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Plowing with Manual 5-Speed

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by 86_Toyota_Plowb, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. 86_Toyota_Plowb

    86_Toyota_Plowb Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    I've started plowing this winter with and '86 Toyota 4x4 with a manual transmission and a poly 6.5 foot meyer blade.
    I've only owned the truck for a few months and it's had a hard life.
    I was wondering if anyone else is plowing with a 5-speed and if it's too much work for this truck's clutch.
    Any input would be greatly appreciated.
  2. foggyjr5

    foggyjr5 Member
    Messages: 77

    I do!

    I plow with a 5-speed in my f-250, its not really that bad. Just make sure that you arent riding the clutch at all, and keep your foot off it when your not using it.
  3. 86_Toyota_Plowb

    86_Toyota_Plowb Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    I have no idea how old my clutch is and I just don't want to fry it
  4. Tommy10plows

    Tommy10plows Senior Member
    Messages: 345

    keep your clutch healthy

    The secret to long clutch life when plowing is to choose the right gear for the speed and the load you are pushing. Do not try to bite off too much of a pile with your truck, and never slip your clutch to start moving a load of snow. Go to a lower gear, and use your low range in your transfer case if the load is too great, let your foot off the clutch at low RPM's and then shift up when you run out of RPM's to the next gear. You do not slip your clutch.

    If you get stuck in a snow bank, do not race your engine, back and forth in a forward and a reverse gear to try to break you free. You will start to smell burning clutch really soon! Instead, get your small shovel out and clear your wheels back a few feet so you can get a running start out of the pile.

    All my jeeps are sticks, and I would only plow with a stick. But that is me, and we have never burned a clutch out in the winter. We use the right gears, we chain up if necessary on the two front wheels, and will chain the back if really bad weather, and we start off slow. Your Toyota is a fine truck and will service you for many years if you give it the proper respect.
  5. 86_Toyota_Plowb

    86_Toyota_Plowb Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    I'm glad to hear that my clutch should be able to take it.
    I'm not interested in sinking too much money into this truck.
  6. Sawboy

    Sawboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,700

    Another tip: Have the truck rolling a few feet before the actual pushing of snow. In other words, don't let off the clutch with a full load on the blade.
  7. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Lotsa good advise here- I learned to drive in a stick- and learned to plow in another (bigger) stick.

    Something else key- always have a moving start at banks- if you try pushing a bank back from stop against it, just like pushing ablade full on the ground yuou will stress the clutch, and depress the clutch as you're rolling into the bank.

    Biggest thing is do not ride the clutch- either in or out- no feathering- period.

    And- watch the tranny- those have a weak output shaft and bearing and tend to have weak gate springs. my first vehicle was an 82- did alot of mechanical work to it, includeing tranny replacement. Output shaft bearing goes, output shaft goes out of alignment and takes teeth off gears which take more teeth off more gears and mine stopped- jammed up solid. at an intersection one day.
  8. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation Senior Member
    Messages: 413

    I have an 1986 Toyota with a plow . Lets put it this way as far as the clutch . I taught a friends 15 year old how to drive, drive a 5 speed , and plow snow in 1 night . The kid learned well , the toyota still runs great .
    I set him up in low range and had him start in 2nd gear .
  9. DBL

    DBL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,310

    my '03 is a 6spd and i love it. i can start off in 2nd and have had no problems yet.

    EXCESSIVE FORCE Junior Member
    Messages: 29

    Same here,but i've got an '02 H.O.
    :gunsfiring: :dizzy:
  11. brad_diesel

    brad_diesel Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    I had 98,000 miles on my 99 F-250 5.4 triton with a five speed when i traded it in. Still had the original factory clutch. This truck was a work horse, pulled skidsteers, and heavy equipment, plowed, and my wife tried to drive it. Ive driven manual for 20 years and have never burned up a clutch. Here is the advice i was given 20 years ago that helped me to preserve the clutch. The faster you engage the clutch, the more you save it from grinding down. Also, when plowing, press clutch when nearing the end of your push, let the momentum complete the pass. Along with some of the other advice in this thread, you should enjoy a long life out of your clutch. Only thing i like better about my now automatic 2004 F-250 is reverse is faster, oh, i supose my clutch leg thanks me a bit, getting old, would have a soar left leg/knee for days after a plow night. I miss the stick, but will have to stay with the auto for this abused and falling apart body. Happy motorin'
  12. dieseltroop

    dieseltroop Member
    Messages: 83

    Quick ? for you all. I have a 6 speed 2001 Ram, and have about 101300 miles, and still the same clutch. So when your plowing w/ your manuals, do you plow in 4 high, or 4 low. Also do most of you guys push the clutch in and let momentum keep you going to the end of the pile, or do you have some other way of doing it. I have yet to get a plow on my truck, because I am still thinking of these things prior to getting myself in something where I am going to be putting a lot of money into my truck. I have been driving a clutch since I've started driving, so I don't ride it, if I don't have to. The only times I find myself riding the clutch a little more is backing a trailer in a tight area, etc. I'll let it out some to get going, then push if back in once I get going a little. If you guys have remedies for backing in tight areas and not riding a clutch to much, let me know. I'm open to ideas. Like I said, I don't ride it usually, but since auto's are diff. than manuals, some times you can't avoid it I think.
  13. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Yes, I let momentum carry me into the bank- that's how I was taught (I was taught plowing in the 86 3500 dump listed in my sig- with a full spreader!)
    Normally I use 4 hi for everything, auto or standard. 4 low for only really tough spots- steep slippery drives or BIG banks to push.

    For backing trailers in a stick, try 2 low if you have it, or 4lo. (2lo as in unlock the front hubs and xfer case in 4lo) in low range you don't need to ride it so much.
  14. dieseltroop

    dieseltroop Member
    Messages: 83

    Cool, thanks for the tip. I don't have the choice of locking the hub's in the front like guys w/ the Ford's, but I'm sure 4 Low won't hurt for just a little bit when backing in tight area's.
  15. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Get one of the cable conversion kits for you're front axle- from trac-lok. they cost ALOT less tha the vacuum motor does. Just lost my vacuum motor over the summer, had to trail-repoair it for the season- still driving with the front locked perminantly until I have some time to install the trac-lok kit I bought. Ccost 180 delivered (PM me if you want to know where) and should install in about 45 minutes. Vac motor is $244 from the dealer.

    It is to manually lock an unlock the front axle- you get 2lo back for trailer manuvering as a bonus.

    POWERBAND Member
    Messages: 70


    I have a 2.6/5Spd '88 Isuzu I've been plowin with for years. Yeah-The clutch went out... at 147,000 miles. I guess I should have taken it easy. :)

    I plow also with an '04 Silverado 4.3/5Spd. I hope it gets half the miles the Isuzu had before it needs a clutch.

    I like to know the application of power is figured out and performed by ME rather than some geek programmers idea of "average - typical" conditions programmed into the ECM. Most plowing problems are traction related not lack of power.