Sunday, February 5, 2017

Back Blade Update

 A few posts back I reported the addition of an Ebling Back Blade to my plow truck. I've really only had a few chances to play with it but I can see it will be a big time saver and a very useful weapon in the battle against accumulated snow.

 In true greasyshoprag fashion, I have provided you with a craptacular picture of the truck the way it sits today.

 The front blade is a SnowEx power plow that extends from 8'6" to 11 feet. I talked about how I hate handheld controllers and that I was gonna permanently mount the one that came with this blade.

 I had an old bracket from the car-phone days that worked perfectly for mounting the plow controller to the door panel. I can comfortably lay my arm on the arm rest and operate the snow plow. I'm liking it. In this pic you can also see the back blade controller in the front center of the seats. It is mounted to the bottom of the bench seat and moves with the seat. Above that is the salter controller mounted to the lower dash panel.
 When we told the manufacturer of the back blade that we wanted to mount a salter on the same truck as their blade, they basically just wished us luck. In very early custom designs they used a dual cylinder lift to raise the back blade. This made it possible to use whatever salter they were working with at the time. We didn't want to reinvent the wheel here and wanted each piece of this puzzle to work independently as they were intended. That is, if the blade comes off of this truck it can be mounted on another without any problems. Same for the salter. Everything has to be plug n play. This is what we came up with.

 If the plow comes off it will not change anything with the salter. Right now the salt drops between the rear hitch of the truck and the power unit mount for the back blade. We replaced the short spinner shaft with the optional longer one and it now just clears below the mount and back blade. We're gonna make a new shaft about two inches longer to get things "just right". You can see the spread pattern is decent but we don't have the spinner mounted correctly. There are two holes in the bottom of the spinner shaft. The top hole is where the spinner bolts through the shaft. The bottom hole is for a cotter pin and catches the spinner if the top bolt shears. We have the spinner bolted in the bottom hole right now and need to lengthen the shaft to fix this. It's just one of those things you have to deal with when trying to make your own rules. The salter can only mount so low before resting on the plow mount and changing the length of that shaft was the easiest answer.
 About the electric salt spreader. This unit is a dual electric motor setup. One motor spins the auger and one runs the spinner. Back in the day we ran gasoline powered spreaders and thought we had the world by the balls. Never mind that remote controls for gas engines always had issues or were froze if cable operated, or that you had to roll down the window and try to listen if the engine was cranking or that batteries went dead or the problem of running out of fuel. I don't miss any of that shit. Sure, my first reaction to the idea of an electric spreader was that they would be weak and not stand up to the abuse a commercial snow relocation technician would throw at them. I was wrong. These units are simple, reliable and plenty strong. The squeaking sound in the video is coming from the spreader but it's because I added a thick piece of rubber to the spinner shaft above a pillow block bearing. This was to protect the bearing from salt. I need to open the hole in that rubber as it's too dang tight right now.
 I plan to take some video footage of the blade in action. I have the camera, mounts and such. I just need mother nature to provide some decent snow.


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