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What gears can i plow in?

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by Palmeron18, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. Palmeron18

    Palmeron18 Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    I searched the forum to try and determine what gear i should plow in. Is it best to always plow with overdrive off? does that make it better for the transmission but just burn more fuel? is it good to plow in 1st or 2nd? all posts were concerning shifting or tranny problems that i found in the search. can someone explain what the difference is between od and non-od.
  2. AC2717

    AC2717 Senior Member
    Messages: 690

    Always like to hear people's thoughts on this as well
  3. mxjake387

    mxjake387 Junior Member
    Messages: 26

    Ive heard that its recommended to stay out of overdrive, but not completely sure this is true.
  4. Triple L

    Triple L PlowSite Fanatic
    from Canada
    Messages: 6,078

    Well this is JMO... i plow in 1st gear.... all the way down... In my thinking, i figure, your going along about 20 km/h in first, when you get to the end of the pile and let off the gas the first thing the truck does is shift into second... then as your coming to a stop its back into first, then you drop it into reverse... By plowing in first you elminate 2 un-necessary shifts.... times that by 500+ direction changes per event and that adds up... I cant see why you'd need 2nd gear to plow with to begin with... thats just way to fast... plus if you dont got a allison, the slightly higher rpms going ahead will help charge up your battries...

    Thats just my thoughts, many may be different.... plus its simple.... drop the shifter all the way to the bottom, not just 2 clicks :D
  5. TonawandaNY

    TonawandaNY Senior Member
    Messages: 160

    your owners manual is the best place to find this answer. Most owners manuals will tell you not to tow in OD, I would think that applies to plowing as well.
  6. doo-man

    doo-man Senior Member
    Messages: 387

    My mechanic said plow in drive or lower only as most vehicles od is shared with reverse! Just my 2 cents!
  7. Bruce'sEx

    Bruce'sEx Senior Member
    Messages: 873

    We plow in first, and only first. Thats one of the first things we ask a driver when we are in need of a new driver. There is no need to even go into second when plowing, if you need second normally means your going to fast. And before I get quote or anything. This is just our view point on the issue and practice. I've never looked for backing research into it, nor do I think I would find it cause it's just not something people look into much
  8. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    In drive and go. If your truck is struggling that much you better take a smaller bite.
  9. show-n-go

    show-n-go Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    Thats the same thing i do. Unless your driving fast your truck will never see overdrive anyway. I'll ask my transmission guy and see what he says.
  10. farmer101

    farmer101 Senior Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 112

    think of it this way. your transmition knows what it can take and what gear it needs to be in for what load is on it. so you should be able to just throw it in overdrive and go. but if you insist on shifting into a specific gear, what kind of truck are you driving? if it is a ford and you start out shifting an auto, you HAVE to start in first. if you start in second, the trans is locked in second and that is harder on the tranny. i cant say for sure for dodge or chevy but i know this is fact with ford so keep that in mind. but as stated before, if you have trouble in overdrive, maybe you need a smaller bite or a new tranny.
  11. Triple L

    Triple L PlowSite Fanatic
    from Canada
    Messages: 6,078

    Last edited: Nov 9, 2009
  12. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    What was that? You were going to tell us how you plow in neutral?:D
  13. 91AK250

    91AK250 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,657

    i run in 4low o/d locked out and in D or first its worked well. after the last tranny install right after we got the truck the tranny guy said to use 4low to help take stress off the tranny.
  14. Grampa Plow

    Grampa Plow Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 274

    Drive is the way my manual says it. The chevy dealer said DRIVE, that's why they call it an automatic transmission. If you shift down to 1st, it doesn't shift up. If you start out in 2nd, it starts and stays in 2nd. I've been plowing since 1975 and I have replaced 3 transmissions. Take care of the truck and it will take care of you, otherwise put your preferred wrecker service on you speed dial.
  15. mayhem

    mayhem PlowSite.com Addict
    from Peru MA
    Messages: 1,016

    4HI, put it in D and drop the blade. You'll never plow in OD unless you're going like 45mph. IIRC you don't want to go over 10-12mph while plowing.

    If your truck has a tow/haul mode you should switch it on when you plow. OD on or off shouldn't really matter much.

    DAFFMOBILEWASH PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,602

    I thinkmost of the issues arise from rocking the gear selector from R to D while the truck is still in motion. As for me I run with the OD off when I am plowing. Keeping the \rpm's up helps cool the trans in between lots and charges the battery a little bit more. While plowing I generally just use R and D. Shifting between gears slowly and mixing up the snow depths on a larger lot. Temperature in the trans is a killer!!!! When plowing on gravel and deeeep snow I might even drop her in 4 low!!!
  17. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Very good post and very very good procedure to follow. The less it shifts the less heat and wear it produces. No point in letting it upshift unnecessarily 10 ft before you're about to stop anyway. I'll bet your trans guy hates you.

    And for those not sure, OD on or off makes absolutely no difference when traveling under 30 MPH anyway. Holding it in the correct gear for the job is far more important.
  18. 91AK250

    91AK250 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,657

    the only time o/d off does make a differance when in 4low, if you leave it on when in drive it will shift into it. otherwise it doesnt really matter.
  19. plowinginma

    plowinginma Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 326

    This seems to be a question that has been around for a while... Everyone has a different view.. I have plowed with many different makes and models.. The majority being GMC/Chevy. I have destroyed transmissions from plowing.. Heck I have destroyed just about everything that can be destroyed.. all makes and models..
    I would like to state that I am abusive on my trucks by most peoples standards..

    However.. I have NEVER!!!!! Not once had tranny issues with a vehicle that I only plow in 1..(all the way down). When I say Never I mean Never .. Old or new trucks... I make all my guys do it now.. If you don't,, you are fired!! If I catch you.. You are fired.

    It sounds harsh.. yes I agree.. but I could have puchased a very nice home just on the money I have spent repairing transmissions.. After Implementing my rule. $0 on transmission rebuilds.. One would say they build them better now ??? I would say they have found how to build them as cheap as possible!!
    Protect your investment plow in 1

    DAFFMOBILEWASH PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,602

    Have been thinking.... With all the programers on the newer trucks and the availability of changing shift patterns would it possible to activate a switch inside the truck which would lock the trans in first gear and reverse??? Thus only having to go from R to D, letting the computer do the rest of the work. Instead of the Crazy Larry have a Snow plow trans saver package.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2009