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Plowing with a Toyota Tacoma

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Mistel, Dec 6, 2002.

  1. Mistel

    Mistel Member
    Messages: 48

    I want to get what would be the ultimate plow truck for me. I don't plow commercially, just a few rental properties the family owns. It will be my only vehicle so I have to be able to fit the wife and baby in it, with room for more kids down the road. I also dont want a gas gussler so im looking at mid size trucks. Im thinking a tacoma crew cab with a six or four banger. Anyone plow with a tacoma?
  2. Acorn

    Acorn Senior Member
    Messages: 103

    Just a thought... you could consider a Jeep although I've never used one. I fit the wife and 3 kids into my full size Bronco. It's only got a 302 so it's not toooo bad on gas. Has a really good turning radius.
  3. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    As with the fullsize crewcabs, plowing is not recommended with Toyota crewcabs.

    The ability of the Toyota to plow is not the concern, the weight of the plow added in will likely void any warranties and may cause a frame failure.

    The Toyotas are excellent plow vehicles. You can run 6.5 or 7ft Blades on them easily. I run 7ft Fisher on my 4Runner and a 7.5 Meyer on my Pickup. Trucks are excellent for drives and small lots.

    HVYMTL Junior Member
    from IL.
    Messages: 17

    Yoda Plower


    that's a big wish list :) you will have to compromise in all areas to get the best fit for all your goals.
    for instance- I bought a 91 Toy xtend cab 4x4 new for my long country lane, young family etc. served it's purpose. 4cyl engine gave me great gas milage,20+. My wife and I could fit (2)3-5 year old kids in jump seats.
    Great truck 2300 RE engine still runs great, only complaint was interior room later.
    Six years later(shortly after paid for)- kids growing it was not the best "only vehicle" for us. Sure- the winter snows never stopped me, but in Illinois i needed that a few times a year versus a vehicle with more room.
    plowed my lane with this vehicle as well as a short term use of a 67 chevy pickup-2wd with lots of weight and tire chains.
    Its all relative to what you really want- I bought a 85 Surb. afer that- plenty of room and power for everyone, payed with gas milage :)
    I now use purpose built vehicles for specific tasks-
    2-1/2 ton 6x6 with 12' blade for my long country lane, no storm keeps me or mine at home.
    Cherokee 6 cyl for mid range people capacity and milage, Suburban for max people- long trips,lots of gas
    since I do not plow snow commercially my guess is that the best ultimate plow truck will only out grow its "family use" capabilities rather quickly.
    Having done the fix and repair daily routine for the first ten years on older vehicles and bought new vehicles the last ten years i would recommend buying a used plow truck and a used family car/wagon etc.
    On the other hand if you can make truck payments with your plowing income and use it as transportation then go for it. I am just high-lighting my own foolish"justifications" for buying more than I needed. I went from $400 beaters to $30,000 money pits over 20 years.
    I'l quit whining now, hope you sort it all out.

  5. PPM

    PPM Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    I ve plowed with toy's for a few yrs when I started! best trucks to go with for small lots and walks in my oppinion! First truck was a 82 toyota TRECKER it was the prototype of the 4 runner all fiberglass, was a little light in the rear, bought it for $750 from the auto trader took it home to clean up and found a bag of waky tabacky under the center consoul :eek: plowed with this truck for two yrs sold it w/plow for $3000.00 :D then got a 90 4runner 2 door 6.5 myeres off a s-10 fabrocated to fit the toy worked great untill i blew a valve fixed it myself ;) then sold it for profit now I got a 1 ton chevy !
  6. wxmn6

    wxmn6 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,037


    Right now I am running a 6.5' Fisher snowplow on my '89 Toyota pickup regular cab with 22RE 4 cyclinders engine. It is a great truck for plowing in tight driveways and is easier to manuever than bigger truck. It does not have a problem pushing snow. Try to look for a truck like Tundra or Tacoma with the proper configuation that snowplow manufacturer recommend putting plow on it. Ususally most major brand snowplow manufacturers have it listed on their website. If that crew cab Toyota is the one you have to go with, then maybe a Sno-Way plow can work on it. It is lighter than most snowplow brands and it has a down pressure system for better scraping on hard packed snow. Good luck.
  7. Jerre Heyer

    Jerre Heyer Senior Member
    Messages: 948

    Two toy's running BLIZZARDS in Erie. One is a 7' used for private driveway and his business ( a grocery store cleaning the loading area's ) the other is the local Toyota dealer using a 7.5 to clean there lot. Both are doing well and handle great according to users.

  8. hoagie

    hoagie Member
    Messages: 64

    Tacomas are good trucks... I've had 2 in the last 4 yrs. Great gas milage and lots of fun...

    But, dont plan on pushing a whole lotta snow w/ one. And if you need to stack a pile, forget it. The truck is just way too light.

    Once you've plowed w/ a 1 or 2 ton truck the tacoma's obsolescence becomes clearer.

    It may be just enough for a couple driveways though... just don't let the accumulation get more than 6 or so inches.

    Fun "toy", but definetly not the "ultimate plow truck".
  9. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    I beg to differ. Toyotas are my ultimate driveway trucks. I have pushed over a foot with mine and had no problem stacking. Running a 7ft Fisher. As with any truck they need some weight in the back. I run a 6ft spreader. We have had that Toyota places that a fullsize would never go and it has pushed a lot of snow. For lighter snow we have a 7.5ft Meyer blade that we can use for faster clearing.

    Remember snowplowing is about weight of snow versus traction not raw horsepower. My F350 PSD will break loose pushing with a 9ft blade just the same as my Toyota will with a 7ft. Moderation of the throttle, good tires, and a good driver are better than a 300hp motor. My brother has a Jeep CJ that serves the same purpose.

    I will always run a small truck for those tight driveways and lots that can be big monemakers.
  10. hoagie

    hoagie Member
    Messages: 64

    I never did mention horse power, but you bring up an interesting point.

    In order to move alot of weight what do you need?

    A Tacoma's GVWR is only 5100 lbs.

    That means you can add about 1800lbs of combined payload. Subtract about 500lbs for the LD fisher plow and your left w/ 1300 of whatever. If it's sand then thats only about a half a yard. (thats not even including what your spreader weighs).

    Tacoma's have an edge w/ size and manuverability, but comparing an F350 w/ a 9' (weighing about 9000lbs) to a tacoma is nonsense. :nono:
  11. Aldergood

    Aldergood Junior Member
    Messages: 13


    I seem to remember reading somewhere that Toyota spacifically says not to use any of their vehicles for plowing so I suspect that what was said about voiding the warrenty is true. Can't comment on actual operational use of them though, never owned one. We run 2 GMC's a 1/2 ton and a 3/4 ton both extended cab regular box...heyyy come to think of it I seem to remember reading that plowing with extended cab anythings was also a no no...lol

    Oh well, what ever gets you through the night (stormy night that is..)
  12. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    According to my local dealer only the Tacoma crewcab is voided, just like fullsize trucks. Extracab and standard cab are ok.

    The Tundra can also take a lightweight fullsize plow such as the ones made for the F150.

    Why is that comparison false? You are still pushing snow. Alan runs 8ft blades on S-10s. I am the first to admit i am overweight on my Toyota. I am also overweight on my F350 when set up to plow. That is what needs to be done.

    In order to move weight you need gearing not HP. In order to push snow you need traction. Weight adds traction ability. Good tires add traction. Raw HP causes loss of traction.

