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Dually for plowing?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by TokyoDrift99, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. TokyoDrift99

    TokyoDrift99 Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    :help: So, I have been wondering, can I use a dually for plowing. I kind of want to buy a 94-02 Dodge 3500 Cummins Dually, with a rotten bed and fab a flatbed for it. (when I can drive, that is) I just don't know how a dually does in the snow. I have seen DRW plow trucks before, but I am pretty skeptical. I also want to do a little bit of wheeling, maybe a 3" lift or so. I really like the looks, and capability of a dually, so what way should I go? With a 3" lift could I even get the plow blade to contact the ground? Also 4x4 dually's tend to be pretty rare, and cost more, I am 14 and would be purchasing the truck completely on my own because my parents aren't even interested in helping me pay for a truck. So is it worth the extra cost, and decreased MPG of a dually? Also are there any benefits of a dually? Thanks for your help.
  2. ozoneburner

    ozoneburner Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    I don't have a dually and I have no experience with them in the snow but from what I understand they don't do to well. I have a 99 2500 cummins and I love the truck but they do have their problems. I have a 8 ft blizzard on mine and I still slide around pretty good with 1000 lbs plus in the bed, I wouldn't think a dually would do you any better. Unless you buy a 12 valve (1994-98) your gonna need to get an aftermarket lift pump ($5-600 minimum) so you don't ruin your injection pump. Like any other older truck your front ends not gunna be in good shape tie rods, ball joints... They're great trucks but they're also expensive. I would be saving your money and puttin it towards parts, front end, and a lift pump rather than a lift. It sounds cool now but forget about mpg's with bigger tires and a lift I was in your same place a year ago and know a lot about these trucks if ya got any Q's just ask.
  3. peteo1

    peteo1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,657

    I've plowed with several duallies over the years. They're like any other truck...just put enough weight in the bed and you'll be fine
  4. BigBoyPlowin

    BigBoyPlowin Senior Member
    Messages: 301

    Duallies do okay with weight. Without it, you'll skate by...Literally. Duallies have a wider footprint, distributing the weight of the truck over a wider area, opposed to a regular pickup.
    Thankfully we have a couple 4x4 duallies , its nice to be able to switch into 4x4 during heavy storms or in light storms when you just want to get done! As for the lift, Just remember-- If it's not like that from the factory, its probably not meant to be there. It will only put more ware on your U Joints and such..

    As for mounting the plow, Your bracket attaching the Undercarriage will remain at the "Normal level" as if the truck wasn't even lifted. Extended brackets will have to be bolted and welded..but this is a normal procedure for medium duty trucks.
  5. Antlerart06

    Antlerart06 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,437

    4x4 Dually truck is only way to plow I can run circles around single wheel trucks with or without extra weight

    around here you will see more duallies trucks then single wheel trucks plowing snow

    I know I'll never go back I can plow in 2wd where a SRW has to be lock in and I run summer tires
  6. Eggie329

    Eggie329 Senior Member
    Messages: 123

    Advice I once received when looking at duallys was to make sure the plow is wider than the tires when angled. I bought an 8ft Fisher plow from a guy that had it on a dually and he said the outside tires on the rear were wider than the angle plow and would pull snow down to the pavement you just cleared causing extra work. I think I'll look for a dually before next winter so I can put extra weight in to plow some streets I'm trying to bid. I think I'd need a dually in order to carry enough weight to plow heavy snow in streets without sliding. I love the 94 to 02 Dodges (I had two before) or a late 90s diesel K3500...
  7. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,719

    A 3" lift on one of those trucks will make for a pretty tall truck. Not that you can't plow with a lifted truck it just makes working out of the truck a pita. My 2500HD sits on a 4" lift and 34" tires for the winter. Working out of it is a pita compared to my bosses factory height trucks.

