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Discussion Starter #1
I have two, 100'+ driveways with parking on each plus a circle driveway in front. It's a lot of asphalt to clear and it would take forever to crawl along with a snowblower over all of it. I live in MA so we get plenty of snow. A plow is the only viable option for my situation.

I just bought the 2014 Ram 1500 Ecodiesel Bighorn Quad Cab with a standard suspension and had a Fisher Homesteader plow installed. The plow only weighs about 280lbs, but it is pulling the nose of the Ram down noticeably. The installers suggested I look into getting a lift kit installed, because they were concerned about the lack of clearing in front when the plow is lifted all the way.

Fisher only suggests 20lbs of ballast in the back of the truck. I was thinking that putting more ballast in back, 100+lbs, would give me better traction and would help to balance the load in the front better. Hopefully pull the nose up some.

Thoughts?

Also, is there a recommended way of putting ballast at the back of the bed and keeping it there? I was thinking a 6 gallon bucket of sand on each side of the bed and tied to the loop that is there.

I am completely new to driving a pickup truck, so please feel free to point out something obvious I might be missing.

Brokk...
 

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The obvious would be that you're using the wrong tool for the job.

A 3/4 ton or 1 ton truck is what you want for plowing snow.
The 1500 series Rams use electric power steering. They're also very front heavy to start with and have precious little capacity on the front axle for any extra weight.
 

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Not sure what might be available for stiffer springs in the front.... they aren't too hard to change. A lift isn't going to change the spring rate, so that's not a good idea, imo.
 

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Brokk,

I will make a few common sense comments that might be of use to you-

1-While the Ecodiesel isn't the best truck for plowing commercially I believe it is fine for plowing your home driveway and you have bought a light duty plow to do the job.

2-On a plow site I read a while ago there were several people plowing commercially with their Ecodiesel and plowed all through last winter. I recall one was in Illinois and do not remember where the other was from. They both reported no problems and really liked the economy. Seems to me if it can work for commercial plowing you can make it work fine for your driveway.

3-20Lbs of ballast sounds silly to me and is surely useless. Regarding your question of ballast I think your ideas of two 6 gallon buckets full of sand one anchored in each back is a good one. Using the existing loops as you suggest is fine. These buckets will be about 100 lbs each and the total of 200 lbs will help your traction and somewhat balance the weight of the plow and raise the front up a bit. I would try this and if you want it a bit heavier fill the buckets with water after they have sand in them and you'll gain another 20 or 30 lbs total.

4-I am not sure how easy your plow connects and disconnects nor how frequently you use the truck for other purposes and how frequently the snow comes. Anyhow, I would live with it for a while with the ballast and disconnect the plow between snowstorms if you are going to be using the truck a lot for other purposes.

If you can make this work as described above and use a little common sense how you plow you do not need to compromise the use of the truck for every other use you have for it.

All the best,
 

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Timber grove enterprises LLC. Makes a "ASAM" ( air springs ) for the front of our trucks . It would be your best route as you can preserve your factory rake and nice ride when not using the plow.
 

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Two things: 1) PLEASE do not put your sand in buckets. If you ever slide off the road and the truck stops quickly (like when you hit the snowbank) the buckets will become 200 pound flying objects that will come right through the back of the cab. 2) Be aware that you will get stuck plowing snow sooner or later. Prepare now with a shovel, a good tow strap and a way to open the sandbags so you can put some under the tires. You may also want to buy some good snow tires now.
 

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The obvious would be that you're using the wrong tool for the job.

A 3/4 ton or 1 ton truck is what you want for plowing snow.
The 1500 series Rams use electric power steering. They're also very front heavy to start with and have precious little capacity on the front axle for any extra weight.
OK I am going to step in here to keep this thread on track by saying nothing was mentioned by the op about a 3/4 or one ton truck.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Timber grove enterprises LLC. Makes a "ASAM" ( air springs ) for the front of our trucks . It would be your best route as you can preserve your factory rake and nice ride when not using the plow.
I checked out their website, but I don't see any ASAM for the front axle of a 1500. Otherwise it sounds like a great product with a lot of potential.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Can we see a picture of this setup?

