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Pros and Cons of plowing with a duallie 4X4??

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Funkster, Jul 16, 2003.

  1. Funkster

    Funkster Junior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 6

    Hay everyone. I'm pretty new here and have asked a couple of questions about plowing with my '78 F150 Ranger. Since then, I've decided to give that idea up. I am considering buying a Ford F350 4X4 diesel duallie regular cab with a flat bed. I was wondering what the pros or cons were with this setup. This type of truck would be alot more versatile with me on my farm. That's why i'm considering it. I haven't made a purchase yet, I'm just in the early stages of looking. I know I'll have to add some weight on the flatbed for the rear tires, but i didn't know if the dual rear wheels would present more of a problem than a benefit. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

  2. BWhite

    BWhite Senior Member
    Messages: 496

    my opinion

    I think it is doable but you will have a bit less maneuverability and maybe less traction in the rear . it's the skinny tire vs. the wide tire concept
  3. szorno

    szorno Senior Member
    Messages: 308

    I have a Chevy 1 ton dually 4x4 flat bed with a western 8ft plow. I also carry a normal load in the bed of about 2000 lbs. It is a good plow rig for large lots or roads. Not manueverable enough for small lots. Minimum blade size is 8 ft or you have the outside dual running ontop of the windrow you just created.
    My advice- look at what you plow. If the dually has other season use, then go for it. Put good tires onit and use a blade 8ft or bigger.

    Tell us what you decide.
  4. wxmn6

    wxmn6 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,037

    With dually, the truck has less traction in the rear, because there is less "bites." The narrow the tire is, the more ability it has to bite through the snow & increasing grip. So the dually may pose some problems, but you could take out the outside tires in the rear, and keep the inside tires on, which would turn it into SRW. You then will increase your traction.

    Also, depending on plow size, the rear tires could be riding over unplowed snow when making turn, so that is another issue. As a result, you create a hardpack, which make it difficult to scrap it up. Again, by removing the outside tires, you would have less of that problem too.

    But dually has some of its benefits too. The most benefitically part of it in snow industry is the increased payload capacity and increased stability when you have sander behind your truck loaded.
  5. wxmn6

    wxmn6 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,037

    Scott, are you sure that your 8' blade is working fine for your dually? IMO, 8' is way too short for dually.

    My opinion is that all full size pickup truck in 3/4 and 1 ton class SRW should have a minimum blade length of 8'. As for dually, with extra two tires width, that adds up to what? I would think another 16". So add that up with 8' blade (my minimum requirement), and you would need at least a 9' blade. So either Fisher 9' straight or 9.5' V plow would be the best choice.
  6. Mike 97 SS

    Mike 97 SS Banned
    from U.S.A.
    Messages: 1,106

    Couple of things. Number 1, welcome to PlowSite. Number 2, "hay" is for horses. :D 3. I always thought a dually would plow better than a SRW because you have 6 tires on the ground instead of 4. I never used a dually, but Id like to hear some feedback from guys on here who use both SRW and DRW trucks and see which one they think plows better and has better traction. I agree with Steve on the plow size. No less than 8.5', but 9' is probably the best bet. Mike
  7. snowplowjay

    snowplowjay Banned
    Messages: 890

    Welcome to PLOWSITE. At work we have a 2002 Dodge Ram 3500 dually dump with an 8' plow and it does plow just fine. The cummins engine gives it the grunt to go and the fisher 8' does just fine for itself.

    PS I think someone needs to feed Wxmn6 now hes talking about eating in his posts "bites."

  8. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    OK, I use both - a '90 Dodge 1/2 ton 4x4 and a one ton '96 Chevy 3500 DRW flatbed. I've attached a picture, if it comes out:

    If you're going to use the duals, definitely go for the 9' plow. Mine is also a diesel. I find that the weight of the diesel plus the weight of the plow make it awful light on the rear without at least the sander (975 pounds of ballast). Filled with sand is much better. Maneuverability is much better with the 1/2 ton, but it's almost impossible to put too much snow in front of that diesel. Be careful when stacking - I've had the front end drop into the pile from the weight of the engine. The plow then digs into the snow so it can't be raised high enough and it can't pull itself out. I had it buried one time and called a wrecker. He put down the outriggers, hooked to my truck and started winching. It just pulled his truck backwards. I have a good set of Cooper M&S studded tires, so that's not the problem. I carry a couple hundred pounds of ice melter for when I get on ice.

    You might want to get a good set of chains. One thing to remember if you're plowing with all that weight is that it's harder to stop than the 1/2 ton. For instance going down a hill covered with ice, snow-covered ice etc.

    Be sure to get an engine heater and plug it in on cold nights. I forgot last winter. It got to -25F. It was inside the garage and still gelled up. Two weeks later I finally got it heated up and started:( .

    All in all, I really like my 3500 for power. Mine are mostly good sized lots, private roads and bigger driveways, so tight turns aren't a real problem.

    one ton \'96 chevy  - has 2 yard sander on flatbed in winter.jpg
  9. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    I also use both. I have an F-350 SRW and had an F-350 dually, now have an F-550 dually.

    Which will work better will depend on the type of plowing you plan to do.

    I use the SRW for residential use due to its greater maneuverability. I've got a Blizzard 810 on it, but had an 8' blade on a previous SRW. I wouldn't go with anything smaller than 8'. This truck would also work well for cleaning up in conjunction with a loader in a parking lot, or intersections in municipal work, again due to its quick maneuverability.

