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after plowing cooldown

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by cward05, Dec 10, 2005.

  1. cward05

    cward05 Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 113

    hi everyone, just a quick question...i've heard that you're supposed to leave your truck on for up to 20 min! after plowing (just let it idle) to help cool down the engine...is this true for all trucks? i have an 83 chevy k10 1/2 ton w/manual transmission. should i do this? or just turn if off? thanks
  2. PremierLand

    PremierLand PlowSite.com Addict
    from detroit
    Messages: 1,572

    I dont. Basically, I let it run like 2 or 3min before I go out plowing, I work it hard for 10-15hours, then come home shut it right off and go to sleeppp....

    Only thing I could say letting it idle and cool down, is MAYBE with a diesel. But IDK
  3. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    This would not be to let the engine cool down necessarily, it would be to cool the transmission down by letting the fluid circulate for a while while your not plowing and changing geers constantly. Its good to have a tranny temp gauge if you plow, that way there you know if its too warm. If you idle for a while tranny temp will go down. Id say do it only if your gauge indicates that the tranny is too hot after plowing. If you have an aux cooler like most trucks then your all set.
  4. dirt digger

    dirt digger Senior Member
    Messages: 619

    i'm not sure about gas engines but you should let a diesel cool down. The turbo is spinning at several thousand RPM and when you cut the engine off the oil pump stops and no oil gets to the turbo. By letting a diesel idle down it gives the turbo time to slow down when oil is still flowing to it. 20 minutes may be a little extreme, we usually run our diesels for 5-8 minutes after a hard days work.
  5. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Dirt digger is correct- diesel only needs a cool down- auto tranny might not be a bad idea, but no need on a manual at all.
    Keep in mind 90% of late model autos do not circulate fluid in Park- the pump is only ingaged in Neutral
  6. smokin_stroker

    smokin_stroker Junior Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 11

    It would hurt any truck to run a little afterward if nothing else to help charge the battery
  7. CrazyCooter

    CrazyCooter Senior Member
    Messages: 119

    It takes 5 minutes of running the truck to make up for just starting it. Running it for a few minutes doesn't help much, other than the gas station's pocketbook. IF you're concerned about draining the battery, get a 2nd, or use a maintainer.
  8. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    depends on the truck- mind you a diesel has heaters (grid or glow plugs) which take alot more juics from the battery on start- more like 20 min idle time- which is also very bad for a diesel incidentally.

    If you're plowing the battery is likely charged back up unless you just plowed your own drive then parked it immediatly after. I really wouldn't sweat it for a cool down unless your a diesel and/or a turbo.
  9. smokin_stroker

    smokin_stroker Junior Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 11

    Well my old plow truck with the heater on and the lights it show really low on the amp guage then start running the plow alot in little drives it really drops. There is not much driving invovled so I let it run to charge I need all the juice I can get to start in the morning when it is cold.
  10. CrazyCooter

    CrazyCooter Senior Member
    Messages: 119

    Invest in a block heater, or a trickle charger. Much cheaper and less wear on the vehicle in the long run.
    Trickle chargers sell for $19.99. That aint too much to ask to charge your battery back up overnight, methinks, rather than spending gas / engine life of your truck to do the same.
  11. smokin_stroker

    smokin_stroker Junior Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 11

    Why don't you do what you want and I will do what I want.

    The truck only uses .42 gallons an hour at an idle so it is not going to break me up. If it breaks you up maybe you should get out of this line of work.In 24 days I will use 1 gallon of fuel idling for 5 minutes out the end of each day and that is only if you plow everyday hardly seems like it is worth it to piss around with a trickle charger.

    On a side note do you shut your truck off at stoplights as well just look atr the fuel and wear and tear you will save
  12. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Smokin- are you sure you have an ammeter? If so it's not telling you anything about the state of your battery. add a voltmeter.

    Amps is the current- all it tells you is the direction of current (charging or discharging) and the amount of flow (high current or low current in the given direction) It tells you nothing about the battery's charge level.
    You know how it's affecting the current flow, but not the charge state of the battery. Voltage tells you that. For all you really know with only an ammeter you could be needlessly idling the truck to add a charge it doesn't need.

