverway and take the Bike down to it every AM. :flip:

#12 NEWJO

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 12:30 PM

Problem with a full bed sander is....how does he load it?
By hand?
Just asking becasue I knwo I wouldnt want to.



I thought I mentioned in there picking up a used tractor!

If not that is what I was getting at. A used tractor and a sander for the 5K

Ford 9n with a bucket, sometimess they even have backhoes and chains.

Just saw a 3 year old TC35 go for 7K with loader.

Deals are there.

also up here the town will load youre sander if you are only using it for your driveway and or the neighbors. But not if you are making money on it. the gravel pits also load the sander if you want.

Think outside the box, he would have to get gravel or salt somewhere anyways.

Full size sander is better in my experience adn oppinion.!

YMMV

#13 Randi

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 02:09 PM

i was just thinking hes strapped for cash sort of and a full bed, sander, and a used tractor might be a bit much on the wallet.

He could always sell his dirtbike I guess :flip:

#14 broncobrett

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 04:38 PM

Well,we have pretty bad drive way too. We have a tractor with a loader, and I am Diamond snowplow dealer, so we also sell Swenson spreaders. This means I can buy what ever I want for a spreader. Bed mount, bumper mount, hitch mount you name it. All this being said, I pay to have our driveways sanded. For the $25 or $30 it costs there is no way I can justify tying up money in a spreader and a stockpile of salt sand mix. And for the recored, the small Meyer Mate bumper/hitch mount spreader will spread a salt sand mix.

#15 Wyld Bill

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Posted 04 December 2005 - 06:05 PM

How much would it cost to hire someone else to do it?

Well when my driveway was less than half as long as it is now the guy I had charged me $40 each time he came. He did a half azz job & after one year he said he was all done doing it. Everyone else that I called when they figured out which driveway it was said they wouldn't do it. :flip:

heated driveway :lol:

Believe it of not I have actually been thinking about that quite a lot for in the future. It's not the snow thatis the biggest problem. It is the thin layer that forms over night when it rains, sleets, etc.