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2wd vs 4wd

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Drakeslayer, Dec 1, 2014.

  1. Drakeslayer

    Drakeslayer 2000 Club Member
    from Carver
    Messages: 2,776

    I have a 2wd ford F550 that I'm looking at putting an 8'6" western straight blade on. I am in minnesota where we get about 25 plowing events a year. It has an 11' foot dump box but no salter. I am worried about traction. Any thoughts?
  2. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,719

    Good tires, put something in the bed for weight, keep it on mostly flat surfaces, and put a responsible, experienced driver in it and you'll be fine.

    The biggest factor is the driver, start there with someone good who understands the throttle isn't the solution to all problems and your biggest problem is now solved.
  3. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,468

    I wouldn't, especially without the weight of a salter. I guess you could load it up with some other weight, but it will depend on what type of plowing it's doing. I know a lot of guys will chime in with "I hardly ever use 4wd". Whatever...
  4. OC&D

    OC&D PlowSite Veteran
    from Earth
    Messages: 3,064


    You couldn't resist, eh?
  5. mtnbktrek

    mtnbktrek Senior Member
    from NEPA
    Messages: 144

    Seriously- I hardly ever need 4wd
  6. OC&D

    OC&D PlowSite Veteran
    from Earth
    Messages: 3,064


    This is good, keep it coming!
  7. cbservicesllc

    cbservicesllc PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,383

    Waiting for this...
  8. OC&D

    OC&D PlowSite Veteran
    from Earth
    Messages: 3,064

    You won't have to wait long! :nod:
  9. BossPlow614

    BossPlow614 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,870


    I'm actually more surprised he has an 8'6" plow on a 550 Dually. :p
  10. vlc

    vlc Senior Member
    Messages: 636

    Driveways, I need 4wd. (I think I only have 2 flat, easy drives). Parking lots, I can get away with 2wd in small accumulations, but I usually end up in 4wd anyways. I'm sure it can be done, but I like my 4wd
  11. mnguy

    mnguy Member
    Messages: 78

    You will need 4wd if you want to push any snow here in MN
  12. beanz27

    beanz27 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    Nope. Did it 3 years in Albert lea 2wd dually. Now I'm in ND, worse winter, still don't need it. Hire drivers or operators, not peddle pushers and you'll be fine.
  13. LapeerLandscape

    LapeerLandscape PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,455

    What he said, good tires, weight and good driver. Our International dump is 2wd and plows a lot of snow.
  14. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    It doesn't hurt to have a posi rear also.

  15. maxwellp

    maxwellp PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,112

    On the flat it will work. Weight is your best friend. I used to plow for a School Dist. with a IH 4700/DT466 , With the wing blade it was 26 feet across. 2 wheel drive, but GVW on the door was 36k. Now we would load it up with salt til it ran over so I am guessing it was more than that. It also had a Detroit locker in the rear end.
    Now for pickup I use 4x4 95% of the time. I played with not using 4x4 buy putting in more weight, but it got to the point to make it work nicely it was overloaded.
    So use what you have - you can also put chains on the 2 wheel drive.
  16. John_DeereGreen

    John_DeereGreen PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,715

    I'm in the same boat as the OP...looking at used F450's to carry enough weight for summer work. I'm 99.9% sure they're repainted Brickman trucks but that doesn't matter to me. They're all 4X2 crew cab flatbed diesels, in the 10-13K range. Beats the hell out of 50K for a new one like them.

    I think with the good tires that are on them, our guys with some common sense, and a 3 yard box on the bed loaded they should go pretty well. They'll be in flat and open lots, too.
  17. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    I used a C3500HD for 3 years plowing snow. 2wd with a posi rear.

    Did awesome on flat ground, any incline and you were asking for trouble.

    Even when we had our 12" blizzard a few years ago, it did great as long as you were smart about what you were doing.

    I did get stuck a few times, but what was happening was when I was opening up places, the metal snow foil on the fisher plow was causing me problems. Basically the snow load would push up the plow and hang the front end of the truck up in snow. Just had to spend about 5 minutes shoveling and it would free up.

    Upgraded to an 03' Kodiax, short wheel base. Right now I'm looking at tires as the ones on it are shot. That and in a week or two I plan on putting in an eaton posi in it. Already when dumping leaves on a farm I haul to, I've had a couple of situations where I've lost traction.

  18. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    I would go with a 9' with wings or a 10'. 8.5' might be too narrow for the wheel base, especially while plowing and turning the same time.

  19. scottL

    scottL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,600

    Back in the day we had only but 3 cylinder motors and were happy when we manually shifted without stalling the motor. Then we strapped 6 or 7 shovels to the front. Sure it had two wheel drive but ya didn't need no darn fancy tires with that traction stuff - no idea what 4 wheel is anyhow, and the beer in the back was plenty heavy enough to keep ya going. :drinkup:
  20. Rick547

    Rick547 Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 535

    Scott, those days are long gone! They were wonderful times and I enjoyed them very much. It just time to move forward to the 21st century. :D