1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

tire chains

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by greenbean, Dec 27, 2005.

  1. greenbean

    greenbean Junior Member
    from Ma
    Messages: 11

    I have a Chevy 2WD dually dump and in the manual it says not to use tire chains on a dually. Is this Chevy covering themselves or is there something wrong w/ using chains on dual tires. Need some extra grip w/ the 2WD. Any help would be appreciated.

    Green Bean
  2. WINTER 3

    WINTER 3 Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 80

    I run chains on ford trucks w/ dual wheels. Never had a problem. I have 4 wheel drive. You should be fine. Make sure chain links on inside are secured. You don't want to hit the brake lines.
  3. RWK in WI

    I believe that on some 1 ton trucks with dual rears there is not enough clearance between the inside tire and the suspension for chains to clear. It may also rub on brake lines.
    It may be possible to run single wheel chains on just the outer wheel.
    I hope this helps you.
  4. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation Senior Member
    Messages: 413

    I would run chains on mine on the outside wheel only . If the chain comes off and tears up that extended fender it will rip it up real good, and they arent cheap. I found that agressive tires and weight in the back do the trick.
  5. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Boy are you brave- you may be the only 2wd dually in the state!

    LOTS of weight and good SNOW rated tires are your first priority- chains have to clear, as said. Just make sure they clear everything and make sure they stay tight on the wheel. you can run single wheel chains on the outer wheel (never, and I mean never waste your $$ or cable chains BTW). If you run dually chains you can get 2 different styles- long cross chains that run over both wheels or segmented which is essentially 2 chains sharing the center tension chain- I recomend these since breaking a cross chain will be far less damaging to your fenders with them being much shorter.

    PersonallyIf you can;t get some weight in the back and good tires chains will help, but only marginally- some may argue that, but it's true. Lack of weight over the rear you will get more traction from the chains but you're still going to spin the wheels alot and wear those chains right out.

    If you must drive that truck in the snow see what can be done about looseing one of the dualls- run it SRW with snows, weight and you may not need chains as such.

    I hope you're not trying to do driveways with it- if you are make sure you have a 4x4 friend with a tow chain.
  6. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    I would never use chains. All they are is peace of mind for people afraid they are going to get stuck. They were all right back in the day on the old yard truck that had bald bias plys, for plowing the old farm lane, but with modern tires and plenty of ballast you just don't need them. I have seen the damage they do if they come undone, it is just not worth it, not to mention that they can tear up pavement too. I would rather pay a tow truck to winch me out than replace body panels or tires and brakelines. I know some oldtimers swear by them, but all you really need is good tires and weight. And with a 2wd you need more weight. I know these chain guys are going to jump all over me, oh well, I'm just voicing my opinion. I have driven 2wd dual wheel trucks in every kind of snow and ice conditions for years, yes I have got stuck a couple times, but generally a 2wd is adequate as long as you drive with your brain and not your right foot. I drove wreckers for years, was constantly out rescuing 4wd SUVs that couldn't negotiate the roads, while the 2wd wreckers did fine. Just dont go anywhere where you might have to back up a big icy hill, that's where you'll get in trouble, when the weight transfer lightens the rearend. If you already have the chains, keep them in the truck, if you get stuck you can throw them on the ground and drive over them. I have a dually now, and I plow driveways with it, even though it can't be done. I have 600# in the bed, all season tread, and almost never touch the 4wd. A lot of guys hit the 4wd the minute they get in the truck, but I only use it when the situation requires it. I have several friends that plow commercially with 2wd 1 ton Chevys, they don't ever get stuck because they know their route and are probably just better drivers than Mr. Pushbutton 4x4. Come to think of it, aren't nearly all the highway plows and sanders on 2wd medium and heavy duty trucks? Aren't most tow trucks 2wd? How do they do it? About the only situation I can think of where chains would be justified would be offroad, and if you need to plow offroad stuff, I'd look for some other accounts. Okay, I'm ready, hit me!
  7. chtucker

    chtucker Senior Member
    Messages: 618

    Yeah, I will jump all over you. The state and city trucks here are 4wd. Big Internationals, Big Volvos and Big oshkoshs. Chains have a place, it easier to put them on before you get stuck. Depends on the terrain and the snow conditions.

    I don't think I know anyone with 2wd pickup for 50 miles. I certainly don't know anyone who plows anything (commercially) with a 2wd truck......maybe a lot truck, but why risk it.

