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snow-pushing power of old vs. new trucks

Discussion in 'Ram Trucks' started by Megunticook, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. Megunticook

    Megunticook Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 190

    I plow snow with a '73 W100 (shortbed, 318, 5-speed manual). While I haven't plowed with other trucks to compare, I am continually amazed at how strong this vehicle is. It will push snow over a foot deep without even blinking--wet heavy stuff included.

    Sure, if it's icy underneath and I'm pushing cement up a hill it'll sometimes slide or I may spin wheels a bit and have to back down for another run at it (although I could probably solve that with chains).

    But it's the ease with which it tackles the work that amazes me. Put her in second or third gear, low range, and it will push just about anything.

    I got to talking with a guy in town who plows with an old International pickup, manages a repair shop, he says that newer trucks don't have the same snow-pushing power. He thinks it's all about gearing and narrow tires--I'm not sure I agree with the tire piece (after all, you can put narrow tires on a new truck, right?)--what's your experience on this? Anybody else out there plow with an old Dodge and can compare to the new ones?

    Just curious...
  2. Triple L

    Triple L PlowSite Fanatic
    from Canada
    Messages: 6,078

    I'm pretty new to plowin (3 years) but I think the biggest thing is trying to find a "new" truck with a standard... Near impossible, expecially since chevy now only puts slush boxes in thier new trucks... The tire thing, Wound't bigger tires be better for actual plowing, giving you more contact area with the already plowed pavement for better traction, on unplowed lots i could see the floatation but i dont know....
  3. Wiseguyinc

    Wiseguyinc Member
    from MN
    Messages: 56

    I know that gearing will make a big difference and I would assume the gearing would be a bit different.I know the old trucks were made to be work trucks.The new models are trying to be an all around work/town/highway truck. But my 97 cummins will push drifts as high as my hood at 1000 rpms.I know because I did it last year a few times.I am sure the gas engines are a bit different.
  4. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    My 05 Hemi has a very different power band then my 01 360. They are both different then other units I've pushed with. The powers there it's just in different places.

    Automatics as well as emission/fuel mileage requirements have changed the powerband engines are designed to operate at. I plow in second gear most off the time, sometimes pulling it down to first to keep it in the sweet spot in the torque range. I think the Government has taken away any chance off us seeing low rpm high torque engines out of the factory. I think even the devotees of Dr Diesel's design will start finding their power band rising in the revs range. I haven't had a chance to drive the new CTD but I've heard it's power comes on higher then the old 5.9 liter
  5. Megunticook

    Megunticook Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 190

    That's a good point--the pickup truck market has changed dramatically in the past 10-20 years. The vast majority of people who the automakers are selling trucks to now don't use them for work...so the emphasis now is on comfort and various features that appeal to these buyers. When my truck was built 34 years ago, the people who bought pickups didn't expect to cruise on the interstate at 75 mph in air-conditioned comfort, they expected to use the truck for demanding work, or off-road travel, etc.

    But there's still that minority of truck-buyers who work their trucks--like guys on this site! And I'm just curious whether the trucks coming out of Detroit nowadays have the pushing power of the older trucks. That's not to say older trucks are "better"--after all, automotive technology has advanced considerably in the past 20-30 years. But I would guess that certain things have improved while others have declined (I've had a number of mechanics, for example, say that the drivetrains on the newer Dodges don't withstand the abuse they did when my truck was built).

    RODHALL Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    new trucks don't plow anything like the old ones.

    Gears ---- I don't know 4.10 gears are just that 4.10. 727- 3rd (high) gear is the same as A518/46rh 3rd gear (1 to 1) first and second gear are roughly the same also they just added over drive in the A518

    You really need to look at the suspention to see why older trucks plow better. the leaf sprung trucks don't have the give in them, any weight transfer is tranferd to the other side (any weight transfered from the front right corner goes to the front left) Solid axles ....

    the coil over trucks give and try to transfer weight throughout the truck IFS Transfers weight from the front right to Right rear and small amount to the left front. so you putting any weight transfer away from the weight you pushing, making traction an issue.

    It go back to old drag racers saying "it not the power you have it how you get the power to groung"
  7. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    I vote the new trucks push more. the old ones (seventies and earlier) were better at driving through the woods though since the trees and limbs didnt dent or ruin the body as much. They were basically all around tougher from the roof down in materials.
    Far as pushing, just because your bouncing around in the cab more and the steering wheel has so much play you turn it like your driving a cruise ship it doesnt mean your pushing more just that you FEEL like your pushing more. Then a new truck flies by you pushing the same snow with better suspension and a better ride and the new truck doesnt sound like it is even working.
    this is just a novice opinion.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2008
  8. Sweetpete

    Sweetpete Senior Member
    Messages: 325

    FWIW....my 04 F250 has a solid front axle and front leaf springs. I think it pushes the snow really well

    I also am glad I purchased the last year they offered the leaf springs up front. It just seems "old school" It's a really tough working 4x4 with the newer technology.

    I really love the truck. The auto does really well. I just throw her in 1st gear and let her go. Very little traction problems.

    I love this truck. But I enjoy this thread also. Nothing beats a good, hard working, well built truck. GM, Dodge, Ford or othewise.
  9. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    My 78 GMC with 35" mudders and 7.5ft Meyers will out push any new truck. Those new trucks are just a waste of money. I love plowing circles around them, :D
  10. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    I don't believe a 70's automatic is a better transmission then what they build today.

