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Old 03-08-2011, 04:23 AM   post #16 of 27
s10lowrider1994
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Default Re: Plow snow with 2 wheel drive?

The open rear is going to be the weak point above anything else. I've seen hundreds of folks plowing with 2wd trucks without incident so it can be done, just in moderation. A locking rear or posi unit will help a ton. Of course a 4wd is going to be able to handle more, but 2wd trucks are capable of pushing snow. You will have a much higher chance of getting stuck and wont be able to take on a lot of jobs, but if you know the limits of your equipment you'll be fine. The thing you have to worry about is with the weight of the plow, and the added ballast needed to make the 2wd effective enough to move snow without spinning in circles, is the motor going to have enough behind it to keep up with the extra demand?
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Old 03-08-2011, 08:13 AM   post #17 of 27
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Default Re: Plow snow with 2 wheel drive?

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Originally Posted by Lone_Wolf View Post
Harley jeff is right. you dont need a big fancy 3/4 ton truck to plow with. ..
I've got four plow trucks and my short wheel-base 1/2 ton is the best of them all. The short wheel base puts more weight on the back wheels.

Many 1/2 ton and 3/4 ton trucks use the same front axles and same front springs. Much depends on how the truck was ordered,or modified. Trucks with leafs in front were supposed to have one extra leaf for snow plow use.

I've got a 92 HD Dodge-Cummins diesel W250 with extended cab and 8 foot bed, a 94 Ford HD with 7.3 diesel with extended cab and 8' bed, an 89 GMC Suburban 3/4 ton diesel, and an 83 Chevy K5 diesel Blazer.

The K5 Blazer if by far the best of the bunch. Gets into tight places. Been using it for over 20 years. Will plow snow on rough ground and hills up to around 30" deep. Trans was the weak point until I swapped in a T400. 3.08 axles and T400 trans. Extra leafs in front and quad shocks with the OEM plow package.

The 3/4 ton Suburban is the 2nd best. 3.73 axles and T400 trans. Has the same front axle and springs as the 1/2 ton K5 Blazer.

The two 3/4 ton trucks are worst. They will plow a little more when goiing up hill, but will also slide all over the place going down one. If they were shorter, they'd be better.

By the way, I've found posi-rears in back to be horrible going up icy hills. My Suburban had one and I removed it. Posi makes the both wheels spin and will often send you off the road sideways. In ice, tire chains are the best. Some back roads near me, in the Adirondacks require them during mid-winter. You get a ticket if caught without them.

Yesterday we got over two feet of wet snow. None of my trucks could plow all of it on hills. Many drifted areas were over three feet deep and the stuff was like cement. I broke open the worst areas with a farm tractor and 7 foot snowblower, and then plowed.
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Old 03-08-2011, 08:25 AM   post #18 of 27
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Default Re: Plow snow with 2 wheel drive?

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Originally Posted by s10lowrider1994 View Post
The open rear is going to be the weak point above anything else. I've seen hundreds of folks plowing with 2wd trucks without incident so it can be done, just in moderation.
I've found posi or locking rears to make things worse, not better. Especially going up icy hills. When both wheels start to spin, there's nothing left to anchor you to the road. I had a 95 Jimmy and a 89 Suburban -both with posi rears and both I removed. Both would shoot off a crowned road sideways instead of going up, if starting on a hill from a dead stop.

As far as a 2WD plowing snow well? I guess it depends on what you are calling "snow" and how smooth your roads are. I don't bother to plow unless the snow is a foot of more. When that happens there are always wind driven areas twice as deep, and I live in the mountains - with little flat land. 2WD is absolutely useless.

I have an old "extra" 79 Blazer plow truck with a converted transfercase - from fulltime AWD to 4WD. It often jumps out of 4WD, and even with chains on the back - it is useless plowing snow up any hills once it's more then a few inches deep.

The idea of somebody trying to contract plowing with a 2WD truck is nuts - unless all the roads are paved, flat, and snow is rarely over 4". And even with that, the truck will be useless for moving big mounds of snow.
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Old 03-08-2011, 12:58 PM   post #19 of 27
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Default Re: Plow snow with 2 wheel drive?

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Originally Posted by s10lowrider1994 View Post
I've seen hundreds of folks plowing with 2wd trucks without incident so it can be done, just in moderation.
Photos from my area yesterday. A 2WD truck with chains on the rear would not even have gotten up our town road - with the plow up in the air.

The first house I had to plow has a long steep dirt driveway. Snow can only be plowed down it, for several reasons. So the first thing I have to do, is . . . back up the driveway a few hundred feet in two feet of snow. A 2WD truck would of instantly gotten stuck at the bottom and got nothing done - except get not move. Even if I got it unstuck, I'd never get home with it.
The UPS truck came up my hill yesterday and got stuck by my house. He had chains. I helped him get turned around.
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Old 03-08-2011, 04:38 PM   post #20 of 27
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Default Re: Plow snow with 2 wheel drive?

Haha wow that's some snow, I cant see a 2wd going anywhere in that stuff. I live in VA so we rarely see anything like that. 3" down here and people panic like the world is ending.
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Old 03-08-2011, 08:03 PM   post #21 of 27
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Default Re: Plow snow with 2 wheel drive?

I've been plowing professionally for 20 years with the same co...140 accounts,give or take...we've run fords and GMs mostly...1/2, 3/4, one-tons...often with a sander on back...i prefer the GMs myself,and i am fine with a 1500...and very rarely get them stuck to the point of being pulled out,but it happens...they seem to be geared better than the fords...

i wouldn't even attempt to plow in 2wd in most of these places...in fact, i ALWAYS plow in Lo-range 4X4,on the advice of the trans shop owner,after a few reverse problems plowing in 4 Hi with the autos...

always got a good load of sand in the bed,each truck has a tow chain in it...only chain up tires on the dually,as it can't get out of its own way,even with the V-plow...all the rest have aggressive studded snows all around...if we can't get in with the plows,then we break through with the loaders and clean up next day with the plows...

been out of work this winter with an injury...now i'm starting to miss plowing...guess i'll shut up now
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Old 03-08-2011, 08:05 PM   post #22 of 27
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Default Re: Plow snow with 2 wheel drive?

BTW...nice view, jdemaris...i can almost see my house
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:03 PM   post #23 of 27
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Default Re: Plow snow with 2 wheel drive?

jdmarris..you lucky dog. down here in NE PA, we got rain, and we got it bad. if i turn the tv down, i can hear water outside running...its not supposed to be like that...

and i think its safe to say weve came to the decission in this thread, 2wd plowing is a bad idea, unless theres only about 2" of snow.
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:39 PM   post #24 of 27
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Default Re: Plow snow with 2 wheel drive?

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Originally Posted by Boyd View Post
With all of the snow we have gotten this winter a friend of mine suggest I get into snow plowing. I have a 94 F250 heavy duty 2 wheel drive with 110,000 miles. It is a regular cab, longbed, with 300-6 torquemonster, ZF heavy duty 5 speed manual transmission with the granny 5.72 first gear, 4.10 rear axle ratio with open differential.
Does your friend plow snow? If so, I bet it's a 4x4. If this is true, go with him one time on a plow job and have him do it in 4x4 mode and 2 wheel mode. There will be a big difference. Plus this will help you decide if you should invest all this on a 2 wheel drive pick up. I'm betting you will hold out for a 4x4. Good luck in your venture.
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Old 03-09-2011, 02:31 AM   post #25 of 27
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Default Re: Plow snow with 2 wheel drive?

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Does your friend plow snow? If so, I bet it's a 4x4. If this is true, go with him one time on a plow job and have him do it in 4x4 mode and 2 wheel mode. There will be a big difference. Plus this will help you decide if you should invest all this on a 2 wheel drive pick up. I'm betting you will hold out for a 4x4. Good luck in your venture.
He hasn't plowed snow for several years and now lives in Florida. My brother told me most of the people he knows that tried plowing with a 2wd truck came up dissapointed. "IF" I even tried it with my 2wd F250,,,, it would have Bridgestone Blizzack or similar ice/snow tires on the back and at least 2,000 pounds of ballast in the back if not more. I'd have one of the light plows on the front and would only take on basically flat driveways. Or I would try it out one winter at the place I store stuff. I have had Bridgestone Blizzack and similar tires on a few trucks and they have better winter traction than even BFG All Terrain T/As. People have been amazed as to how well my 2wd trucks with those tires and weight in the back can get around in the winter time.
My daily driver 04 Ranger broke down 10 days ago and I missed work for one week while I fixed it. I'm really low on money. Now I'm looking at selling off 1/2 to 3/4 of the trucks, trailers and mowers I own including the 94 F250 HD in this thread. I would be doing this so I would have a smaller heard of stuff that I have to pay to store at someone elses place.
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:15 PM   post #26 of 27
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Default Re: Plow snow with 2 wheel drive?

if you really want to use the truck for plowing you could convert it to 4x4, the frames are the same, all you would need is a tcase, drive shaft and an axle. it would be cheaper than buying another truck. also i work for a construction company that does plowing all winter, we have one 2 wheeler, its an 86 chevy one ton with a mason dump and a 8 foot plow, its great for parking lots, but it is less capable than its 4wd counterpart. but it usually comes out afterwards for sanding and cleaning up the edges.
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:53 PM   post #27 of 27
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Default Re: Plow snow with 2 wheel drive?

Its not a torque MONSTER its decent torque and low hp. 6 Cylinder in a f250 with a plow spells trouble, especially a 2wd. My 86 F250 4X4 plow truck has a 351W, a BUILT 351W and about 2 feet of snow its pushing that big engine. Even in its BEST years the I6 only popped out about 260 ft lb in its best years stock of course anything can be built up. As for HP, forget it, at 150hp in its best years. STILL the I6 is a unbelievably tough little engine, and lasts up to 300,000 miles is not uncommon, but if your going commercial with it, v8 at least, with 4X4.
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