    FYI we have received almost 140" of snow so far this year and have another 4.5 months of plowable snow to go.
  8. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    yeah I guess in big hill country like where you are it wouldn't make sense to have 2wd. Those big hills aren't something you can compensate for. I'm sure the terrain where I live is pretty similar to Greenbeans. We do have some little hills that can be troublesome, but not even in the same ballpark as Colorado. When I lived in Upstate NY in the Adirondacks we had big-time lake effect snow, and the beasts they plowed the highways with were all wheel drive Osh Kosh B'goshes (hee hee) and FWDs.
    So, allow me to clarify my earlier point: You don't need chains on a 2wd in Mass. Unless you're out in the Berkshires. Then you should think about getting a four wheel drive.
    Well, let me put that another way. I would not be afraid to plow anywhere east of Springfield Mass with a 2wd 6 wheeler with no chains. If you look around, I'm sure you will notice more of them than you thought were out there.
    If I had the good fortune to live in Colorado (some of the most beautiful country there is) I know what I would plow with: International CXT 4x6 with an 8611 Blizzard.

    BOMBER Member
    Messages: 33

    How about a rear axle locker, so you at least have two wheel drive instead of one wheel drive?!! :nod:
  10. Tommy10plows

    Tommy10plows Senior Member
    Messages: 345

    Chains excite me

    I will take a set of v-bar reinforced chains any day over ballast, or any set of snow tire treads, lugs, mud and snows, or all season tires any day. I plow the steepest residential drives in my town, and would not climb up the drives without them.

    In the middle of the night when the snow is on the ground a foot deep, you aren't getting your local triple a tow truck driver to come out and jerk you out of a snow drift or off the side of a hill because your truck slid sideways into a ditch or off the side of a mountain. You have to be an army of one, and that means being prepared. I rely on my equipment, and my equipment takes care of me.
  11. Winter Land Man

    Winter Land Man Senior Member
    Messages: 723

    I read an old message from a guy on here, who said he had a 2wd 1-ton with a front AND wing plow. I also know of a Cemetery Dept. truck that is 2wd and they put sand in it during the winter and never get stuck, and one of their roads they plow in some cemetery, is all uphill.
  12. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    The thing is, guys, the state and cemetary dept all plow straight lines- roads. No driveways. The state USES CHAINS, as do almost all municipalities. Chains have a place and a proper useage. The damage done from chains is from incorrect usage. You NEVER drive over 30mph with chains on- period. You NEVER let your wheels spin either. You also want to use tightners- home made or bought at all ties with chains- keep them tight and they will work and last- loose and they fail quickly.

    Ballast is definatly needed- all municipal and state trucks have lots of it- several tons usually. a 2wd truck can plow- not driveways. A wrecker (my father used to plow with them too in the old days) adds ballast. All season's are not the best choice- you want true winter snow rated tires. especially now with the modern tires.

    There are 2wd trucks in New England- and 2wd Duallies but they are useless for driveways- only good for parking lots and road work- and only then WITH atleast 600 lbs ballast (I run that minimun in a 4x4 SRW).

    A good driver can do alot in 2wd, but facts is in New England without chains and/or ballast a 2wd dually is only as good as the first hill, then it's all over. I've seen plenty of them and just shook my head as I drove past.
  13. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    Bull#$%. If I can plow driveways with my dually in 2wd, then why couldnt a 1 ton dump 2wd with plenty of ballast plow a driveway? Obviously one would have to be choosy about which driveways to take on, stay away from any ridiculous steep ones, but there is no reason it can't be done. And a dump would be even better than a dually pickup, due to the narrower track. You pushbutton guys are all spoiled. And whover said they'd rather have chains than ballast, well that's got to be one of the stupidest things I've read here yet. Gee, I better start putting my truck in 4wd now when I start plowing, and I'll call up my friends who plow with 2 wheel drives and tell them they can't anymore, because it is impossible.
  14. The Cowboy

    The Cowboy Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    I plow with a 1978 Chevy 3/4 ton 2wd. I put 1000 lbs of ballast in the back and it does great with an 8 foot plow. And I don't have duallies either, so if anyone has questions about whether it can be done or not , let me know. I plow estates, long drives, and up hills, it can get risky, but I use my brains. never got stuck yet, I have plowed 6 inches of wet snow without a problem. I make it a habit to never have to plow any more than that at one time.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2005
  15. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    The Cowboy said the keys: Use your head- 1000Lbs BALLAST - plow one at a time.
    Just because you have a pentiont for 2wd trucks doesn't mean we're all "push-button 4wd-ers". Never had a push button in my life. 90% of the time I push in 2wd. I was taught 4wd is for when you get stuck, while that's not true- if I can do it in 2wd I do. I have plowed complete storms in 2wd. I have also plowed my Chevy Dump in 2wd- yeah it can be done. Do I have 4wd as the backup- you bet. I would never have bought the truck if it were 2wd only with plowing intentions.

