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I have a Very Interesting Question, if anyone can answer it?? pls.

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by ghosttridder, Jan 30, 2006.

  1. ghosttridder

    ghosttridder Member
    Messages: 70

    Ok, i've heard numerous stories about possible transmission deteriation with snow plowing. Now, I just visited a toyota dealership, and they said that they would not cover any transmission default due to the plow that I have installed, even the engine if it's overheating they wouldn't cover it.

    I was like whaa.. but not surprised.

    Here's the thing, when i'm plowing, and I have the plow Blade down on float, and it's pushing massive loads of snow and i'm just about to hit the edge to make the snow fly or pile up...

    has anyone ever thought of just shifting from drive to neutral right before you hit the edge to push the snow?? wouldn't that save your transmission from any type of damage and deteriation?
  2. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    The dealer is probably right about the warranty. Buy a truck with a plow preppakage if you want a warranty. You can check and see, call toyota and ask. Have your VIN number handy.
    As for trans deterioration, all transmissions deteriorate every time you drive. If you don't want a piece of equipment to wear, leave it in the garage. How long it lasts is up to you. Slamming in to things doesn't help. shifting from drive to reverse before a dead stop is really bad. Get it serviced regular. Go to the equipment repair or toyota forum for more detailed info.
  3. Dirt_Werx

    Dirt_Werx Senior Member
    from MASS
    Messages: 129

    bad idea

    like basher said, equipment is made to be used and yes that will effect its performance just like everything you own from the wear and tear of tires and breaks to that of engines and transmissions, but thats to be expected and they are built with that in mind. the dealership is smart to decline warrenty service to plow trucks whenever they can because plowing can really stress a vechical and if they were fixing all that stuff for free they would go broke. So heres the deal keep up on the maintinance of the vechical from tires to breaks to fluids and filters and just take general good care of the truck and it will hold up just fine, as for the transmision, have it serviced regularly, MAKE SURE you come to a complete stop before shifting from drive to reverse and vice versa. slow down at the end of a pass dont just slam into the pile, have an auxilairy tranny cooler installed and a guage to moniter the tranny fliund temp, dont let it get to hott. you do not want to take the truck out of drive and do what is known as a "nuetral drop" because you are only causing more wear and tear, where as the tranny will adjust it self while pushing to its own desired gear based on the conditions, just leave it in drive or one of the lower gears while plowing, dont keep switiching. good luck and feel free to ask any further questions.
  4. ghosttridder

    ghosttridder Member
    Messages: 70

    thanks for the post guys, very helpful information dert werx and baster. One question though, is that, i'll have it in drive when i'm plowing, then right before i shove it off, i'll switch to neutral. Does anyone think this might be a good strategy to take the entire load off a transmission?
  5. tjlands

    tjlands Senior Member
    Messages: 579

    I use strictly GMC trucks with the snow plow prep package. Half of my plows were installed by the dealer before delivery the other half from an outside plow dealer. Never in 18 years has the dealers questioned a warranty issue because of a snowplow.
    As far as the tranny issue, you guys will not like my solution. Never opened or serviced the tranny until 100,000 miles, all my trucks. Had one tranny go at 165,000 on a 98 2500, that is it.
    My wife had some idiot at the Quick Lube talk her into servicing her Windstar tranny at 40k. It went at 44k. These new transmissions in the heavy duty trucks are awesome and in my opinion should be left sealed.
    One of my subs had a new F350 tranny go at 12k after having the dealer service it at 10k.
    Alot of people say I am lucky with this but after
    14- 15 trucks going 150k-200k without an issue I think I have some knowledge about transmissions. All these trucks pulled trailers for work and plowed in the winter.
  6. mrplowdude

    mrplowdude Senior Member
    Messages: 315

    I'm not 100% sure but I doubt shifting will help.
  7. gene gls

    gene gls PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 481

    You should be pushing in low gear not drive.........
  8. Chris-R

    Chris-R Senior Member
    Messages: 321

    Hey tjlands. That's interesting. I had a Ford Bronco with a 7 1/2 foot Fisher plow. I never did anything to the transmission and sold the truck at about 80,000 miles. It was problem-free up to the day I sold it. I bought a new truck last year and was thinking of doing a transmission service after the winter. Now I don't know what to do :dizzy:
  9. ghosttridder

