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I would not use a manual tranny for plowing. First, I don't think they will hold up as well and secondly you are already busy enough without having a clutch to deal with. after about 12 hours it's hard enough to deal with the automatic shifter right there under your hand, I can't imagine having to reach for a manual shifter for hours on end. On a heavy truck that was plwoing roads I can see it, but not on a light truck that will be maneuvering in driveways and parking lots.
Eggy,<p>I plow with a standard. As Alan stated it is MORE work than an auto. Especially while backing up, my reverse is same gear as 1st(creeper). So it takes a long time to backup. This slows you down in larger parking lots. Also requires more control actuation, meaning clutch, brake, shifter, joystick. You will get good at it, but it is more tiring. <p>The only pro my stick has is 1st(creeper) gear. It is great for moving heavy piles, or going real slow around obstacles. Reliabilty has been excellent, as long as you have a good clutch, and know how to drive it. You will never overheat a manual tranny.<p>If I was buying a truck to plow with, it would be an auto...no question about it.<p>Dave
Yes, I can't add more to the comments above other than to say get a high capacity cooler, change the ATF annually if you do lots of plowing, and stop completely before changing directions. That has been our simple recipe for ATF longevity.<p>85 degrees here in North Bay today - gotta love it while it lasts!<p>----------<br>John<br>
On My F 650, and My 650 and 750 that are on the way, have autos. If you ever buy a big truck, you will find that it gets used more than ya thought. It also spends more time on the road that any other truck. Anyways the auto makes it easier all the way around.<p>Geoff
I have an '89 Cherokee w/ a 5 spd. I can tell you that an auto. is definately the way to go. After an hour of getting on and off the clutch, your left knee feels like you just ran a marathon. It is also very wearing on the clutch. If you do plow w/ a 5 spd. make sure you watch your transmission fluid... What kind of truck are you looking at?
I try get one with a auto. They have more "give" if you hit a curb or something, and like the other guys said you have to switch the plow and shift at the same time. Plus you'd probably get a sore leg pushing in the clutch after a while. It works though, my dad has a 3 spd manual, and likes it.
I'll agree with every point made but one. Why do you think that a manual trans would'nt hold up to the rigors of plowing? I think we all know that the auto will wear out/fail first. Yeah, I know the auto is easier.
Snowpushing, I plowed with a manual tranny (88 Dodge) since it was new. We went through 3 clutches in the first 5 years of plowing. I think there is a lot of clutch wear when plowing for 10-12 hours. We still have the truck, but everyone much perfers to plow with our powerstroke diesels and auto trannys.
I personally would go with a auto if you take care of your auto it will take care of you . I have the fluid changed once or twice a year if its gotten hot .A manual is good for for plowing but small lots or driveways its a pain my auto has 260,000 on it and still works right knock on wood . good luck on what every you chose.
I've plowed with both and the autos are much better suited for plowing. You can't imagine how much the fatigue factor drops with an automatic, at the end of a long plow session my left ankle would be so sore I could hardly walk! You can feather the torque application to your wheels with the auto too which will help you get "unstuck" from areas where you might just spin with the stick.
All my life I have plowed with sticks. I prefer the manual transmissions, my trucks always manuals.
I never burned out a clutch plowing. The reason is very simple, you don't slip the clutch, you choose the right gear and transfer case ratio (hi or low) and set your speed accordingly. If you need to slip your clutch to move a pile you are in the wrong gear to start with. Go to a lower gear, or drop your transfer case into low.
I never burned out a stick transmission either, nor did anyone else I know of.
Now, if your automatic is a REAL ALLISON, like a 645 or 750 model and you are driving a c-60, or f-750, or International 2070, then I could see an automatic. But when it comes to little trucks, stick does the trick for me.
I loved my 5 speed, Yes there was some left leg fatige after 6 or 7 hours. Automatics burn up! I've never seen a manual burn up. As far as being busy goes all your doing extra is the clutch. With a manual you shift all day plowing is like city driving (I could go from forward to reverse alot faster than the auto's). My clutch was replaced at 170000 miles. I'd say I got my money out of it. Don't be afraid to put a plow on a truck with a manual transmission. You can pull your friend home when there automatics burn up.
If you have a good size cooler on an auto and don't spin the tires all the time it should hold up fine. You guys must have real short throws on your shifters or not plow much cause whenever I plowed with a manual my right shoulder felt like it would come out of its socket I figure I shift my truck forward/reverse at least 500 times a night. I would much rather simply reach over the steering wheel and flip it back and forth. I tightened the reverse band on my truck and I believe there is no manual that will go back and forth as quick as mine. You probably can shift a manual back and forth faster than a Super duty. The actual manual tranny probably will last longer. BUT if you look at a bumper to bumper warranty on a vehicle the only things not covered are wiper motors and clutches.
I've been using a 5speed for 2 yrs now and things can definately get hectic with so much to do at once. But you do get used to it. I like the manual for the 4low 1st gear speed especially going down hills where I'd say you have better control, but leaving your foot resting on that clutch pedal can definately help you burnout the clutch (especially if your wearing a pair of heavy, insulated sorell boots). Next truck in our fleet will be an auto. Easier to deal with and if other guys are driving the manual they may not baby it as much as you would.
I plow with my 85 chevy 3 speed with granny gear. I've been plowing for over 30 hours this storm, 20 hours in an apartment complex, besied my left knee hurting, there isn't much fatigue problem.
I personaly like the manual, and since 98% of my driving is not plowing, I'm going to stay with it for my new truck.
As a side note... I would love to have an electric solonoid toggle swith for drive and reverse on an Auto... buit into something like a fish stick. So one hand does the wheel, and the other sits comfortably playing wit buttones.. anyone know if this can be done?