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New to plowing, technical info help please!

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by R3Dside, Oct 8, 2011.

  1. R3Dside

    R3Dside Member
    Messages: 86

    Im new to the snow plowing scene, and starting a business this year. (I know its easier to sub first but I run my own ship) I just picked up a used 7.6'' western today.
    What I was wondering is... Is it better to plow in 4 HI or 4 LOW? Or 2 HI until i need 4x4?
    Do i plow in OD, or OD off, 2 or 1? Any seconds to a response would be awesome, I need verification because a tired T-case and old tranny will not preferred to be messed with... :)

    Also any insight you could give a beginner would be great. Im new, well read on the subject and ready to rock when the snow falls.
  2. BossPlow2010

    BossPlow2010 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,069

    For the lighter snow falls, I can just use 2wd, but I have a diesel plus half a ton of ballast. 4lo is not really needed IMO unless you are pushing piles. I mainly plow in 4 hi though and drive through town in 4 hi (just leave it on the whole storm) as for OD/ Tow/ Haul. If you want to, turn it on, but you don't have to.

    some insight; unless you want to bust your teeth on your steering wheel, wear a seatbelt, tinted windows suck at night, a warning light is recommended, I like to have no less then 1/4 tank of fuel, bring some basic things in case you need to repair something (eg. socket set, flashlight etc..)
  3. R3Dside

    R3Dside Member
    Messages: 86

    Thanks for the info. Wasn't aware it was just do what ever works, as I had caught wind of certain tranny/gear choices can mess up the truck.
    I will be ordering a mini light bar soon, safety is important, but i see it as advertising as people see the light before they would actually see me, (eg. flag downs) so that should help.
    And tools fill my truck tool box, but probably the plow will show me the ONE tool I do not have :( !!! haha
  4. kimber750

    kimber750 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,676

    I do most my plowing in 2wd. My F150 has 242k on it and I feel it is alot less stress to run in 2wd. I only use 4wd when needed. Have never used 4lo to plow but we have equipment to push piles back.

    Agree with BossPlow, make sure you have some tools and spare parts. I carry some bolts, spare hoses, plow oil, extra valves and a flash light. Also a first add kit.
  5. Tony350

    Tony350 Senior Member
    Messages: 546

    I think 4 hi is fine. That is all I usually use. I lock it in once and leave it. Some guys are big on plowing in 2wd and a lot of ballast. My thoughts are if you paid for 4wd might as well use it. I would think about 500 or so pounds against the tailgate would help a lot. Check westerns website and it will tell you how much ballast to run.
    As far as tips slow down! Adding ten minutes to your route from coming to a complete stop is better than making it through half your route at record pace and having a tranny go out.

    As far as what gear to run I would think regular drive would be fine. All it does when you turn off your o/d is lock it out. You probably won't be plowing fast enough to use o/d so it wouldn't make a difference.

    Spend time on plowsite a lot of good info on here. Good luck this year!
  6. kurtandshan

    kurtandshan Senior Member
    Messages: 323

    Not to be a downer but....if I read this right you have a tired tranny/transfer case, if so save your money, fix the trans, fix the transfer case. THEN go for it. A tired trans/transmission even with an experienced plower babying it is a time bomb. Nothing worse for a new business than to blow a trans during a storm and have accounts screaming at you why they are not plowed out. Just my opinion. good luck and hard work pays off!
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2011
  7. R3Dside

    R3Dside Member
    Messages: 86

    Wow I'm very happy with the fast help this site gives out. Yep I've done a serious amount of reading from this site so far.
    Kimber750--- how long have you been plowing with that F150. Mine has 185K and im hoping it can make it this year and next until i get a diesel f350. Its is good shape, so it should hold up. Will be adding timbrens before the snow files, as 650 blade is pretty serious weight. How big is your plow?

    Tony350---- Yeah I'll definitly run w/ a ballast. The truck needs weight back there, you can just feel it.
    Your right about the OD, it wont matter at all. (until 45-50 mph) so that is simpler than i thought.

    Kurtandshan----I might be a little misleading in my word choice, the transfer case has given a few odd sounds when engaging but it works w/o any issues. A new one is $650 so i'll baby it if need be, or just use 2wd! haha The tranny is sound also, we'll see how they fare after this season, or next..

    Thanks for all the support. I think I can manage a respectable amount of work this winter, despite having no experience. I've been running companies for a while now and I understand all the technical stuff to some degree. My goal is to get through the season on this F150, buy a F350 diesel, another plow and hand off the F150 to my buddy. 2 trucks invites much less stress :)

    Thanks Again!
  8. ken643

    ken643 Senior Member
    Messages: 821

    I plow with a Jeep Rubicon currently, I have never used Low range, always 4 wheel high with the overdrive OFF. I do use the lockers for the deep stuff. I have plowed with large pickups in the past and never used low range. always High range overddrive off. Good luck!!
  9. cold_and_tired

    cold_and_tired PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,247

    When I was plowing with my truck, I usually plowed in 2wd with a full tailgate spreader. I would rather have the tires spin than twist up a driveline or break a u-joint. There were times that 4wd was necessary but with my looooong truck, I had to do a lot of turning and repositioning and 4wd would just bind things up.

    Also, don't worry about OD on or off. Your transmission wont shift into OD until you are around 45 mph. Needless to say, that's a little fast for plowing.
  10. Tony350

    Tony350 Senior Member
    Messages: 546

    Another thing to think of may be a tranny cooler especially if the truck is going to keep on plowing after this year. To much heat is the worst thing for a tranny. A temp gauge is nice if you are upgrading to a bigger cooler.
  11. kimber750

    kimber750 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,676

    I have been using the F150 since 2005. Has been an excellent plow truck. It is an ext cab short bed with 5.8 and posi front and rear. Meyers ST7.5 with pro wings and E47 pump. Only mods I did for plowing was a 150 amp alternator, airlift 1000 bags and a good set of tires. When I was putting it away for the summer it dropped a lifter. This is the first breakdown I have had with this truck. It has seen alot less use since I put a plow on my F350. Now that I am putting XV on the F350 I don't think the F150 will see much use. I thought about putting someone in the F150 but to worried they will just beat the snot out of it.
  12. cold_and_tired

    cold_and_tired PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,247

    I agree about getting a trans temp gauge. Fortunately, my truck didn't require an upgraded cooler. Your mileage may vary.