A local debate


I was talking with a few friends and "old timers" around town. A discussion-turned-heated arose and I was wondering what your views might be...

It goes like this- one guy owns a tow truck and is thinking of adding a plow. Some agree and others don't (to the point of a shout-fest in a local Village Pantry). Since I am the only one in the group who actually has a plow, they want me to settle the dispute. I see the points of both sides and really couldn't give an answer, so they shout at me trying to get me to take sides.

Anyway, one good advantage I can see is the weight of a tow rig would be great ballast over the rear wheels. Another might be easier extraction of really-stuck vehicles. The gearing of a tow truck would probably be good for snow pushing, and most tow rigs have plenty of lighting.

A disadvantage I could see might be the tires most tow trucks use probably aren't suited for snow work. I haven't seen a single dually around here with a plow. Also, with all that weight on the rear (the tow body) with the new weight on the front (the plow) would result in terrible mileage, faster wearing suspension and drivetrain parts, and an engine that works harder. Another would be the amount of controls up there in the cab- you could actually confuse yourself after 18 strait hours of plowing.

Additionally, while plowing, you have to worry where the boom is when backing up. Or, you have to worry where the plow is when backing up to a car-to-be-towed.

I guess I am neutral, since I don't have a tow truck. I'd like to have one, but I doubt I would plow with one. So just for morbid curiosity, why would you or wouldn't you advise a plow on a tow truck?


2000 Club Member
First off what type of chassis is it on.
I have seen many tow trucks with plows, mostly so the owner can plow his own lot.But if it has 4wd it will be fine, if it is 2wd then I wouldnt personally plow with it. Even tho the boom is heavy, its probably not enough for good traction.

SlimJim Z71

PlowSite.com Addict
Cary, IL
Actually, I see a lot of dually's with plows. As long as you have "pizza-cutter" tires, you'll do alright.

I'm not positive on this one, but most of the tow-rigs I've seen, you can lower the boom flat with the chassis.

As far as the terrible mileage, faster wearing suspension and drivetrain parts, and an engine that works harder goes... that's part of the job for any plow truck.


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