View Full Version : Is 4WD A must?!

08-23-2005, 03:25 PM
If you're not plowing snow, and are just doing LawnCare & Landscaping seasonally, do you have a need for 4WD? I've only ever needed 4WD on my 1/2ton when I was out be dumb playin in snow, or being stupid in mudd. I'll be buying a new 3/4ton, I just can't decide on the 4WD or not. My gut says I won't need it, and the price tag for 4WD gives me the same feeling. But, thats why I'm asking you guys. Is there a need? What should I do? Thanks.

08-23-2005, 03:43 PM
I dont use my 4 wheel drive all summer when doing landscaping and mowing. But we plow so 4 wheel drive is a must for the winter.

08-23-2005, 03:48 PM
when I plowed at TGLC we used 2wd f-450 stake bodies and above with two pallets of CaCl in the back.....we had several small f25 extra cabs that were 4wd. I could not see plowing with a "small" truck without 4wd....

08-23-2005, 03:52 PM
If you're not plowing snow, and are just doing LawnCare & Landscaping seasonally, do you have a need for 4WD? I've only ever needed 4WD on my 1/2ton when I was out be dumb playin in snow, or being stupid in mudd. I'll be buying a new 3/4ton, I just can't decide on the 4WD or not. My gut says I won't need it, and the price tag for 4WD gives me the same feeling. But, thats why I'm asking you guys. Is there a need? What should I do? Thanks.
Only you know whether or not you WANT it. No one needs it except to push snow, untill the late 70s there were very few 4x4 vehicals around and the majority of them were owened by farmers and rancher. I know that 99% of the time I don't use mine unless I'm pushing heavy wet snow.

08-23-2005, 03:53 PM
4WD drive is only necessary if you are considering plowing with a light-duty vehicle with just a pickup body or if you are doing a lot of off road travel. If you are watching your budget then I would suggest getting the locking rear differential option. Which basically locks the rear drive axle and transfers full torque to both wheels, allowing you to get out mud or snow. If you are considering a new or used vehicle I may be able to help. I have been in the landscape industry for over 13 years and just recently in commercial truck sales.

Thomas G. Nelson
Penn GMC Commercial Trucks
1 Kane Street
Baltimore, MD 21224
Office: 410.633.9000
Cell: 443.865.9369
Fax: 410.282.7259
E-mail: tnelsongmc@hotmail.com
Web Site: www.pennpontiac-gmc.com

08-23-2005, 04:51 PM
On a slightly diffeernt note....When we began changing our fleet, since we relocated to a snowless part of the world, I was pretty insistant on 2wd, for one, why pay 3k give or take and loose milage for something you never needed....

When we got the last pick up, the only way it was offered in SRW was with 4x4. There have been more than a hand ful of times 4wd came in handy, the last was when we needed to get supplies on top of a 300' long 2-1 slope...Rather than use the bucket of the Cat, we loaded the bed of the pick up and saved some time. Hit the low gear button and back right up the grade, unload and away we went for the next load.

All in all, we could have gotten by without it because there are other means to stock jobsites. If all I ever drove was paved or gravel roadways in non snowy weather, I don't think I would ever need a 4x4. Then there are those time when we pull a trailer out to the dessert with quads and a dune buggy...Basically pull the tailer over hard packed sand to get to the campsite, and yes, low range is really necessary up some of those grades.

Then there is the resale arguement. Is reselling for more worth the extra fuel you will burn in the duration of time you will own the truck? On average a 4x4 gets 2MPG less than a 2WD. So, at $3.00 a gallon, where will you make up the difference in higher resale? You have already lost it at the pump....

Only you have the best answer for your business, if you want my opinion, I say go 2wd.


08-23-2005, 07:06 PM
Well, thank you for all your posts.
UNISCAPER - you said what I really wanted to hear. "<b>if you want my opinion, I say go 2wd.</b>"
I've thought that way since day 1, but friends and some competition that I'm close with tell me different.
"<b>Why pay 3k give or take and loose milage for something you never needed</b>" See, now its getting scary, like you are reading my mind. Exact thing went through my head once I saw the price jump from 2WD to 4WD. I definetly appreciate the suggestions from you guys. :waving:

08-23-2005, 07:22 PM
i don't plow snow but really could use a 4x4 to pull my dually trailer on steep dirt roads.

08-23-2005, 08:16 PM
Down here may be a little different but I can go wherever whenever and never get stuck. Dodge 2500 hd cummins h/o turbo with 2WD. Why pay more unless you are plowing snow.

08-23-2005, 11:20 PM
I have always had 4x4's. I don't plow snow and very, very rarely did I ever used 4wd. I just purchased a new (to me) truck and it is a 2wd.

My personal truck may remain a 4x4, but I don't think I will ever buy a 4x4 for a company vehicle, unless I start plowing.

Jason Rose
08-24-2005, 12:07 AM
I don't plow either, but both my personal truck and work truck are 4x4. Why? Cause I'm too insecure i guess... The lawn truck (F-250 dump) it does come in handy when dumping the grass when it's wet. Not to say that I couldn't manage with 2 wheel drive, but being able to throw it into 4 wheel keeps me from having to fight to get out of the slick slime and the worst is having that slime thrown all over the truck. In 4x4 it's not an issue. I only really getting really stuck in my 2 wheel drive trucks a couple times, and both of those could have been avoided.

Around here you just aren't a "man" unless you drive a 3/4 or 1 ton diesel 4x4 truck! Must be a wealthy redneck thing... I can only afford a 1/2 ton gasser, I guess I'll go put on my skirt now... LOL

08-24-2005, 02:01 AM
I have a 2wd F-150 and a 4x4 F-350 dump. I hate 2wd trucks. I have gotten stuck in more places with my 2wd that would wouldn't think you would. Like wet black top towing a trailer with one mower. So I insisted my dump truck would be 4x4. I also plow snow so its needed. From now on its 4x4 picks and dump unless its over 22,000 gvw.

