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Auto or Manual

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by PlowinTheSnow, Dec 20, 2007.

  1. PlowinTheSnow

    PlowinTheSnow Junior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 14

    Hello I'm new to the site as well as the plowing industry.
    My question is which is better to plow with a automatic or a standard truck.
    I have two truck choices to put my plow on one is a '74 F-250 with a manual trans or a
    '77 F-150 with an auto trans.
    Any input would be appreciated.
  2. Bowtieguy

    Bowtieguy Member
    from CT
    Messages: 57

    I have also just started and i plow with a 3 speed. In my opnion a standard is a stronger trans. I have a few cust with very steep driveways and with a granny low i can just motor up with little effort and extra strain on my truck. You will be busier in the cab, and i do get out and stretch that clutch leg a bit. I do some sub work as well and even in the large lots i am never out of first gear. Just don't ride the clutch and you'll be fine. I would go with the F-250 as it's a beefier truck and i think it will serve you better. My .02
  3. jjklongisland

    jjklongisland Senior Member
    Messages: 470

    Last year I got rid of my 84 Ramcharger with a manual for an 89 Ram with an Auto Tranny. I think it all depends what type of accounts you plow. I plow schools and churches and the manual really didnt bother me that much but I really only plow for 10 hours max... Now with my ram it is alot easier having an auto but I dont feel that I have as much control... When I had the manual tranny when pushing snow I got used to knowing when to clutch in and let the snow slow me down. Plus the granny gear is great (really only used 1st 2nd and reverse... I am sure there is more stress on an automatic tranny then a manual but the convienience is there.

    I agree with bowtie guy, go with the f250 but just make sure you hop out and stretch that leg a little...

    just my 2 cents, I am curious though what other people prefer...
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2007
  4. PlowinTheSnow

    PlowinTheSnow Junior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 14

    I was just woried about wearing my clutch out from using it to much
  5. NoFearDeere

    NoFearDeere PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,724

    AUTO for me....nothing else:nod:
  6. jjklongisland

    jjklongisland Senior Member
    Messages: 470

    I thought I would wear out my clutch, plowed for two years with the manual Ramcharger with over 140k on the clock and it did fine... I didnt know when or if the clutch had ever been replaced... As long as you dont ride the crap out of the clutch she should do fine especially if you start off in 1st... I wouldnt sweat it... A clutch in a manual transmission is cheaper to replace then rebuilding an automatic tranny that blows up...
  7. PlowinTheSnow

    PlowinTheSnow Junior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 14

    Hears the truck I know its 2wd but I put about 1000 pounds of weight in the back and have some mean digger tires with chanes on the back. Havent got stuck yet!

  8. packey

    packey Member
    Messages: 97

    skip the 2wd and go to a 4x4 especailly if you are buying it to plow with. As far as the manual or stick it depends on you. If you are looking at the older fords I woul say a 1/2 would be ok with a 7ft 6 plow. especially if it has a granny gear in it.
  9. PlowinTheSnow

    PlowinTheSnow Junior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 14

    Well 2wd is all I have, and I cant afford to buy another truck. If I make enough money this year maby Ill buy a newer 4wd for next year.
  10. Bowtieguy

    Bowtieguy Member
    from CT
    Messages: 57

    I agree with packey. stick with a 4x4 if you can. Unless your doing flat commercial lots 2 wheel would probably be ok. But with residentials you never know. I have a multi family home i do with an alley along the side to the dumpster. The alley is a little wider than my plow and I have about 9' on either side of the dumpster to push the snow. Well there's a slope on one side of it and i dropped the front end over it. I was spinning to get out...if i didn't have 4x4 i was done right there. Just good insurance. BTW my truck has a 454 with 60k and 3 speed stick with 165k never been rebuilt. If you go auto just take care of it. Put the largest tranny cooler in it you can. A larger pan wouldn't hurt either. Don't jump from foward to reverse without stopping first. Treat it good and it should last.
  11. J&R Landscaping

    J&R Landscaping PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,202

    I would get a manual tranny. Little more work but like everyone says, don't ride the clutch and you'll be fine!

    DUSTYCEDAR Junior Member
    from S.E.PA
    Messages: 15

    shift baby shift
  13. GL&M

    GL&M Senior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 223

    I prefer an auto. I have both but the stick is in my back up truck It's only a matter of time till you get stuck with a 2wd.
  14. Mark Witcher

    Mark Witcher Senior Member
    Messages: 605

    How about saving your money until you can buy a 4x4 and put a proper plow on it. That 1/2 ton 2wd ford aint going to cut it. Sure you could push some small ,level lots with little snow on them if you got back end loaded with gravel,chains on and a little luck.And hope to hell you never get the plow hung up on the snow pile or a tire drops into a hole. Wrecker charges arent cheap. Dont waste the effort on that setup.
  15. Zack1978

    Zack1978 Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 82

    YEs x2

  16. PlowinTheSnow

    PlowinTheSnow Junior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 14

    It should work for the jobs I have lined up, Im doing mostly gas stations, church's and a couple of small grocery stores.
  17. TEX

    TEX Senior Member
    Messages: 606

    id be real worried about that old 2wd. with all that weight up front if you get the plow burried and the front tires over a mound of snow........now what? i feel your position its all you have. what are you going to do when it breaks gas stations are open pretty much every day all day and some all nite. you should really get a 4X4

    and id go with the auto
  18. ridektm

    ridektm Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    Hey - I've got a '78 just like yours 2wd and "3 on the tree" - nice truck!

    That said scrap the plans to plow with it. I just started plowing too - a church lot and some driveways. I've had my 3/4ton 4x4 stuck on a few occasions, not to mention a few extra close calls. Take whatever you have into or plan to put into a plow and look for a cheap truck/plow combo. You'll be way ahead. If your like me you can't wait to plow, but that 2wd will ruin it for you.

    At the very least (if you don't listen to the responses) you must have someone with a 4x4 (preferrably with a plow) to back you up and be available to help when you get stuck.

    Best of Luck!
  19. hadley-plow-guy

    hadley-plow-guy Member
    Messages: 31

    I've plowed with both a manual an auto and they both have there advantages. In a 3/4 or 1 ton the auto is plenty strong enough, with proper cooling that is. But with an auto the trans can't be counted on to control your speed. That means using the brakes which tend to lockup in the rear if your not running any ballast. That could pull your arss end around and make it harder to back out straight.

    I prefer a manual to help with the speed control. Although it is more work to shift. You don't have to worry about the tranny getting too hot with a manual.

    Not riding the clutch and knowing how to actually drive a manual is very important. Alot of people know how to shift a manual, but not how to drive a manual. But with practice I feel the manual is the way to go. But be prepared to be very busy at times with a manual. There will come a time when you wish you had 4 arms.:drinkup:

    Oh, and go with a 4wd truck. You will be able to do a better and faster job. The money you pay up front will more than recoup itself.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2007
  20. MileHigh

    MileHigh PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,827


    98 F-150 4x4 w/timbrens
    Meyer ST-7.5