    Only so much snow can be in front of a plow blade before the weight of the snow will cause the truck to lose traction and stop. I have seen quite a few one tons with big blades get bogged with big piles in front of the blade.
  13. paul soccodato

    paul soccodato Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    i agree with CT18 fireman,
    i have an 89' f-350 diesel pickup, 7 1/2 western pro-plow and pro-wings. it gets to a point where there is so much snow in front of the blade, that the truck breaks traction and wont push it.
  14. WNY PAT

    WNY PAT Member
    Messages: 31

    Torque... not HP

    Actually, it is the low end torque (twisting power) in a diesel that makes the tires break loose at such low RPMs.... with a gas engine, the HP and torque curves max out at a much higher RPM...making them a bit more manageable in tight spaces and in conditions where traction is limited and the snow not too heavy....
  15. snow

    snow PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 1,002

    I just traded my 2wd 1978 gmc 1 ton dump for a 1988 toyota truck, 4 cyl, 5 spd, 4wd w/ a nice flatbed on that back of it. I'm going to be piecing together a plow for it once i get it on the road. I'd like to put an older fisher plow setup on it. I'd like to do belt driven, but the truck has ac. My friend has a spare meyer pump and 6.5' blade i might be able to get cheap, so i might start from there.

  16. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    It never fails to crack me up when you guys who think a 2-4" storm is a challenge start talking about pushing power.

    In this part of the world it is routine to have 4" triggers on residential plowing. With that much to start, and if it snows for very long you end up working in 6-8" a lot of the time.

    I'll put my S-10s in the same class as the Toyotas, probably on the high end as I think they run heavier than the rice trucks. Don't tell me all about bigger trucks, we've got them too, a K2500 and K3500 SRW. They're great trucks, all of them. If I need to run just the residential route I grab one of the S trucks. I'm not undergunned, underpowered, underanything, I'm just right for plowing residentials and small commercials.

    Do I need dual wheels or big engines? NO. It would be nice to have a dualie to carry a vee box, but not necessary. If I need pure carrying ability I'll take the 5500 with the hydraulic spreader. But that is strictly a spreader rig right now, no plow on it yet.

    So I'll take my nice maneuverable little trucks and go plow snow. Maybe someday I'll run one or both of them south when you guys get hammered and see just what there is about flatland snow that takes all this brute force to move.

    By the way, those stacks were put there with an S-10.

    View attachment coventrystacks.jpg
  17. push4$$

    push4$$ Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    Ditto, Alan
  18. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    I know for a fact that following WWII my town plowed most of its roads with surplus Jeeps. These are 1/4 ton 4x4s that had simple up/down only blades on them. They had no problem plowing roads with them. Sure they had a few big trucks, but the Jeeps were able to hanlde the plowing.

    Brian it is possible to mount a belt drive below the A/C with a little fabbing to make a new bracket. Sounds like you got a pretty nice truck there.
  19. hoagie

    hoagie Member
    Messages: 64

    Hey there Alan.... no need to explain snow to me brother. Last I checked, MA is Massachusetts, and I've spent the last 10 or so years plowing in the mountains of the lower Hudson Valley, NY. I have no idea what "flatland snow" is.

    2"-4" storm? :D Flurries, my friend. I don't even start the truck untill there is 3" on the ground.

    TO CLARIFY MY ORIGINAL POST: I never mentioned big horse engines are required to plow. Weights and traction were the point... and how much combined weight can you get out of a toyota or S10? 5 maybe 6k lbs? :eek:

    I KNOW, I'VE OWNED 2 OF THEM!! And compared to the current setup (F350/F450) They suck. Sorry, but true.

    This is basic stuff fellas, what will work better? 5000lbs pushing a 7' blade, or 11,000-15,000lbs pushing a 9' blade. Hmm.

    I never said toyotas won't plow... if you read carefully, I even said they might be good for a few driveways. 6, 8, even 12" of powder is easy for just about anything (a kid down the street plows w/ a volkswagen beetle). Let that foot of snow get wet or frozen and the toys will just spin tires.

    I really don't see the need for the personal attacks either. I thought my original post was somewhat informative and non-offensive.
  20. snow

    snow PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 1,002

    Here's a photo of my toyota. Right now it's sitting at the yard i rent. I have to put a new waterpump in, and fix some brake parts on it. It's a nice little truck. Needs some smalls things and a plow and it'll be the perfect plow truck for me (right now).

    Thanks to wxmn6 for resizing the photo.