Sent from my SM-G900T using Tapatalk
Are you looking for a picture of my truck with the plow attached?

I took it off after I finished plowing, but I will take a picture when I am preparing for the next storm.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Let me see if I can combine all the advice into one place. Let me know if I get it all correct:

1) No one advises a straight lift kit.
2) Stiffer/stronger springs are suggested which will keep the truck front from sinking under the weight of the plow, however stiffer springs will mean a rougher ride.
3) Stiffer springs should be combined with the right shocks for those springs.
4) ASAM sounds promising, but I'm not sure they make them for the front of a 1500. ASAM would allow me to increase the air pressure, which would act like stiffer springs, then decrease it when I'm not plowing, to get a smother ride.
5) Be very cautious about securing ballast in the back of the truck. Sudden impacts, which do happen when plowing, will cause the ballast to fly forward.
6) 200# of ballast would be a good starting number and should help with traction as well as balancing the load of the plow.

While new to pickup trucks, I do have experience plowing my driveways. I have had a "personal plow" attached to a couple SUVs over the last 7 years that I have used to plow this property. I am familiar with the need to carry a shovel, sand, and being prepared to dig myself out when I overestimate how much snow my plow can push up onto a pile. I am also familiar with sudden stops when you hit an icy patch and slide into that snow pile a lot less gently than you intended. That plow was very small and light duty. This new plow is bigger, heavier and should be able to handle more (yet still officially "light duty" in the grand scheme of things). I am being very cautious in using it while I get used to the change and my new truck as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Timber grove enterprises LLC. Makes a "ASAM" ( air springs ) for the front of our trucks . It would be your best route as you can preserve your factory rake and nice ride when not using the plow.
I contacted them about front end ASAM and here is the response I got:

"I don't have an air solution for the front axle of the 09'-16' RAM 1500. The factory suspension is quite fragile and posses an excessive liability risk I'm not willing to take."
 

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I disagree with everyone here about the ballast weight. I think you should be at 500+ for your setup at a minimum. Reason is that the blade is acting as a cantilever, although it's not that heavy, extending it off the front of the truck is putting a lot of leverage down, bringing weight off of the back. I think 500lbs in the very back of the truck against the tailgate is minimum just to offset the plow and bring you to 0 net +/- traction to the rear when accounting for this cantilever. Personally I'd be looking for 800lbs on a first test overall in the bed as far back as possible, this will level the truck nicely and give you increased traction as well. Strap it in and go for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Speaking of leveling...

truck level.jpg

Without the plow, just the mounting hardware (49lbs according to MFG) the truck is currently dipping 2" lower in the front than in the back, measuring from the top of the tire to the fender.

Right now I have 80lbs of ballast loaded in the back, right next to the tailgate. 40 lbs on each side of the truck. I realize that is a lot less than I should have when the plow is on, but I was just experimenting with tying it down and keeping things from sliding.

If anything, the front should be lifted, since there is more extra weight in the back than in the front, no?

Is there something already wrong here before attaching the weight of the plow?

The installer commented a couple times that the front of the truck was surprising low and they were the ones pointing me towards the idea of the lift kit in the first place.
 

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I don't think you're thinking about this the right way. The 2in isn't because the front is low, it's because the back is set higher to account for sagging under load without turning the truck into an airplane wing. The truck rolled out of the factory this way, has nothing to do with your hardware. 50lbs is nothing. If the truck was that front sensitive to weight, it would be listing to the left and forward just with you sitting in it to take it for a drive unless you're a school girl. I'm looking out my window at my 07' 1500 with about 200lbs in the back, and it has the same stance as yours of not even more extreme in single cab configuration.

You're plowing in your driveway, not a muddy corn field. Load up the bed heavy, hook up the plow, and do it up and save the cash. You're thinking about this way, way too hard.
 

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The truck has a rake in in from the factory, as Hugh Jass mentioned.

You're still using the wrong tool for the job though (1500 aren't meant for plowing).
 
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