08-25-2005, 04:03 PM
Having 4x4 is like buying a Hummer. You see them climbing mountains and think to yourself that would be nice to have but will you ever need to climb a mountain? Probably not. Unessesary unless you are gonna go offroad or plow.

08-27-2005, 12:28 AM
I used my 4 X 4 this afternoon when I almost got stuck dumping a couple yards of topsoil. Coulda been ugly.

Gravel Rat
08-27-2005, 02:01 AM
Having 4wheeldrive is conveient if you use it on a regular basis but if you are a landscaper working in a city/town where you spend most of your time on pavement you really don't need 4wheeldrive. You can run a good limited slip or locker in a 2wd in combination with traction tires a 2wd should be okay.

Around here most 3/4 tons are 4x4s and most 1 ton duallys are 2wd because a dually truck usually sinks before the front wheels pull the truck out a 4x4 dually doesn't make a good offroader. There are times my 89 F-450 was a 4x4 but I have coped with 2wd I have 10 plus years dealing with dually 2wds. I have had my trucks in places that a 4wheeldrive would have troubles with some dirt roads (driveways) have 12% grades. One place I was delivering to the wheels were spinning even with 8000lbs of gravel on the truck it was a 1 mile long dirt driveway. It was 10mins in and 10 mins back out.

If I was buying a 3/4 ton it would be a 4x4 just because a 3/4 ton does lack traction because the front end (diesel) is alot heavier. My 2wd F-450 will go places a 2wd 3/4 ton can't because the extra 2 tires plus more weight over the rear axle. A 1/2 ton truck most definatly would be a 4x4 they have no traction you can get stuck on a banana peel.

This area is very rural once you leave the paved public road some peoples driveways are a offroad adventure. Some of them I just plain refuse to go down because I know they are just not worth beating the truck on trying to climb back up. Some places I have gone down seem fine then you get half way down and it gets bad then I get concerned and really wonder if I will get back out.

Anyhow good luck with the decision :D

08-27-2005, 03:40 AM
I have a 2wd f250, and a 4wd chevy 3500. I plow with the chevy, and yes, i needed the 4wd. I'd say if you have any plans at all to plow snow now or in the future, that $3000.00 would save you at least $15000 when you need to buy another truck to plow with because you bought the 2wd. I made this mistake when starting my company by buying the 2wd in fear of spending that cash. I had to buy the chevy 8 mos later to plow with. You could plow in a 2wd if you have enough salt in the bed for weight, but, you use all that salt as your plowing, and thus, you lose the weight. Plus, if you ever have to dump stuff in a muddy or wet place, any slope will get you stuck. I've gotten the ford stuck at least 3 times in the last year. During the big snow we had last winter, just trying to move the ford to plow my driveway got it stuck in the front yard for 3 days until I could take the hitch mount spreader off. I pulled it out with the chevy in 4x4. Plus, even if you didn't plow, you could make some cash just pulling people out in a heavy snow.

08-27-2005, 08:08 AM
If I were you I'd consider where most folks are posting from and pay attention to folks who live in an area with a similar average annual snowfall as you. (you can easily google that info)

I think you'll find that folks in regions where 4' snow banks hang around until early April and 20+" in snowfalls are common place, have a different opinion than folks from FL... :)

IMHO, you don't get a heck of a lot of snow where you are, so I'd assume you could get by with out it.

Gravel Rat
08-27-2005, 06:42 PM
A 2wd 3/4 ton does alright in the snow if you chain it up or run good snow tires with lots of sipes. I do agree what nhlakes says you should look around your area if 4x4s are prevelant then there is a reason for them. When it snows here I'am pretty much stuck at home untill the road is plowed because dually trucks don't do well in the snow. My brother had a F-350 4x4 that was converted to a dually it didn't do much better than my 2wd F-450.

Our snow fall is really light we may have snow for a month then it dissapears its cold and frosty or it warms up and just rains. A person would go broke trying to make a living off of plowing. I think last year we got 4"s of snow the problem was the rural road I live on wasn't plowed then the snow was packed in by people with 4x4s and front wheeldrive cars and turned it to ice. The plow truck couldn't scrape the 3-4"s of ice off they don't like running steel blades on the 5 ton plow trucks its hard on the moldboards. The grader couldn't make out the road because it was too slippery.

Usually if there is snow on the ground I'am not working anyhow most outdoor jobs are not done till the snow melts which is month.

To sum it up the only thing that stops me is snow the rest of the year 2wd does me alright I just avoid places that I know I will really have trouble with. The other thing about having 4wheeldrive is the customer you are working for will want you to deliver in a awkward spot. The other problem having 4wheeldrive is it can get you farther into a stuck then you need pulled out.

08-28-2005, 01:56 AM
I cant imagine not having my 3500 chevy dump with out having four wheel drive. I even have gotten that stuck.

08-29-2005, 01:33 AM
I'd also like to add that the resale value of the truck with 4WD is higher than 2WD. Important only when you don't plan on keeping it forever.....

Florida 5 Star
08-29-2005, 02:30 AM
Just an Idea go Diesel and 4x4
I just switched a ford F250 crew-cab 4x2 that got 12 around town & 7 mpg towing
To a GMC 2500hd crew-cab 4x4 that gets 19 around town & 16 towing
With the GM incentives the payment was close so I am saving about $100 week in fuel
The 4x4 has been a blessing as the ford use to get stuck as soon as I left the road.