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GMC Dually for plowing/sanding?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by MJ, Apr 28, 2001.

  1. MJ

    MJ Senior Member
    Messages: 129

    I need some objective advise. I'm looking for a vehicle for next winter to put a 7.5' plow and a 1.8 cu yd sander on. Today, I test drove a '97 GMC 3500 crew cab 4X4 DRW 46,000 miles. Real nice truck. I am concerned over two things - 1) Hot smell after 10-15 minutes. Seemed to be coming from the area of the radiator overflow which is toward the rear of the engine. Temp guage stayed on 210 degrees with no load and went up when I shut it off. I'm concerned that a load would really overheat it. There is a fan in front of the radiator but I couldn't tell if it ever came on. Outside temp is in the 40s. 2) Oil pressure guage read a little to the left of half way ( which I think was 40 psi ). Price seems right at $21,800 - I checked NADA. Oh, and the wife likes the sound of the CD player.

    Opinions? I realize the plow is small for this truck, but I already have this plow and really don't want to spend another $3800.

  2. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    Plow is way to small for a dually pickup. Need 8.5 or 9 ft. A crew cab is gonna be a long truck to plow with. Once you add a sander and plow that is a lot of distance that is gonna hamper manuverability and visibility.
  3. MJ

    MJ Senior Member
    Messages: 129

    I thought of adding wings to the one I've got. The salesman called me later and said he'd checked and the pushplates, wiring and wings would run $990. Still haven't got an answer on the heating. Starting to look like another idea shot.
  4. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    A few things come to mind. First of all as CT mentioned, the truck is looooooong. If you plan to do long driveways, and parking lots, it shouldn't be a bad truck for that.

    As far as the hot smell, possibly the guy didn't check all the fluid levels before you test drove it? A temp of 210° isn't bad. Remember water boils at 220­°. Mixed with anti freeze, the boiling point is increased even more. Kept under pressure, the boiling point (flash point) is even higher. The redline should be somewhere around 260° on the temp gauge.

    As far as oil pressure, as long as it doesn't drop below about 15 psi at idle, it's fine. From a cold start, it might be as high as 60 psi at idle. As the oil warms up and gets thinner, it can drop to the 20 psi. range at idle. The guy might be running 5w-30 in it. I'd recommend 10w-40.

    As far as the plow, you didn't mention if the truck had a plow on it. You didn't mention if you have the mounting frame that will fit on the truck. So you might have to shell out for the mounting frame anyway. What you can do with your plow, is swap it for a larger one, or possibly sell it, and buy a used larger one.

  5. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    if you mount a 7.5 ft plow on that truck the 8 ft wide rear wheels will be riding in the windrows while you plow!Remember,most 7.5 fters are only 6.5 ft when angled-you have an 8 ft wide rear track if its a pickup dually-no way this will work right,you need an 8.5 ft minimum,9ft preffered.The crew cab-is not a good plow truck-not only does it need about 75 ft(with plow) to turn around,but a crew cab is basicaly 2 cabs-so the front end already is maxed out with weight-before you put the plow on,with it on,you are way overweight on the front axle.The engine running 210 means nothing,GM T-stats do not fully open until over 200 degrees,and GM temp sender are arent always exact either.Since you said it had a fan in front of the rad,it must have the 454 vortec,which has a huge radiator,so cooling shouldnt be a problem.The 454 is one more reason not to plow with this truck-it adds more weight to an already heavy front end.Although they arent the best personal use trucks,I find 3/4 ton or 1 ton,reg cab, single wheel pickups the best for plowing,since they can do big lots as well as fit in driveways,or small lots easily.
  6. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    I agree 9' blade on a DRW.

    Thats why I want a 9' V-plow.

  7. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    Just for knowledge. I am not sure of Cevy's but ford drw cab and chassis the reat wheels are narrower than those on drw pickups. You can run an 8ft blade on a drw C&C and still be wide enough at angle. It is tight on the turns but I have seen it. Most run 9ft but now that Fisher makes and 8.5 it may become the choice for the C&C. My main problem with the truck would be its length. I think it will just be too long for anything except straight line plowing.
  8. MJ

    MJ Senior Member
    Messages: 129

    Thanks for the replies, everyone. Yes it's a 454 Vortec and I would have to add a plow mount. Hadn't thought of the front end being maxed out already, though. Just thinking that the DRW would handle the sander nicely. I'll just keep looking for a regular cab like I have been.

  9. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,222

    If the blade is the only problem just get a used one from the want ad's and sell your 7.5 one.But every one is right you will need a bigger blade or don't even bother. just use as a sander.