New truck ? with a 6-speed and gear vender OD.


I am contemplating buying a new truck before next season. It will be an F350 4x4 srw with a powerstroke. I have serious concerns with autos and high hp diesels. I like the new 6spd manual and thought that for the kind of plowing I do I would put an overdrive unit on it to let me shuttle shift between L and R and still have a faster plow gear, but still avoid a lot of hunting in the gear box. I would prefer to plow with an auto but I plow at most 10 storms a year in indiana, I drive the truck 365 and plan to keep it 5 plus years so I feel like in the long run i would enjoy the manual more and have better reliability, even if I have to change clutches more frequently. any thoughts on this

I am 20 and have good knees. If that is a determining factor to anyone.

please comment on personal exp. , reliability issues, and economics too but any thing you can tell me I will consider.


Get the manny Tranny

Was out plowing and I have a Manny Tranny and I am quicker and faster then the other 5 trucks out there... The meyer Stick control is attatched to my stick and As I put in reverse my thumb pushes it up, and when I put it in 2nd, sometimes third, I push down with the thumb, quick easy and reliable... I love it... Remember those first two or three gears on the six speed are high torque, use third when plowing slippery lots, it drags down the RPMs on the engine and gets the rear end to bite.....

John DiMartino Veteran
The OD unit will noy last as long as the 6 speed,especially if you shift it a lot,like you plan too.I know a lot of Dodge guys and the first thing that burns up is the GV OD unit.None of them plow they all tow between 5-25K trailers,most are hotshot trucks,but this should give you an idea as to their limitations.

Mike Nelson

Senior Member
Naperville IL
All of our Fords are auto's.Would not have it any other way.
If you are personnally driving,you should not have any problems.Remember that these are only trucks,not loaders.Thank God our loaders are automatic....
Anyway just my 2 cents!


Stamford, CT
Sure you have good knees now... drive a standard for plowing, especially if you're gonna be shifting alot and your knees won't be good for very long...

Trust me! I know , I have been there and Done that...

My knees hurt like hell now after years of abuse. They started hurting when I was 26 and I am 45 now, so you decide which you would rather do... have an automatic transmission or life long knee problems and pain.

I have a friend who had both knees replaced. He abused his knees playing rugby and such. I saw what he went through.

It just isn't worth the pain, and after two knee replacements, he still has to have them done again because he doesn't have 100% full motion. Further more, these replacements are only good for maybe 20 years and he has to have them replaced too.

NO way, not me. Give me an automatic anyday!!!!


2000 Club Member
Remember with the overdrive unit, 4wd wont be available to you. If I remember the unit goes in in back of the T case, so it would only work in 2wd.
We also have our plow controllers mounted to the stick shift on themanual trucks, and they are still no way faster than an auto. And that driver is very good, so its an operator problem.
As far as knees go, I have the same problems Jeff does, wear a knee brace.
One option is to buy a GM with the allison, now that tranny will not fall apart. But if you are a ford guy I realize that is not an option.



My truck is an auto (see sig.) and I would not have it any other way. Almost all my trucks in the past have been sticks and at 39 I'm tierd of shifting. I drive my truck 365 also, tow a 9,500lb bobcat trailer 3-5 times a week and plow. I have 25k (in 6 mos.) on my PSD with no tranny probs. If you go with an auto, I do have some recommendations. First either chip it or get a Banks Transcommand. I have both. Sure makes the shifting firmmer and sooner (keeps the rpms in the power band). I also have tranny and rear-end temp gauge (EGT and Boost also) to monitor temps, comes in handy especially towing. If you have questions, go to the forum at

A friend of mine has a 6 speed PSD and you would not catch me dead driving it everyday. It's a great truck and the 6 speed should be stronger than the auto, but it is like driving a TRUCK, I mean BIG TRUCK. Besides if you check out the Ford-Diesel forum, there are just as many people with 6 speed probs as with autos (Dodge and Chevy guys no flames please :))


DaveO Veteran
No flames


Cmon, you left the door open wide on that one....Tranny probs?? On Fords? Thought that only happened to Dodges...LOL


I would buy the auto, NO question. I have both a stick and an auto currently. Like Dockboy said, there are ways to beef up the Ford/Dodge auto's if needed. Just do the homework.



Junior Member
GearVendors has the pump on the driveshaft end of the unit,
and will not produce enough pressure to engage OD until the
truck is traveling 15-20 mph. Also, as previously posted the
unit only overdrives the rear wheels and so is not to be
used in 4WD. All that said, I like mine but with the new
6-speed and 3.54-3.73 gears I wouldnt bother with one. With
4.10-4.88 gears and long highway trips it sure quites things
down and helps mileage. U S Gear makes a unit that works in
4WD without hydraulic clutches, but don't know much about it.


I am actually looking at a us gear unit, but said gear vendor because more people would know what I am talking about I thought. Guys, I know what it takes to beef up the ford auto, and it ain't cheap, the trans command, and chips trat symptoms, they don't make it any stronger, they just reduce heat and wear on the clutches.

I would love to have a GM because I love that bow tie, but for equal options, and doller for doller I can't justify one right now. thats why I will get the ford. They are not unreasonably priced, but they have a new truck and options the other two don't have yet, and they are rightfully charging a premium for it. My local GM dealer where I bought my first truck, has an 8-10 month wait on all new 2500HD orders. not really a problem, but I don't want my money tied up all summer. (personal quirk I suppose)

I have not ruled out the ford auto, but if I buy one as soon as the warranty is up, I will have it gutted and rebuiilt to my specs for plowing. I was down for six hours last winter due to tranny problems, and it made a rebuild sound cheap afdter finding subs, and calling property managers explaining why they still had snow on the ground.

from personal exp. I know that a clutch will give warning before it gives up the magic smoke

thanks for the info i appreciate all the comments.

GeoffD Veteran
I own a 1999 F 350 C&C with 9' dump body and 9' Diamond Plow. 4X4 auto, and the Powerstroke. The First F 350 C&C sold in the state of Maine.

89,000 Miles, no trans problems at all. Change your trans fluid 2x a year once in the fall and once in the spring. I think because I change 2X a year is why I have never blown a Ford auto trans.



WHOA, WHOA, WHOA, hang on one minute. The navistar contract with for doesn't expire untill at least 2003, the Cat motor is only going to be available in the 650 and 750 chassis. Please check facts before posting. Too much mis-information gets spread on forums like this. Not necessarily deliberatly either.

Mike Nelson

Senior Member
Naperville IL

Why not lease?

We lease a couple of plow trucks and after 3 years we turn them in for new trucks.I know everybody has different opinions on leasing.
"You can pay the bank or you can pay a mechanic"Has worked for me for the last 12 years.
Just my 2 cents

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