To duely or Not to Duely

I have a 1988 Chevy V-30, 10,000 lb GVW (K-30 with an old style cab) a 350 engine Standard 4 speed w/creeper gear, 4.11 rears, duel rear wheels, and a Fisher HD 9' Municipal punch plow. Plowing or not plowing the truch has always had a hard time getting through soft turf or snow deeper than 5". I started plowing with this truck in 94 when my old 68 K-20 died (the best plowing truck I have ever had). The problem is I am going through clutches like crazey. When the snow is deeper thn 5" I have to plow everywhere I want to go.
Would it be better to just run single tires in the rear ?

thanks for the help



Dually is a problem

Pamela on the money, I have seen guys actually take off their outside tires for snow plowing, so that their is more weight on the rear tires, you are splitting the weight over two instead of four. It looks ugly, but it works, now i do not know if this would mess up any gearing because of the lighter resistance going to the rear tires, but... I have seen guys do this for that very reason.

75 Addict
I use a 2wd dually for plowing myself and I find it actually works pretty good for me (mind you it's pretty heavy, up around 8,000 lbs +) with a good set of tires across the back. Running with single tires on the rear will help for traction (more "bite" as MusGuy points out) and won't affect the rear axle gears any. It might be just as easy to use one of the exisiting Budd rims off the back per side along with its clamp ring. If you do decide to run with the K-20 wheel, use the K-20 lug nuts as well. They take a 7/8" socket. The lug nuts for the dual wheels take a 1" socket and have a different taper (to fit the clamp ring) that won't match exactly with the taper on your K-20 wheel's bolt holes. Good luck! By the way, is the clutch problem a result of having to "feather" it a lot or is it something else entirely? My welding truck ('79 C-30 with the same trans as yours, mechanical clutch linkage) has had no clutch problems in the 2 years since we bought it, well used by a tire company. Then again, we also had an '88 with the same trans again (hydraulic clutch) and we had quite a few problems with it. Were there problems with GM clutches around that time anyone?


Junior Member

I have an 83 gmc 3500 dump 2wd with a 8ft plow and have never ever thought about takeing on eset of the rear wheels off to plow. Now I do realize that it doesn't get the best traction in the world , but I have never had problems with the clutch on not being able to plow any amount of snow. Also I am careful about where I take the truck. Usually I have problems with steep inclines. And also I put a ton of sand in the back. Then again I do doctors offices and things like that. Here in Delaware there aren't too many steep hills so it doesn't do bad. Don't get me wrong, I would love for it to be 4wd.. but its not so I make do.

75 Addict
You bring up a good point there brimow, that of weight. And if it hasn't already been done, adding weight to the back of the truck would be a good place to start, and easier than busting the wheel nuts loose. In a post over in the Ford truck forum, wyldman mentioned a good idea of running a ballast bumper, basically a custom fabbed bumper that was good and heavy that replaces the regular bumper. One of my friends did a similar idea, making a weight that plugged into his receiver hitch. Another way to add a bunch of weight to a pickup is a piece of steel plate, it can lay in the back and not take up space. (1/2" plate 4' x 8' = approx 650 lbs, 3/4" plate 4' x 8' = almost 1,000 lbs)

As I mentioned I also plow 2wd and it works fine - my truck is heavy because I built it that way. ( custom fabbed deck, winch, rigging etc) Tires are important as well. I have seen it done the other way too (running single set of wheels on the back for winter) and just wanted to point out the potential pitfall of the mismatch between the two styles of wheel nuts.

I'm still wondering about the truck "eating" clutches though.


2000 Club Member
Ok, we have a few factors at work here, the biggest being operator error. If you cant get traction than why are you burning clutches? You must be riding the clutch, that is the only way to burn one up. With that low 1st gear there is no reason on Gods green earth to fry a clutch in any truck. The rear end also is geared way low enough to keep that from happening. Dual or single wheels you will have the same problem.
Next is the fact that the dually p/u basically have a cab and chassis spring combo under them, and very little rear weight, the bed is quite light, add to that a 9' fisher plow further tranfering weight to the front, and that all equals no traction. Plowing 101 is counter weight on the rear. So go and put at least 1000-1500# is the bed of that truck and some agressive tires and plow your heart away.
I have 3 of that style truck and they all plow great, worst case add a locker to the rear and really push some snow. But with the 4x4 I cant see why traction is such an issue.
If that doesnt solve your problems, get an auto, sounds like you really need one anyway.
No need to requote everything 75 posted Thanks Dino
The truck does have a hydraulic clutch and I try not to slip it. As I said I never had any problems with the mechanical clutch in the '68 K-20. Perhaps that might be something to investigate.



