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Plowing with the Allison...

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by JRKRACE, Jul 24, 2004.


    JRKRACE Senior Member
    Messages: 172

    How is the Allison for plowing? I am trying to decide between a 6.0 L480E and the 8.1 with the Allison, both in crew cabs. I have the 6.0 L480E in a 2500 HD and it does well. I hear that the Allison is hard to plow with because of the delay between Reverse and Drive. Any thoughts....
  2. ratlover

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

    No more delay than normal? Or in mine anywho. Its nice because the T/H mode the transmission shiftpoints get raised a bit and it locks the converter in part of 2 and through the rest of the gears. non tow haul locks in part of 4 sometimes and 5th.

    Only thing is the older black NSBU switch sucks. It can die if it gets slush packed in it and you will be stuck with park nutral and 3rd gear. no reverse no 1rst, the only gear you will move in is 3rd. There is a TSB on the NSBU and they swap to a updated tan switch. Its an easy job that can be done in the field if need be. The switch is 50$ from gmdieseltech.com were I get all my gm parts. Not a bad idea to have a spare. Othere than that I havent had or really heard of(other than the I heard of a friend of a friend of a friend type BS) and problems.

    I would say the allison is a good plowing trany. :nod:
  3. BigRedBarn

    BigRedBarn Senior Member
    Messages: 133

    Unlike the pros on this forum, I only plow a small amount... mostly just my driveway (which is actually like a small parking lot and which takes quite a bit of time to do), and a few friends, neighbors, & family members, when needed. I also own only one truck. So, please take these comments with those caveats.

    I don't find a problem with plowing with the Allison. I have a 2003 regular cab with the 8100. Yes, it takes a few milliseconds for shifts, and they do seem to take longer than other tyrannies do, but only if you try to notice the difference (I do hope that makes sense because when I read it back it doesn't). That is, if I'm concentrating on plowing, I notice no delays in shifts.

    This truck plows up a storm, too. As long as I get traction, I move just about any amount of snow. I got the 4.10 gears as I do mostly around-town driving... very little highway driving, per se. My mileage when doing mostly plowing isn't too bad. It drops from about 10½ in good weather to 6-7 when doing mostly plowing in cold weather. Compared to the old '92 GMC ½-ton with a tired 350 I had, it gets about twice the MPG's the old truck did while plowing.

    I do admit to being hard on the tranny, too, when plowing. I don't always have enough room for snow in most drives I plow once Winter has dumped on us several times without a thaw. I often have to ram the snow pretty good to get it up and on top of the old piles. The tranny seems to take it in stride w/o complaint, or w/o heating up much, based on what the little temp gage tells me.

    Thinking back, I don't remember any hesitation in the tranny when shifting while plowing. I really don't play super-safe with the tranny while plowing. That is, I change gears and get going w/o the usual waiting.

    When I'm just driving around, I play it safe when I change gears in an automatic tranny in any vehicle. That is, I stay on the brake until I know the tranny has shifted, then I start moving. I also don't normally shift while rolling, either. I always make a complete stop before I shift an automatic. Those rules sorta go out the window while plowing, I guess, at least for me.

    I hope some of the pros with a lot of Allison experience chime in here. It's always good to consider the experience of others.

    One final note, I love the urethane plow blade I bought from a contact on this site. I have family members who have noticed that they have rust marks on their concrete driveways from plow blades and shoes, while mine hasn't any rust stains. Rust is really difficult to get out of concrete, so once it's there is sorta has to wear away. That may be one way to beat a competitor out of a job if you can state you have rubber or urethane-edged blades. I can see some people, especially fussy Yuppie types, who might award a plow contract for just such a exclusive feature to your service. That's just my opinion.

    Good luck with your new truck purchase. Oh, and get the big block. I'm a chronic cheapskate, and even I got the 8100. Pros on this site seem to find that the MPG differences between the 6000 and the 8100 aren't that significant, or maybe even that noticeable. I say "Hemi Shmemy... Big Blocks Rule."
  4. ratlover

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

    Tried to edit my post but its been too long:(

    The significance about the converter being locked is that most heat is caused buy the converter slipping(its supposed to) but when its in lock up mode the converter isnt slipping so heating is greatly reduced.

    OBRYANMAINT PlowSite.com Veteran
    from ohio
    Messages: 534

    i test drove a truck with the allison and it seemed to back up slowly....or rev up quickly the 4 speed seems to have a bigger gear for reverse

    FSUPERDUTY Senior Member
    Messages: 312

    Plowing with an allison is awsome! the low reverse helps keep those batteries charged and on longer forward runs hitting tow/haul keeps the r's up going forward.as far as reverse delay you never plowed in a E40D/4R100 ford have you! as far as I am concerned that ally is the best auto out there!
  7. Ripple

    Ripple Member
    Messages: 88


    Allison is great for plowing for me so far.
    Very Strong....Just put it in gear and go!
  8. PS496

    PS496 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    Have a 2001 GMC with 8.1L and the Allison, no problems here that I have noticed pushing my Western MVP.
  9. jpeters

    jpeters Junior Member
    Messages: 19

    I am about to find out how the Allison works this winter. As far as pulling trailer's with heavy loads it is great. The reverse seems a little slower but I think it will work great.
  10. dzd9fy

    dzd9fy Junior Member
    Messages: 29

    Keep in mind the Allison is a medium duty trans, whereas the 4L60, 4L80 are light duty. Take a look some time at the difference in the spindle shaft diameter, as well as the park pawl and you will see what I mean!
  11. businessjeff

    businessjeff Banned
    Messages: 17

    Ive noticed with my 04 it seems to be delayed between fwd and rev. I bought my truck with 28,000 miles on it and I dont know how the previous owner had drove it. What I have noticed is that any vehical Ive drove that the owner doesnt come to a complete stop before putting ii in another gear there is always a huge delay.

    So I was concearned with that being the case with my truck. Anyone think the slow shifting might have anything to do that external trans filter? I read youre supposed to change it every 25,000.

    The other problem I might be having with my ali trans is when I revers down a slope it jerks and hesitates, like a stick would do. Anyone have that problem with their ali?

    I just took it into the dealer to get it checked out and some other warrenty work done to it. Seeing how they just called me back after having it one day, I dont think they looked for what I told them to but we will find out... Thank for any constructive input!
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 17, 2006
  12. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Most guy's that plow with an Allison will tell you that they do have a slight delay from forward to reverse.It's nothing wrong with the trans it's just the nature of the beast. All the one's I've driven had some delay in them although it seemed some were more noticeable than other's.The Dealer's probably gonna tell you the same thing.
  13. bowtie_guy

    bowtie_guy Senior Member
    Messages: 551

    So far only used my truck twice. No major parking lots, just some driveways, decent lenght. Don't notice any large hesitation between drive and reverse. My 98 4L60E is prob about the same. If you look @ the trans ratios you will see reverse is a tall ratio causing it to be slower in reverse. For what I do it moves very good however.
  14. nevrnf

    nevrnf Senior Member
    Messages: 456

    Are you looking for a new 07 0r a used. I just saw a article on the new 07 GM's. It stated that they are dropping the 8.1 in the pickup line. 6.0 or Duramax only. Last i saw the Allison wont be avaliable with the 6.0.
  15. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Your right, no 8.1 in the 2500/3500 trucks for 07' (what a shame). It'll only be available in the bigger 4500/5500 chassis trucks.The Allison will only be available behind the Duramax but the 353 hp. 6.0's will get a new 6 speed auto tranny called an 6L90.There will also be no manual tranny's available on the 07'HD's. GM didn't sell enough manual tranny equipped truck's the last few year's so they dropped it from the option list.
  16. jay723

    jay723 Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 30

    are you kidding me that there will be no manuals available in 07. What is our world coming to. It is a pick up, not a yuppie wagon. How can you boast a work truck package with an auto tranny. Sorry for venting. I just can not understand why I have to look far and wide for a pickup with a manual tranny. I had to go 240 miles when I bought my 06 HD to get a work package with the manual. Very disappointing.
  17. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Yep,it's a shame.But look on the bright side....for '07 you will have your choice of four different interior trim level's! Like that's real important in a work truck,LOL!
  18. nsmilligan

    nsmilligan PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 704

    The Allison is the BEST plowing tranny. You can't hurt it, even if you make a mistake shifting from forward to reverse before the trucks stops, the shift inhibit feature will kick in, or in extreme cases the truck will shut down. I've never noticed any difference in tranny temps plowing with tow/haul on or off, and I run a 9.5 EZ-V and a 8' sidewing on my 3500 SRW.

  19. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,256

    Wish I could get 'em in my Fords.
  20. Antnee77

    Antnee77 PlowSite.com Addict
    from RI
    Messages: 1,056

    These are not problems, that is just how the Allison is geared. It has a different feel to it overall. The best tranny in any light duty truck, IMO.