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2 speed axles

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment' started by fordsrule, Jul 17, 2004.

  1. fordsrule

    fordsrule Member
    Messages: 68

    What is a two speed axle?

    I have read here that they are not good in snow, why?
     
  2. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Are you talking about two wheel drive? That means power is only going to the rear wheels. Four wheel drive is when power is to both the front and back wheels. It is more likely to get stuck in 2wd since the plow takes a lot of weight (ballast) from the rear end. Even not considering that, there is still more likelihood of having difficulties with traction in 2wd.

    Another form of "2 speed axle" is actually a 2 speed differential. You can select between High and Low axle with a separate lever, effectively doubling the number of available gears. I don't remember this ever being a topic of discussion on Plow Site, though, since this is only in larger trucks and used only in the event of very heavy loads or steep inclines.
     
  3. fordsrule

    fordsrule Member
    Messages: 68

    Mick the last part of your post is what I was refering to. I wasnt sure what it was called. I read it as being a two speed axle.

    Why are they not good in the snow?

    Thanks for the information, I didnt relize it could be interpeted two different ways.
     
  4. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Can you bring up a thread in which this was discussed? I can't remember any threads related to a two speed axle. Also, I can't think of any reason why it wouldn't be good in snow. It doesn't seem like it would have any effect on plowing as you simply select which gear range you want. The only thing I can think of is that this is usually found on larger load-carrying trucks which would not be good for residential plowing in general. But that is due to the size of the truck and the turning radius. They would actually be preferred in a setting such as plowing highways where you go straight, push big loads of snow with a load of salt/sand and do very little turning.

    But see if you can find a related thread so I can see in what context it was said they are not good for plowing.
     
  5. fordsrule

    fordsrule Member
    Messages: 68

    I will try to bring up a thread.



    (Edit: I couldnt find any threads with 2 speed rear axles. I must have read it somewhere else.)
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2004
  6. corkireland

    corkireland Senior Member
    Messages: 129

    Just a though, I know on the farm, our grain trucks are two and three speed axles. When we are empty we run in the higest gear but under load we'll keep it in the lowest, or when the fields are a little wet. They do just what it sounds like, shifts the gears over to give you extra low gearing under load. When your only dealing with a four to Six speed transmission, you may get alot of torgue behind you, but acceleration is terrible. I would think this would serve to work against you if you were plowing with a larger truck and it would be 2WD. You would want the accleration of the higher gears to keep your momentum up rather than trying to crawl with a lot of torque on a sheet of ice. If your spinning your tires trying to push a load in high, chances are going to low may not help a whole lot unless its the load of snow, not the road conditions that are causing your wheel spin. But like I said, just a though!
     
  7. Plow Meister

    Plow Meister PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,174

    I have never seen a 3 speed rear end. I have been driving semi's for years. Typically you will have a 5 speed trans with a range selector which will give you 4 additional gears and then you will have a 2 speed rear end which will effectively double that gearing to make a total of 18 gears. The down side is many of those positins are nearly identical. You could be hauling 1,000,000 pounds and never use all 18 gears. With a range selector and a 2 speed diff you will have an average of 12 useable gears.
     
  8. Plow Meister

    Plow Meister PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,174

    It's not that they aren't good in the snow. It just isn't typically necessary. The 2 speed axles are mainly found on hi GVW trucks which require the lower gearing to gain momentum, all be it very slowly. Many of the larger municipal trucks don't even have them since the trucks rarely even see highway speeds. Instead they have very low geared differentaials and transmissions. This gives them the power and torque they need to push a plow and carry 6,000 pounds of salt but limits their speed to 45 to 55 mph.
     
  9. Big Nate's Plowing

    Big Nate's Plowing PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    maybe he is referring to a 3 speed brownie box Chris

    dunno, I was always told that there is more of a chance that you will break something in a 2 speed axle when it slips in the snow then catches traction

    Nate~
     
  10. corkireland

    corkireland Senior Member
    Messages: 129

    I probably am, these grain trucks are older like 70 style chevy 6500 hundreds. the single axel is a two speed with a four gear manuel, while the tandem runs a three range, box with only 6 gear manuel. Nothing like our Kenworth 12 gear semi.
     
  11. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    When you mentioned Kenworth, I about freaked. Anybody else remember "plowing with a Kenworth" from a few years ago?
     
  12. corkireland

    corkireland Senior Member
    Messages: 129

    something about your reply just screamms stories!
     
  13. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

  14. BobcatS250

    BobcatS250 Member
    Messages: 51

    Wow... that was some thread!
     
  15. corkireland

    corkireland Senior Member
    Messages: 129

    ohhhh my... one word.... why?
     
  16. 66Construction

    66Construction Senior Member
    Messages: 315

    I have an international with a 4+2 and it plows ok, no one ever even uses the high side, we didnt break it, but I could see ity being more fragil due to more moving parts maybe. I'll tak a 9 speed with a cummins any day, I have a bigger international with a 9 speed and a wore out big cam and it puts the other trucks to shame. most 5+2 and 4+2 trucks are gas jobs, and unless you know how to split em just right you wont like the truck when it's loaded.
    Casey
     
  17. fordsrule

    fordsrule Member
    Messages: 68

    Thanks every one that answered my question. That thread that Mick brought up was realy intreresting to read.
     
  18. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    .....uhhhh I have a Peterbilt tandem axle with sleeper... I don't like dump bodies, I usually tow a B-train behind me...

    Does anyone see any reason why I can't plow subdivision residential driveways?

    :drinkup: :drinkup: :drinkup: :drinkup: Too much to drink!!!!

    lol what a fool
     
  19. fordsrule

    fordsrule Member
    Messages: 68

    It could be possible if you plow with tandem trailers. You should have no problem with balast. make sure you get a big enough plow.

    jk. :)

    Hey mick you got any more interesting threads like that?
     
  20. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Oh, yes. It's pretty tame around here compared to a couple years ago. I'll probably think or find some as we go along. There was one that comes to mind about a guy who wanted to plow several miles of road with a 7.5' plow. He heard from someone else on here about getting $1,000 a mile. It took some doing to convince him that $1,000/mi was for state and municipal roads and required bigger equipment, special insurance etc.

    Then there was the guy the moderators chased from forum to forum, deleting his threads. It was like a game of hide and seek until they just banned him.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2004