[Edited by plowking35 on 03-02-2001 at 02:38 AM]


2000 Club Member
GM did not have any problems with hydro clutches, in fact they still use them, in fact everyone does. GM started in 84 or 85 and its a good system.What it does do however is keep the pedal high, so if you are in the habit of reating your foot on the clutch pedal, it very well may in fact be slightly engaging the clutch causing slippage. Get to know your truck, and it will take care of you. So many problems are attributed to the truck or the maker of the truck, and in fact it is operator error.

Ive got plenty of traction on the rear wheels

its the clutch that doesn't have traction *giggle*

As for balast with the utility body and the spreader Ive got 2 tons over the back wheels
add another ton+ (12,000 heavy) when the spreader is full.

Its more like I have too much traction or drag or something
and the clutch is the weak link


75 Addict
Pam - I didn't realize you were running with that much weight when I posted earlier, so I'm going to take back what I said about running with single wheels: You need the dual wheels out back to carry the 12,000 lbs or so with the spreader full! I'm afraid I can't offer any input into the clutch situation though.


2000 Club Member
Then we go back to driver error, that truck will not eat clutches on its own. The driver must be doing something in order to allow the clutch to slip.
If all else fails get an auto.

GeoffD Veteran
We have 4 trucks with either rack bodies or dump bodies. They all have 9' Diamond blades or 9.5' V-Plows. We have plowed with no weight in the body of the truck. It works ok however not a great as a truck with weight in the back. So we have cement blocks that we casted that add about 2000 lbs of weight to the back of each truck. With that much weight the trucks can plow almost anything.

My thought it your pick up doesn't have the weight on the rear end of the truck, that my rack and dump body's weigh.

I guess I need to find out more about the hydraulic part of the clutch

and yes Dino I am sure there are times I do slip it myself

but something is deffinately wrong and has been since day one.

this is the first duely I ever owned so I wasn't sure

I just got through reading through the 13 pages and think this place is really neet

Im glad I found it :) You guys are really nice

I have always loved winter and when it snows

and to that guy in Albany ..... yeah It is so nice plowing at 3am when its snowing

Thanks again for all your help

pamela :)


2000 Club Member
There are three parts to a hrdro clutch.
1-pedal, which has a mechanical linkage to part #2
2- master cyl, sits on firewall next to the left of the brake booster
3-slave cylinder which is located on the bell and connects to the clutch fork and is connected to the master cyl. with a brake line type hose

When the slave cyl goes bad it usually leads to a disengagement probelm, not an egagement problem.
Just a thought, but with all that weight you are using low gear when starting the push right? Many people try to use 1 instead of L because 1 is syncroed and L isnt.
Just another thought.We had a similar problem with an 89 GMC R25 crew cab(old body style).We installed a clutch and it lasted about 3 months.Told the driver we cannot warranty it and that it was driver error because it was burnt up from slipping.We replaced it and he paid the bill.Came back in about 2 months for another clutch.We put in another unit,and found it was slipping as soon as we left the shop.Turns out the supplier was sending the wrong clutch set and the release bearing was too thick,causing the clutch to stay partially disengaed.It was very hard to diagnose as they hydralic clutches don't really have any free play.Seemed to be hard to find the right listing for the older body style trucks after 88,as most had switched to the new body style.Lesson learned,DOUBLE CHECK the parts.

slplow Veteran
Wyldman, I think you hit it right on the botton. It could also be a cheap clutch. Don't go to pep- boys, auto palace or cap, for a clutch. Go to napa and get a heavy duty clutch, you should be getting at leased 60,000 out of one.
Ok here is what I have found out

It seems like the throw out bearing is ok. The slave cylinder is pushing against the pressure plate but very gently. I guess this time they sold me the right parts. The truck does pull through the clutch but if I drive it in a lower gear than I am used to with less gas everything works fine. I have been keeping it at around 15-25 mph in 1st gear ( which is actually 2ed) but they call 1st Low. Been plowing for 3 days now and have not smoked the clutch much. (though there were one or two times.) This has been a great storm. Dino I have been starting in Low gear more often now and that helps too. I go out every 6 inches so its not like Im trying to push a foot everywhere. Though this stuff has been really heavy the truck has little problem with 6" of it.

From all the Posts I realized I am in a big truck and its heavy so Ive not been driving it like its the Monte

I cant believe I might have to put another clutch in it this summer but this one isn't doing it and It's not gonna last long either.

wondering if the parts guy at chevy has a super heavy duty one for it.

Hope you all had a safe and prosperous storm

thanks for all your help


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