1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

How Many Wheels Should Spin?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by edrenckh, Dec 11, 2003.

  1. edrenckh

    edrenckh Member
    Messages: 61

    I have a 2003-F350 PSD, limited slip differential. Automatic hubs set to "Locked". In 4WD.

    Pushing snow up to the 'end', truck comes to a stop and wheels start spinning. Only one front and one back is spinning while the truck is not moving.

    I would have thought all 4 wheels would spin, certainly the back two.

    Is this normal??
  2. oldmankent

    oldmankent PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,322

    You're in 4wd hi right? I've got a limited slip, and the thing has to really be moving forward to activate. Most of the time one rear wheel will spin. In 4wd hi you have one rear drive tire, and one front drive tire. sometimes your limited slip will give you two rear drive tires in 4wd hi. When your truck is in 4wd low all wheels are drive wheels, and they should all spin. You have to keep in mind that the auto hubs I believe disengage for a 1/4 turn when backing up, and then reengage. Hope I clarified for you, Nick.
  3. edrenckh

    edrenckh Member
    Messages: 61

    Thanks! I was in 4WD High.

    It just surprised me that the rear was only spinning one. And I wasn't sure if there was a problem with my front end.

    Next time I'll try 4WD low and see if I get more 'push'.
  4. ggwash21

    ggwash21 Senior Member
    Messages: 132

    i would watch how fast you go in 4 lo.
  5. cocco78

    cocco78 Senior Member
    Messages: 158

    No, thats not right at all. The only difference between 4hi and 4low is a lower gear ratio in the t-case. It does nothing as far as how many wheels spin. If your in 4hi or 4low you will only have one front tire that recieves power. The factory limited slip in the rear is not like a "locker" and will not transmit power equally to both rear tires. If one tire starts to slip it transmits power to the other wheel.

    I recomend plowing in 4low to save stress on your transmission. The engine and trans do not have to work as hard when the t-case is in low.
  6. Craftybigdog

    Craftybigdog Senior Member
    Messages: 238

    He is right. When your truck starts to spin a tire lets say the rear you have already excedded your clutch packs in your limited slip and they brake loose so now you have a open diff. Then the tire with the least amount of traction will push you foward. Same goes with the front. The only way to fix this is put in a locker like a detroit. Then no matter what when the drive shaft is putting power to the rear wheels both will turn the same. I had a older chevy that I put a detroit in and when we went playing in the mud usually I stayed in 2wd while everyone else was in 4wd it made a big difference!
  7. t4dodge

    t4dodge Member
    Messages: 86

    One trick I've used when stuck - umm, I mean when I do not have good traction is to apply the e-brake a little along with the gas... The resistance of the brake on the wheel that is doing all the non-work (spinning) will help transfer some power over to the wheel not in use...
  8. Crumm

    Crumm Senior Member
    Messages: 529

    The only time I have been temporarily detained is when I am pushing a big pile in a low spot. Once in a while when I go in too deep the old truck doesn't want to come back out. A little trick I have found is to angle the blade as I apply a little throttle in reverse - Has worked every time so far.

    I am new to plowing but not to four-wheeling so my opinion is expressed with little experience but I would not recommend lockers for plowing. It seems to me that with all the maneuvering they would cause too much binding. Just watch what you are doing and the 2 wheels will get the job done(1 on front & 1 on rear).
  9. hoot

    hoot Senior Member
    from SE Pa.
    Messages: 156

    Anybody get stuck and use a V to scoop themselves out?

    In other words... put the truck in reverse and use the V mode to help push the truck backwards?
  10. Remsen1

    Remsen1 Senior Member
    Messages: 188

    Hoot, I don't have a V plow but I have done this with a straight plow. I will work if you aren't stuck too bad, and if you have a pile to push against

    Cocco78, You're kinda wrong too... if the differential slips, the power does not go to the tire with traction, it goes to the tire without traction.

    T4dodge, I'm going to try that!
  11. CPSS

    CPSS Senior Member
    Messages: 334

    I also have a Ford, F-250. The limited slip on our trucks is one of the worse ones out there. Other than that I love the truck.
  12. cocco78

    cocco78 Senior Member
    Messages: 158

    I was refering to the LS, that is what it tries to do until you get to the point of overloading the clutches. I've been 4wheeling for a few years and am currently running a Jeep with a rear locker. A full locking diff is what you want for maximum traction.
  13. GripTruk

    GripTruk Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    Let's just be clear here, folks, don't think that just because 2 wheels spin when you get stuck that you are just dragging the other wheels around the rest of the time. If you are in four wheel drive, then you have four wheels pushing...UNTIL you break traction. Then it get's a little tricky.
    I can't get into the whole locker debate now but I WILL say that there is no difference between 4high and 4low as far as front and rear differentials are concerned except on maybe a few select vehicles which may have a locker that only engages in low, but that it is the exception by far.

    Last edited: Dec 13, 2003
  14. I have a Torsen diff on my ranger and it's a bit better than a regular limited slip diff. So if I, *ever* got stuck, and one wheel was slipping, power would be sent to the wheel that gripping. The Torsen uses gears instead of clutches.

    "... the Torsen differential delivers an increased amount of the applied torque to the drive wheel having better traction." ;)

    Like GripTruk says this can get sorta confusing
    This might help explain better, it compares an open diff, posi (limited slip) and Torsen diff: http://www.angelfire.com/my/fastcar/diffey.html
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2003