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plowing with auto or manual

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by hawk29, Nov 4, 2006.

  1. hawk29

    hawk29 Junior Member
    from Sw ohio
    Messages: 29

    New to plowing with a truck and are currently looking at a few different trucks. i am looking at a couple 1/2 ton and a couple of 3/4 ton. Any way is it better to plow with an auto or an stick? I will be getting a 92-99 chevy or gmc since i am familiar with the GM drivetrains.
  2. oldmankent

    oldmankent PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,317

    If you are doing a lot of back and forth, short run pushes I would recommend an auto with a real temperature gauge on it so you can monitor the temps. If you are plowing roads and are most likely doing long pushes then a manual would be fine. your leg can get really tired with a manual, and it is very easy to ride the clutch, even if you are adamant that you don't ride the clutch. An auto is more user friendly, but more prone to overheat. If it is treated well and you monitor the temps an auto is fine.
  3. Big Dog D

    Big Dog D PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,134

    Auto all the way unless you and anybody else who will ever plow with it really know how to drive standard. What ever money you make plowing will be eaten up fast by replacing clutches. You can toast a clutch in a storm easily with the wrong driver. Even some people who have driven standard all their lives have a hard time not burning up clutches when plowing.
  4. Antnee77

    Antnee77 PlowSite.com Addict
    from RI
    Messages: 1,056

    I always buy autos for my trucks, but when the time comes to buy a Medium Duty truck for plowing and sanding, it'll be a manual.
  5. victoryrider

    victoryrider Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    I wouldn't plow with anything but an auto transmission. If the truck has plow prep and trailer prep it will have the extra cooling capacity for the trans. Also just my humble opinion, I would never plow with anything smaller than a 3/4 ton.
  6. Gicon

    Gicon Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 989

    I would buy an automatic even if it was a $5000 add on option. Forget manuals
  7. Antnee77

    Antnee77 PlowSite.com Addict
    from RI
    Messages: 1,056

    Yep, in trucks, autos are the way to go. Now cars are another story...;)
  8. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    Do a search on this topic, it has been hashed and rehashed over and over and no one ever agrees.

    Manual all the way, but then, I CAN drive one properly!!!
  9. crazymike

    crazymike Senior Member
    from Toronto
    Messages: 639

    whatever floats your boat.

    Personally, automatic all the way. I would love to have my main truck a manual because I'm always towing, but it's a bigger PITA to plow with a manual. My leg burns after a day in the tractor with a hydraulic clutch, the truck is supposed to be comfortable.
  10. Sweetpete

    Sweetpete Senior Member
    Messages: 325

    Auto...no questions asked. I couldn't even imagine plowing at 3 a.m. with my coffee in one hand and my controller in the other. Just put that shifter in gear and go. I love it.
  11. Antnee77

    Antnee77 PlowSite.com Addict
    from RI
    Messages: 1,056

    Yep. I always have a hot coffee in one hand and the controller in the other. Steering gets switched back and forth between the two hands. I need more hands if I'm going to be plowing with a manual!
  12. BushHogBoy

    BushHogBoy Senior Member
    Messages: 665

    This will be my first season plowing with a manual... 96 Ram 2500 Cummins with NV4500 5 speed.. just got the tranny rebuilt with all new shafts, gears, etc. and a new South Bend full ferramic clutch (550hp, 1100 lb ft torque rated).. its a stiff hydraulic clutch but indestructable (or it better be at least!)... I'm running a Snoway 7.5' Lexan, down pressure, with Pro-Wings (9' 2" total) with joystick controller, here's a pic of how I mounted it.. two U-bolts with special clamp brackets (not sure what they were from but I found them in the garage) tack welded the brackets to the controller box then clamped it all to the shifter. Its a little extra weight on the shifter which I don't like but it will only be on during storms/winter season..

  13. BushHogBoy

    BushHogBoy Senior Member
    Messages: 665

    and a pic of how I will be able to shift and run the plow with one hand :cool: leaving the other hand for steering....

    my knee & foot will be screaming :help: after a storm but this rig should be unstoppable! :nod:

  14. Tommy10plows

    Tommy10plows Senior Member
    Messages: 345

    Manuals for me

    I have plowed with manual shift transmissions all my life. And I have tried an automatic, but I still go back to manuals. None of my trucks has ever lost a clutch in a storm, and none of my drivers has ever burned one up.

    The reason is, we pick the right gear to start off with, then shift up when we get moving. You don't slip the clutch to start, you pick the lowest gear and off you go, then upshift as needed.

    Time yourself as you get to the end of your run, put your foot on the clutch and take the truck out of gear, roll into your stacks, don't power into them.

    If I plow a driveway downhill and it is a steep drive, I go with the transmission in reverse with the clutch depressed, and if the truck starts to get away from me, I take my foot off the clutch and claw my way back up. If you lock your brakes going down hill, you have no control. That is why I prefer to roll downhill in reverse.

    Yes, some of you guys will dispute this, some of you prefer automatics, and if I were running a F750 or a monster Oshkosh FWD wing plow and sander, I could be talked into an automatic.

    Regards to all, winter is right around the corner,

  15. Antnee77

    Antnee77 PlowSite.com Addict
    from RI
    Messages: 1,056

    Really? I'm the complete opposite. I'd rather have an auto, but if I had a big truck (F-750, L9000, Mack) I'd want a manual.
  16. go plow

    go plow Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    i plow with a manual, this is what i think, when its going to break, it will !! doesnt matter if its a $4k tranny or a $500 clutch !!! oh- an by the way i would rather put a $500 clutch and be back out on the rd in a few hours then get a $4k tranny and be without a truck for a week!!! just my 2 cents...