Some Observations - Gas vs Diesel

We have had our first two snowfalls. The first was 6" wet and the second was only 2 and 1/2 ".

We have two trucks. Both have identical Boss plows.

The diesel is a 2000 6.5 litre old style extended cab short box that I use in forestry most of the time.

The other is a 2000 6.0 litre gas new style extended cab, short box that was bought to plow snow in comfort.

Both have similar tires, and both have the same transmission and 3:73 gears. My diesel has a posi, because I bought it off the lot.

Anyway, 6 hours into the first storms plowing, the fuel pump packed it in on the 6.0 litre gas. I got the call of the breakdown, and left work to switch trucks. (My plowing was done 2 hours before, and my plow was back off and I was 15 miles away). So I met the other truck, pulled off the Boss, pinned it on my diesel and waved at both the tow truck taking the gas job to the dealer and my truck as it went back to work. I got another person to drive me back to work.

That night, dealer said they "had lots of 1/2 fuel pumps, but it will be 2 days to get a 3/4 ton fuel pump, and NO, you can't have our yard plow truck". They offered me an Impala rental, so I said make sure it has heavy front springs, because the weather forcast was for 4 more inches that night and we have a homeless Boss. He didn't see the humour in that.

To the point of this long post, I hardly saw my truck for 2 days. Ronnie had it going pretty steady doing both routes plus limited sanding of freezing rain on Friday morning, and I got to sleep in and drive all over the place in an Impala.

He said, though the trucks are similar in size and everything else, the diesel had much more "lift" when starting to push a blade of wet snow on unfrozen ground. More pushing power with seemingly less pedal applied also. The diesel (old style) held up the plow better, but the brakes and visibility were poorer. The front end was not pushed around by the plow so much in the diesel. Ronnie complained that I have no heated leather seats - a real hardship.

In terms of fuel, he has used the 2000 6.0 litre for 2 full winters now, and he reported, after fueling, that the diesel took 35% less fuel volume to do the same route.

We got the truck back on Friday, and no snow in the forecast now, ofcourse. I told the dealer that we put plugs in the holes we drilled in the Impala's frame to hang the Boss - again, he wasn't in a terribly good mood.

In 21 years, this was the first breakdown to take a truck out of commission for more than a couple of hours.


Western CT
I had the complaint about the brakes when I switched to diesels. I think the old Fords (not sure on Chevy's) ran the same brakes. The diesel weighs a lot more plus the weight of the plow and sander meant the brakes would get spongy or weak towards the end of the storm. Just something they have to be careful on. I don't want them driving like animals anyway. I also check and adjust the rear brakes and the proportioning valve often to make sure the bias is right with all the weight added to both ends. On a big truck you need the rear brakes to be doing more work if there is a spreader or weight in the back.

I think Ford has addressed this on new SD's as the one I drove with a full load of sand braked very nicely.


2000 Club Member
AS far as braking goes, remember that the old style diesel is still using drums in the rear, and the newer gas truck has discs all away around. The ford SD has discs all away around as well.

4 Saisons

Senior Member
PLowing with a impala, would like to see

Your dealer is probably a friend of my insurance agent. They told me if someone steal my truck, they will pay for a replacement car rental. How i will be able to hook a plow? so i said i will be better to rent a bobcat, loader, tractor or anything else ready to plow the snow.. Nnnnnno way they said, insurance contract is on a truck, so rental money must stay in that category..So it mean instaling plow bracket on a rental truck for 30 days( period of usual waiting for recovery).