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Half ton setup

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by physics0361, Sep 9, 2001.

  1. physics0361

    physics0361 Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    I am setting up my 94' GMC 1500 (8' bed) for plowing this winter and I need some advice. The engine is a 305 mated to a 4 speed automatic. Stock tire size are LT 225/75-16. The front springs are the optional heavy duty type from the factory.

    Are larger 245/75-16 tires too much for this 305 to turn? The mileage is 92k and the engine seems good and tight. My thoughts are to use Cooper or Kelly LT245/75-16 AT tires with a B&M tranny cooler, 7.5' plow, and load boosters if necessary. I am painting the under-body and under carraige with SEM Rust Shield to prevent salt corroision.

    Should I plow small driveways in Low range? Low range would definetely help when pushing deep snow but how much plowing should be done in Low range? The area I live in is quite hilly and the snow tends to drift often.

    Thanks for any advice.
  2. SlimJim Z71

    SlimJim Z71 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,031

    Welcome to Plowsite!

    I plow with a half-ton as well, only mine is an extended-cab. Load boosters on the front are definately a good idea. As far as tires go, going to a bigger tire size may rob a little power, but you should still not have a problem plowing. I don't even think you'll need low-range very much. I would however suggest that you consider a SnoWay plow. They're lighter, and much easier on the front end of your truck. I have a 7.5' SnoWay (the steel version) and it has worked great for me. You can see pictures of it on my web-site if you're interested (just click on the www button below this post.)

    A trans-cooler is a MUST. I went the same route that you mentioned, a B&M 19,000-lb. GVW cooler. It was easy to install, and they help immensely.

    Plowing in low range is okay on long straight runs with heavy snow, but it can get very difficult to maneuver as the gears tend to bind a little more in low. When you get out there plowing, you'll figure out what works best for you.

    Good luck!

  3. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    Our first plow truck was an 89, K1500 GMC, 305, OD automatic and 3.73 rears. Do you know what the differnetial ratios is in your truck? If not, go to your Chevy dealer and have them check the codes in the glove box. I think the standard ratio was 3.42 in them, but I'm not sure other than 3.73 was an option.

    305 is not an issue for power, you'll lose traction long before you run out of ponies. As far as low range, unless you like to back up real slow, why bother?

    Go with Cooper WeatherMaster tires in 245/75 and you'll have all the traction and capacity you need. That's from experience, tried several other brands and they just don't cut it like the Coopers do. If your area doesn't get much accumulation you may be ok with lesser tires, but if you regularly see snow that is 2' deep (accumulation, not one storm) you'll need all the bite you can get if you back off the beaten path.

    Hang a SnoWay plow on there and go pushing.

    Contrary to many of the opinions you'll find here, I never felt I was undergunned when we were running the 1500. Currently we've got three pickups in the fleet, 79 K2500/9'1" SnoWay vee and two S-10s, an 88 and a 91, both of which are carrying 8' SnoWay straight blades. That's right, 8 foot plow on S-10s, for several years now.

    You've got truck enough, treat it right and you can move snow just fine.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2001
  4. SlimJim Z71

    SlimJim Z71 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,031

    Key phrase... "Treat it right"

    Complete stop before changing gears, keep up with maintenance, try to avoid turning the steering wheel when you're sitting still, and don't go plowing your heart out and then turn off your truck right away... let it idle for a few minutes to cool down the transmission. Also, if you're worried about the abuse the front end will take, look into getting a polyurethane cutting edge... talk to plowking35, he'll set you up.

  5. physics0361

    physics0361 Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    I do appreciate all of the advice I have recieved. Now I can make some educated decisions based on experience and knowledge rather than advertising hype. Judge:
  6. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382