Engine Size

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Alan, Mar 4, 2000.

  1. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    I see a lot of talk about diesel power on here. Or big cube gas power. Once you generate enough torque at the wheels to induce wheelspin, what good does more power do for you?<p>I've plowed with 350 GM up front as well as 305, both TBI engines. The 350 had 4.10 rear, the 305, 3.73. I saw NO practical difference in power at the plow. Currently running 350/3.73 Posi rear, seems like a good match. Also running 2 S-10s with 4.3/3.42 rears. Neither my son, myself, or our extra driver can see any difference in pushing power between the three trucks. These are all running 8' Sno-Way, so no difference in the plow load. The only time we see any difference is when we're in the pile, stacking, and the 350 will spin itself in easier. Nothing gained by that.<p>Only place I can see an advantage with diesel/big block might be the extra weight on the front axle gicing you a bit more bite with the front tires.<p>Now, maybe in 1-ton configuration, with dump body and spreader the extra power might be usable to get rolling, is it really that much of a help? <p>Personally, I don't like to plow with much extra load in the truck. I feel that the extra weight adds greatly to wear on transmission or clutch. I prefer to salt early in a storm, then plow once there is enough to push, and salt again after it is over, IF necessary. Usually a good anti-iceing application early will preclude the need for de-icing.
  2. steveair

    steveair Senior Member
    Messages: 176

    All i can say that in pickups and mason dumps the diesel power is only needed when the snow really gets heavy. I plow a runway and we use big equipment. We have 4 trucks with 10 foot plows, a walter snow fighter with a 20 foot plow, and this year, added a small chevy 350 mason dump wiht a 9 foot fisher to the line up. It has the turbo diesel, and it gets bogged down. We also have a 92 dodge with a 360 and used that once. It died out there pushing that kind of weight. Only could take a 2 foot cut and still was slugging down the runway at 15 miles an hour. The chevy diesel has a 5 speed man. and will max out doing 35 only taking a 3 foot cut. <p>Just from my own experiences, the gas engines are probably fine for residential work. If you were doing road work or parking lots though, and the snow gets heavy, the diesel would be my choice.
  3. steveair

    steveair Senior Member
    Messages: 176

    Oh ya, if you want to see the walter with the 20 ft plow go to www.mmuair.com and click on the pictures icon on the left and click on walter snow fighter. If you never seen equipment like this, its big. Love driving it myself. The tranny just went out last storm and cost 11000 to fix. OUCH. If you really want to see big stuff, check out your local airport if you live up north. Syracuse has a 35 footer...unbelievable. Just something i'd mention for you guys that love seeing big equipment...<br>
  4. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    I don't buy a diesel for plowing. If my plow trucks just sat around in the off season they would be gas. Only they are used all year long, and sometimes they drive 100 miles to a job site if not more with a trailer, or a heavy load. There diesel makes all the difference, if the truck was going to plow i used to buy gas because untill 99 Ford's transmission couldn't take the power of the 7.3. I have noticed a big fuel savings by useing diesel in all the new plow trucks. If your pushing a lot of long runs, and trying to stack high at the end, diesel makes all the difference.<p>Geoff
  5. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    Steve what type of edges do you use on your equip? And 35 mph pushing a blade of snop isnt to bad for any truck.<br>Dino<p>----------<br> Professional Ice and Snow Management <br>Products:Services:Equipment www.sima.org
  6. steveair

    steveair Senior Member
    Messages: 176

    Hey plowking,<p>We use steal edges here. Our runways are grooved so the poly ones would wear out real quick. We got through this winter (NJ) with the same edges on all the plows, but need to change them now all. <p>35 isn't a bad speed, but for us plowing is a<br>different game. Our big trucks,(mainly chevy C50 and ford f800) have big 10 foot plows and can take a 6 foot bite doing 30-35. The name of the game is speed for us. The runway is 150 ft wide so we need to throw it as far and as quick as possible. We can't have a windrow of over 2 ft on the edges, so if it does pile up, or if the snow storm is calling for more than 3 - 4 inches about, we have to use our blower. We try not too bring that beast out in less we have too.<p>An example of wear on the blades i give you is with tires. All our vehicles (pickups and <br>ford explorers) go on the runway everday. The average tire life we get is between 3000 and 7000 miles. Amazing how abrasive it is. If its that hard on the tires, you can imagine how it is on the edges.
  7. Lazer

