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What's more abusive to a transmission?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by GTLS, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. GTLS

    GTLS Member
    Messages: 65

    Hey guys I have a question for anyone who knows, or has an idea. I am wondering how abusive is plowing REALLY on a transmission? If you take it easy on the truck, is it really all that bad? I am strongly considering putting one on my truck and picking up a few local driveways, but just want to check. In the summer I have a mowing business, and I pull around my 16' enclosed loaded with 2 mowers(1 rider and 1 walk behind), which I'm thinking is much worse especially up hills.

    Any information would be very helpful! Thanks

    The truck I'd be using: A '99 Chevy 2500(5.4 V8) and dump insert
  2. kashman

    kashman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,070

    just keep it in 4x4 if your plowing spinning tires will kill the trans. I did mine last year
  3. ColvinsPS

    ColvinsPS Member
    Messages: 73

    Get a tranny temp gauge and watch the temps.

    Also try not to slam it from forwards and reverse. Let the transmission drop into gear before hitting the gas.
  4. Snowzilla

    Snowzilla Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 397

    I make sure I am completely stopped before changing directions. I think rolling when shifting is a contributor to shortened trannny life. Keeping the transmission cool by an aux. transmission cooler helps if yours doesn't already have one. It's probably good to change the fluid more often on a plow truck, say 1x per year.
  5. Turf Commando

    Turf Commando Senior Member
    Messages: 567

    Keep fluids clean (add lucus trans fix every change) and take it easy....
  6. GTLS

    GTLS Member
    Messages: 65

    Thanks for the replies! I appreciate the input, and will most likely get a plow if the work is there
  7. Pinky Demon

    Pinky Demon PlowSite.com Addict
    from Ohio
    Messages: 1,121

    A. Get a temp gauge.

    B. Take it easy, only shift when fully stopped, don't constantly ram yourself into piles.

    C. Use 4x4 and 4LO when needed to keep temps cool.
  8. Dr Who

    Dr Who Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    Pulling the trailer is just as hard on an auto trans then anything you could do plowing, if you are using your brain. Like others said, let the transmission stop before changing gears, don't start off like your racing the 1/4 mile and keep the fluid AND FILTER changed, just sucking out the fluid is a wast of money, always replace the filter when replacing the fluid.

    also it helps to have a truck that is "heavy" enuff to handle the work load, most newer 1/2 tons are not realy built for that kind of work, but if you take care of it, you should have no problem.
  9. Dr Who

    Dr Who Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    Plow in 4x4? 4low? NO WAY, I never use low range unless I am pulling a heavy load in the mud/snow or someone out of a ditch with me half way in the ditch...

    I always plow in 2wd and if the truck wants to spin, well I drop it in 4high, then when I get to the point were it will not spin, I am back in 2wd. I hate hearing the knuckles groning and the front hopping in a tight turn, but then again the most snow you get to push here is 3-4 inches.(excluding drifting)

    and that is why I loved my Grand Wagoneer could turn the thing on a dime in 4high and it never spoke a word and would turn so tight I could meet myself.

    STIHL GUY Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 663

    i have a tranny temp gauge and i stop completely before changing directions but even in 4 low my tires will spin...is this bad for my tranny??
  11. carkey351

    carkey351 Senior Member
    Messages: 229

    spinning isn't bad per se...but it will push the tranny temp up much faster, plus isn't good for tires or traction. not stopping before changing gears is bad though...

    the way i plow is in 2HI with 1000lbs of salt in the far back of the box. only time i need to put it in 4x4 is heavy wet snow. the way i figure it, at least if i get stopped i can always put it in 4x4 and back out; if you are already in 4x4 then you are screwed so to speak.

    i guess my theory on plowing is that you shouldn't have to smash into a snowpile at 35mph; when you can't push snow any farther, stop. just my .02$

    STIHL GUY Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 663

    i have 500lbs ballast weight in the back. the other day was my first time plowing so i really have nothing to compare it to but the amount of snow we had required me to plow in 4x4 and 4 LOW at times. maybe if there is less snow next storm ill be able to do it in 2WD. my truck has the plow prep package and the tranny temp gauge was barley any higher than it is driving without the plow
  13. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    plowing in 4 hi is the way to go....less time spinning and more time plowing
    if your truck is "moaning and groaning" then you have other issues besides spinning tires
  14. Kenyou

    Kenyou Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    I tried to use 2 wheel drive but a couple times while plowing slow next to a building, the tire spun a bit and the truck slid towards the building. Now I make sure it is in 4 wheel around anything that I could slide into. It don't spin and I keep going straight.
  15. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Plowing doesn't ruin transmissions, bad operators do. You said it's a 99 GM with a 5.4? Do you mean 5.7? If it's a 4L80 you can modify your shift pattern greatly lengthening its life.
  16. Dr Who

    Dr Who Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    If you have weight in the bed and are not pushing heavy snow, then you should be able to push in 2wd, tires, tires tires make all the difference (I used to run an auto/tire shop as well as grew up in one) (the shop not a tire)

    But if you are next to something you may slide into, well better to play it safe!
  17. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    Amen to that. I will also add that we plow in 4hi and sometimes 2hi. Back in the 70's and 80's everyone plowed in 4lo, or so my dad told me.
  18. Dr Who

    Dr Who Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    I could see that, since back then eveyones parents had to walk up hill both ways to school in a foot of snow when they were a kid ( at least in the states that have proper hills)
  19. JeepTJ

    JeepTJ Senior Member
    Messages: 225

    As many suggested, stop before you put it in reverse. I take it one step further: Prior to putting it in reverse, I pause in neutral, take my foot off of the brakes and let the plow "relax" from the snow pile. I then put the tranny in reverse. You would be amazed at how much pressure is still on the drivetrain when you are up against a snowbank. Try it sometime and you may change your forward-to-reverse shifting pattern.

  20. OC&D

    OC&D PlowSite Veteran
    from Earth
    Messages: 3,064

    Plowing in 4Lo? Ugh....the fuel consumption would be enormous!