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2wd Dually Rocked In Big Storm

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by White Gardens, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    Wasn't sure where to put this as we still haven't gotten our light/medium duty truck forum yet.

    In our last storm we got 12.5" of moderately wet snow.

    If anyone drives a standard 2wd dually, I would suggest putting in a positraction, limited slip rear differential if you don't already have one.

    If I didn't have one in the rear of my truck, I don't think I would have gotten around as well as I did. The previous owner installed one on my truck.

    I did have to dig out a couple of times due to the snow not rolling off my snow foil very well when busting through on the first pass. The plow raised up on me and I hung up the front end a couple of times and with minimal shoveling I was on my way.
  2. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    Just bumping up for good measure.
  3. Jacobsmovinsnow

    Jacobsmovinsnow Senior Member
    Messages: 315

    We plowed with duallys with sanders on the back pushing heavy Diamond and Fisher plows. No problems with em on the big lots and even did country lanes with em. Didnt have posi, you just had to know what traction conditions you were in. If we did get kinda stuck or almost on the tricky lanes we ever got out with a little sand by a shovel or backed up, spread sand on the clean backup area and attacked the snow buildup and continued forward. But dont tellthis to a 4 wheel guy , they just dont get it
  4. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    I'm just saying that the posi made a world of difference in my eyes. I had an 87, F-350 C and C with an open carrier and though it did well, it doesn't hold a candle to the traction I get on my 3500HD.

    The reason I feel the posi is important is that I only had 500lbs of salt for ballast in the back in order to not have a frozen chunk of salt by the end of the storm, and to allow me to carry my blower and shovels.

    Ultimately if I had more weight I might not have gotten stuck at all, but when I need to carry a lighter load, it's good to know that I can still get around effectively.
  5. Bmxdkj

    Bmxdkj Member
    Messages: 57

    White Gardens, I have the same truck as you, and plow with it. I only do streets with the truck so I'm not pushing a lot most of the time. I do use the truck to help out with a few small commercial lots and a few driveways depending on how heavy the snow is. But this truck pushes just as well if not better than my 4wd's. You just have to know how to handle the truck. A little balast goes a lonnggg way.

    Quick question though, do you know where you can get a limited slip rear end for these trucks??? Mine is an open differential and sometimes I do have issues climbing a few of the bigger hills while trying to push back the bankings.
  6. Bmxdkj

    Bmxdkj Member
    Messages: 57

    Also, you have to watch out with the fisher A frames if the one you have uses the 6 inch center pin. I warped and broke a few A frames (and no, I wasn't going fast). The first A frame broke the round stock off of the two pieces of channel iron that create the place where the center pin slides into. So I took a brand new A frame and wrapped the front of the center pin with a piece of 3/8" flat stock about 6 inches on either side of the A frame. That last two storms, the A frame ended up bowing upwards and breaking halfway down on the C channel. So I wrapped an entire NEW A frame in 3/8" flat stock from end to end, took off the 3/8" ears, had new 1/2" ears hanging around from another project, and tried to get hte A frame to sit a little more level by welding the ears down a little more so I can set the the pins to the headgear on the last pin. Then I finished it off with a piece of 2x3" square tubing to tie the two sides together. Its a pretty beefy A frame, and so far so good. The biggest problem I had with this truck (3500HD) was how low the push plates sit, causing the plow to sit low and the A frame to aim upwards as it went towards the blade. When you hit something like a manhole cover or a bump in the road, instead of tripping the blade would actually dig into the ground, causing the bowing of the A frames and breaking them. Sorry for such a long post, but I've ran into these problems only with this truck, and not my other two 4x4's. If you have any questions about keeping your plow in one piece on that truck let me know and I'll help you out.
  7. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    Funny you mention the A-frame. Mine is starting to bow pretty bad and I actually reinforced a section of it with L-channel on the upper section of the frame to get through this season. It needs to be replaced pretty badly.

    I've noticed how low the push plates are, and I am considering making some mods. on the new A-frame and change the mounting hole bracket by cutting it off and re-positioning it tp get the A-frame level with the ground.