    Lazer Senior Member
    Messages: 399

    Because most snowplowing takes place at 25mph or less, all you need to do is plow in low range.<p>A V-6 gas has more effective torque in low than a big diesel.
  8. yortengel

    yortengel Senior Member
    Messages: 123

    I run a 350 Gas, It works great for the small lots and driveways that I do. I would go to diesel if I had bigger accounts. Just have to remember that they cost more to fix. I know that GM has had a lot of problems with there injector pumps, they do carry an extended warranty though, that is no help when it breaks at the beginning of the storm.
  9. yortengel

    yortengel Senior Member
    Messages: 123

    Hey Steveair, Very nice truck. I also liked your rescue. I fly out of PHN in Michigan, They also have a very large plow and a large snowblower that interchange onto a large front end loader. Really a very neat machine.<br>they don't have any small equipment,I have to us my truck to plow around the plane to get it out.
  10. phillyplowking1

    phillyplowking1 Senior Member
    Messages: 412

    I run all diesels except one ford f250 v10
  11. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    I got a 4cyl Toyota that will push just as well as my Ford F350. When plowing I think it about traction more than torque or power. I spin the tires, even on the Toyota, long before I will bog down in most cases.
  12. nsmilligan

    nsmilligan PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 704

    I run big block gas, because my trucks see little highway miles, so I'd never see a payback for the extra cost of the diesel. Pushing V-plows in heavy snow requires torque and horsepower. My Vortec 454 gives better fuel mileage plowing then the 350 TBI I had, my Dodge V 10 uses less fuel then my buddies older 318. The big blocks just don't have to work as hard as a small block to move the same amount of snow. A big block can work slow and gentle, where the small block has to be reved higher and build a little speed on order to have momentum to push heavy snow, and slow and gentle usually means less spinning out.

  13. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    As far as plowing goes,the diesel's advantage is weight,and fuel economy,diesels also have smooth power delivery,so they start out without wheel spin,then as the load builds up,the turbo starts to work,then the torque takes over,there is no sudden burst of power,in fact a 350 will spin itself and get stuck,while a diesel just crawls right out without spinning a tire.I only have one diesel,its my daily driver,it gets 10-20K miles a yr,with 5-10K having towing,and or plow miles,so i feel its worth it to me.Alan,once your above plowing speed,the diesel's advantage becomes greater the faster you go.A trailer that my 2500GMC pulled fine stability wise,made the 350 work hard,in drive,and struggle,clearly the enigne was being overworked.the Cummins in my Dodge,even when stock,didnt even faze it,it yanked on it like nothing,never had to kick down for hills.I dont know why either,but my Dodge diesel empty ,can out push either of my GMC's2500's when they have the V box full,is it the diesel? I dont know,it just puts the power to the ground better,thats all i know.The dodge empty weight with plow,8000,the GMC's are 8500-9000 with spreader full,the GMC's dont run out of power they just start to break traction,and slide off the windrow,the Dodge goes whereever you aim it further than the GMC's.
  14. landscaper3

    landscaper3 Senior Member
    Messages: 309

    We ran all gas engines up to 2 years ago then ran 50% of trucks diesel. We save approx. 15 gallons of fuel each week on diesel over our gassers, they handle weight (more take off, pulling power and plane power. Down fall at winter time diesel fuel is around 10cents more. Diesel engines have higher maintenance costs (oil 14 plus qts oil changes) We put alot of miles on our diesels from summer maintenance to plowing and we found LARGE savings on fuel and performance. We do run 454, 360, 305, 460 motors and can tell you the 460 and 454 are only used when needed (plowing or emergency) but the are much cheaper to buy and cheaper to maintain. If you run average or below milage a gasser is all you need but if you put above average miles or tow or haul HEAVY loads we perfer the loud clanky diesels. Making a choice in gassers or diesels can be hard and need to research your fuel, maintenance, towing and hauling loads and more to justify a descision. A 305 will plow snow just fine but do you want to haul 5000lbs of sand on back and is it real hilly in your area, theres alot to think about when making this choice. We have both and are glad we have both each one has a specific choir and makes us money doing so.
  15. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,541

    I bought my 6.5TD to haul my 2 yd sander. Nothing to compare it to, but it hauls a full load up a pretty steep hill with no effort.
  16. Hmebuildr

    Hmebuildr Senior Member
    Messages: 115

    300 CI ford 6 cyc with a 4 speed tranny with granny first and 4.10 gearing I dont need speed for doing driveways and nothing stops it. Put 400 pounds of salt/salt in the bed and away I go. My only wish was that it was a short bed I have a few drives that it get kinda tight in.
  17. Yardworks

    Yardworks Senior Member
    Messages: 143

    I have a 454 and the new 8100. I tow a lot of weight with trailers in the summer, so I'd rather have the the big blocks. They don't have to work so hard all the time. I've used a lot of 350's also for hard trailer towing and they are always just screaming. I guess there is probably not much advantage to plowing, but I have never gone wrong with more power.
  18. MTCK

    MTCK Senior Member
    Messages: 355

    Not the best picture, but man, can these things throw some snow. How far will they fling it? (anyone who might know?) We've been having lots of great snow (nice and light) and the guy who plows our driveway has been having lots of fun with his new Dodge 3500 cummins with 8'2" (I think, I'm here for the chevy truck talk :) ) Boss V. Takes him about 1/2 the passes it did with his old straight 8 foot blade.