    A trickle charger is a bad answer too- most take too long to adequately charge a big battery. a float charger is useless completely for charging- it only maintains a charge.

    If you want to idle it good for you. As long as it's a gasser you're not likely to see the effects too soon. You WILL however clog your cat- idle does not produce exhaust temps high enough for the cat to properly vaporize the soot which clogs it. VERY prevalent on diesel's, not as much on gassers because there's less soot, but it does happen and it's expensive to replace a cat.

    Shut off the truck at stop lights: not yet, but you all will be in the future whether you know it or not. Most of the hybrid vehicles on the road today already do this and the GMC/Dodge truck hybrid joint project for the 07 market (possibly the 06 market) will do it too. It can increase MPG by a significant amount and therefore reduces emissions a significant amount too.
  13. frostservices

    frostservices Member
    Messages: 63

    I would shut it off and be done with it unless you were just pushing really hard and really long within 5 min of getting home. The only other thing is if your temp is raising from driving down the road with the plow up might be a good idea to let it idle a couple min.
  14. murphyslaw

    murphyslaw Senior Member
    Messages: 443

    I consider the 12 minute drive from my last account to the shop cool down enough.
  15. johntwist

    johntwist Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    I agree with most of what's already been said; a gas engine can pretty much be shut off right away and a diesel should be given a few minutes to idle down. I've owned both.

    The important thing though is that the tranny is what really needs to cool down, not just at the end of a plowing run, but during it too. My truck has an aux. tranny cooler so I don't really have problems running hot. Even with that when you're really working the truck hard and doing some heavy pushing, taking a few minutes to let the tranny fluid cool is a good idea. It also gives you time to pour some coffee, eat something, jump out and stretch, make or take a few phone calls or whatever.

    With my Dodge, the tranny fluid only circulates through the cooler when in gear, not while in park. This is stated in the owner's manual. I usually just drop the blade and put her in neutral and sit for 5 minutes and that does the trick. I may do it once an hour pushing heavy wet snow, maybe once in 2 or 3 hours or not at all pushing fluff.

    This is something I think more of us are not aware of than they'd want to admit. When I read it in the manual, I didn't want to believe it either. So if you're idling in park, in a Dodge anyway, your tranny's just cooking. Something to think about. And if you don't have a tranny cooler and warning light, you should absolutely get a tranny fluid temp gauge.
  16. daninline

    daninline Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    I installed a remote starter on my diesel that has a cool off timer so I just hit a button and it runs for 5 mins to cool down the turbo.

    Driving home from the last plow is more then needed to cool down the trans.
    Just do what you want a cool down it cheaper then replacing parts.

    I think a warm-up is needed more on cold mornings.
  17. streetsurfin'

    streetsurfin' Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    You are on the right track here digger. It actually has more to do with the turbo being very hot after working under a load, that you need to idle down. Heat soak can burn off oil in the turbo bearings and oil supply passages and leave behind hardened residue which can eventually block passages and hinder heat transfer between surfaces. Not so much about slowing the turbo down before the oil supply is cut off, but cooling it down so there is not a big heat soak which cooks the oil.

    I usually shut off all accessories and fast idle for a minute or to add a littlle extra recharge to the batteries before parking.
  18. frostservices

    frostservices Member
    Messages: 63

    Well if what is said about the transmission pump is correct maybe on warm ups you should be taking your auto out of park to. just a thought.
  19. murphyslaw

    murphyslaw Senior Member
    Messages: 443

    you are right about the dodge tranny thing. My employees and I always start the rig put it in net. and let it warm up. we also chock the tires to prevent accidents.
  20. C&J Snow Plowin

    C&J Snow Plowin Junior Member
    Messages: 18

    Cool Down

    This would be the first I heard of it. If you have a Turbo Diesel the recemend you give the turbo a few minute cool down but not 20 minutes. as far as a gas motor goes no.:cool: