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Last winter with our family '76 chev truck, I took a friend and two shovels down to the local dunes. We then started shovelling sand into the bed starting at the front then working our way to the middle of the wheel wells. It was 10 inches deep from front to where we stopped. I later weighed it at a local truck scale and it came to a total of 1500lbs of sand. Overkill? Maybe, but i never had a problem. I'm not sure how I'm going to do this this year because of the compartment in the bed of my Sprint. I may just get a bunch of 5 gallon buckets and fill those up with sand.

At the bare minimum I would throw in at least 800lbs of weight in the back. Add or subtract a few hundred depending on weather in your area.

Charles
 

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Most construction supply stores such as Home Depot sell 50lb bags of sand that come in a tube shape in a burlap type bag. These bags will not deteriorate like a paper bag will when exposed to moisture and will easily last the whole winter without falling apart. Placing them behind the rear axle on the passenger side of the vehicle (drive wheel unless posi) will give you the most traction. And yes I'd say 1500lbs of loose sand in the bed is overkill...(4) 50lb bags would probably be enough.

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theelcaminofactory said:
Placing them behind the rear axle on the passenger side of the vehicle (drive wheel unless posi) will give you the most traction.
I partially disagree. Since we are talking about snow/ice situations here. If the weight is place over the right rear, only that tire will feel the majority of the weight. And in a traditional rear, this will partially defeat the purpose of adding weight since this type of rear will deliver power to the tire with the LEAST amount of traction. And by placing the weight only on one side you may actually be lifting weight off of the left rear, effectively decreasing traction.

For best effect, the weight should be evenly placed on each side of the bed, or dead center.

This is just my thoughts on this.

Charles
 

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FWIW, back when I had to do that sort of thing (before I had another car to drive in bad weather), I had 6 70lb bags of sand, evenly spaced across the bed right behind the wheel humps (would have placed them over the axle, but needed the wider space and the fenderwells to help keep them from sliding). 420lb total to save you the math. Paper bags from HQ, then wrapped and sealed with plastic and tape to keep them from disintigrating. Worked like a charm.

I agree on the even distribution. If you are running an open differential, while driveline torque will make it prefer to slip on one side (all other things being equal), as soon as you stop that if the other side is free to slip it will. A posi would do better with even distribution as well. Better for the suspension to boot.
 

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just curious,has anyone here used or considered using an old engine block for traction? i have one im thinking of using this winter.
 

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hmmm... how much sand would you guys recomend for me down here in san antonio?? its gonna be a cold one this year, may get down to 50!! brrrrr.... :p
 

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280 lbs

i got an 80 i only got 280 lbs and it does fine and im in north idaho the only place i kno that can snow be sunny rain and thunder and lighting in the same day. it gets so ice at nights
 

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I have 3 60lbs bags of tube sand right over my rear axle on my 80 might have to add more if it gets really bad
 

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And from Michigan, after years of driving in this yucky stuff, I've found what works best for me is 4-5, 5 gal buckets of sand. BUT, I fill them with DRY sand(which I filled when the weather was warm and sunny) and put the lids back on the buckets. Then I place them right in the front of the bed. Experience has proven (more than once) that it will increase traction from this location but still not unload the front end much (thus loosing steering, especially during braking and cornering). Also, when braking, the buckets stay in one spot. Remember, all that weight you might put behind the rear axle Will have an effect on the front-end. And finally, when you do get stuck in Ice/snow you can always open a bucket, throw some sand down where needed. Those scoops of sand have helped many co-workers and strangers get going after they've parked with warm tires, on ice/snow, and found when they tried to leave that the tires melted an 1" or so into the ice. Sure beats sittting there 'spinning your wheels', Ouch. Hope this helps.
 

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Who needs sand?? Last Saturday, local NECOA members were planning to meet for bruch and BS, but got 24 inches of snow delivered early! It's now Wednesday evening -- 4 days later -- and the El Camaro still hasn't moved from the driveway. Do you think if I just clear the windshield off, the snow on the cab and on the rear bed cover will get me all the traction necessary??

 

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yeah weather here has been wierd, monday was a record high 73 rained tuesday afternoon then snowed all night.... 73 one day 29 the next..... oklahoma always has strange weather

and as for using an old engine block it works good but if you dont want to scratch up your bed i would sugest getting about 4 sandbags then putting the block on top of them, not the paper bags though
 

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77Mino said:
yeah weather here has been wierd, monday was a record high 73 rained tuesday afternoon then snowed all night.... 73 one day 29 the next..... oklahoma always has strange weather

and as for using an old engine block it works good but if you dont want to scratch up your bed i would sugest getting about 4 sandbags then putting the block on top of them, not the paper bags though
well i have a rubber bedmat so i guess i'm gonna throw that engine block in there! :p
 

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I've got a rubber bed mat as well and I use 24" x 26" sidewalk blocks. total weight is about 290-300lbs. This seems to work just fine, however ice is ice and nothing short of steel spikes will help you there. don't you think that an engine block is a bit unsightly?
 

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Hmmmm...there's a thought. Sidewalk pavers instead of a sprayed in bedliner for that custom bed look! And when summer returns...patio furniture. "Hey hun, grab me another wine cooler out of the smugglers box while your up will ya?"

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highwaysignpost said:
don't you think that an engine block is a bit unsightly?

in its current shape,the whole truck is pretty much unsightly,and i have a fiberglass cap with tinted windows so its all good. 8)
 

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hey that's not bad. better surface for when I set up the BBQ than just the mat. (yeah BBQ, Patio chair...lookin good) :-D
 

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How much sand??

Most construction supply stores such as Home Depot sell 50lb bags of sand that come in a tube shape in a burlap type bag
It may be just another urban myth but I have heard stories of pickups flipping when guys had the roll sand "roll" to one side of the bed. Having enough of them unsecured in the bed and maybe it could happen??? 8O

I carry 4-50lb bags of play sand re-wrapped in heavy duty construction grade plastic garbage bags and they sit on top of the axle between the wheel wells. My rubber bed mat seems to keep them from shifting. I also have studded snow tires and they help. Our first 10 inch snow last week was my first experience with the EC in the snow and I was pretty impressed on how well it did.

I also use a rachet expansion bar in the bed to keep other items from shifting and messing up the bed. A good $20 investment in my humble opinion.

Jim
 

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My preference for ballast is asphalt roofing shingles. They're cleaner than sand, plenty heavy, and easy to pull out a pair for traction mats.
 

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Shingles! Good idea, for the reasons you mention. Never thought of that one, and I used to work for a home improvement store (certainiy had to move enough of them around).

'Course, sand is cheaper... :)
 
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