    My F-350 dually had a 9' blade on it and again, that would be the minimum I'd run on it. It's too cumbersome to be efficient in residential use, at least around here, but with a load in the back, there's not much stopping it. A word of caution: once you do stick it, you're usually stuck! and require a bigger truck to pull you out. These trucks work well in pushing out parking areas or for municipal use as in my case.

    My 550 has a 9' blade too, but it's a bit small for the truck. At full angle, the windrow falls back to where the rear tires run over it even in a straight line. I stuck it here at the house by sliding on some ice over a ridge and couldn't pull it out with either my F-350 or skid steer, I had to dig it out, sand the tread area and then drive it out. When they're stuck, they're stuck!
  10. BWhite

    BWhite Senior Member
    Messages: 496

    Stuck LOL

    I hate when that happens , seems like it takes forever to shovel out
  11. szorno

    szorno Senior Member
    Messages: 308

    Couple more things
    Agreed- the 8ft plow is the SMALLEST you should use with a dually. I am going to put wings on mine this year to make sure I get the snow away from the outside tire.
    Agreed- you HAVE to load it to make it work right.
    Further agreed- when they are stuck, they are WAY stuck. In our 60" blizzard I spent over an hour digging mine out one time, even with a 2nd shoveler !

    It boils down to what kind of accounts you have and what your other uses are. Buy the most versatile truck you can to start with and fill in later as you grow. :nod:
  12. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    The dually will do just fine plowing.9 ft blade minimum.

    If you do any towing or hauling,the dually will be a big plus for handling and stability.
  13. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Mike - I've used lots of duallies and SRW trucks over the years,and which one is better depends on conditions.

    Heavy wet snow,with no ice,or just wet pavement underneath,and the dually will outpush the SRW due to the added traction,or larger footprint of the four rear tires.Under these conditions,the more surface area the tires have on the ground the better.

    On ice,or very slippery conditions,the dually tends to get sideways easier.When it's slippery it comes down to how much pressure the tires exert downwards on the ground.A narrower tire,or two tires instead of four actual have more pressure on the ground due to the smaller contact patch,or more pounds per square inch.

    Overall I like the versatilty of a SRW,and pushing power is just fine with the right tires,and truck setup.The duallies were downright scary on ice,and once they went around,it was all over.The SRW trucks are easier to get back in line,or keep under control on ice.

    The SRW is also better for cleaning tight against rounded curbs,and getting into tight spots,without having to worry about those expensive fenders.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2003
  14. Funkster

    Funkster Junior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 6

    Thanks for all your posts guys. I currently have a '99 powerstroke 4X4 supercab F250. While you may ask, why don't I use that? Well, it's my personal farm truck and I've got a few things on it that aren't the best for plowing: pushbar and a lift. The type of plowing I would be doing will be parking lots like Wal-Mart and Meijer. I already have jobs lined up with my pastor as soon as I get a rig ready. But I understand some of the negatives with the duallie setup plus the added expense of a bigger plow. SO, I guess that this may be something I will have to consider. I'm pretty sure I'm still gonna get me a duallie, but for plowing snow, maybe I should just fix up the ole '78 F150 and go that rought. Thanks a bunch for all your help guys. I really appreciate it!!

  15. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    I think a duallie would be excellent in plowing lots. Walmart lots though may be a bit big for even a one ton. Most larger lots are handled by truck and loaders. The loaders often run pusher boxes. Do a search and you will get a lot of info on these. One ton duallies are better suited for use in smaller lots, fast food, strip malls and small road plowing.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2003
  16. wxmn6

    wxmn6 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,037

    F150 for plowing large parking lot?!? No way. You need a real solid reliable truck with larger plow to be able to do you job. This is a huge responsibility you have. You can't just show up with the little F150 on your own. I think you would be much better with F350 dually. If you are just doing parking lot, then I don't think dually would pose too much of a problem. Just my opinion.

    By the way, you did not mention if you are buying a new F350 diesel from a dealer or buying an used one from someone? The reason I am asking is because Ford is having a huge problem with their current 6.0 diesel motor. Ford trucks are coming back to their shops faster than they could sell them.
  17. Bun Hauler

    Bun Hauler Junior Member
    Messages: 6


    If the single wheel is better for traction then why don't you see anybody that plows with a 2 wheel drive dually taking there outside tire off. I can see where one wide tire would not dig in to the snow just as they don't in the mud (Flotation Tires). But two skinnier tires with a gap in the middle to me will dig in.
  18. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    Bun Hauler, the reason you don't see this is because most who run the duallies load them up with weight, either in a sander or ballast. You are correct with your idea however, removing the inside wheel is something I have suggested in the past to owners of dually pickups who didn't want to put a sander in back. A narrower tire track will dig through the snow to gain traction.
  19. Funkster

    Funkster Junior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 6

    As I'm an avid Ford man, I know all about the current problems with the 6.0. Mostly dealing with software. As for plowing by myself, there wil be about 6 of us in all. My pastor has about 4 trucks that they use not including me or any other friends helping. I can't afford to but a new diesel, so I've been trying to find a nice F350 from about '88 to '97. Id love to get an older powerstroke, but I'm not sure if the funding is there for that. I'll probably end up with an ole reliable 7.3 IDI. Which is fine for me. I had a '92 once and even though it wasn't the powerhouse I have now, it wasn't all bad. Got better mileage than my current '99 does! Thanks guys.

  20. 90plow

    90plow Senior Member
    Messages: 739

    THe two skinny tires widths added together will be greater in size than the one wide tire in most cases. The more tires on the road the better, and woulndt't one wide tire be a floater and not good at all?
    Just my two cents
    PS whatever you got you can make work.