    RODHALL Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    the 727 used from mid 60's up 89/90 are as strong as (if not stronger) then the RE48
    there is no way the A518/46rh was in the same class. Everyone of them had overdrive issues.

    I remember pulling 94 1500 with the A518 off the truck because the would not move under there own power it had a whole 13 miles on it
  12. Metro Lawn

    Metro Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,306

    The TF-727 is indeed a stronger transmission. You have to remember, this is the same unit used in the late 60s and early 70's muscle cars. I have never lost a 727 in a plow truck yet. I have bought some that were bad, but I don't know how they did it.
  13. topdj

    topdj Senior Member
    Messages: 396

    when I was a kid in 1975 my dad bought new power wagon with a7.5 meyers and that 727power train lasted into the late 90s untill the truck rotted away
  14. 91AK250

    91AK250 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,657

    i've only plowed with my '91 250 and a '94 1500 chevy, both trucks where autos.

    now with that said my 250 has moved alot of snow..but i know theres alot of bigger batter trucks that can prolly push more i personaly would love a new truck but seeing as how i cant afford that i'll stick with my old truck for now...it does a damn good job at what it does.
  15. sno commander

    sno commander PlowSite.com Addict
    from ct
    Messages: 1,063

    i agree that the 727 auto was an excellent trans, i have had 2 plow trucks with them and never had a problem, but i think if you take a newer cummins diesel with 325 hp and 610 tq i don't think it will last as long as the 48re( 2004 and newer) As far as new truck vs old, i think i can push more with my 88 sno commander than my newer one because im not scared to beat the crap out of it or slide into anything:D
  16. FordFisherman

    FordFisherman PlowSite.com Addict
    from 06611
    Messages: 1,613

    I think its all about weight, traction and gears. I've plowed with a Ford 300 6cyl, a 292 Chevy, a couple of 351 Fords and the 5.4 I have now. You have to find the sweet spot for each particular vehicle. For instance, my 5.4 loves 4 low; feels like it could tear a house down. The 351's pushed well in 4 high like the 292 Chevy; the 300 6cyl Ford wouldn't go without 4 low. That being said , I love the older trucks. They were built heavier with steel, not plastic. The weight of the older trucks helps them push better IMO.:drinkup:
  17. rocknrollrednec

    rocknrollrednec Senior Member
    Messages: 108

    I plow mountain roads, and you have to be just a little bit nuts to do it well (I really need to get some pics for y'all) and plowing with my 87 Dodge, I don't even worry. It's such a tough old beater that I don't worry about hurting it, or not being able to push the snow. whereas a few of my neighbors attempt to plow, but they worry about damaging their "pretty" trucks. :rolleyes:
    I think just that makes all the difference in the world. If you're timid about the whole thing, worrying about breakage or just getting stuck, you're not going to do the job as well.
  18. g.moore

    g.moore Senior Member
    Messages: 164

    Some of you have seen what I plow. I have a 1964 IH 1200 w/ a 7.5' Meyer engine driven hydraulics and a 1996 Ram 2500 12V CTD Snow Way 25 8' blade. Side by side the IH will run rings around the Dodge. I plowed 1 winter with only the IH and this winter with only my Dodge and ATV. IH is down till spring, steering box failed so about 90% through a P/S upgrade and brakes have never worked so putting a D44 w/ discs up front and a 12 bolt in the rear which is about 70% done. After running for 4 months w/o the IH I really really miss it. Dodge will push but only if it's chained (both have 33x12.5" tires) the IH will go wherever it's pointed in a straight line the Dodge will only go sideways if I have a heavy push. When it comes to relying on a plow truck to get out to the main road I'll take old iron any day.
  19. jjklongisland

    jjklongisland Senior Member
    Messages: 470

    Well said... The phrase, "They just don't make them like they used to" is exactly what this post is about... Theres nothing like thick steel bodies and a stiff harsh ride that makes you know your in a WORK truck. When I close my door hard I dont want to worry about breaking it. My 89 W250 pushes snow great. And I have to admit that I take alot more chances or push her alot harder than I would a newer pickup cause she doesn't cost me a dime. If she went on fire tomorrow I would walk away saying, wow, what a great truck... Yeah its got to be nice plowing with heated seats and all the creature comforts of a new truck offers but I would be too nervous breaking something on a new truck with a $600 a month payment... Plus push that new truck as much as some people push their older dodges, gm's and fords, and lets see how long it will last. I know many times I played tug of war with my old trucks that I wouldnt even attempt in a new one. I recently was considering selling my truck to get a newer plusher truck but changed my mind cause I didn't thing it made much economical sense. So when my lease is up on my wifes trailblazer I am going to replace it with a new crew cab but I will not plow with it. That will be my fancy grocery getter and tv picker upper from best buy while the real workhorse sits in my back yard waiting to see snow again...
  20. Duncan90si

    Duncan90si Senior Member
    Messages: 602

    I'm trying to think of a 4x4, IFS, coil spring suspension pick up truck. I can't think of one that fits that criteria. Would you mind telling me which pickups they are??? :rolleyes: