Buying a used Meyer EZ Classic Mount Plow?
So you got, or can get a great deal on a Meyer EZ Classic mount,
and the seller says all you need is the mount for your truck. Unfortunately, it
is not always that easy, and it comes at a cost getting higher every year. Meyer
has been phasing out the EZ Classic Mounting system since 2005. It was
officially discontinued in November 2009. Within the next couple of years they
will not be making any more of them, period. So they still make them? Yes. Do they
still have many in stock? Yes. Will parts be available for the next 10 years?
Most likely. So why not put it on your truck? It might work for you. Lets look at a few scenarios.
You find a plow, you want to put it on your 2003 Chevrolet 2500HD. It is a Meyer EZ Classic Mount, and a C-8 plow in ok shape, it has some rust. The set up has an E-60 pump on it, that worked fine when they took it off the truck. You have no idea how old it is, but the seller says a few years old. Now you are buying this plow to use it, so you want it to be reliable. Before it goes on your truck, you want to have the E-60 rebuilt. That way you know what you have, and that it will be reliable. Having it rebuilt means it will be disassembled, and perfectly clean inside, and all parts of it inspected and replaced if necessary. You want to take a look at the C-8, but you don't know what to look for other than the obvious. Some obvious things to look for are: damage to the moldboard; is it bent? How is the cutting edge? Is it worn straight across, or is it worn more on the ends? Is it worn on an angle straight across? Is there any rust on the chrome part of the power angle rams?
Then there is the not so obvious. The Pivot pins. These are the pins that the plow blade will pivot on when the plow trips after striking an immovable object. They are a huge problem waiting to happen if they have not been greased EVERY year. I can say from experience that 75% or more of the plows that come in for repairs have NEVER had the Pivot Pins greased once the plow was assembled. The Pivot Pins have one half in the Moldboard, and one half in the Sector. This allows the plow to pivot forward, and back to the upright position. What is common is to have the pin seize in one half, either the moldboard half, or the Sector half. What this does, is allow the pin to pivot in the other half. It is dry from never being greased. So as the plow pivots, the pin wears the inside of the sleeve, and the pin itself. Then rust builds up until the next time it trips, and then the rusty pin grinds the inside of the rusty sleeve. Over, and over, and over. Then one day while plowing, the plow trips, and the pin snaps, or even both (it is not uncommon). Better bring your credit card with you for the repair. To fix one side, you have to get the other pin out too....
In our shop, it is $100 - $200 to repair each side, depending on if the sleeves have to be replaced. It is common to have to replace both. So there is $400.
So lets say you didn't know all of this. You buy the plow above. Then you find out that there is too much rust (no rust is best, the chrome should shine like a mirror) on the Power Angling Rams, so they need to be replaced. It is typical to have the hoses and couplers replaced too, as cheap unreliable couplers are commonplace. So new PA Rams, Hoses, Couplers. There is about $400 in parts. Then you find that the Pivot Pins need to be replaced, another $400. Then the pump needs to be rebuilt, there is pitting on the Lift Ram, and the C Valve is swollen because a previous driver plowed too hard and too fast with the unit. The Crossover Valve Spring is broken, so that needs to be replaced. The E-60 pump is an older one, and it has a single lug motor, and it is loaded with corrosion inside, so that needs to be replaced with the much more reliable 2 lug motor that has a ground lug on it. Add this all up for the pump to the tune of about $800.
So now you are up to $1600 in repairs to get this plow in shape.
Now comes the next surprise, the EZ Classic Mounting Carton for your truck has a 2010-2011 List Price of $846. It weighs 125#, so shipping cost will play into the cost somehow. You can install it yourself, or pay anywhere from $300 - $700 to have it installed.
Then you find that you didn't get the Touchpad controller that was standard with the E-60. New they list for $288.39, or you can get the Pistol Grip Controller, it lists for $284.56. And you are missing the headlight Modules and Headlight Adapters for your vehicle. Add another $185 for the Modules, and $139.76 for the Adapters.
Repairs - $1600
Mounting Carton - $846
Installation - $550 (average)
Controller - $250 (average)
Headlight Modules - $185
Headlight Adapters - $140
So now you are about $1500 or so away from a brand NEW Meyer Lot Pro plow, with a 3 year warranty on everything except wear items, and a 5 year warranty on all structural steel and welds. It will need to have the fluid changed once a year for about $60.
The Lot Pro that replaced the C Series, is a completely different design, with no pivot pins that will need to be cut out from lack of grease. It also has laser cut ribs. The C Series has hollow ribs, and rust tends to form on the back side where you can't see, and can't get to it to repair easily. So when it rusts you can just buy a new C-8 Moldboard, how much can it cost? Well.... $2234.73 for JUST the Moldboard. Availability is and will be limited too.
Now lets go back to that whole bit about the cutting edge, and if it is worn straight across, or rounded on the ends, or worn at an angle across. When you plow, 90% of the time or so you are pushing snow to one side or the other as you plow. The leading edge gets the most wear. So if you plow to the right more than the left, the left (drivers side) end of the plow edge will be worn more than the right side. IF you plow to the left more, the right end will be worn more. If you plow to each side about equally, the cutting edge will have more wear on both ends than the center, this we call "smiling", as it looks like the edge is smiling at you. This is normal. It is just what happens and cannot be avoided for the most part. Now, if the edge is worn across at an angle, a noticeable angle, it could be that the A Frame of the plow is bent and/or twisted. It could also be that the truck frame or mount was twisted. The typical EZ Classic A Frame for the C Series has a List Price of $568.56. Getting a lot closer to the cost of a new plow aren't we? If the Moldboard was replaced we would be over the cost of a new plow.
Now, lets take the same plow above, and say you have a 2005 Ford F-350. Guess what? NO EZ CLASSIC MOUNTING CARTON IS AVAILABLE!! Meyer never designed one. For Ford, 2004 was the last year for the EZ Classic Mount. Now what? The seller told you all you needed was a mount. Well, you are screwed, in plain English, unless you can find a welder to fabricate a mount for you. We don't fabricate mounts, too much liability these days.
Now again, take that same plow, find a used mount, used controller, used modules, run it as is, and take a chance....
Take a chance that it will freeze up because there is water in the hydraulic system.
Take a chance that even though you changed the fluid, the rust on the PA Rams and Lift Ram keep bringing moisture into the system while you plow.
Take a chance that the cheap couplers will allow the plow to angle one way and get stuck there.
Take a chance that the Crossover Valve spring is not broken, and the Power Angle will work properly.
Take a chance that the C Valve is not swollen, and the plow will angle properly.
Take a chance that the previous owner never beat on the side of the PA Block on the pump with a hammer when the pump stopped working trying to "fix" it, and didn't cave in the wall of the Pilot Check Piston bore.
Take a chance that the corroded motor won't lose its ground and stop working in the middle of a storm.
Take a chance that the used Touchpad you got off eBay keeps working.
Take a chance that the used Headlight Modules are not burned out.
See, as you know and as I have said, people buy plows to plow snow. It does no good dead in a storm. Repair costs add up fast. God only knows what kind of life the plow had before you got it. Most people who plow don't know much about fixing them. That is for people like me to do. You just want to plow, either to make money, or to save money by not paying a contractor to plow your property. Down time and repair costs can quickly kill that great deal you got on the used plow.
By following instructions, and preparing the plow for off season storage, and changing your fluid once a year minimum, and not exceeding 20 miles per hour when plowing, you can look forward to the cost of changing the fluid each year. Accidents happen, and of course that will incur additional repair costs, but that is not a set amount. Better to take that risk than the nightmare I outlined above.
People bring in used plows all the time, and I know what I am looking at. It doesn't matter what they are telling me. I ignore most of it, because the plow tells me most of the story.
There is a saying "When you buy Quality, you only cry ONCE". If you are a business, you can depreciate the cost of the new plow too. If you finance it, there are other benefits as well. Talk to your accountant. I have another saying "If you didn't want it fixed right, you came to the wrong place".
I fix plows, I reskin them, I weld in new Pivot Tubes, rebuild pumps, sell new plows, I repair things no other shop in my area would repair, and more.... but what I really do, is solve problems, and make sure plows and equipment work right when they leave my shop, because that is what the customer wants. They want their problem solved. I am unconventional in that I am not a salesman in every sense of the word. I am not pushy, and I don't swear what I sell is the greatest thing since sliced bread. I turn customers away after speaking to them, and finding out what their needs really are. Foolish for a person who relies on sales for a living, but I would rather know that the potential customer I spoke to, found a good solution to their problem, than make them an unhappy customer. I also hope in speaking to them that I educated them a little in the process. Because I feel that an informed customer, is my best customer. I have salesman coming in day in and day out. When I ask questions about their product, most of the time I have a pretty good idea of what the answer is before they say it. In the first minute or so I can tell if they are full of it, or if they really know what they are selling. Rest assured I know what I am selling.
I had a mechanic call up for a $500 part that rarely needs to be replaced. He insisted he needed it. I told him to bring me his pump, he said he was coming for the part, and would bring the pump. He walked through the door, set it on the counter, and I asked him a couple of questions. His answer made it 100% clear he needed a $5 part. He had me put the pump on the test stand anyway, and went to get coffee. He came back 10 minutes later, and the pump worked fine. He was shocked. I told him that $5 part made all the difference. Now I could have sold him that $500 part, in his mind, he needed it. But without that $5 part, even the $500 part would have been no help. So he got a free fast education as to why he needed the $5 part, and left happy with his problem solved.
I strongly suggest before buying ANY plow, new or used, talk to your plow dealer. In fact, you would be better off talking to your plow dealer before you even buy a truck, if you want to plow with it.
(This page will be updated as time allows)
Cut Off Years for Meyer EZ Classic Mounts
|Last Year Available|
|Chevrolet and GMC - 1500||2007|
|Chevrolet and GMC - 2500/3500||2010|
|Dodge - 1500||2001|
|Dodge - 2500/3500||2011 (so far)|
|Ford - 150||2003|
|Ford Superduty - 250/350/450/550||2004|
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Author: Chuck Smith
03/23/2013 12:30:54 PM
Common Misspellings: Meyers, Mayer, Mayers, Myer, Myers, Maier, Maiers.