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Plowing with 2X4 or 4x4

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by lawnsrusinc., Mar 21, 2005.

  1. lawnsrusinc.

    lawnsrusinc. Senior Member
    Messages: 141

    Well in the middle of the storm i get the call that we all dont want the tranny is shot. So iam starting the look for another lawn maint./plow truck. Who here has any experiance with plowing with a 2 wheel drive 3/4 or 1 ton truck.

    Thanks in advance
  2. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    It can be done, but if you can get a 4x4 do it. I plow in 2 most of the time, but when I need 4x4 I need 4x4. Else you have to supply ballast and usually chains to accomplish the same thing. Depending on your location too, depends on what you can get and what you can resell. a 2wd truck in New England, for examples, is not only very hard to get new, but almost worthless for resale value (especially a dually).
    Several threads already posted on this subject too.
  3. lawn king

    lawn king PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,085

    plow/lawn truck

    Isuzu npr hd, 9' snoway plow w/ downpressure & wireless remote, turbo diesel,knapeheide landscape body & toolpack, 11000 lb. venco hoist, auto,ac,xm radio! This is the ultimate year round work truck! I have come to this conclusion after 26 seasons of running everything from an el camino to f350s to silverados to c30s. Diesel cabovers is the way to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  4. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

  5. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    I have plowed with 3/4 and 1 tons before, not as much as I have with my F-150 but enough. The last time I drove a 1 ton was for about 2 hours the day after a wet and heavy 5" storm. Needed 4WD most of the time, the truck did not want to push it in 2WD. That was with 1500 LBS of ballest at least. I suppose I could have gotton away with 2 if it was completely flat but I think its still useless not to have 4X4. How do you push snow back as you lift the plow to make room for more snow with 2WD? You can only go in until rear tires break loose which happens very quickly if you are not really good at moderating the gas. I have always needed 4WD to get moving again after I break loose in 2WD with a load of snow in front of me. I run alot of ballest as well, at least 800 LBS in my 1/2 ton. This applies to every plow truck I have driven, and I have driven a wide range of them. If you want to leave snow in the middle of the lot because you cant push it up that hill or can't get enough traction by all means get a 2WD 3/4 or 1 ton. If you want to get stuck all the time go with 2WD. You can not stack very easily in 2WD either. You can try to justify 2WD by saying iam gonna run snow tires or Iam going to use lots of ballest but it just does not work for a 3/4 or 1 ton. I have not been plowing nearly as long as most people here and I have been in more situations then I can count that I would have been calling a tow truck if I did not have the option to shift into 4WD. Not just in 1/2 tons either, I regularly use an F-250 that stays at my house in New Hampshire to plow the looooooong dirveway up there. We all plow, we all know how easy it is to go a little too far into a pile, a little too far off the end of a parking lot and end up in deeper snow then we wanted to be in. So what do we do, if were in 4WD its no problem, if were running in 2WD we grab that good old T-Case lever and its over great is'ent it? If you chose not to get a 2WD 3/4 or 1 ton for some stupid reason, you sit and wait for someone to pull you out. You decide which is better. If your going to cheap out and not get 4X4 fine, but it really goes against common sense especially if you already have experience plowing snow. Highway plows are 2WD but they have more weight then could ever be loaded into a 3/4 or 1 ton and you don't see them plowing deep snow or making alot of turns either.
  6. T-MAN

    T-MAN PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,363

    Chris I have a buddy who runs a 2004 C3500 with a western 9' straight, that he loves. He allways has at least 2000# minimum of salt for ballast, and he never called to get yanked out last season. We had two good storms this season (14" and 12") here so yes he moved some snow. All his lots are commercial so no ditchs or mud holes to slip into. He does all retail establishments so the snow is stacked in piles on pavement ( no where else to put it) .
    He raves about this truck, like he said you just cant do loading docks. A good operator can plow easily without 4 wheel drive, you just dont creep into the pile, you let your momentum push the snow. I think guys get stuck stacking because of 4 wheel drive creepin up to push and then "digging in " right up to your axle lol. We had a guy this season we nicknamed Ram Rod, everytime I seen him he had his new Dodge halfway up the piles , Oh heck I still laugh just thinkin about him. Your right about 4 wheel drive though it is nice to reach down and pull back for instant out. But when you dont have it you wont try pushinn the pile a lil farther back, just call in a loader and do it right :)

  7. ratlover

    ratlover PlowSite.com Addict
    from IL
    Messages: 1,325

    We need to make a can i plow with a 2wd a sticky post!

    Yes you can do it but the damn thing better be heavy. A 4x4 is the way to go though if you are going to run a normal weight PU truck and you dont want to struggle or get stuck. I run 1k of ballast behind the rear tires and run good tires and 99% of the time I am in 2wd, but the 1% I need 4wd I NEED 4WD!
  8. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Correction: A good plow operator in the right circumstances can easily plow without 4 wheel drive. There's abig difference between plowing a corner store lot or a drive way and a Walmart Super Center lot. When I first got my chevy I only plowed medium commercial accounts- most of it was in 2 wheel- I had the sander loaded on the back (2000 + lbs sand/salt) so there was plenty of ballast and it worked fine most of the time, but straight lines are alot different to plow (any lot where there is enough room to store the snow in piles in the lot it a big lot for the purpose of this argument) than a small lot or drive- True?

    Besides there is a fine line between momentum carrying you through and abuse of your equipment. If you let the truck work through the pile it will last longer than useing momentum. Oh, and Ramrod- that's definate abuse.
  9. gt_racer50

    gt_racer50 Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 484

    Ratlover, thats a good idea, and you could include, can I plow with a lifted truck and what do I do to plow with a lifted truck.
  10. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    On flat ground with weight you can get away with 2wd but when push comes to shove you really need 4x4. I pull the lever and light the light when I start plowing on anything off a flat surface. Drug stores and other tight and small places need 4x4 to do it right.