1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Standard or Automatic for plowing?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by SamH, Oct 21, 2006.

  1. SamH

    SamH Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    Here's a good question for dabate. I've been plowing now for about ten years and we've always used Ford F-350's with standard transmissions. I've always heard that the constant shifting between forward and reverse will trash an automatic in no time. Recently I've heard opinions to the contrary. I do know we go through clutches on a regular basis and I also know that my left leg starts begging for mercy after about 8 hours of pumping that pedal. Does anyone out there plow with an automatic? How's that working for you?
    SamH
     
  2. Mad Mulcher

    Mad Mulcher Member
    Messages: 38

    I've always heard that plowing with a stick shift will trash your legs in no time. My best guess would be that 98% of the pickup trucks plowing this winter have automatics. Switching to an automatic will save your legs so they will still work when you are 80!prsport
     
  3. Flipper

    Flipper PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,180

    Been plowing for 15 years and all of our trucks are and have been sticks. Clutches are easier, quicker to replace then rebuilding an auto. My legs are fine.
     
  4. Gicon

    Gicon Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 989

    How about those Syiatic Nerves? AUTOMATIC, always. I would NEVER EVER plow with a stick. Maybe on the highway, but never residentials. I have a brand new Ford and im sure the tranny will be trash by the time it hits 3 yrs / 36k I am already having issues now. just bring it back, and get a new one. I love warranty.
     
  5. heather lawn spray

    heather lawn spray PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,206

    Been plowing for 17 years and all of our trucks are and have been automatics.4 tranny replacements
     
  6. Daner

    Daner PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,187

    His Legs are fine ...What about us ole buggers...LOL ....i no the Standard Trany Is a stronger Gear...But...Make sure that you keep the auto tranny cool,,,don,t burn the fluid that s the biggest problem with the automatics
    Clutches can be a big PITA as well:gunsfiring: ...I,m for the automatics
     
  7. bbrsq

    bbrsq Member
    Messages: 56

    Been plowing for 11yrs with automatics. In all those yrs have only done i tranny replacement. Most of our trucks run 4 yrs before replacement. I have had some 7-8 yrs and never replaced. I know guys that have replaced one or two clutches a yr in their plow trucks. If you are the only one in the truck, a stick should last as long as you dont ride the clutch. If you have multiple drivers or guys you dont trust autos are better. Easier to plow and shift from D to R while holding a hand held controller. How do you run a joystick and shift, even and a hand held foor that matter?
     
  8. Flipper

    Flipper PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,180

    I've only had to replace one clutch. Did it in 4 hours from midnight to 4am. By 5am the truck was back making money. Did not have to deal with days waiting for a rebuild. Only had to keep a clutch at teh shop not a rebuilt tranny.
     
  9. Daner

    Daner PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,187

    4 Hrs Working on my truck alll freeking nite and then dealing with storms customers calling...You may like the 4 gears ...but I'm sticken to the autos for plowing...Plus too many other things going on...to shift gears.
     
  10. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    I'm with Flipper, STICKS!
     
  11. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    4 Hrs at home is a heck of a lot better than a week waiting for the stealership or tranny shop to replace an automatic...
     
  12. Flipper

    Flipper PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,180

    No question in my mind. $ hours in a wamr garage, getting coffee and food. Was a nice break from plowing. My brother and I got it done in half the "book" time while my other guys were stuck in the trucks.
     
  13. Daner

    Daner PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,187

    1 week...waiting at the dealership...For 1week? why would you pick the dealer In a snow storm...Tranny shops stock trannys ...we all know this...Like I said before dont burn the trany oil...thats the trick to saving your auto. transmission.
    When you drive a stand. Tranny...you have just added on more operations that you have to take care of in a snow storm...ok ...come and git me
     
  14. heather lawn spray

    heather lawn spray PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,206

    Day and a half at Mr T's shop, only lost 2 in snow plowing. Other 2 went in that other season of the year
    let's see . . .
    clutch
    shift
    plow controls
    steering wheel
    coffee cup
    ju-jubes
    cell phone

    I ran out of hands and feet a few operations ago
     
  15. Flipper

    Flipper PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,180

    So you can plow without shifting an auto??? How do you back up? With a standard you are still only plowing in one gear forward or reverse. Maybe on a long run you upshift. As for the clutch, so you still press a pedal? In an auto you hit the brake, in a stnadard you just push the clutch in and the snow will slow you down, then a little on the gas to pile it up. No more operations then have to reach to go from drive to reverse.

    Along with what you listed we also have to operate some kind of spreader controls and lights.
     
  16. heather lawn spray

    heather lawn spray PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,206

    My point, coming to it in a round about way is that I don't need my left leg for shifting.
     
  17. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    When I get tired, I just swap legs! :D

    I did a clutch swap once since I bought the truck in 2000, and not because the clutch failed, because the throw-out bearing failed due to the previous owner not replacing it on the last clutch change (he was and is a severe clutch rider).....

    I don't know of ANY tranny shops around here that keep rebuilt trannys in stock.... they would have to be a pretty big operation for that.
     
  18. heather lawn spray

    heather lawn spray PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,206

    Is that the screw in type or the strap on type?:D
     
  19. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377


    SmartHitch 2 :redbounce
     
  20. Willy-D8

    Willy-D8 Member
    Messages: 47

    I only have a small 4-6 hour route but the mannny tranny seemed to be more fun for me..

    One hand on the shifter
    One hand on the cable opperated plow controls
    One foot gas
    One foot brake
    And my thrid hand on the wheel..:)

    I was always moving around every limb was doing something. Made plowing more of a sport almost. It's more active. I dunno if i could do it for 20 hours though..