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I live in Southern Indiana snows seem to come in about 2-6 inch snows two or three times a year. I noticed a lot of plowers around here operate 2wd 3/4 tons instead of 4wd Just wanting your thoughts on this...Thanks!
Well, I used to think I was saving money 19 years ago (on gasoline) by trying to plow touchups only in 2 wheel drive with the front hubs unlocked. I usually didn't get too far before I had to get out and throw the hubs back in. I'm smarter now...<p>Seriously, and others here will say their part on their expereinces, I think you could get buy without 4-wheel drive under the following conditions for 3 or so storms per year:<br>1) no steep terrain: even 5% uphill might fubar you in 2x4.<br>2) no backing uphill, particularly out of a bank<br>3) you would have to carry weight (about 1,200#) in the rear<br>4) you invest in the best snow tires money can buy and keep lots of tread on them<br>5) a limited slip would be a good thing in this application (but not in my 4x4)<br>6) order a set of good quality tire chains for the rear tires. If the set doesn't weigh 50lbs almost, leave them in the store because you don't want them. Practice putting them on in the sun with a beer in your hand - better than with 8" on the ground and a customer list in your hand.<br>7) use a light plow. Other members here have good experience pushing with light-weight blades.<br>8) be professional<p>All that said, if you can swing into a 4x4, do so because you get 2/3 of the cost back out a trade-in time.<p>Have fun -- John<br>
We used to use a dodge 3/4 ton 2wd. Once you got going it was ok going forward, but backing up was a problem. The tires spun alot even with weight in the rear. I have 2 2wd 1 ton trucks that work good when we load them with salt, but as the salt is used the truck starts to slid and spin. We have sloped uphill loading docks and the 1 tons can't backdrag out w/o weight. For a p/u truck I would go with 4wd. Just my 2 cents. <p>----------<br>Rob S.<br>
2wd plowing is ok, when you are keeping a constant motion. However when doing drives and lots you are stopping and starting a lot more.<p>Plowing roads works good in 2 wd. My F 650 dose great one roads, on sometimes needs to use it on spot chains when plowing lots.<p>Big heavy trucks like F 550s with a sander and sand in the back can plow in 2 wd.<p>I would go with the 4wd just because you get the following:<p>1. added traction ( the most important)<br>2. Greater Ground Clearance<br>3. More versitle truck<br>4. Greater Pushing ablity, you can plow deeper amounts of snow.<p>I would go with the 4wd if it was me on a 3/4 ton truck.<p>Geoff
Geoff and John both bring up good points,if you are going to use a 2wd drive truck, chains are a must, and if you are going to have chains, on spots are the way to go, but they will add about 1500 to the price of the truck, which is what 4wd will cost. With the difference in fuel mileage I would run the 4x4.<br>We had a 2wd plow truck for one season, and we sold it, for a 4x4 the next season. It just wasnt worth the aggravation.<br>But if 2wd is what you already own,and you only need to plow a few times a season, then you might be ok, but remember that hills, and heavy snow will leave you SOL.<br>Dino <p>----------<br> Professional Ice and Snow Management <br>Products:Services:Equipment www.sima.org
Dino and Geoff - "on spot chains" - are those the automatic chains that lower down and rotate under the tires?? How do they work? I saw a set at the demo last month, but there was no snow (Duh) to look at.<p>I'm used to the old fashion chains - I modified a set to hook in the conventional way, but the set I used have the cam-lock (overcentre) tighteners that pretty much eliminate the bungee cords.<br>John
In central CT just about every firetruck and ambulance is equipped with these devices (per municipal specs). And they keep requiring them in new bids so I must assume they do some good, at least on heavy apparatus.<p>Bill
Well they pass the mountain requirements out west, so they must work. They only work when there is less than 3" of snow,but when plowing you wont have any wore than that.<br>From a cost issue, on larger trucks with air they run about 1300 us$.<br>Now a good set of old style chains will run about 5-600$ and will last a season under heavy use.<br>The on spots will last 2500 user miles, and only cost 200 to install new chain links when the old one wear out, so after 2-3 seasons heavy use they will pay for themselves, plus the peace of mind that a dash switch is all that you have to flip.<br>Dino <p>----------<br> Professional Ice and Snow Management <br>Products:Services:Equipment www.sima.org
On spot might say these chains only work up to 3" of snow. However i have taken my F 650 through 6-8" of snow, with the on spots on, and had no problem. However the truck is heavy and doesn't have a traction problem very often.<p>Geoff