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6-WD Army "Snowplow" Truck
"It's built tough and, with 6-WD, it has a lot of traction," says Chris Kirkland, Mansfield, Ill., who converted an old 2 1/2 ton Army truck into a snow plow/salt truck. It's complete with an 11-ft. wide blade on front and a live floor, stainless steel box on back with a spinner spreader.
    Both the blade and bed came off an old state highway truck. Kirkland also salvaged the truck's entire hydraulic system and some safety lights.
    Kirkland is the local road commissioner and uses the truck to maintain roads in his township. "It was a low budget job but it was fun to do, and it turned out nice," says Kirkland. "I built it because I wanted a cheap truck without worrying about getting it dirty or rusting out. Army trucks are well maintained by the military, and they've never really been in salt. The Army truck I bought had 40,000 miles on it and was in great shape. I paid $2,500 for the Army truck, and $3,500 for the snowplow truck. I could have bought a worn out state highway snowplow truck for $7,000 to $10,000, but it wouldn't have 6-WD and it wouldn't be built as strong.
    "The entire project took 10 days to complete. After everything was installed we were amazed there were no leaks and everything worked perfect."
    The Army truck is powered by a turbocharged White diesel engine and 5-speed transmission with high and low range. The truck came with a pto-operated winch on front. Kirkland removed the winch and uses the pto to drive an add-on hydraulic pump, which raises and lowers the blade and swings it from side to side. It also powers the conveyor chain and spinner spreader.
    The engine had 135 hp but Kirkland turned the injector pump up to boost the power. He also made changes to the cab's factory heater to make it more comfortable, removing the heater from the engine firewall and installing it in the floorboard of the cab. "We ran the hoses inside and hooked it into the defroster ductwork. Now the cab gets so warm that I can wear a T-shirt when plowing snow," says Kirkland.
    "I've used it for two months and really enjoy it," says Kirkland. "The front wheel drive works nice. I operate the pto pump in high range while spreading half sand and half salt on main county roads. I put the pto in low when I'm just plowing out in the country.
    "I plan on taking the hard top off during the summer when spreading fine gravel chips on roads. By removing two bolts the whole top can be lifted off, and the windshield can be folded down."
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Chris Kirkland, 2789 North 1000 East, Mansfield, Ill. 61854 (217 306-6293; cksk99@tswireless.net).

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2009 - Volume #33, Issue #6