    Also in 2-4yrs when you would be in the market for purchasing one of those trucks the newest one will be 14-16yrs old. I'm guessing you'll be looking at trucks with 180-300k miles on them at that age and in your price range. That's a pretty well aged and used truck to be starting out with and expecting to use day in and day out.

    Also figure if the bed is rusted out, the cab will need quite a bit of work too. The frames under the cab are known to rust from the inside out as well. What may look fine at first glance may be pretty bad once you hit it with a hammer and realize the hammer went all the way through the frame.
  8. BladeBlowBucket

    BladeBlowBucket Member
    Messages: 92

    I don't plow with a dually ….. BUT I can't help but agree 100% with Antlerart !

    I tow year round with '03 Dodge 4x4 dually, and I'm towing really heavy ….. this time of the year i'm loaded with my Bcat c/w the 8611pp, a commercial Buhler Snowblower (c/w truck loading shute on deck and reg shute), and I carry an 8' wide 4-n-1 Bucket that I converted off of a JD 510 backhoe, this is all sitting on a 24,000# 20' Tandem dually gooseneck trailer ….. in the p/u box is a 100 USGal fuel tank and the fifth wheel hitch …..Total weight of everything is 33,500 lbs ……. I am getting around great, we have to, we are the guys that have to make sure we get to the job sites and Plow snow in the lots before Joe Public gets there, most of the time the secondary roads aren't even plowed yet.

    The one thing I'd like to tell is, that I found out shortly after coming from a SRW to the DRW, Don't inflate the rear tires over 40#'s (max 45#'s) each, loaded the inner sidewalls are not even close to touching … the reason for this is 4 tires are carrying the weight of what I normally did with 2 on the SRW that was inflated to 80psi always ….. it's kinda the same principal as the guys that go wheeling …. the softer tire has more traction than the hard one, there is more tire surface contacting the ground, my tire wear is perfect, no cupping or dishing wear, perfectly flat !

    I'm thinking when plowing with the DRW and hardly any weight in the box this can only Help !!! …. JMHO

    I'm sure everyone has seen the guy that has singled out the rears on a dually in the winter …. LOL ….. probably a carry over thing from the days of split-rims and bias ply tires …. LOL …..

    To Each his own … But this has Really worked great for me …… :drinkup:
  9. NBI Lawn

    NBI Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,797

    I have a hard time believing this since DRW trucks SUCK in the snow. I am sure it does just fine but I highly doubt you are "running circles around" SRW trucks. Yes, I have plowed in many DRW trucks but do not currently own one.

    OP, if you do decide to get a DRW be sure whatever plow you put on it is wide enough to clear the duals while the plow is angled.
  10. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,413

    You may want to check your understanding, because your understanding is flat out wrong.

    DRW's suck in the snow?

    Somebody needs to alert the municipalities, because that's all they run. They should have been warned.

    Tell you what, my salt supplier switched to super singles on their trains. The driver's hate them, loaded or unloaded. That should tell you something.

    Secondly, if I am plowing parking lots and have the option, I will take a dually over a SRW any day, all day. Especially if it's more than 3-4", or heavy, or drifted, etc. Just like towing trailers with a DRW provides more stability, so will a DRW plow truck.

    I currently run 6 DRW's and 3 SRW's. 3 of the duallies have 4WD, 3 don't. The non-4WD ones need a little more care when empty, but do just fine.

    I understand the OP's question being new, but I can't believe there is even a discussion on this.
  11. Sawboy

    Sawboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,561

    I've driven with both. Currently own a DRW. With equal weight in the back, in theory a SRW would be better based on the smaller footprint of the SRW. Now, in practicality, I think the difference is so small, it's negligible.

    Now where a DRW shines, and blows away a SRW is wind rowing. My truck will hold it's ground when shaving high windrows at the boundaries of a lot over and over to clear that extra space. This allows me to take a bigger bite, and save time. Additionally, in my opinion I can get a better push on a stacking because I have traction with on 6 tires on cleared ground versus 4.
  12. BladeBlowBucket

    BladeBlowBucket Member
    Messages: 92

    "Once Again " Mark …. You've hit the nail in the centre of the Bull's eye "BANG ON" …….. LMFAO ……..

