Meyer Standard Operating System Information
This is a very difficult subject for me to talk about. It was very upsetting to me, but it is beyond my control. It is a huge can of worms I wanted to avoid, and I thought I could avoid it, but now I have no choice but to address it. I am going to have to say what no one else is willing to say, or has said as far as I know. The SOS as is, is a bad idea. There, I said it. As a HUGE and I do mean HUGE Meyer supporter and defender I hate to say it, but it is true. There are facts that cannot be overlooked. I may be in the minority, in that I sell Meyer plows AND they are my CORE business. They are not a sideline, or something to keep me busy in the winter. I also know I am in the minority in that I am not just in business to make money. Yes, it makes no sense to be in business and not be profitable, I know, BUT I also have standards. IF I give a price for a job, and I missed someting when I gave the price that is going to make the job take longer because it MUST BE done right, I take the time and do not bill for it. The price is the price, and when I give a price, it is for doing it the "right" way. I would say according to "industry standards" but it seems the "standards" are way to low for my own standards. EVERY job must be done the right way. The shop supplies must be right, durable, and not cheap crap. Most shops that install plows have no idea what SXL or GXL wire is. I don't EVER want a customer to come back with a problem. I want them to come back because they want to, not because they HAVE to. There are jobs I won't do, and I turn customers away all the time because I think if I did what they asked in the end they would not be happy, nor would I. I would rather have them go be unhappy elsewhere. I like happy customers and I like to think that 99.9% of my customers are happy. Anyone unhappy with my business is typically unhappy because they could NOT be a customer. They are angry because "they never answer the phone", or that I was "too busy" to take them in at the last minute, or I should "hire more guys", NO. That is fine with me, I would rather have that than unhappy customers. I am a horrible salesman. I don't offer financing, I don't push plows, and don't make false claims, or questionable claims, I am honest to a fault. So that is why I have to write this. As my Wife would say, leaving out facts is the same as lying, and I agree. I am proud of my knowledge of ALL Meyer plows, and my own personal standards. So now that you know a little about where I am coming from with all of this let's talk about the Meyer Standard Operating System.
What is it? Well it is a newly desinged/modified plow and operating system. What that means is the wiring is completely different than what Meyer has offered as universal for the past 10+ years. So if you buy an SOS and you have a fleet or 3 or 4 trucks, that new SOS will NOT work on any of your other trucks. Meyer's answer is to add SOS wiring to all the trucks in your fleet so they all have both operating systems on them. Most commercial trucks with a plow installed on them have no room to go through the existing hole in the firewall... good luck making another hole.
What is also confusing is that EZ Plus is a MOUNTING SYSTEM. Like the MDII and the EZ Classic, it is a mounting system. NOW Meyer is using it to describe an operating system. The Meyer Standard Operating System (SOS) still uses the EZ Plus MOUNTING SYSTEM. So now when Meyer says EZ Plus system, it includes the wiring, and they mean wiring.
Lets look at a Lot Pro, and a Standard Operating System Lot Pro.
I am not going to use any images off the Meyer web site, you can visit the Lot Pro page, and under "Ease of Use" click on the yellow Standard Operating System box.
Meyer Products Lot Pro Page
They clearly need to update the web site because it still tells you to "choose" your system, when in fact there is no more choice...
Let's look at a positive change, ground clearance. On paper it looks great, but since I have not sold any of these, I cannot speak from personal experience. Where the A Frame is pinned onto the Lift Frame has been moved forward and up.
Another positive, is that the Light Towers (arms) are now one piece and part of the Lift frame, there is no adjustment. In 10+ years I have never needed to adjust them for a given vehicle, all of them used the top set of holes, so no loss there. I also have a customer that likes to plow doing 50mph and he had a problem with the Light Tower bolts coming loose, OFTEN. I ended up welding them on the plow he uses the most. The SOS seems to have the lights closer to the center, so I am not sure about that part, but overall it is a good idea.
Nite Saber III lights are a big improvement over Nite Saber II lights. they are a tougher light, more isolated from vibrations than the Nite Saber II. They were also used on the "EZ Plus". You can read about the differences on this page.
Unfortunately, in my opinion that is where the improvements stop. Now we start going backwards. IF Meyer would allow us to choose the wiring system, all would be fine. I suggested it, that is all I can do.
