View Full Version : 4WD LOW

12-22-1999, 03:35 AM
Do you guys plow in 4 low all the time, ever, or only when 4 high can't handle it any more? Also, do you plow in drive, or 1 or 2. And lastly, is there any need to disengage the overdrive when you push snow, since we don't get to that speed? Thanks,<p>Tom<br>

Eric ELM
12-22-1999, 04:06 AM
Tom, It depends on the conditions, if your plowing a big lot and the snow is deep and wet, I would use low range. If you are plowing driveways and it's fluffy light snow, I use 4 high, but if there are a lot of deep drifts or deep wet snow, I use 4 low. When I get in the truck to leave the house to plow, I lock out overdrive.<p>----------<br>Eric@ELM<br>http://pages.prodigy.net/eric.erickson/index.html

12-22-1999, 04:13 AM
Thanks. So how does your truck respond in 4h if the snow is too much to handle? I just worry about doing damage to something, because to this point I haven't seemed to need 4 low. My only lots are pretty small though, I'll admit. Can I feel confident that if the truck seems to be handling it that its probably ok? Also do you plow in drive, or do you drop down into 1 or 2?<p>Thanks again,<p> Tom

Eric ELM
12-22-1999, 06:33 AM
The only time I have used 4 low is last January when we had the 2nd worst blizzard in the Chicago's history. I had snow piled up 6 or more feet and didn't have room to put the next snow that drifted for a week. I had to push the piles back, so I put it in 4 low so I would be less likely to hurt the trans. I do 60 large driveways all with a 1/2 mile radius of my starting point and all but one is push offs. I don't do any commercial lots. I use drive, but it stays in low gear on driveways. You said you do small lots, so drive should be fine. If you put it in second, you don't start out in low gear and I think that is hard on transmissions. I hope this helps. Anyone else have their opinions?<br><p>----------<br>Eric@ELM<br>http://pages.prodigy.net/eric.erickson/index.html

12-22-1999, 06:40 AM
My Ford is a 4spd standard. 300 ci six cylinder. I have NEVER needed to use low range pushing snow. Even 12inch+ of wet heavy in a 175 x 100 foot lot. This is probably due to the gear ratios of my tranny. I have the 'granny' 1st gear and use it only with heavy loads or when I want to go real slow to plow close to something. The 6 cylinder has a TON of torque down low, and wont go over 5-10 mph in 1st. I'm sure the auto could benefit from low range sometimes depending on your gears/tires. If I put mine in 1st and low range it won't go over 3mph. I can get out and walk alongside and steer it. It will probably break a drivetrain component before it runs out of power.<p>Dave

12-22-1999, 05:50 PM
Little input don't plow in first or second gear on a auto tranns. In 95 when I bought my pick-up the dealer said to always use 1 or 2 gear never drive it will kill trans. Well my drive was hearing this and took in what the guy said(first time he ever did listen to anyone) and about 3 snows later i had no tranns left. My tranny guy that we use told me never ever to do that again. Reason why the dealer told us that was to keep us from plowing at 30mph so less chance of stuff breaking. With warrinties it helps them to say that. If you have overdrive lock it out. I know that ford has lots of problems with the overdrives in plow trucks so lock it out to be safe. As far as low gear that is alot of wear on the truck if the truck is slipping and really high reving and just don't seem to be able to push it then use it. Only Once have I EVER used it and that was last year on a 500 ft drivway that I was plowing with a ford Bronco could not grab or push for life of me at one point I thought It was going to blow. Only time ever used it only reason short wheel base couldn't grab other wise never any problems. BUT THATS A FORD FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!! Just Kidding GUYS Happy Holiodays to all

