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plowing with 2wd??

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by fastxcr800, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. fastxcr800

    fastxcr800 Member
    Messages: 87

    I'm looking at a 1992 gmc 3500 dually 2wd. Right now it has a utility body on, but i'd like to switch to a stake body. This would be used as a primary truck for plowing. I hardley ever use 4wd when plowing, so i figure with a v-box spreader i should have no problem. Would you recommend this?
  2. augerandblade

    augerandblade PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,054

    Yes especially if your working on park lots. I have 3 Chev dually with 8 or 9 foot plow on em and sand spreaders onthe back. If you load up the spreader with sand there should be no problem Ive even done country laneways with em. However even more than a 4x4 ya gotta have traction on the brain at all times so dont be turning around in heavy snow stuff like that. Most diehard 4x4 boys will tell ya not to do it, cuz they dont know any better, no experience with em. Make sure your equipped with good snow tires on the back. I also at one time ran a truck with single wheels on the back cuz I had drive thrus to do any this prevented damage to the sidewalls. Less tire on the ground means more weight per square in, which meant better traction!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!These truck frames could take the weight of the sander and the stress of the plow on the frame unlike the lighter so called heavy duty 4x4s. The frames on these trucks are double frametymusic:salute:
  3. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    If you take the time to read this question has been asked and answered 100's of times.
    The answer is NOT very well.
    Search function works well.
  4. augerandblade

    augerandblade PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,054

    Sorry bud but your wrong, are all the highway trucks 4x4 s nope, cuz the weight on the drive wheels is adequate to do the job. :gunsfiring:
  5. show-n-go

    show-n-go Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    i have an 01 gmc 3500 with a stakebed, 8.5 western on the front. the truck has good tires on the back and no spreader or anything in the bed and i had no problems plowing anything that ohio threw at me. all the guy's i plow with have 2wd with v spreaders.
    just make sure you don't run the plow way over the top of a pile.. go for it, 2wd isn't bad
  6. augerandblade

    augerandblade PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,054

    Its important that you get a qualified operator, always worked for me when they have a licence for the big rigs, One time I had one guy stuck on a ice patch you could smell the smokin tires.:dizzy: I told him "look ya got sand on the truck , salt in the bin just put a shovel full infront of the drive wheels and behind, maybe drop some on top of the tread and youre out. Needless to say next shift he was demoted (maybe thats what he wanted) to a 4x4tymusic
  7. flakesmeangreen

    flakesmeangreen Senior Member
    Messages: 217

    This question seems to come up pretty often and for some reason I was thinking about it driving to work this morning. Besides what was mentioned above it also has to do with the terrain of your area, the type and terrain of your accounts and the service level of your accounts.

    My town uses 4X4 pickups, 4X4 mason dumps and 2WD medium duty plow/salter trucks. They use chains on the medium duty trucks. During a simple 3" - 6" powder storm I can sometimes plow at least 75% of my driveways in 2WD (I do use ballast). Some of my drives are hilly and the service level (no salt or sand) allows snow and ice to build up. I NEED 4X4 and the town NEEDS chains because I live in a hilly area. Heck, sometimes I need chains AND 4X4 lo!

    If you live in a flat area, not traveling on unplowed hilly roads, plowing "black" pavement and keeping up with the storm I can probably see you doing what you want to do. Of course, a posi-rear will always help. It all depends on YOUR situation.

    I hope this sheds some light on your situation and good luck.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2009
  8. Bashby

    Bashby Senior Member
    Messages: 228

    I sometimes wish I had 4wd, but Plowing wit 2wd dually works pretty well
  9. loudredram

    loudredram Member
    Messages: 88

    I plowed for years with an older superduty they all were 2wd never had a problem. just got to make shur you use some weight and your head......your head being the biggest part
  10. got-h2o

    got-h2o 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,440

    Agreed. The only negative posts in any of the 2wd threads are from those that get a nut off over having 4wd and nothing can compare. Is 4wd better? Obviously. Will a 2wd hold it's own? Sure. Especially with a driver that respects it as stated above. I've posted in detail in other threads and am more than willing to link you there or copy and paste. You tell me.

    Also for the record....truck#2 in my sig is a 2wd SRW and pushes a v-plow every storm. Pic is of trucks in order.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2009
  11. Sno4U

    Sno4U Senior Member
    Messages: 480

    YES you CAN plow w/ a 2 wd truck. Do U have to be more careful? well, ya! Everything we currently have is "4 WD" but at 1 time we had a ' 94 Isuzu cabover w/ a 8 ft Western Uni mount. I had my Dad drive it. He never got stuck but, he is a seasoned driver and I didn't have him doing country drives or anything else "questionable". He almost always had 5,000 lbs of ballast (traction aid) on the back. Also he is never out alone and if he did get stuck there was always back-up for him.
  12. augerandblade

    augerandblade PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,054

    Well said Sno4U!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!that is the right criteria in order to plow with a 2wd
  13. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Why oh Why can;t newbs simply search for the thousands of flame war laced posts that have been answered week after week about this?!?!?!?

    Can it be done- yes in most cases. Is it as easy as a 4wd- no, can the average plow driver manage- if he has some brain and experience plowing. a 2wd is bad for a newb because of the missing experience factor.
    Been there, done that. Just because you have 4wd doesn;t mean you use it.... I plow in 2wd as much as possible in BOTH trucks.
  14. augerandblade

    augerandblade PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,054

    A lot of those so called 4 wheel drives are actually 3 wheel drive or even 2 wheel if the limited slip is out of it. How many 4x4 do ya not see stuck on a tilt in a ditch and have ta get pulled out
  15. Canadian Viking

    Canadian Viking Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Just my inexperienced opinion:
    Every job has the "perfect" tool to be used. Can everyone afford to have EVERY tool available too them... probably not. We choose what will be best for our needs and improvise (or Mcguiver) the rest. Find out everything you can about the machine you are thinking about. Then find out what are its limitations - and adhere to those limitations.
    Remember sometimes even the "experts" get it wrong. I live on a corner lot in the big city, the side street has probably one of the steepest pitches in the city. 250' long with about a 50' vertical drop. This is a small residential side street but it is the first street in the area to get salted and plowed.
    Last year the city sent out a Caterpillar front end loader (the type that reciprocates in the middle, 5' wheels, big a$$ mofo) and the standard dual axle salting dump truck. There was 5" of snow and the loader started from the top of the hill ( BAD IDEA ). He dropped the bucket went about 10' then locked-up all 4 wheels and spun around 3/4 turn and into a wooden fence ( not mine:D ) He was stuck sideways on the hill and cant move without sliding further into the fence. Here's where it gets good:dizzy: The salt truck (RWD) starts to back down the hill to "Rescue???" the loader. He gets less than 5' before getting stuck and sliding sideways into the loader and the curb. He is stuck now too. So to sum up; its the middle of a big storm, our 250' stretch of road now has over $500,000 worth of equipment stuck on it for over three hours. Finally a city pickup (GMC 2500 4x4) with a small Western and a tailgate spreader plowed everything from the accident site down and backed up to the loader and dumped most of the load of salt right there. Everyone got out but I sure hope they talk to that salt truck driver.
    Moral of the story is: sometimes bigger is not better, but I sure wouldn't want to plow all the city streets with a 7 1/2' pickup plow. Know your limits and strengths, get a really good set of snow tires (Michelin Latitudes? Although I dont know if they can take the weight) and you will be fine. And maybe have a buddy with a 4x4 and some tow chains in case ;)
    BTW I have most of this little incident on video but its too long to upload.:cry:
  16. jomama45

    jomama45 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,190

    Viking, I wish u could get the video on here, because that was one of the funniest things I,ve read on here! Your also right about having a good contact (with 4x4) truck. Heck, even 4 wheel drives need a pull once in a while. The other thing that wasn't mentioned yet, & is extremely important, is make SURE you carry a chain or strap with you. I cant believe how many times I've pulled people out that don't have one. What could you be thinking going out in the worst weather without you're own chain, or jumper cables? It would be like going to a bar without any money.:dizzy:
  17. Lencodude

    Lencodude Senior Member
    Messages: 128

    Not to create an argument, but if you were to buy new equipement to start a new plow company and had a choice between a fleet of 2wd with plows and a fleet of 4wd with plows and it was the same cost which one would you choose 2wd or 4 wd trucks. I am not knocking anyone that plows with 2wd, Hey more to you! But I would preffer to have 4wds in my fleet. I have gotten stuck a few times stacking snow in my 4wd 8-10 feet high. I can imagine if I tried that with a 2 wd. I agree 2wd has it purpose and limitations and 4wd also has their purpose and limitations also.
  18. got-h2o

    got-h2o 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,440

    Well, that's a pretty obvious statement (no offense). It wasn't if a 4wd is better than a 2wd, same truck, same cost, new truck. Most know the answer to that. Everyone would prefer 4wd. He's considering a 1992 dually, not picking one off the new lot. The only reason you got stuck stacking is b/c you framed up. 2 or 4wd wouldn't matter at that point. I think we all agree, 2wd or 4wd, know your limitations.

    Another thing to bear in mind, decide if you want to drive around with 3-4k lbs in the bed 5 months out of the year, unless it's something you can remove easily, or it's not a dialy driven truck. I don't mind, b/c mines a diesel, plus fuel consumption is inevitable when you run multiple vehicles daily. Putting weight like that in a gas truck will reduce fuel milage to probably almost half. A large v-box would be suffeciant, but only if it was full all the time.
  19. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,237

    Sweet, next it will be a question about a straight or a v blade.

    Then how many Targets can I do with one truck.

    Then do I need insurance.

    Then what kind of tires are best.

    Then wipers

    Then strobes

    Then per push or per inch or per hour

    Etc, etc, etc.

    May I suggest a search as a few others already have? Seriously, this gets discussed at LEAST 6 times per year. Same with all the other subjects above.
  20. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    With all due respect to the fine, educated, intelligent and experienced plow guys who plow for cities and town you have a poor argument in that the operators chosen to do the task you detailed obviously we not experts by any stretch of the term.
    Anyone with the qualifications to be referred to as an expert (even a professional) would have avoided that whole situation.
    Recall the countless stories of municipal drivers getting into trouble (loaders clearing ice roads to ice fishing shacks and going through for example).

    I agree with your statements aside from that example.