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2wd FSUPERDUTY dually for plowing?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by BSseal, Nov 19, 2001.

  1. BSseal

    BSseal Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    I am new to this and am looking at trucks for a sealcoating business opening in the spring. I looked in the archives but wasn't satisfied. I might be asking the same question and if so I am sorry for wasting ur time but am I crazy thinking I can do some plowing with a 2wd truck? I am in NY about 50 miles or so outside of NYC. I am looking at a 88 or 89 FSUPERDUTY dually rack body. It has a plow on it and that got me interested in plowing but I don't wanna get stuck. Would I do ok with a load in the back and some cable chains? Should I stick to the flat parking lots? Or should I stay home? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

    The truck shows 74,000 miles, its in excellent shape and has no real major wear. Its diesel so should just have been broken in.
    Is 8 grand a fair price or should I keep lookin?
  2. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    For plowing a large lot or even a road that truck would probably work with a good amount of weight in the rear (v-box spreader or a lot of sand) You will have a difficult time plowing driveways or anything with hills. I suggest that you look into a 4wd if you want to be real serious about plowing in the notheast. There are a number of members not far from you. I think they will agree they could not be as affective with a 2wd.
  3. Michael F

    Michael F Senior Member
    Messages: 203

    I used to have a 87 F350, 4x4 dump, plowed in 2wd most of the time in flat lots. Just don't try to do to much on hills. I got rid of the truck because it was on & tired. Be careful with those old fords (or any truck) if they weren't maintained big problems($$$$). Good luck.
  4. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    I have an o-l-d C-35 GMC (1975) which I plow with, it's fine for "flatland" work but not a good choice for driveways/hilly areas.

    The Superduty will work fine for similar applications (fairly large, open lots where you are doing a lot of straight, long pushes) if it's ballasted down and has a good set of tires on it.

    You'll have to keep the limits of a 2wd plow truck in mind when seeking plowing work, another option is to sub for another contractor. Often more than one truck will "work" a lot, your 2wd will do fine for the long pushes where momentum works to your advantage and another (4wd) truck would clear the trickier spots.

    I do carry "insurance" in the form of a Warn M12000 on the back of mine in case I "stick it".
  5. speedracer241

    speedracer241 Senior Member
    Messages: 325

    how bout a set of chains for when the white stuff really gets deep??

    just a thought
    Mark K
  6. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    One aspect of having a plow on a 2wd to remember. The weight of the plow will make the front axle act as a fulcrum, lifting the rear end. When plowing, this isn't too bad. When transporting to another job site, you can have a problem unless there's plenty of ballast (about half the weight of the plow) directly over the rear tires. There is much less traction while traveling. Chains will only help while plowing, but not as much while traveling.
  7. Frank

    Frank Member
    Messages: 35

    I plow with a 89 fsuperduty rack body I run with a little salt in the back. Add some weight in the back you will be OK on flat land. as for hills there aren't many here to give you better advice.

  8. phillyplowking1

    phillyplowking1 Senior Member
    Messages: 412

    ONE OF MY TRUCKS IS A 92 f450 psd WITH a 9 foot myers plow
  9. Highpoint

    Highpoint Senior Member
    Messages: 241


    You tell me. 88 F350 with 12 foot dump bed with 9 foot meyer. 2 wd. Pushing county roads, driver turned into a high end residents driveway (BIG mistake and a BIG NO NO). roads were flat but drive had slight incline. 3am. Truck slid down drive and Through garage door! Scared the holy jesus out of the lady living there more so cause her husband was out of town. Insurance took care of damage to garage door, house door frame and Camery in garage. I'v sence discussed the ends and outs of plowing with my drivers. (something I should have done sooner, my fault).
  10. bam

    bam Senior Member
    from .
    Messages: 201

    our fleet consists of 90 to 01 Superduty 450s PSD 2wd. The trucks weigh in around 9500lbs.

    The older trucks were c&c with an 8' dump, the newer trucks are crewcabs. We run meyer and diamond 8+' plows and all are 2wd.
    Some have v boxes and others we throw a pallet or two of ice melt in the back.

    The trucks handle our sites fine, although make sure you have a good set of tires on it. We'll use aggressive recaps on the rear of some for better traction. We handle commercial accounts, some wide open and some tight parking lots. In PA and NJ we do encounter more snow and hills and the trucks continue to work for us.

    As long as you're careful with the truck, I think you can make good use of a superduty 2wd.
  11. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    If the results of the past two days are any indication, forget Dual Rear Wheel for plowing of the slighest incline. I finally got to plow with the '96 Chevy 3500 Diesel 4x4 DRW I bought last summer. 9' Fisher and loaded 2yd sander. Not nearly the traction of the 1/2 ton Dodge I have. Got stuck twice and nearly wrecked once. The Dodge will definately push more snow out front without losing traction and at more of an incline. Still like the Chevy for level drives and large lots because of the power of the diesel and the 9' plow. Probably will get a set of chains for sanding. Maybe different style of tires will make a big difference? I was real glad I had a sander to use to get unstuck.
  12. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    Is that with it in 4wd?

    With that much weight on the rear end I would say your problem is tires/ What kind of brand are you running. The Ford DRW's I have don't have a problem with rear traction. The weight is there so the weak link is likely the tires.
  13. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    I'd have that engine looked at by a good diesel mechanic before you buy. The early navistar diesels were notorious for failure unless the coolant systems were faithfully maintained. If it has an automatic, I'd avoid it all together. That tranny has a poor reputation.
    As far as plowing, like the guys have said, parking lots and streets (level) will be fine. Just be careful when your stacking that you don't get in too deep. Are you in Orange County?

    Are you sure your 4 x 4 is working? Hubs locked? My F-350 is like a tank with a load of sand in the back, even with all season tires. Never been stuck. (knock knock knock)
  14. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    The tires came with the truck - Trailcat LT 225-75-16s. I wondered the same thing about the 4wd, but seemed to be working. The indicator on the shift showed the front wheels locked and lighted "4x4". I had it overall checked out a couple weeks ago at the dealer. The first time stuck, I dropped the front tires over a drop-off about 6" to the yard. Wouldn't back out, so finally drove into the yard and turned around to drive out. Fortunately, the homeowner didn't care about the yard. The second time was on a snowpacked sharp incline that the Dodge would have handled - pretty easy. I'm really hoping it's the tires. They don't have a "good" pattern. The guy who had it was plowing his own apartment parking lot so probably didn't worry a low about it.
  15. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Just want to add this so anyone reading this doesn't get the wrong idea. I had a set of studded Discoverer M+S 10 ply tires put on the duals and made all difference in the world. Wanted them all around, but they only had four. Like pelican01 said, that truck is now like a tank - it'll go anywhere. Only problem now is the front tires are still the old style. It takes longer to stop because the duals are pushing the front tires and they're just sliding on the snow. Putting the truck in neutral takes care of that. The dealer said they would get two more for me in about a week.
  16. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    Good to hear you've gotten a "grip on things" Mick :D

    Field report: After a month of the snow dance, Mother nature delivered and there's been plenty of pushing the last two nights. I'm quite pleased with how well the old 2wd dually performed - I ended up needing a "tug" once, but it was my own fault for over-stepping the 2wd's limits - I should have known better than to try and be working in that long narrow laneway. (About 15 feet between the building and fence, around 250 feet long. Almost got all the way through, but broke traction near the far end and there wasn't much leeway for sliding sideways)

    The winch could have gotten me out, but I would have had to stretch a l-o-t of cable and rigging out. Faster and more practical to use the cell phone for a "help" call to the other plow truck which was working nearby.

    The contractor I sub for has a mix of lots in the industrial park and plenty of driveways. I worked on the lots and he took care of the driveways with his 4wd.