Chuck Smith
12-22-1999, 07:25 PM
Guess I'm the only only one that plows in 4 low. Yes, 2&quot; of light fluffy snow I don't, but anything more, or wet and heavy, I use low. Why nott use low? Do you have to plow so fast that using low is a problem? I found in 4 hi, when plowing, most times I am coming to the end of a push, my truck is just shifting to second gear, and I'm jamming on the brakes. In 4 low, it sahifts to second much sooner, and I'm in second when coming to the end. Just letting off the gas, and the gear drag slow me down and save my brakes some.<br>Remember, just because your truck can push it, doesn't mean you should plow in 4 high. If you have an auto trans, what's the link between the engine and trans? The torque converter. What it filled with? Transmission fluid. What absorbs the shocks in the driveline? The torque converter. How? Hydraulically. The fluid, gets much hotter when under a load.<br>Like pulling a trailer, the worst thing you can do, is pull up a long hill, and park at the top, shutting the truck off. It's best to leave it run a few minutes, to dissapate the heat in the trans fluid. Plowing in 4 high, you'll cook your trans fluid faster, believe me. had mine rebuilt last year for this reason, I now plow in 4 low, and have had no troubles since. Also, torque converters lock up when at a given rpm, belowit, they are only partially locked, and the fluid takes the beating. Plowing in 4 low, ensures the converter is fully locked more, thus staying cooler.<br>As your mechanic, or trans guy, and see what he says about plowing in high, or towing then parking.<p>~Chuck<p>----------<br>Chuck's Chevy Truck Pages - Snowplowing Central<br>http://members.aol.com/csmith669/plowcentral.html

12-23-1999, 02:06 PM
If you have a standard tranny not much need for 4 low unless it is for extremely slow moving. But with the auto, I used 4 low all the time, why beat the tranny. You will not notice much difference in speed, and you will save alot of trouble later on. However when I got my diesel, 4 low raises the RPM s way to high, especially in reverse, so I now use it only when I have to go up, or down a step hill when pushing a load.<br>Dino

Eric ELM
12-25-1999, 04:23 AM
I had an 85 Ford F250 4 speed previous to the one I have now. I agree, you don't need to use 4 low in that, but you need one heck of a good left leg to operate that clutch. It seems easy to do, but if you have to do 60 driveways 2 times, because of an all day big snow, that clutch will wear out a good leg. Automatic trans is the way to go for sure. :)<br> <p>----------<br>Eric@ELM<br>http://pages.prodigy.net/eric.erickson/index.html

12-25-1999, 06:40 AM
I Just wanted to mention a couple of things I have noticed over the past few years related to this topic and Ford trucks. 1. 4L in our diesel F-350s is way too much torque for simple plowing or regular pushes (75-100 yards at a clip). If you (or another driver who isn't as careful) jump into an Auto transmission in 4 low, just feel how the truck shifts between R and D, especially after about 8 hours of plowing when the ATF is good and warmed up. Or, better yet, imagine you are an ice cold U-Joint. If you are careful and get to know your vehicle, you will be able to stop accelerating before hitting 2nd gear. You also might be able to stop rolling forward before shifting into reverse. <br>Second point - Like Chuck said, the Torque converter is filled with ATF. Since our trucks are newer, I have had the dealer do some servicing (I usually try to pick their brains about stuff so I can learn more about what to expect from the trucks). A service manager mentioned to me that a lot of guys who changed their own fluid weren't letting the torque converter drain out. He made a point about this (and that those were the first ones to need new E4ODs), so I have been careful, and hopefully this will pay off. For those of you anti-automatic fans, I like manual trannies, but we have a lot of drivers during the summer and this November I had my left knee reconstructed for the second time in 8 years.<p>----------<br>Phil Grande - Soundview Landscape Supply<br>http://members.aol.com/scagrider

01-02-2000, 03:10 PM
We plow in 4-low ALL the time, no exceptions. Okay, our Diesel truck plows in 4-high cause he has to. (no engine RPM)<p>In the last 3 years:<p>Rebuilt the Diesel transmission 4 times.<p>10 gas trucks (4 low plowers) rebuilt 1 transmission in 3 years.<br>

01-02-2000, 05:31 PM
Alot of that has to do with the fact that the Ford auto and 5 speed are just not up to handling the torque from the PS diesel, and that is a quote from a Ford engineer I met in Pittsburg in June at the SIMA symposium.<br>They hoped that the 99's had fixxed that problem.<br>Diesels generate alot more heat, and the factory coolers can not handle the heat dissapation effectively, so they tear up trannies.<br>Dino<p>----------<br> Professional Ice and Snow Management <br>Products:Services:Equipment www.sima.org