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Plowing with 2wd suburban?

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by Torque454, Feb 4, 2010.

  1. Torque454

    Torque454 Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    I have a 96 Suburban with a 6.5 diesel. 4L80E trans. Its got the extra trans and oil coolers, and all that. Its 1500 but the 1500 suburbans with a 6.5 came with a 2500 suspension. The only difference is the 9.5" 14 bolt and the 3.42 gear ratio as opposed to a 10.5" 14 bolt and a 3.73 or 4.10 ratio.

    This truck does very well in the snow as long as I have weight in the back. It doesn't take that much weight either. I know I would need to add extra weight to the back to make up for the weight of the plow up front but I really think this truck would do well is weighted properly. It currently has the crappy "G80" option gov lock positrac but that is hopefully coming out for a track lock and maybe a 10.5" axle. Probably change the gear ratio too, although i'll miss the mileage i get with the 3.42s and, being a 2wd the 3.42 might actually be helpful in the snow as opposed to a 3.42 or 4.10.

    I work in the lawn care and pressure washing industry in the summer and so during the winter work is slow. I figure plowing is an option, although it doesnt snow all that much here. Every little bit helps. I could also buy a small tractor and it could be used for many other things and not just pushing snow. That would offset the cost of purchasing a dedicated piece of equipment such as a snow plow for the truck.

    Any thoughts?
  2. chcav1218

    chcav1218 Senior Member
    Messages: 954

    get a tractor lol. its not really worth trying to plow in two wheel drive, especially residential accounts, most contractors wouldn't sub out to someone with a 2wd drive likes yours, and personally I'd be afraid to get any of my own commercial accounts if I wasn't sure my truck could handle it. People do it, but its not recommended unless your plowing long, straight, flat areas, and dont have to back up or drive over unplowed snow. And pray for fluffy snow cus even 4x4's have trouble in wet snow or when snow changes to rain and everything gets water logged
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2010
  3. mkwl

    mkwl 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,362

    I have to agree with the above post... I wouldn't recommend plowing with a 2WD doing resi's... could it probably be done... yes.... but you'll be kicking yourself when you're getting stuck every couple drives... IMO- sell the 'burb and get yourself a 2500 4WD with a 8' blade and you should be all set :salute:
  4. chcav1218

    chcav1218 Senior Member
    Messages: 954

    I think getting a new truck is a pretty good idea. You could sell the one you have and buy another truck of similiar age, probably with a plow already on it. You wouldn't have to spend any money setting the truck up and you would have 4wd.
  5. Pushin 2 Please

    Pushin 2 Please PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,582

    Also agree with the above. Don't get us wrong it can be done. A 7 1/2 foot plow would ideal for that truck! But believe us on the very first heavy wet snow you will not be pushing anything. Maybe getting pushed or pulled!
  6. Albemarle Lawn

    Albemarle Lawn Junior Member
    Messages: 19

    Do not waste your time and money

    I second everyone above, PLUS you will have no directional control in heavy snow (you wouldn't even be able to move, but lets pretend).

    When you angle the plow, the truck would be steered by the plow. I plow with a 2500 beast old school Suburban, and always use the gas pedal to counter plow steer.

    I run studded 235 skinny tires on all four corners, sometimes I use just 2wd on large open lots with light snow. Sometimes.

    I have a locking differential, 2" lift with added front leaves, and still in wet snow even with 1500 lbs of sandbags, things can get tricky.
  7. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,557

    Every storm is different, you could be fine for a couple storms and then have one that has some sleet or rain mixed in to make things real slick...then what?? Take care of that suburban, there sure aren't many of them around!
  8. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    Just remember that most people who plow with a 2wd truck tend to have a 3/4-1 ton pickup or flatbed/dump... in other words, lots of room for the necessary large amounts of ballast. Its not like you can dump 1.5 tons of gravel in the back of a Suburban. Any ballast would have to be put in by hand pretty well, and would tend to be too light.

    Even with the G80 (which isn't that bad in the 9.5" and 10.5" axles, smaller ones are more blow-prone) and ballast, my guess is that you'll spend a lot of time fighting being stuck. Not worth it IMO.

    However, if you want to do residential work, you may still be in a good position to pull a small trailer around with a couple snowblowers on board, or a compact tractor. The latter might be a good choice for the reason of summer versatility. Get accounts all in the same area so you can park the truck and run the tractor around.
  9. chcav1218

    chcav1218 Senior Member
    Messages: 954

    I like this idea. Makes good use of the truck he already has, plus the money he would spend on a plow could go towards an investment that can make money year round.