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Newbie... How to setup for plowing

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by ibanez7, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. ibanez7

    ibanez7 Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    Hello everyone

    Just bought a 2004 Chevrolet 3/4 ton Silverado with Boss RT3 straight blade plow and would like to know the following if possible:
    [My first truck w/plow]

    I just plow my own driveway which is not that big and is uneven in places. Therefore not going very fast.

    When plowing for best performance/better on equipment should I do the following:
    1: - Plow in 4L
    2:- Shifter in D or should I use 1, 2, or 3rd gear?
    Is there a rule of thumb or should I just always plow in Drive?

    1:- Put plow in float position

    When travelling on highway or road, when NOT plowing, just driving somewhere, should I leave the power "on"/plow activated or "off"/plow deactivated when driving?

    Thanks very much for all your help and information!!!
    Greatly appreciated!!!

  2. Rick547

    Rick547 Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 537

    Here is what I do. I have a 2009 Chevy 2500HD and plow in D, H4 and float mode most of the time. The conditions will tell you if you need to use 4L. Some recommend you plow in 1st gear but I usually use drive and never get out of first gear. When I travel with the plow on. I raise the plow and turn the power off. You would not want to be traveling down the road and accidentally hit a button and lower the plow to the pavement.
  3. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,793

    Yeah, I am the complete opposite end.

    I plow in 2 HI and leave it in D. I have used 4 HI a few times in blizzard conditions when the snow is so deep it is either pushing the truck out of the windrow or rolling over the top of the moldboard. 4wd is only used to get from lot to lot on the crappy roads. I have never used 4 LO while plowing. Float always so it stays to the pavement.

    As for driving. I always keep my controller plow on. This gives you the option that if you are coming to a tight corner, you can quickly angle your plow to shorten up your length to avoid smacking the mirror off a car in the turn lane. (This does not matter if you have a vee in vee mode, but you straight blade guys know what I am talking about) Also gives you the option to drop the plow to the pavement if someone slides out in front of you to give you a bit more friction on the pavement to slow you down. Also give you the option if you are driving down the road and some d*ick plows a windrow across the main road and leaves a hump to drop and blow it apart so someone does not get ran off the road in a car.
  4. snowplower1

    snowplower1 Senior Member
    Messages: 966

    Guy did that yesterday and I had been in 4 wheel most of the morning but took it off since roads started getting better and the guys left a ton of snow in the road and my truck came close to losing it
  5. kolwnmstr

    kolwnmstr Senior Member
    Messages: 223

    This 100%!!!!!

    There is no reason to plow in 4wd unless conditions permit.

    That would have to be a pretty prolonged "accidental" hit.
  6. JoeG3

    JoeG3 Senior Member
    Messages: 156

    I can attest to leaving power on. I was driving to a friends place and took a wrong turn down a steep hill that ends in a right turn, needless to say I dropped the plow half way down the hill and hard on the brake but still ended up opening up the guys driveway at the bottom of the hill. Not sure if he was happy I opened his drive or concerned I almost hit his car, either way I wouldn't want that house.
  7. Fannin76

    Fannin76 Senior Member
    Messages: 731

    I am never in 4x4 unless snow is super deep
  8. iceyman

    iceyman 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,925

    Hell 4wd cost to much to run and is a pita to turn.. Only when necessary
  9. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,793

    Another thing that is nice about not plowing in 4WD all the time, is when you push into a pile and you get stuck in the pile, you can just push 4HI and back out typically.

    I plowed with guys for years that always had it it 4HI and when you are pushing piles back at the end of an even, it always seemed to be a every event occurrence that you got a call over the radio asking for a hook to get out of the pile.
  10. ibanez7

    ibanez7 Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    Hello everyone

    Thanks very much for all of the great information provided...Greatly appreciated!!!

    I will try/test the different methods explained above and see what fits best for my application. Size and type of driveway [rough terrain] and amount of snow will fall into factor as per the recommended techniques explained.

    Again, thanks to all for your quick responses and valuable information!!! ...Happy New Year to all!!!
  11. -david-

    -david- Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    Surprised so many don't use 4H. Is there a specific reason or any issues being in 4WD when plowing?
  12. kolwnmstr

    kolwnmstr Senior Member
    Messages: 223

    Why put wear on the 4wd system if you don't need to?
  13. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,391

    I use it all the time. But it's all what works for you
  14. Fannin76

    Fannin76 Senior Member
    Messages: 731

    Have better turning radius in 2wd but I'll admit I run a 1 ton dually this year and I've run most of the time in 4h because I have a lot of traction issues in it even when loaded down
  15. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,793

    My trucks have always been heavy so just never needed it. Hate the hopping while turning tight. Hate how you have to be rolling to turn the wheels. Hate how if you bury your truck into a pile in 4wd, you are calling for a hook 9 out of ten times.

    If you don't have traction issues, why would you use 4wd?
  16. finn

    finn Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    My trucks go into 4wd in December and come out in March, except when on the highway.

    Haven't seen pavement on the side roads and streets since early January, let alone on a driveway.
  17. DCPower

    DCPower Junior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2

    I would recommend plowing in 4H in normal snow conditions for a driveway. First, your RPMs will be a bit higher, which may help with DC output and may result in less wear on your battery. Also, it is better on your transmission to plow in 4H than in D. In really weight, heavy snow, I will plow in 4L. It is certainly true that when plowing in 4W your turning is restricted but I have never found that to be a real problem.
  18. Sawboy

    Sawboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,700

    I plow in one wheel drive, and never EVER turn my head over my shoulder. I've even spray painted my rear window black to show how awesome I am. The BEST drivers only need an open rear end and only need the mirrors to do the job!
  19. coke813

    coke813 Senior Member
    Messages: 129

    2wd vs 4wd kind of depends on the surface. If you are on ice packed gravel, you will need 4wd. If you are on freshly salted, clean scraped asphalt/concrete, then 2wd will work. Try in 2wd first, if you slide around, move to 4wd.