2. Both gas and diesel are fine... BUT if i had a choice... its diesel hands down... I would go with the 7.3 Powerstroke... 210 HP and a 490 torque (least thats what it used to be) That motor is a monster...
I tend to go for light weight as opposed to raw power. It's rare to be limited by engine power, usually traction is what is hard to find. Used to use a 302 TBI in a K1500, power was adequate. Now have 350 Vortec in a K2500, actual pushing power is not noticeably different, the wheels still spin before the engine wimps out. One thing I have never liked with either big block or diesel power is the extra weight on the front wheels. It's not unusual to be in the mud as soon as you leave the pavement, either early or late season storms. Under those conditions it's easy to go down far enough to drag the plow frame. Don't need the anchor under the hood. So,, in my opinion once you can spin the tires you've got all the horsepower you need.
That is why Alan runs S10s and I run a Toyota. Plenty of power for small to moderate plowing. Only in the big lots and roads do the big trucks really show the benefits of all that power. Traction is key.
I have the new 8.1 big block and love it. It still amazes me the acceleration this thing has. Not that it helps me with most of the work I do, but it sure is fun on the on ramp of a freeway. It's like driving a sports car that can work like a dog.
1 ,the base 6.0 liter 300hp/370 ft lbs torque is more than enough for plowing snow.Its far and away the stongest base engine out there.
2, again for plowing the 6.0 is probably the best,all things considered,if cost is an object.its cheap,it gets the job done,and its light,leaving your front end happier,and the steering nice,and light,the heavier engine make for heavier steering with heavy plow,If cost is not an issue,id get the Duramax diesel,or 8100 Vortec,since i tow a lot,where the bigger engine is well worth having.
I have to agree... if plowing snow is your main objective then the 6.0 is more than enough. My dad had an 1984 K20 with a 292 and a 4 speed manual that had lots of pulling power. He didn't have a plow on it but I know it would have handled one just fine. If you plan to do a lot of towing then the 8.1 or the diesel might be a better choice. But for general use and plowing the 6.0 will do the job and save you enough money to pay for the plow.
I plow with a Duramax equiped truck. Love it. Smooth and powerful. I liked it so much I bought another one. 01' GMC Ext-cab, short box, 4x4, SLT. An 8' or 8.5' is going on this truck in the fall. If its in your budget, get a Duramax.
I used to plow with gassers but got tired of watching the gus with the diesels plow twice as much with half the effort. I'm not saying it can't be done with a gasser but you will be alot happier with a diesel
We plow with both Chevy's and Dodges all Diesels. As work trucks I would have to say the Dodges win hands down. I would love to move over to the new Chevy's with the Duramax but their reverse is just to slow. As far as the Diesels go, depending on the snow depth I can run approx 15 hours on one tank. The gas machines will go thru at least 2 tanks during that time.
Exactly how fast do you guys need to go in reverse. I never top 10 mph in reverse and I think The allison will be able to do that.
I used to plow with, and still have one in the fleet with the old 4 sp and granny low, that truck is way slow in reverse, and yet we have no problems plowing with it. I just dont get that argument.
i was worried about plowing and going into reverse with the allison and duramax, but after the only one storm we got, it didnt make that much of a difference. it backed up just fine, and you get used to it. i didnt really even pay any attention to my speed, but i was going just as fast as i did when i had a gas chevy.
I have to agree with Dino here... speed and snow plowing are not a good combination. When I was learning to plow snow I was told to plow in low range. I don't usually do that unless the the grade is steep or the snow is deep but I don't plow fast either. I think it's too hard on a truck and dangerous too. I don't have an Alison but I can't imagine it would be that slow in reverse.
I dont think the reverse speed is the biggest problem,I have driven 4 different duramaxes,and all 4 did the same thing,the time delay going into reverse is just to long,from the time you throw the lever,it takes 3-4 seconds to go into Reverse,they all did it,and it isnt a huge deal,but my Dodge goes in instantly,no delay,Im could be backup up 50 ft before the allsion is engaged.that time adds up over 6-10 hrs,.The part thats bad is most drivers,who dont care,or own the truck,wont wait,they;ll step on the thottle,and bam,it will slam into gear,this will kill the trans /U joints,and rear over time.The 4L80E has a delay,but its very small,about 1-2 seconds,whick is fine.Reverse speed while a little slow is OK,i think it'll go 15 easy in reverse,all my bigger accounts have 5 mph speed limits anyway(no that theyre enforced),but i wouldnt want to be going 20+ in reverse.