    ghosttridder Member
    Messages: 70

    good answer gene gls, i think i will push it in H4L, which is four wheel drive low tranny which only has i believe two gears it shifts off of; wow, i never thought of that. thanks again
  10. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    I'am not sure what you mean by "shove it off" Iam assuming you mean stacking at the end of a pass or punching through deeper snow?

    No, shifing to neutral is not a good idea. The less you shift the better. If your breaking a drift or stacking, you NEED to give it some gas at that time, neutral will not help you any. Its not a good idea to build up speed then drop into neutral just before hitting a pile and relying on momentum for two reasons 1) is that you are putting the tranny under stress by accelerating hard with a load in front and then suddenly relieving that stress only to incur more when you inevitiably need to shift back to drive because your truck has stopped dead. 2) While not nearly as bad as changing direction at speed, you still dont want to make a habit of making abrupt changes to the tranny while its under a heavy load. Pick a gear (I use "D" or sometimes "2") and let the tranny manage itself until you need to change direction. I have found that the transmission manages itself better then I do.

    I don't mean this in a bad way but just to help more people answer the question; have you ever plowed snow before? If you have you know that you won't go anywhere in neutral with any amount of snow in front of your plow. The key to plowing is SLOW AND STEADY no sudden shifts, or acceleration/deceleration.

    As far as the warrenty issues, they still have to prove that said problem is a direct result of plowing. My approach when dealing with a "questionable plow vehicle" would be to not even mention plowing to the dealer. Install a plow and then if a problem comes up and can be fixed under warrenty bring it to the dealer. The guy at the desk knows nothing about the plow and in my experience, the techs working on the vehicles are not looking for plow mounts and even if they do see it what are the odds of them mentioning it to someone else. They just do what they are given and are usually too busy to worry about small things. If pressed, I would tell them it has never plowed, its just a back up. They will back down in most cases. You don't seem to have that luxury so you will have to stand your ground if something comes up, its worth a try at least, I know of multiple cases where it has worked.

    Take proper precautions, add an aux tranny cooler and a tranny temp gauge and learn to plow in a way that will not stress your truck as much. Take the proper preventative measures and you should not have any transmission failures.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2006
  11. THe best option

    To be honest, the best thing that you can do is go to a local tranny shop and have them put in a shift kit. This will make it slam into gears more (I knwo that sounds bad). By slamming, the plates won't slip at all. The slipping in between gears (especially while pushing or towing) is one major cause of premature failure.

    tjlands: I TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY disagree with your theroy. Any truck that is used to plow or tow a lot should be brought to a DEALER or CERTIFIED TRANNY SHOP about every 12,000-15,000 miles to get a COMPLETE FLUSH. This is not just a tranny fluid change by dropping the pan. This is where they unhook the cooler lines and hook it up to a machine and cycle the fluid COMPLETLY out of the system! Hey if it works for you, keep it up. But this is what I always remember: If never touching your tranny was the best thing for it, then the maker would tell you to never touch your tranny. They all want the most reliable truck!
  12. ghosttridder

    ghosttridder Member
    Messages: 70

    You are on the dot with that guess there, that's what i was trying to explain. Yes as a matter of fact i've done enough plowing, this year as a rookie, but yea i've done quite a few major lots, with a crash course from a trainer. But don't let yourself under estimate me, when the job is done, the job is completed :D

    As for the toyota dealership, your right about one thing, don't mention it to them, yet as I went they're today one of the managers noticed it immediately, without me even saying anything.. and he mentioned it to me as if was indirectly telling me that my warranty is shot.. but they're always idiots at one dealer location or another, i just they don't label my particular truck as a plow on the computer or something like that..

