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2-wd f-550?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by bieriewk, Sep 10, 2011.

  1. bieriewk

    bieriewk Member
    Messages: 38

    Hi all, been a lurker for a while, and decided to ask a question since I can't seem to find much info on the topic:
    I've been in the business for 5 years now, and am running two crews. Last year we expanded, and I bought a Snowdogg 8-10 XP. I put that plow on my 3/4 ton, and it is too much plow for the truck, just too heavy. I've been looking at another truck, and found a 2WD F-550, 98 with 7.3 and 320k on it. I could get the truck for 4500, but I am concerned about not having 4WD. I plow in NW OH, mostly rural, and often times the roads are not plowed yet when I'm out plowing. I have never driven this heavy of a truck in bad conditions, and was wondering if anyone has experience with this. Thanks
  2. hoskm01

    hoskm01 Senior Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 475

    How about salt in a spreader on the back? WIth that or some other sort of ballast, you should be okay. Highway trucks and large commercial vehicles are typically all 2wd.
  3. bieriewk

    bieriewk Member
    Messages: 38

    I know and thats why I was thinking it would be alright with some ballast and my 2yd spreader back there, but often times roads here get drifited and nasty, and if it got stuck I have nothing that could get it out. I suppose I could just "help out" the muni trucks if stuff is too deep.
  4. wizardsr

    wizardsr PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,538

    It can be done, but it's not ideal. Lots of weight, and don't be stupid. However, lots of weight behind a snowdogg could be a death sentence, they're not made for that kind of abuse. Which begs the question, what 3/4 ton isn't heavy enough for the XP??? :confused: Blizzard 810's, Western wideout, and Fisher XLS' are just as heavy and guys put them on 3/4 tons all the time. :confused:
  5. bieriewk

    bieriewk Member
    Messages: 38

    A 97 Chevy diesel, front end just saggs way to much for my comfort, plus it feels like its abusing the truck, I would like something heavier, and this truck sort of fell into my lap.
  6. wizardsr

    wizardsr PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,538

    It may be a little heavy for an older chevy, especially with the diesel. But it can be done as you've seen. Look into timbrens and gussets for the frame (I believe either basher or B&B sells them pre-made). Also make sure you're running quite a bit of ballast behind the rear axle to help balance the truck.

    I'd try to make yours work rather than pissing money away on a 2wd truck for plowing, especially if it's your only plow truck, you'll be screwed every time you get stuck (which happens regardless of how many are turning, but much more likely in a 2wd).
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2011
  7. bieriewk

    bieriewk Member
    Messages: 38

    I think that's where I'm at, I run two trucks, but they operate quite a ways a part, and I can't really afford having a truck stuck all the time. I run timbens, but it still sags alot. It has heavy torsion bars, but I think I'm going to try replacing them with the heaviest offered and see if that helps. I ran with a ton in the bed, and it was doable but wasn't very stable. I was mainly looking for opinions from anyone who has tried this before.
  8. deicepro

    deicepro PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,124

    I carry 4 ton on the back of my f450 2wd with a wideout, just need to be smart, this truck will actually out push most of my fleet, I like it better than 4wd, need good tires......it can be done
  9. hoskm01

    hoskm01 Senior Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 475

    8000 lbs on a truck that is probably capable of 4000 safely? Smart?
  10. wizardsr

    wizardsr PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,538

    Since when is an F450 only capable of only 4k? :confused: Heck, my 1 ton can carry more than 4k! :dizzy:
  11. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,768

    I have a 97 F550 with a 5 speed and the 7.3 with 329k 2wd. I bought it just for the winter operations last summer. We put an 8' spreader on the back (it has an 12' flatbed) with the intentions of just using it for a salt truck. Long story short, I can fit a skid (or 2) of sidewalk icemelt inbetween the cab and spreader, we mounted a 9' Boss straight blade on the front "just in case' AND WE LOVE IT! I plowed with it one night last year to try it out and wish we had another.

    Weight is key. Even empty it does pretty good, but loaded up...she is a beast!

    BTW, I can haul alot with ours. I won't give details, (too many critics) but they will move the salt and snow.

    Also I got ours for less than 1/2 of what you posted.

    PM me if you want to talk. Andrew
  12. goel

    goel PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,079

    You can do it.

    Weight, good tires, good driver.

    Now, tight spaces, lots of backdragging, hills - Not gonna work. If thats the scenario it has to be teamed with a 4x4.

    Big open parking lots - oh yea. You could put a 11" plow on the front and a wing on the side and move mass amounts of snow.

    We currently use a F350 2wd dump with a spreader, 9' plow with 2' wings. Even without salt it plows ok. With a load it is awesome.

    It works so well we are putting a plow on our 2wd F550 this year also
  13. Bossman 92

    Bossman 92 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,768

    2X Goel!

    We have wings on ours as well. I had a 1/2 load of salt on ours and it went tru everything!

    I agree, not real agile, but she will move the snow!

  14. hoskm01

    hoskm01 Senior Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 475

    Well, a 2011 F450 is rated at 4920 lbs payload. If it's gone down by 50% since an older generation of F450, I'm a monkeys uncle.
  15. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    01 f -550 2wd 7.3 - and i had slick steer tires on back and the end of their life...i mad it though the blizzard and only got stuck once...and i dont think 4 wd would have helped get me out... it took a front end loader and we broke a chain doing it.

    my truck can hold 19k? it weights a little over 10,500 plow and spreader on.

    anything under about 16k and it would give me traction issues. over 16 and it preformes well, (should be better with the nice recaps i had put on a few months back)

    only major difference, is you cant just slam it into gear and mash down the gas or you will spin. nice smooth moments of the gas petal, and no problem.
  16. wizardsr

    wizardsr PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,538

    I'd bet you're looking at red neck crew cab cowboy cadillacs, we're talking work trucks here... :rolleyes:
  17. bieriewk

    bieriewk Member
    Messages: 38

    Ok this is the feedback I was looking for thanks for all the info I think this truck or something similar is the direction I want to go. This truck has a six speed manual, anything to look out for on the 7.3l? I was told the engine was rebuilt at one point, going to talk to the owner on Monday, then hopefully take it to my diesel mechanic. For you guys who have these trucks, how far do you road them, and what are the road conditions usually? Thanks again for the help.
  18. LunchBox

    LunchBox Senior Member
    Messages: 293

    I have never had a problem with a 7.3 before, their great engines.
    As far as getting stuck, worse comes to worse can't you just use tire chains?
  19. got-h2o

    got-h2o 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,439

    Who on earth goes by the rated payload anyhow?!?!?!?! Wow would I be screwed. I'd be overweight with no salt and an empty tank of fuel.
  20. BlackIrish

    BlackIrish Senior Member
    Messages: 888

    Yes, its doable,but is it the best move for you ?
    Everything 4x4 I own has been stuck at least once, so it's not will you get stuck it's when.
    You are rural and working far apart from your other truck and traveling nasty unplowed roadways.
    Doesn't really scream out 2WD
    Although the price is low you don't tell us the overall condition. With a boatload of miles engine repairs,computers and wiring issues are always lurking around the corner. $$$
    Reliability becomes an issue.
    IMO you would save money in the long run if you bought a lower mileage 4x4.
    If the deal is to good to resist, you could make one long route and have the two trucks leapfrog their way thru it. That way you would always be in the same vicinity to help out the other guy.
    If you can get airbags on the front of the chevy you'll be way happier.
    My 96 F350 became a parts truck years ago, we just retired the 95 F350 last year and the 97 F350 has morphed into a ratrod plow truck. Look for a 95-97 F350 4x4 reg cab long box, less than 200k miles.