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Who uses low range ?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by wyldman, Feb 13, 2003.

  1. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    I have noticed on here a lot of people who use low range for plowing.In all the years I've been plowing,I don't think i've used 4WD low more than a few times.Mostly if she gets really stuck,or pushing really heavy.Even when off roading,I only use it for steep hills.

    I have never had any major mechanical problems with any of our trucks,gas mileage is on par with others,and most of the people I have ever spoken to about it don't use it either.I do find it shifts really harsh from drive to reverse and back when in low range,and is to hard to control the throttle.

    Just curious to what everyone else does,and why ?
  2. paul soccodato

    paul soccodato Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    i also dont use low-range normally. the only time i do is when the v-box is full and i have to back up a long steep driveway. also i put in low when i "bulldoze" piles to push them back.

    other than that, only when pulling over tree's.

    JD PLOWER PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 751

    I have used low range in the past, but that was in heavy wet snow and a gas engine truck (small block) but have yet to run anything but fwd high in any diesel I've driven or owned.
  4. jkkalbers

    jkkalbers Senior Member
    Messages: 116

    Never use it, it's too slow and jerky for me, especially when you get into bigger lots. I guess the only time I have used it is pulling out another truck in heavy snow and doing steep loading docks with a lot of snow.
  5. SDlawndawg

    SDlawndawg Senior Member
    Messages: 139

    I normally don't use 4lo but lately it has come in handy for pushing heavy amounts of snow. I had to plow a couple driveways that hadn't been plowed the past two weeks. It was kinda hard on my truck but it was much easier after I popped into low range. 1st gear works better than using drive since my truck seemed to upshift quickly through the gears and it shifts HARD in low range.
  6. oakhill2000

    oakhill2000 Member
    Messages: 98

    I only use it for pushing back heavy piles or pulling out other trucks, not on a regular basis to jerky with the throttle
  7. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    I only use it when we've received a large amount of wet snow. I don't like the idea of using the tranny to do the work, I fear overheating it. I lost a tranny in an older truck, it may have been due to abuse by a driver, but I'm not taking any chances on a second.
  8. Grshppr

    Grshppr Senior Member
    Messages: 268

    I only use low when it is really heavy wet snow, or steep hills. I have used it occasionally when my alternator wasn't working the best, so the revs stayed higher in low and charged the battery faster.
  9. long0

    long0 Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    I use 4-Low on quite a few of my accounts, mainly due to the fact they are long and steep. For the parking lots, it's alway 4-Hi unless it's really wet heavy snow or the windrows get out of hand. When I am chained up, I also us 4-Low to help control my heavy foot.

    I think most people that have been plowing for a number of years can tell when it is time to switch to 4-Low. Trucks give off that feeling that you are pushing them too hard.

  10. farmertim

    farmertim Member
    Messages: 95

    Once again I'm the odd ball.
    I use low as much as possible, but I have alot of tuff drives and the truck seems to handle the load much better in low.
    if it is a light snow I use high unless I have to push up hill which seems to be the case alot on my route.
  11. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    I actually use it often on steep down hill drives. Allows me to stay off the brake pedal. In open areas and normal plowing I stay in high.
  12. fordman

    fordman Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    I plow in 4 hi 99% of the time.
  13. sonjaab

    sonjaab PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,425

    HEY ALL !...............Just got done of 12 hrs plus in
    the seat......That Cab Command is awesome !
    As far as LO....when I have to push that load alll
    the way out back I use 4- lo and have the trans. in
    low too.....Seems like a lot of less strain on the
    drivetrain and letting it shift and stuff for itself
    just too push ! What the heck .....whatever
    it take to push the "white GOLD" !.........geo

    BTW: I got the auto-pushbutton gooodies on my
    rig !
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2003
  14. The_Burning_Rom

    The_Burning_Rom Member
    Messages: 40

    I run my truck in 4-low loc when i'm plowing/backing up hills...or when there's a lot of ice. Otherwise the transfer case stays in 4-hi.
  15. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,224

    I have always used 4 high to plow the diesel pushes right thru it.
  16. BWhite

    BWhite Senior Member
    Messages: 496


    I dont use it to often unless I feel my truck is moving a little to much weight then its 4lo I go . Torque multiplication will take the strain off your tranny every time
  17. Craftybigdog

    Craftybigdog Senior Member
    Messages: 238

    Yeah actually 4-lo is better for your tranny because it doesnt have to work as hard because you change the gear ratio in the transfer case so its easier on everything!
  18. dillyolboy

    dillyolboy Member
    Messages: 97

    You probably figured this out from the diesel or gas thread but I always run in low range. It definitely depends on the truck as to the useability of low range. A tight route is required as well. Diesels don't rev out like gassers do so they naturally can't go as fast in low range. Also most of the newer trannys and all chevys I know of have low reverse gears so they are real slow in reverse in low. Another big issue is the final drive ratio. I have 3.55s and I wouldn't want anything lower.
    Here's my main reasons for running in low:
    1. The momentum is all there. You see a drift coming up and nail the throttle. No downshifting just stays in third.
    2. Much better fuel economy (gassers only). Usually in the mid 2-3 gallons per hour range as opposed to 6+ in high. Tuesday night I burned a little over 21 gallons in 8 hours making around 2.625 gph.
    3. Easier on the truck and transmission. When you start out in high the tranny has to "slip" more. When you are in low it greatly increases the mechanical advantage of the tranny. I don't have a gauge on mine but I have talked to people that said their tranny temps are 30 F lower in low.
    4. The truck doesn't have to work near as hard since it has a much greater mechanical advantage. You give it way less throttle.
    5. Engine braking. Probably the nicest thing about low range. Let off the gas and it slows down great w/o locking up wheels. Much easier to control the truck.
    These basically apply only to gassers. I too plow in high when I do big lots. Diesels (like most of you have) don't go fast in low so high range would definitely be the best choice.
  19. greenquestlawn

    greenquestlawn Senior Member
    Messages: 157

    Mines never been in 4X4 low....Heck with this fluff we get, many times I am in 2X4.:p
  20. litle green guy

    litle green guy Senior Member
    Messages: 279

    I usually only use low when I am in a tuff driveway or stuck, I usually always just use 4 hi in the lots, sometimes even just 2 wd if it's light.