    As for your question on a rear locker for this truck, I'm not exactly sure where to get one. I would think that it wouldn't be hard to find one.
  8. Buster F

    Buster F Senior Member
    Messages: 208

    I have a 99 F450, 2wd, v10, 5 spd, 8.5' Fisher mm1/old school diamond hybrid plow, and a 1.5 yd sander of unknown make. I find i really need to pick my battles and plow smart if i want to avoid getting myself in a jam (cold, wet, and sore). While this setup has gotten the job done for me this year i feel i've lost alot of time by not being able to attack my lots the same way i would in one of my 4x4 trucks during heavy snows (we've had several blizzards this season). I really don't want to replace the truck because it's in great condition, has very low miles (36k) and i'm only into it for about 6 grand. Hearing you're positive results with the locking differential has me thinking about hanging onto it for another year.
  9. PowersTree

    PowersTree Senior Member
    Messages: 586

    Shopping for a 3500HD right now. Hopefully a flatbed, with no plow. Id rather be the one to set it up.

    How many of you have ever converted these to a solid axle, like the newer 5500's?

    It would be very easy to do, with a divorced case, and donor axle. Thats my plans, not that Im afraid to plow in 2wd, but I need 4x4 for my other adventures too. (Dump sites and such)
  10. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    I used to plow my dump in 2wd most of the time- as said- it's knowing the conditions you're pushing in and having the truck set up right. Ballast for traction in the rear is a necessity and good tires make all the difference. I only used 4wd when it was really heavy or when I had windrowed a huge amount- otherwise the lots I pushed with that truck were almost always 2wd only.

    As to the a-frame- remember the a frame is supposed to be parallel to the ground- if there is an angle there is going to be damage. Angling up to the blade is a bad thing and will cause all the issues stated above- not plow defect, it's installation. The plow should be raised to the bottom hole in the ear - if it's still angled up toward the moldboard the truck needs a lift kit, new springs, or a boost in the front.
    I had a similar problem with my Chevy when I got it- new front springs cured all that ailed her.
  11. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Do you think that truck is Medium Duty?
  12. Bmxdkj

    Bmxdkj Member
    Messages: 57

    If you want, I can snap some pictures of my beefed up A frame. I can also send some info on what I did so you can do/have the same done. The only other solution to helping the situation with the A frame bowing is to lift the front of my truck, which I already have a set of 2 1/2" spacers sitting on my shelf in my basement, I just have to have the U bolts bent up so I can raise the front. That should level out the A frame enough to keep it from bowing. Also, I run about 3 ton of sand/salt in the back of my truck and dump it after each storm, it usually doesn't harden up to bad, at least not to the point where it doesn't want ot come out. I know a lot about plowing with this truck and about this truck in general with using it for work daily. Let me know if you need any help or advice with anything.

    Justme- The issue isn't installation on these 3500HD series trucks. The issue is the trucks sit so low to the ground, that even with the A frame on the bottom hole, the A frame still aims upwards, not parallel to the ground. The only way to really fix this problem are the ways stated above. Right now I try to load the balast more towards the rear of the truck to get some of the wieght off the front axle, but the biggest problem is the front getting a little light and having trouble turning in the snow.
  13. Bmxdkj

    Bmxdkj Member
    Messages: 57

    White Gardens - Keep an eye on your spring hangers for the trip springs. If the cutting edge is really worn down and the plow sitting at an upward angle, the spring hangers will ride on the ground and wear out, wearing out the trip springs themselves and the bolts, causing you to lose them. This happened to the first blade I had on the truck, thankfully it was only a temporary blade until I found one that didn't resemble swiss cheese.
  14. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    Thats funny Nick, cause I put 1.5 ton in the bed right as the flakes were beginning to fall...I had another truck cover my salt run when the time came and didnt pull the salt out for 3 days. 2 things I thanked God for - 1. Skid Steer 2. Drop side bed.

    Glad to hear things went good for youThumbs Up. I do most of my plowing in 2wd w/plenty of ballast...but have a couple accounts that cant be done in 2wd when there is over 5 or 6inches...1 of which is an extremely long steep winding driveway(1 of my favorite accounts to do).
  15. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    That would be cool if you could send pics of the beefed up A-frame. I have an idea of how I want to do mine, but I'd like to see how you beefed up yours to make sure I do it correctly. Also, the only thing I'm concerned about with jacking up the front is screwing with the rake of the truck. My front might end up sitting too high, and then I would have to do something to the back to get it leveled back out with a load. I might consider air-bags for mainly winter use and try to get a shade bit more height out of the front without compromising the rake in the summer. That and I don't want to raise my rear anymore as my mini-skid barely dumps into it as it is.

