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Plowing With 5 Speed

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Stik208, Nov 6, 2004.

  1. Stik208

    Stik208 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,319

    I have a quick question about a 5 speed, I have been told to stay in first gear while plowing. Also told to not ram piles because the brunt of the force will go on the pressure plate by trying to ram and move large piles. which I planned to do but if I were to get a small lot or so I didn't want to blow out my clutch. So is it alright to shift into second and higher.
  2. johntwist

    johntwist Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    I don't think ramming large piles is a good idea no matter what gear you're in, or whether your transmission is automatic or standard.

    Just starting out myself, I'm not an expert but I've read plenty on this site and the veteran members all seem to discourage that kind of operation. Most of what they say seems to be about plowing with the storms if you can and operating your truck so as to put the least amount of strain possible on your equipment. So, unless you're going to be plowing with a front-end loader, you may want to think twice before you ram piles. The scenario sounds way too much like the Titanic versus the Iceberg. We all know who won that one.

    But, I know when the boys see this thread they'll be all over it, so I'd say wait and see what they have to say. :nod:
  3. streetsurfin'

    streetsurfin' Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    If you're going to be pushing piles back or cleaning up heavy snow you'll want to be in first. As far as shifting while pushing that depends on your gearing and weight of the snow also. You could push in second if you have the room and momentum, but you'll most likely need to get back in first to finish the pass if you need to push up into a pile. If you're doing loops, turn out and kep rollin'. I would think more harm may be done to the synchros in the trans during the down shift to first with a load in front of the plow, than to the pressure plate during a push on a pile. You'll know by how it slips into gear, don't force it against resistance. The other standard practices apply, don't ride the clutch or slip it. I don't think you really meant ramming piles... which you shouldn't do. You never know, there may have been a boulder pushed in there, or a hydrant or ballard underneath it.
  4. Mark Witcher

    Mark Witcher Senior Member
    Messages: 605

    When my truck had a manual trans( i changed it over to auto a few years ago) I always used 2nd gear, never 1st. And on longer parking lots and roads I shifted into 3rd. Max speed was 30 mph while plowing. Dont go raming those piles after they have thawed and re-froze, they are like concrete.
  5. wfd44

    wfd44 Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 369

    You may also be better able to keep better control/traction in second gear as you are applying less torque to the drive wheels.
  6. Dave Sponaugle

    Dave Sponaugle Junior Member
    Messages: 15

    The lot / snow fall you are plowing determines the gear you are using.
    Little lot, big snow, rough lot, objects in the way use low gear.
    Big smooth wide open lot second or third gear.

    But when you go faster, you better know where that 6" curb or manhole lid sticking up 2" is at, exactly where it is at.

    I saw a guy total a Meyers plow and bend his truck frame hitting a curb head on at 20 MPH one night at the mall. One more reason to check your lots that you have been plowing for years before it snows. Something may have moved or been added.

    As far as ramming piles, bad idea.
    Better idea, stack the snow back as far as you can get it on the first snow of the season. Then you have room to put snow in front of it when you have more later.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2004
  7. Stik208

    Stik208 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,319

    Thats what I meant was push the pile back not ram it, poor choice of words. So I would just keep it in first to avoid any type of problems. Also I would just let out the clutch like i normally would.
  8. Crumm

    Crumm Senior Member
    Messages: 529

    Another thing you might try is when you are about done with your push release the clutch before the drivetrain gets loaded up and basically coast to a stop. With a manual you don't have the slip that a torque converter gives you. It is hard on the drivetrain if you load it up and then release the energy all at once when you push in the clutch.
  9. OneBadDodge06

    OneBadDodge06 Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 771

    I found that with my 5 speed that its better to work in 2nd gear and build up momentum before dropping the plow. You get better range b/c its next to impossible to shift after you build up somewhat of a load. Don't be surprised if your foot gets tired, mine did and I had to get an automatic. Cummins mechanics always told me to NOT lug the diesel engine, bout the worst thing you can do besides the obvious. You can push the clutch when you get to the pile and it will stack nice. :drinkup:
  10. Crumm

    Crumm Senior Member
    Messages: 529

    Why not lug a Diesel? That is where they really perform?
  11. streetsurfin'

    streetsurfin' Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    By lugging, I believe he means running it in a gear, at an RPM that is lower than and not yet in the power curve. Kind of changes it so that your wheels are driving your engine instead of the other way around, giving you the bucking in the drivetrain.
    And yes, use second if you have a granny gear for first, use second to start out normally.
  12. Stik208

    Stik208 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,319

    So would it be better on the transmission to stay in first gear because its a Ranger with a 4.0 and doesnt have a creap gear. I just dont want to strain the transmission/clutch.
  13. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    Wish we could give you the perfect answer but your situation driving habits, and equipment is uneek to you and only one that can answer it correctly is you.
    Start your plowing in first and work p from there. in other words when you get tired of plowing in first try second for a while then when you have to replace your clutch twice a year ether go back to first or trade it in on a automatic.