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View Full Version : Bulletproof tanny for pushing a plow


rmmllc
02-23-2008, 08:55 PM
Ok- I know this is the Lawn site, but some of you guys plow too. In your opinion what is the best plow truck? My brother's in-laws plow and hate their dodge for it. It burned through a tranny this year and started the 2nd on fire 3 days after they got it back from the shop. I may help them plow next year and am going to buy a truck this spring (not new- '00 to '03) and would like it to be a good one for plowing if I decide to do so. Thanks

KTM
02-23-2008, 09:12 PM
Check out and join the plowsite thread on this forum it is very informative, I am sure you will get all diffrent answers. LOL.

P.Services
02-23-2008, 09:17 PM
i have a dodge with 200k on it and its been great, its been a work truck its whole life plowing hard and pulling even harder. the trans wasstarting to slip in over drive at 180k but only because the cooler line came off and it over heated. i put a new trans from dodge in it and i havent had a problem yet. knock on wood. i do plan on droping in a new engine some time soonish.

J&R Landscaping
02-23-2008, 09:27 PM
For that year range, The allison would be your best bet for an automatic. The Ford 4R100 4 speed auto would be second. A nice 6 speed ZF manual would be better yet IMO!

mag360
02-23-2008, 09:30 PM
Chevy 6.6 or 8.1l with allison auto---nice low 1st gear and good cooling.

With that said---I've had good experiences with dodge auto trannys. Temperature stays nice and cool the entire time. My record is 24 hours straight in a '99 dodge cummins 47re with 135,000 miles at the time---lots of back and forth and the guage hardly moved.

If you want to go manual the nv4500 found in 3/4 ton dodges and chevys and nv5600 in dodges have good ratios for plowing without tearing up a clutch.

P.Services
02-23-2008, 09:37 PM
hey if we want to talk hours, i plowed for over 36 hours!! no break at all for the truck (i took a few to mcdonalds) the gauge never moved.

rmmllc
02-23-2008, 09:55 PM
Sounds like diesels have better trannys. I'd love a Duramax, but may be out of budget unless I have a good year and need a tax deduction. I'm not sure I'd want to beat the truck up with a plow if I did get a Duramax. I prefer Chev/GMC, but I'm open to opinions.
I currently have an older dodge with a cummins. Never had a problem yet, but only owned it a year. Problem is- it's only 2 wheel drive (problem for plowing)
I'll check out the plowsite, too. thanks again

LawnProLandCare
02-24-2008, 01:43 AM
Ok- I know this is the Lawn site, but some of you guys plow too. In your opinion what is the best plow truck? My brother's in-laws plow and hate their dodge for it. It burned through a tranny this year and started the 2nd on fire 3 days after they got it back from the shop. I may help them plow next year and am going to buy a truck this spring (not new- '00 to '03) and would like it to be a good one for plowing if I decide to do so. Thanks

to answer your title no tranny is going to be bulletproof. best thing to do with whatever truck you get is before you start a plowin season get the tranny and torque converter flushed and fluid changed, get an aftermarket tranny temp gauge installed(stock ones on any truck are GARBAGE) and it isnt a bad idea to upgrade your tranny cooler to the largest possible. tranny coolers arent that expensive it ran me a $130 for the biggest heaviest duty tranny cooler the shop had.. preventative maintenance and a regular check on your fluids can make or break the tranny. also dont try to be a hero when pushing snow. if its wet heavy and 6" deep dont be taking full blade passes thatll strain the hole truck... use common sense when shifting between rev and drive and make sure truck is completely stopped.

Classified
02-24-2008, 05:00 AM
Its more of a matter of how you plow not what you plow with.

Anything will last forever if you take care of it and watch the signs it gives out

My 03 ford with a 7.3 auto has been great for me. the needle rarely moves and if it does it may go from 100 to 120 ( i have aftermarket guages. if you have stock guages, the needle wont move unless its already too hot. its more of a dummy light with a needle instead of light up icon)depending on the outside tempature.

Just do lots of reading on plowsite.com and you should have plenty of head knowledge before you even hit the pavement.

Good luck!

rmmllc
02-24-2008, 11:15 AM
Good idea about prevention and methods- that makes sense. I guess that opens up my options. I will read on plowsite, too. I'm sure they have probably covered this a lot, I was just on here when I thought of the question, so I thought I'd run it by you guys.