    I'm in the clear right now on that front with wear, but I definitively need to replace the cutting edge before next season. The previous owner had installed a spacer in between the trip edge and moldboard, and also beefed up the springs. The spacer in the trip edge was supposedly put there to give it a taller attack angle to better scrape ice and icy slush. So far it's worked pretty good for me with out any issues like premature tripping of the edge.

    :laughing: If I'm reading you correctly Mike, it sounds like you had a giant salt lick in the back of your truck.

    One thing I did do with my load was to cover it with a tarp so it didn't absorb too much moisture during the storm and I made out pretty good. Had a few chunks, but nothing major.

    I am lucky though that I don't have any real inclines to contend with when plowing. I had one alley I had to plow, but went to the up-hill side to start in order not worry about slipping. I still need to get a second truck next year for my main ride. Looking at a 2500 or F-250, 4wd of course.
  16. Bmxdkj

    Bmxdkj Member
    Messages: 57

    White Gardens - The truck is about 40 mins away from me and i won't be able to get pictures of it until this weekend. Also I don' think that 2 1/2" spacers will screw up the rake on the front of the truck. They have a small rake ot them as it is. Right now its more of a guess and check. Worst case is ill have to put 1 Inch spacers in the rear of the truck to level it out if it looks stupid.

    Heres a picture of the truck to get an idea of what I'm dealing with...if you look at the push plates you can see how close they are to the ground....maybe 6 inches or less..

    Joeys Camera 029.jpg
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011
  17. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    Nice Truck. I think I've seen that pic on lawn-site If I recall. Did you do the paint yourself? Also, is that an aftermarket grill and lights on it?

    It's not a matter of the truck looking stupid with the rake, it just feels a little light in the front end with a full load without the plow, and that's my only real concern in the summer when I'm running around with full loads.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011
  18. KMBertog

    KMBertog PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,129

    None of our dumps are 4x4 so we have to plow with them in 2wd. As long as they have a load of salt in the back (more or less 2 yards goes in each of the beds) they are fine.

    Glad your equipment made it through the last storm, it was a good one!
  19. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Remember if you want the front to go up the weight in the back needs to be behind the rear axle- just adding 3 tons isn;t doing it - 1 ton should be more than enough properly added. Any weight above or infront of the rear axle ADDS to the front axle in some degree.

    I'd look more at the instalation and talk to Fisher about that truck guys- sounds like if there was a known problem like this Fisher would not recommend installing a plow on it in the first place (Like the early 2nd gen Dodge diesel's which supposedly exceed the FGAWR with a plow and most dealers would not install). I would look at any way to "correct" the push plate installation - the filler panel GM put over the bumper for example- maybe a raising of the bumper and push plates?

    If the a-frame is angled up you will continue to have those problems and the plow will never scrape properly or wear properly. I have a similar problem still unsure of what's causing it but I have the A frame in the bottom hole to get more clearance to the springs and it has never worn in correctly- (pics in my album)
  20. Bmxdkj

    Bmxdkj Member
    Messages: 57

    White Gardens - Yes you've probably seen the truck over on Lawnsite...good eyes! The grill isn't aftermarket, it actually came thru with that grill, the lights in the snorkel on the bumper are aftermarket. I had them laying around and threw them on during a rainy day.

    Just Me- There is no absolute way you can remove the filler piece between the bumper and the grill and alter the push plates. The frame stops right at the bottom of the front bumper. Adjusting the push plates on these trucks is not an option. Also if these trucks weren't built to carry plows why would Fisher build push plates that fit these trucks specifically? These frames are a totally different animal than the other C-K style trucks, so its not like you can put a plow on a truck not built for a plow. I feel that even if White Gardens and I talked to Fisher, they wouldn't really give us much of an answer as to what to do, since these trucks are out of production. When I snap pictures of the A frame I will also try to get a picture underneath the truck to show you what it looks like underneath with the push plates.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011