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Plowing steep driveways with 550/5500

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Four Seasons, Jan 21, 2016.

  1. Four Seasons

    Four Seasons Senior Member
    Messages: 157

    I've been resisting putting a plow on my ram 5500 because it's pretty terrible in the snow. But I just can't justify three trucks and as my regular 3/4 ton plow truck gets older, I at least need a backup. So I'm thinking maybe I'll run tire chains full time while plowing. Is this a reasonable idea? I've never run chains before. How limited are you for speed between driveways?
     
  2. triplestrokes

    triplestrokes Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    I would say your customers wouldn't appreciate the tire chains on their driveway come spring.
     
  3. Four Seasons

    Four Seasons Senior Member
    Messages: 157

    I only have one that is paved if that makes a difference
     
  4. beanz27

    beanz27 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    Weight is your friend. Add more weight over the back axle.
     
  5. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,857

    Weight and good tyres.
     
  6. Four Seasons

    Four Seasons Senior Member
    Messages: 157

    The problem is the best 19.5 snow tires are pathetic compared to the usual 16-17 snow tires
     
  7. JimMarshall

    JimMarshall Senior Member
    from NW PA
    Messages: 785

    What kind of tires are on yours? Mine is a beast in snow. Normally never even make it to 4 wd
     
  8. Four Seasons

    Four Seasons Senior Member
    Messages: 157

    I had the stock closed shoulder set which were obviously bad and then a set of aggressive blocky tread which aren't anything like a soft 1 ton tire with siping.. They are just so hard and the truck is so stiffly sprung and heavy that it wants to ski down hills. My driveways are not suicidal but they can be pretty hairy. It seems most guys that have plows on the 550s are doing parking lots and roads, not so much the tough driveways. I figured chains might be the way to go. Are there major drawbacks to them?
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2016
  9. alldayrj

    alldayrj PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,097

    How much weight do you keep in it?
     
  10. Four Seasons

    Four Seasons Senior Member
    Messages: 157

    I don't even have the plow yet. I'm just going off of whatever work I've done with it on snowy days. It's not like a light duty truck in the white stuff. Are you guys plowing steep drives with med duty trucks? No problems? The only guy I know that used his 550 on these types of driveways slid backwards down a hill and off a bank. I've done the same with my 3/4 ton but the idea of doing that with a heavy truck is scary.
     
  11. JimMarshall

    JimMarshall Senior Member
    from NW PA
    Messages: 785

    Ibow mostly lots but I do have one really steep blacktop drive I do with my 14 5500. Truck has continental HDR/HSRs on it. Stainless gas spreader with some salt in the dump bed and a 9.5 MVP3 on the front
     
  12. johnhenry1933

    johnhenry1933 Senior Member
    Messages: 256

    Like others have said, weight is your friend. You haven't even tried it loaded yet.

    Good tires, 2 1/2 tons salt or sand in the back, and you'll have traction.
     
  13. newhere

    newhere PlowSite.com Addict
    from Fenton
    Messages: 1,288

  14. PLOWMAN45

    PLOWMAN45 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,830

    all your trucks are wheel drive ?
     
  15. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,857

    Michelin XDS2, they're expensive, but the best I have found in 19.5 tyres yet.
     
  16. derekslawncare

    derekslawncare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,003

    THIS EXACTLY. My F550 weighs 20k lbs when loaded with salt and the plow on the front. The first year I owned it, I got it stuck 2-3 times. The Continentals that came in it from the factory WERE COMPLETE CRAP. The Michelins that are in it now are a vast improvement, but still nowhere close to my old F250 with BFG's.
     
  17. leigh

    leigh PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,990

    I ran chains a few times on my previous truck,inter 4700.It was a tank with the chains.Without chains and a full load of salt I was ok 95% of time.I would never consider doing steep driveways with a 2 wheel drive,but that's just me and memories of tow strap "extractions" I still get stuck once in a while in my 4500 4x4!Chains aren't so bad on surfaces as long as you aren't doing hole shots!
     
  18. Four Seasons

    Four Seasons Senior Member
    Messages: 157

    Thanks, yes my 5500 is 4x4
     
  19. 94gt331

    94gt331 Senior Member
    from usa
    Messages: 293

    I have a 3500 crew cab dually that doesn't do well on steep driveways or steep lanes, but I finally bought a brand new set of good tires so I will try them out tonight when we go plowing. It seems to help a lot more. I send me regular cab 250 or reg cab 2500 to do the steep driveways so I won't get stuck and or over the bank into the woods. Reg cab trucks are the way to go for lanes and drives.
     
  20. JimMarshall

    JimMarshall Senior Member
    from NW PA
    Messages: 785

    What kind of continentals came on it?