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Can't keep from getting stuck

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Plowing Cowboy, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. Plowing Cowboy

    Plowing Cowboy Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    I've always run Chevy 4x4 pickups, and very rarely had a problem getting stuck. This year we added a 1995 F-250 extended cab Powerstroke with an 8' Meyer to the fleet. I don't know if it's the added weight of the engine and 8' plow, the extended wheelbase, or if it's the weather this year, but it seems like I can't keep it going in a straight line. I plow quite a few residential drives, and most of them are far from flat. The biggest problem is that if you are trying at all to back up any sort of incline, the front end takes off, and with these narrow roads, it's tough to keep it out of the ditch. Anyone ever run into a problem like this?
  2. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Is the truck 4wd?
    What kind of tires, what condition?
    Automatic or stick?
    How much counterweight/ballast?
  3. SnowFakers

    SnowFakers Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 944

    The extra weight of the plow and diesel motor should help to keep the front end heading straight, my buddies is just fine. He has a 8' Boss and only has problems with the rear end sliding around even with the sander in it
  4. Plowing Cowboy

    Plowing Cowboy Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    The truck is 4x4, 5 speed manual trans, 265/75R16 Firestone M/S about 75%. About 800# in the bed. I haven't had much problem with the rearend, but the front end acts like it's on skates sometimes. The only difference between this truck and the Chevys we run is tire width. I've always run 235/85R16's on them. I'm tempted to do the same on this truck.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
  5. L.I.Mike

    L.I.Mike Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    What 2cor517 said. Tires?
  6. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Firestone M&S? Not seeing them. Do you mean Firestone Destination M/T? Those would not be my first choice for plowing.......

    Tough to beat 235/85 tires on a plow truck. Get some snow tires like Cooper M&S, Mastercraft MSR, Blizzaks, etc.
  7. beanz27

    beanz27 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    Ball joints. I had this happen on my truck, my main driving truck is a 97 F250 Extended cab long box auto, and when I started having issues backing up in bad conditions, it was actually the ball joints. The axle on the 3/4 tons of those years is dumb, twin I beam crap. Bad design.
  8. Spool it up

    Spool it up Senior Member
    Messages: 912

    try atleast 800lbs of BALLAST or more
  9. beanz27

    beanz27 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    Another thing with these trucks, I still ballast with sandbags, I put 1500 pounds of sand in bags in the bed of my F250 5 speed gas with an 8.5 western Pro with wings. If I don't have that much it handles really ****** on the road.
  10. wondo

    wondo Senior Member
    Messages: 146

    Only traction issue I run into with me ECLB powerstroke super duty is no traction at all in the back when it's in 2 wheel. The powerstroke and 8' plow are a lot of weight in the front. I just throw it in 4 wheel and it's all good even when the salter is empty.
  11. Spool it up

    Spool it up Senior Member
    Messages: 912

    these tend to help

  12. Plowing Cowboy

    Plowing Cowboy Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    I think the wide tires are my biggest issue. Truck goes great in 4x4 most of the time. Just being nose down on a hill, the front end takes off. Headed to the tire shop this week for a set of 235's. Thanks for all the good advice.
  13. cet

    cet PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,257

    The 235/85/16 are a great choice.
  14. Spool it up

    Spool it up Senior Member
    Messages: 912

    have a happy new year cet
  15. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH PlowSite.com Addict
    from pa
    Messages: 1,143

    I have 245/75/16's on my Ford truck and they walked the truck up two steep private roads with the plow down! The narrower the tire, the faster and easier it can reach bare asphalt. The wide azz tires guys like to put on their trucks to look like Grave Digger are like floatation devices. You'll never get traction on a wide tire in snow.
  16. daman

    daman Member
    Messages: 69

    Looks like a BF? thats what i run, great tire for snow.
  17. Jim74

    Jim74 Member
    Messages: 50

    Had a friend switch to a ford from a Chevy and he didn't realize he had to manually lock the hubs and not just put it on with the lever on the floor.
  18. Plowing Cowboy

    Plowing Cowboy Junior Member
    Messages: 13

    I usually switch all of my pickups over to manual lockouts. I'm not fond of auto hubs. Not as strong and nothing but problems, and full time hubs wear front end parts too much. The only reason I haven't switched tires on this truck is the previous owner put 4 new ones on about a month before I bought the truck. I usually go with what our tire shop calls a "gumball mudder" recap. Good tires, good wear, and good traction for a pretty decent price. I had a set on the back of my 2wd, 1 ton service truck, and it went better in the winter than most 4x4's.
  19. A.M.Canfora

    A.M.Canfora Member
    Messages: 50

    It actually sounds like the twin beam front end in your truck needs to be rebuilt. A big sign of its shot is when your backing up and its all over the place. The ball joints and the bushing where it pivots wears and the truck front wheels do nothing but go straight. Its the down fall of the truck, I hated my Dana 50 so much that this year I put in a solid axle Dana 60. I lost the smooth ride the truck had on the highway but its a work truck so I don't mind the rougher ride
  20. jasonv

    jasonv PlowSite.com Addict
    from kannada
    Messages: 1,122

    The extra weight of the diesel engine and bigger plow should actually HELP with front end squirrlyness due to bad conditions. As the crap builds up, more weight stabilizes you and adds traction. 265 mm wide tires are definitely a bad choice for snow and ice. Couple those with, as others have mentioned, stoopid effin ford front end, and it'll be terrible. As directly above suggested, solid axle upgrade is probably the very best thing you could do to that truck, but this is FAR from an inexpensive upgrade. In fact, it would probably be cheaper to sell the truck and buy one that came with a solid axle from factory. That is, unless you're REALLY good at scrounging junk yards for parts, as well as fabrication.

    So your best bet is definitely narrower and better tires 235 or 245 mm wide, and make sure that all the front end parts are tight. If anything is loose, replace it. Also if in doubt, add more ballast.