The wiring, well no more 22691S Universal Harness. No more "fleet friendly" (unless you have a fleet of SOS plows). No more Headlight Modules, no more Headlight Adapters, because we are not connecting to the vehicle headlight system. No splicing the marker or turn signals (which we do not have to do on current GM and Dodge installs as it was). We will not be physically switching between the vehicle headlights and the plow headlights anymore. We will no longer have to run the extra long 22691S Universal Harness through the grille to the battery, and into the cab. We will no longer be mounting the Motor Solenoid under the hood. We will no longer have to find the reverse signal wire to hook up HFP (Hands Free Plowing).
This is because the SOS comes with a long harness that goes to the REAR of the truck, and plugs into the EXISTING 7 way trailer plug. Welcome to our first "unsealed" connection on the whole system. If you do not want to use the existing trailer plug on the truck, there is an optional 7' long T harness that can be connected at the back of the trailer plug, with it's own socket for the plow to plug into, up behind the bumper, under the back of the truck, still an unsealed connection in a salt bath... What do we get from the trailer plug? Marker, turn signals, and reverse signal for HFP. What is the catch??? Do you know? Did it hit you yet? EVERY time you step on the brake, BOTH turn signals light up on the plow lights up front. Meyer says they got DOT approval for that to happen. Hopefully your local law enforcement got the memo... If I saw a truck coming at me and both plow turn signals lit up I would think there was a short in the wiring...... Oh, there is a trailer tail light converted sold by other manufacturers (Draw-Tite, Tekonsha, Curt, etc.) that can be installed to stop this from happening though. It will also stop the hazards from working on the plow lights up front though... It has to be spliced in. So now we are splicing under the rear of the vehicle instead of under the hood. Even if we seal our splices, if we use the Meyer harness and socket as is, we have an unsealed connection. We could just cut off the socket from the T harness, and the plug off the Meyer harness and just splice it all together. For me it is flat on a creeper under the rear of the vehicle, I don't have a lift. I would much rather stand in front to make splices. Some trucks I even sit in an office chair when splicing.... The picture below of the E-72, it takes two seconds to remove the cover to check fluid level. It would take 10 minutes max to change the fluid. The E-73, the unit actually has to be REMOVED because you cannot access the drain plug with the E-73 installed on the Lift Frame!!
Under the hood we have a power and ground harness directly to the battery, very similar to the EZ Classic wiring, except the Motor Solenoid is now under the cover on the plow Lift Frame mounted right on the Motor. You need tools to access it. I should add I have my first SOS here for a customer, once I uncrate it, I can verify more and add more pictures to this page. Back to the install.... originally the SOS which is now the pre "2017 SOS" came with a special Touchpad Controller, that had a light switch built in. It was on and off, there was no high beams. It also only used a 4 way flat trailer harness to the rear. Now we have a special Pistol Grip controller that is just for the 2017 HFP SOS. The power button on the controller turns the plow lights on, high beams on, low beams on, and the controller on. You have to make sure you turn your vehicle headlights off, and only leave the parking lights on, because in some States it is against the law to have both on. Because of this, there are two more wires to be spliced into the vehicle headlight high and low beam wires that will stop the plow lights from coming on IF the vehicle headlights are on. Confused yet? Of course they only have to be hooked up if your State does not allow both sets of lights to be lit at the same time. Hopefully the vehicle BCM (computers) do not have a problem with these additional wires connected to the vehicle wiring. Then there is the power wire that needs to be connected to a key on power source. The orignal SOS was constant battery power to the controller so you had to remember to turn it off. With the power wire connected to key on power as in the past, the controller will shut off when the ignition is turned off.
So the SOS is now standard, we can't order a complete straight plow package that is not SOS. Fortunately at this time, all V Plows still use the old 22691S harness and "old" style wiring. I just dodged a bullet this morning when a fleet customer bought a plow for his 2017 Ram 5500, luckily he bought an SV2-9.5. Then this afternoon, another fleet customer bought a Lot Pro 9 for his 2015 Ram 5500. What now? Well instead of converting it to a non-SOS operating system (add $700) I was able to instead order it the way we did before Meyer came out with the EZ Build crates. I ordered the 7 separate pieces. Moldboard, CLF, PAF, E-72 Carton, NS III Carton, Mounting Carton, and Headlight Adapters. I now have to assemble ALL of it. That I can price. That I know the customer will be happy with in the end. I am going to do what I can to keep a good customer happy. I did not eat the additional cost, I passed it along. IF I had to install the SOS, and make all the splices in the rear, order the 7 way T Harness, the Trailer Tail Light Converter, splice it all in, flat on my back under the rear of the truck, that at this point I do not know how to price. I do know I can't in the end tell the customer after all that it will not work with the rest of the trucks in the fleet unless I add wiring to ALL of them as well for the new SOS. The other thing with these two Ram 5500 trucks, is with what Meyer now calls "EZ Plus" there was NO Splicing. The Headlight Adapters plug in, and so do the marker and turn signals. The front bumper has to come off the trucks to install the mount, so there is no time savings there because it is an EZ Plus mount.... so in this case (these two trucks) the SOS would take me LONGER to install with the additional splicing. The customer with the 2017 Ram 5500 made a good point. He said "Look, I buy all my plows from you, but I am just saying, IF I buy this new SOS and it will not work with the rest of my fleet, then why should I buy another Meyer. I could go buy any other brand that will also not work with my fleet." Wow, truth. All I could say is "you are right". I didn't think about that until he mentioned it. Now, this is coming from a customer that had one Meyer 6 years ago, and now I have finally converted ALL his trucks to Meyer. He used to run Fisher and Western.... So that I guess could be considered another "con" to buying the SOS, at least for Meyer fleet customers, why buy another Meyer if it will not be existing fleet friendly without incurring additional cost?
The one SOS I have here now is going to another fleet customer who has 3 Meyer Lot Pro's, BUT it is going on a 1/2 ton truck, and it is a Lot Pro Light Duty 7.5. I explained he can't use it on his 2500's and 3500's so I think I dodged a bullet, BUT I still have to figure out how to wire it and not have him upset about the turn signals lighting up. So I guess I am buying the Tail Light Converter and the T Harness and splicing it all in the back of this 2003 GM 1500, and adding the additional cost to his bill. He was also leaning towards "well if I have to, I can run the new plow on the other trucks" but I kept telling him no. So this may force it, and prevent him from not listening and destroying the LPLD running it on his Ram 3500 with loaded hopper spreader.
Here are a few pictures of the Meyer SOS
I mentioned the "first" unsealed connection above. Well the SOS uses the E-73, which is basically an E-72 turned sideways. It is VERY similar to the hydraulic unit made by Bucher (formerly Monarch) that is used on thousands of electric dump bodies. One difference is that the Coils on the E-72 use triple lip sealed Deutsch connectors, and the E-73 uses spade connectors with heat shrink on them. So that is 6 more unsealed connections...
I will add more pictures and information as I come across it and have time.
10-5-17 - Well it was eating a hole in me so I had to uncrate the SOS I have here today to see more of it in person. It is unfortunately even more disappointing than I thought it would be. I keep thinking this has to be a mistake, this is not the Meyer I know and love, but apparently it is, now.
No access to the hydraulics from the back, so the Lift Ram has to be removed to pull the cover, which is why Meyer replaced the bolt holding the Lift Arm on with a Clevis pin and Hairpin.
This is VERY disappointing. We have the SOS wiring and the old 22691S side by side. The 22691S is completely covered in braided nylon to protect the harnesses. The SOS wiring is completely covered in 100 feet of electrical tape?
I was talking about the trailer plug being an "unsealed connection" above. I was talking about that actual plug in the socket being unsealed. Well now I can clearly see the back of the trailer plug is wide open. I do not even install trailer plugs this way. The inside contacts and wire ends will be green in one winter. Good thing I will be cutting these off and tossing them. The pic does not show it but in person you can actually see the screws holding the wires inside the plug!
This is a real treat. Only Ram trucks have a nice plastic plate to this day on the firewall that is easy to drill through and run wires into the cab (they have since 1994, same place). GM and Ford give us no hole. Up until now, I would drill two 3/4" holes side by side, like a figure 8, then use the step bit to connect them making a 3/4" tall slot. Some trucks I will use a die grinder to shape the slot... Well that is clearly not going to work anymore. The new 12 pin plug is HUGE.
Male spade connector on the power wire that gets connected to key on (ignition) power ? Where? Why? Most fuse boxes are under the hood, and require a fuse tap. This is pointless.
The controller uses 20 gauge wires like the others. The is no pinout for this wiring system yet.
The same electrical tape covering the plow side wiring...
Some measurements. The EZ Plus "old" Lift Frame, the lights were 39" apart on center. The SOS they are 26" apart on center. Good or bad, I do not know. The lights are 34" above the blue handle mounting pins on the SOS, and they are 33" above the blue handle mounting pins on the EZ Plus. So the height seems good.
This would be another good feature in that it is getting harder and harder to find a place to mount the 22691S plug. Having two small plugs is great other than them not being compatible with existing fleet vehicles. If you only have one truck, this makes the install that much easier for you.
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