Sunday, October 29, 2017

Tunnel Vision

 This year we decided to put a bigger salter on my plow truck. Instead of leaving the flat bed on the truck, we remove it and bolt the salter directly to the frame rails. This allows for better vision of the back blade and also saves the aluminum bed from corrosion. Speaking of corrosion, any spilled salt lands on the fuel tank, drive shaft and frame rails. Despite being undercoated, this could lead to rust issues. For that reason we decided to dress things up a bit and prevent spilled salt from getting there.

 We had Ripon Truck Repair bend a piece of steel for our tunnel. This was a job worth farming out. We just don't have the equipment to bend such a piece and they were able to do it the same day and to our exact specs.

 Mocking things up. Yes, that salter is freakin huge. The F550 will handle it but it still looks huge. In fact the only problem I foresee is whether or not our skid loader will be able to dump into it.

 The rear valance. I have it bolted on so it can be easily removed to service the multitude of wires and connectors back there. The holes are for a trailer plug, flatbed lighting plug, back blade control plug, back blade power, and salter wiring to include a vibrator, strobe lighting and a camera. Last year all these wires were just zip tied to the frame and it was an ugly mess but it was worth it. We learned a lot about the back blade and fitting a salter to work with it. So much so that this year we tooled up another truck with that combo.

 Ya theres a lot going on back here. Another issue we addressed was the fuel filler. We had some problems with slow filling and decided to fix that by creating a new permanent mounting spot for the hose. Last year it was pretty long and we just used a bungee cord to secure it. You can kinda see it under the license plate.

 This is so much cleaner looking than last year. As a selling dealer for the salter and back blade, this project is something that can be justified not only for function but what is possible for custom applications.

 I'm anxious for some snow so I can get back behind the wheel of this rig. I like plowing and this truck with its 11 foot front blade and 16 foot back blade is a treat to use. The extra size of this salter allows me to carry twice the volume of salt which equals less trips back to the shop to refill.

 I did something different on this project. I didn't over analyze every decision and just went with the flow. I accepted things without thinking about the outcome. That experiment failed and I'm going back to my old ways. The few minutes I usually spend looking off into space is a lot less time than having to redo something because I wasn't looking at the whole picture. Thinking is working and just because it looks like I'm on break doesn't mean I'm not actually saving time and money. That wasn't aimed at anyone, its just the way I feel. Something else done different on this one was that I had a lot of help. Not in decision making but in the physical labor. Having the young guys crawling under the truck and doing the heavy lifting, welding and cutting was much appreciated.


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