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4HI / 4LO?


Junior Member
I have a 90 chevy 1/2 ton that I do mostly driveways with.
When plowing I have always used 4hi. Should I have been using low and if so why.

Could use a little advise thanks


PlowSite.com Addict
When plowing driveways, you are constantly doing a lot of jockeying around out in the street (bare blacktop) mostly. If you use 4HI, you can just pop in out of 4x4 and into 2HI on the fly and not bind up out in the street. While if you used 4LO, you have to stop and shift into 2HI. Whenever you see your tranny or engine struggling with deep snow, etc. Use 4LO. It will depend alot on what your rear gears are. If you run 3.42's you may want to use 4LO more than a guy with 4.11's.

Hope this helped,


2000 Club Member
This is what we do.
Gas engine and auto = 4 low
Gas engine and standard = 4 high
Diesel, auto/ standard = 4 high
In the last two cases, 4 low for heavy pushing applications only.


I use them about 50 50, high for long runs, and small lots, where I don't plow for more than 15-20 min.

low range for long periods of for/back or when stacking snow. also when truck starts to labor under the weight of a deep windrow.

doing this keeps the heat out of the tranny because you are using gears as your torque multiplier instead of the torque converter. (previous experience, plus a tranny temp guage verify this statement. I do start in 2nd gear when in low range to avoid the hard jerk from the 1-2 shift. MY 1-2 is stifer than most for plowing snow and trailer towing.


Senior Member
I asked the same question at the beginning of this season. Last year was my 1st year plwoing and I used 4lo all the time.

They advise I received was 4hi. I use 4hi all the time now. I seems easier on the truck and I know it's easier to steer and turn around on the parkign lots.

I'd stick to 4hi except if I had some bigger snows (7 or 8 inches)



2000 Club Member
Alot depends on the dif gear ratios, but the main is reasonis that I generally have the gas/auto combo with a 205 t-case, and that has a higher ratio 4 low than most other t cases. So we dont sacrifice back up speed. Also I have to agree with plow boy, in that I would rather use the gears and not not the tranny to move the big stuff.
I have an 84 with 3.54 rear gears, and those gears and high range really dont mix.