    As for your advice on the tranny strategy, it's the best i've heard yet.. thanks.. i will definetly take a note of it.
  13. SwiftSnow&Salt

    SwiftSnow&Salt Member
    Messages: 51

    this reminds me of another tranny question....

    Should I drive/plow with Overdrive engaged or dis-engaged? Over the years I have heard both, just curious what everyone on here thinks. (same goes with pulling a trailer)

    Al Muisenga
  14. Elsewhere

    Elsewhere Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    Toyota plowing?

    Does Toyota even offer a Plowing package? I don't think they do.
    Must be why the have a problem covering under warrenty.
  15. scottL

    scottL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,613

    When pushing kill the overdrive. Should be in 3rd gear typically - not drive. Definetly do not drop it into neutral - bad stuff. I push into a pile and will pause a brief second or two until the rpm's drop to closer to an idel level.

    I take my truck in every spring. One year I'll have a complete tranny flush, transfer case and both pumpkins. The next year only a trans filter. No problems since '97. Radiator flush every 18 months or when the voltage starts edging toward 1 volt.
  16. bobingardner

    bobingardner Senior Member
    Messages: 136

    The truck will lose momentum quickly with a plow full of snow. I actually used my plow as a break one time. Plowing in 2 wheel drive might take some stress of the transmission because the rear wheels will spin after you've pushed the snow to the top of the stack.

    As for the warranty don't rely on "don't ask don't tell". Chances are Toyota has already notified the dealer that it won't cover claims on trucks equipped with plows. They've probably also told the dealer it's his responsibility to look for any possible sign of abuse and they may even have a spot check system in place to enforce compliance. Also it's possible Toyota will pay less for a claim than the dealer could make charging you directly. It may be true that Toyota can't deny the claim unless they can prove it was related to snow plowing but you still have to pay the dealer to get your truck back then hire a lawyer to get your money back.
  17. Kentuckydiesel

    Kentuckydiesel Senior Member
    Messages: 151

    We took my girlfriend's '99 F150 in for a flush at a valvoline at about 70,000mi. At about 75,000mi, th tranny was shot. I kind of wonder if they flushed with the wrong fluid. I found a new (not rebuilt) tranny and installed a shift kit before putting it in the truck. I have been the only one to change the fluid since, and I do it the right way (by dropping the pan, changing the filter, cleaning any metal off the magnet, and refilling). No, it doesn't get all the fluid out, but service intervals weren't ment to reflect getting all the fluid out. The truck now has 167,000mi and the tranny is going strong. Even with her pulling a 2 horse trailer now and again.

  18. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Yeah, I agree with firstclasslawn- tjlands method is not a good idea. Nevcer run your tranny longer than the severs service schedule in the owner manual.

    TJ you have been lucky! The bands and clutches in trannies are paper, they wear, the longer they go without adjustment (in the case of the bands) the more damage they can cause and the more wear they cause. The bands have to grab and release properly, and need to be adjusted regularly. The fluid goes bad in time, just like engine oil. If you wouldn;t try running 100 K miles on an oil change in the engine why consider it in the tranny?
    Fluid has corrosion inhibitors that need to be replaced, an once it burns it's useless. You will actually cause more damage chaning out fluid aftera certain period than leaving it in until the tranny dies. The new fluid cleans the corrosion and gum and stuff left behind by the old fluid can causes leaks and slipping or can cause gum deposits to block passages.

    I have my tranny services (fluid and filter and band adjustment) every spring. Some newer trannies have automatic band adjustment, but you should Still have a filter and fluid change as the manual says. Plowing is severe service- treat it as such.
  20. tjlands

    tjlands Senior Member
    Messages: 579

    Yeah maybe I am lucky, but how can so many trucks that pull loaded landscape trailers all season and then push 8ft plows all winter, loaded with salt not break down after 150k + miles. most of my trucks do about 30k a year.
    Comparing oil to tranny fluid is wrong. Motor oil breaks down quick, I use synthetic motor oil in all my trucks also and have not had an engine failure.
    I am not telling anyone to neglect maintenance I am just stating what I have found in my own trucks.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2006