    The dump, I agree, is a better option than a dually pickup, but because a dump bed weighs more than a pickup bed- the track width is the same. A GMC3500 is a GMC3500. The only differences in a CAB-Chassis and a pickup is sometimes the cab-chassis is a longer WHEELBASE by a few inches.
    The dual wheels are to spread the weight out over a larger area which decreases the pressure to the ground- decreasing traction per wheel in snow. I can't count how many 2wd duallies I have seen stuck on PLOWED ROADS after a storm.

    Now- First- you DO have a 4wd dually Detroitdan- based on what you said- you choose to plow in 2wd- good for you. The issue is you HAVE 4wd available when you need it, as opposed to a 2wd truck. I am sure MOST of us plow in 2wd a portion of the time, but very few of us would intentionally BUY a 2wd only dually for driveway plowing- especially in hilly areas or wet snow prone areas.

    Second- the OP's question has nothing to do with the merits of 4wd versus 2wd- he's asking about chains on his truck. He HAS a 2wd dually- the OM says not to use chains and he want's to know why and if you can. Question has been answered.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2005
  16. DugHD

    DugHD Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 420

    (Quote)The dump, I agree, is a better option than a dually pickup, but because a dump bed weighs more than a pickup bed- the track width is the same. A GMC3500 is a GMC3500. The only differences in a CAB-Chassis and a pickup is sometimes the cab-chassis is a longer WHEELBASE by a few inches.
    The dual wheels are to spread the weight out over a larger area which decreases the pressure to the ground- decreasing traction per wheel in snow. I can't count how many 2wd duallies I have seen stuck on PLOWED ROADS after a storm.(Quote)

    The track width is not the same from a dually p/u to a dually one ton dump, if thats what you were saying.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2005
  17. if you really feel the need to run chains, i would recommend putting them on the outside tires only on a dually, that is what we do when we have to chain up the paystars to climb the mountains. 99% of the time we run no chains and just throw some sand in the body for weight.
  18. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    I don't have a penchant for 2wd trucks, and I would never intentionally buy one to plow. But if I had one for other reasons, like a dump for cordwood or landscaping, I would not hesitate to throw a plow on it. I wouldn't run chains, though. I learned to use 4wd as a last resort, so most of what I do is in 2wd. I think it is important to have 4wd so I can get myself out of tough situations if I need to, and I use the truck for hunting season and use the 4wd in the woods. Also I have had to use the 4wd a couple times while pulling my camper out of some wet grassy places where I didnt want to spin the tires and wreck the place. I love 4wd and will probably never own anything but, I haven't for many years. But I was just trying to offer to Greenbean my opinion; that I don't really think he needs chains on a 2wd dump. I don't see why the merits of 4wd versus 2wd are called into question, how can you have the discussion otherwise? People told him it can't be done with a 2wd, and I said it can. I apologize if you were offended by my "pushbutton" comment. Since you don't have one, I guess I wasn't directing it at you, was I? I was more or less aiming at the white collar guys who buy a $40,000 heavy duty pickup (just to go to Home Depot on weekends) and a plow and play at being blue collar, but really probably don't have a clue about what trucks are made of. And those are the guys that my friends with 2wd dumps are pulling out when they get stuck. And I'm afraid you're wrong about the dually rearend. It's been covered here before. My dually pickup rearend is quite a bit wider than Greenbeans. That's why his tires fit under the body, and mine has big fat fenders to cover the outside tires. You are right about the dual wheels, it divides up the weight so you should use more ballast to compensate. But having four separate contact patches with twice as many tread blocks grabbing at the ground can also be an advantage in many situations. So far my dual rear wheels have not had a bit of trouble with traction, 600# ballast has proven to be more than enough. The truck will carry a whole lot more than that, but I don't feel it needs it.
  19. pdude

    pdude Junior Member
    from ct
    Messages: 13

    i have a 1980 ford f350 2wd with and 8 foot plow(dually dumpbed 4000 pounds of sand). plowing level the truck could push anything. as soon as i get to the tinest incline its alll over. what should have taking me 15 mins took me an hour due the tires spin on the littlest amount of snow. i dont drive with chains on it anymore cuz they keep tearin up everythin but when i do get stuck i spread them out behind the tires and that works. after to day im givin the truck one more chance, im goin to put more sand on. if that doesnt work ill be lookin for a new truck with 4wd
  20. Mick

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

    I bought chains for my 4x4 dually, but have never used then. One word of caution about taking off any of the rear tires. I did that a couple years ago and was informed by the Highway Patrol that changing the factory configuration of the rear tires for any vehicle with ABS is illegal. With commercial plates, there could be a big problem payup . Fortunately, he told me that while I was sitting in the restuarant parking lot and he left before I did. The next time he saw me, I had all the rear tires on the truck.