ProStreetCamaro
02-24-2008, 02:50 PM
The best trans bar none is the allison.

lawn king
02-24-2008, 04:25 PM
I have an allison 6 speed in my 08 silverado. Its awesome, quiet,smooth,good on fuel. Sometimes you have to look at the tach to see if she shifted, ya, it's that smooth. The tap up/down manual mode on the gm 6 speeds is the best innovation from general motors in decades! I have yet to trailer my machine with it, however, it's the balls for snowplowing! I did a lot of plowing over the last 15 years with the gm turbo 400's, never had any issues with them at all. From 2003-2006 i pushed a 9' plow with my isuzu npr diesel automatic, again great performance with basic maintenence.

Grn Mtn
02-24-2008, 04:37 PM
4th generation dodges do not have tranny problems anymore. mine is in its 5th winter, no probs.

P.Services
02-24-2008, 04:38 PM
what do the rest of you plow in gear wise in a automatic
drive, 1,2

rmmllc
02-24-2008, 05:05 PM
4th generation dodges do not have tranny problems anymore. mine is in its 5th winter, no probs.
Yah, there's is older ('98 or '99), so it might just be older ones. I wasn't implying all dodges stink, just relating their experience with theirs.

rmmllc
02-24-2008, 05:21 PM
I have an allison 6 speed in my 08 silverado. Its awesome, quiet,smooth,good on fuel. Sometimes you have to look at the tach to see if she shifted, ya, it's that smooth. The tap up/down manual mode on the gm 6 speeds is the best innovation from general motors in decades! I have yet to trailer my machine with it, however, it's the balls for snowplowing! I did a lot of plowing over the last 15 years with the gm turbo 400's, never had any issues with them at all. From 2003-2006 i pushed a 9' plow with my isuzu npr diesel automatic, again great performance with basic maintenence.
I'd love a Duramax with and Allison in it, but don't know if I would dare risk beating it up (not the transmission, just the body) plowing. Snow can be rough on equipment- more so than grass equipment.
My dad has a Duramax with the Allison- loves it. Pulls horses, boats, etc and can't even tell they are back there, and going down hill you have huge control even though it is an automatic.

I bought an NPR this spring- in the process of getting it up to snuff (ramp, shelves, racks, etc) - then I'll post some pics. Do you use chains? I just worry about it getting stuck without 4X4. Also, gas mileage sucks (9 mpg- it's the gasoline V8)- even though it has a brand new engine in it courtesy of the dealership screwing up the old one just before the guy I bought it from sold it to me- I'll tell you all about it in another thread, when I post pics. I knew about mileage when I bought it, but I was just thinking if I had a truck and the NPR, I'd put a plow on the truck for 4X4 and mileage. Of coarse if I had enough business to use both, even better (for my wallet).
Tell me about using the NPR for plowing.

lawn king
02-24-2008, 06:18 PM
You need to run good rubber, weight in the body, and plow smart!

GravelyNut
02-24-2008, 06:51 PM
For that year range, The allison would be your best bet for an automatic. The Ford 4R100 4 speed auto would be second. A nice 6 speed ZF manual would be better yet IMO!

I've only seen one ZF equipted 8.1L down here. And that was new back in 2001. Standard Cab 3500 Dually 4X4 at that. :weightlifter:

Mic_bug
02-24-2008, 07:35 PM
there are kit to fit an allison into a dodge...fyi

mag360
02-24-2008, 08:54 PM
there are kit to fit an allison into a dodge...fyi

True, but for the cost of the kit you can build a dodge trans to be stronger than the allison was in the first place. (georend, dtt, etc.)

LawnProLandCare
02-25-2008, 12:02 AM
You need to run good rubber, weight in the body, and plow smart!

x2 ballast makes a world of difference and the less your tires spin the less abuse the truck takes.


to the question that asked what gear do you plow in i leave the truck in drive with the o/d turned off. if i need to i will use only first or second but tend not to need it .

barefeetny
02-25-2008, 02:07 AM
buy a stick and then your tranny will last 500,000 miles easily...
Don't ride, or drop the clutch or spin the tires freely and you can get 200,000+ out of a clutch...

Automatics will allways be the weaker, power robbing, gas mileage reducing cousins to the stick....Even if they are easier to drive....

If i'm buying a truck.... i want a stick.. if the manufactuer wants to sell leather seats and heated cupholders... i'll buy older or find a new manufactuer...