    It's a New Year ….. and once again we have the endless challenge of NOT being able to fix "STUPID" …….. LOL !!! ….. :waving: :drinkup:
  13. NBI Lawn

    NBI Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,797

    I typically don't see muni's running around with empty trucks. Most around me a DRW trucks too but have service bodies or dumps, not empty trucks. I was commenting on the average person running around with a DRW VS SRW. You would need to add more weight to the rear of a DRW to get the same traction.

    Sure a DRW pulls better when going to the highway at 70mph but pulls like poo when pulling around town in snow.

    I can see how super singles would suck in the snow since they are like 21" wide creating one large footprint VS two skinny ones.
  14. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 7,902

    A dulley limits your truing ability backing and going forward compared to a srw.

    A dulley can limit you going threw some drive thews.
    The only advantage a duely has is payload.
    and stability when carrying a heavy salter/load...

    you need to carry a lot more weight to get good traction with a dulley.

    A duley ,unless you have a real need for it, it's the best choice for plowing.
    when using a pick-up.

    apples to apples a 3500 and a Full fledged dump trucks and muni rigs are a wholly different animals.
    I bet they have a lot of weight on that rear axle on those "trucks" too.
    as we all know a empty munni truck will slip and spin when things get slick.

    humm, why are they the first to chain up when things go sideways?. they need the traction?
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2014
  15. Sawboy

    Sawboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,561

    HUH?? :confused:
  16. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,413

    Oh, they never empty their load of salt or sand?

    One of my trucks is an old muni truck. Actually 2 are, but only 1 was used for plowing\salting before I bought it.

    I have a 10' V-box in it. Empty it regularly and run back to fill up. Same with my others. Dump\service\whatever, it doesn't matter. They all run empty sometimes.

    I understand what SF is saying. And he is correct, which is why I said if I was plowing parking lots, I would choose the DRW, driveways the SRW. Although, I think my '05 550 RC will out turn my '05 350 CC.

    And yes a 350 is different than a 550 or larger, but it can be done. One of my 550's is 2WD. I would love it if had 4WD but it does just fine without it. Just went through a storm of well over a foot and it made it through just fine.

    Not sure about the chains, Greg, I've only seen my county chain up twice in the past 15 years. But they all run underbodies, not front blades. That does make a big difference.
  17. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 7,902

    yea, you don't see chains used much as they just send out the road-graders when it gets really bad and load up the munies with salt for weight.
    but out west you will see the chains come out to play.
  18. WIPensFan

    WIPensFan PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,468

    Had my 1 ton dump since 07'. Had it stuck once, and that was my fault for not lifting the pull plow in time to not trap myself behind a 3' wall of wet heavy snow with a curb and 8' wall of snow in front of me.(dumb a$$) This truck is a tank in the snow and has never had a salter in it. With the 2 plows on it and the steel dump bed it weighs more than a typical DRW pickup, but still, I'm not driving around with 3-4 thousand lbs in it and it's close to unstoppable. I've plowed steep drives that I always back up to the garage door to pull out...no problem. Hell, 30% of my resi's were flat, the rest were inclined to the garage. Tires are stock Generals of some kind, really basic all season tire...:laughing: doesn't even matter. It's always in 4x4 when plowing. Amazing little truck really.
  19. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 7,902

    ^ I hope you didn't get stuck plowing flat and down hill runs...

    The dump box and rear plow hanging out back all add weight.

    ps and I'm sure the dump was empty and not full of snow ...
    but anyway you weren't running around with a empty box and with out your pull plow were U?
  20. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,413

    You are sadly mistaken. Doesn't matter that you own and operate this truck. The understanding is that DRW's suck in snow.

    Please stop posting facts that have actual experience as their basis.