View Full Version : 4x4: How important is it?

10-26-2004, 10:10 PM
I am in the market to buy a 3500 series dump or rackbody truck. I found a 1995 GMC 3500HD 10' Rack body. The truck is in impecable condition and the 6.5 Diesel engine only has 50k on it. The only problem with it is that it is not a 4x4. I will be using this truck for both landscaping, and plowing in the winter. I was wondering how well a non 4x4 will plow (given that i will have a sander on back). I have other pickups to do most of my driveways, but i will use this truck for parking lots and some driveways. I am concerned because everything else about the truck is more than i could ask, i just dont want to find out in the winter that i cant move.. thank you

10-26-2004, 10:18 PM
i would post this at www.plowsite.com

for your question...no it should not be that big of an issue as long as u have alot of weight in the back, plus, it should be easy with parking lots.

kickin sum grass
10-26-2004, 10:19 PM
a 2 wheel dually with wieght on it will plow snow pretty good. Maybe a few problems on big hills but not much to worry about. There are a lot of people around here that have this set up.

You should know, and maybe already do, that the 6.5 turbo diesel has electronic fuel injection problems. Chevy has warrantied these until 11 years or 120,000 for replacement. If you buy it chevy should send out papers or you may ask a dealer for info. Mine, '98, is at the dealer for the 2nd one and only has 78,000 on it. It will cause it to stall and sometime restart right a way and sometime not for a long while. It is in the electronics. There are aftermarket updates for these and after the 120,000 mi warranty period I am going to upgrade but no reason to before, as long as chevy is footing the bill. Other than that it has been a great engine. 17mpg, never uses oil, lots of power.

good luck.

D Felix
10-26-2004, 11:25 PM
Gee, it's nice when people ask the exact same question on two different forums.....

Both here and on the commercial landscaping forum............:rolleyes:


10-27-2004, 01:36 PM
i am trying to get as much info as i can, i dont see why it is an issue if I post the same question in 10 forums. The more responses i get the better i am off.

Metro Lawn
10-27-2004, 02:07 PM
We use this set up and it works well as long as you have weight on the back. We try to keep a yard or so of salt in it and it works fine.

10-27-2004, 04:40 PM
dont know much about plowing but, those 6.5L diesels are dogs...

10-27-2004, 05:18 PM
sorry to who ever i offended about the chevy 6.5, i though the fact its a sucky motor would be of intrest, and by no means am i brand loyal, they just have terrible power, tons of fuel system problems, and the mialege isnt that great.. grow up

Gravel Rat
10-29-2004, 09:19 PM
The biggest difference between a regular 3500 and a 3500HD is one will pack 6000lbs and one that is maxed out at 4000lbs. If you going to use the truck for general hauling I would go with the 3500HD the truck will carry more weight and handle work loads better.

I have been debating myself about going back to a 1 ton so I can have 4wheeldrive. I currently have a 89 F-450 and have had 450 trucks for the last 5 years ya 2wd sucks at times. I do like the toughness the 1.5 ton trucks they pack and stop any size load I put on them. I really don't know if I want to suffer with bad brakes and loss of payload going back to a 1 ton to have 4wheeldrive. I don't have the budget to buy a 99 or newer F-450 4x4 when your a one man band operation trying justify spending 25 grand plus is pretty tough.

As for a dually in the snow it doesn't matter if you have 4wheeldrive or not it just sucks I have put close to a ton of scrap metal over the back wheels the tires spun like I had no weight on the truck. The only thing that works is chains and some weight on a 2wd it will go pretty much where a 4x4 will. I know guys with 4x4 1 ton flatdecks can't go anywhere in 4wheeldrive their trucks are no better than mine.

The only time a 4x4 is good is with a srw truck like a 3/4 ton a dually floats on top of the snow I have gotten stuck in 3"s of snow the tires spin turns it to ice and I'am stuck. Last year I was stuck at home for 2-3 days because the plow truck didn't come out our rural road. In this area we usually get snow for a week in the winter here on the West Coast then either freezes or warms up and rains.

To sum it up if your looking for a truck that will do more than just plowing if you want to put a dumping flatdeck or box on the truck go with the 3500HD atleast the truck will do a honest days work. As for the 6.5 it is a turd of a engine I know a few people that have had them hate them because the engines fall apart fast. A 6.5s life span is around 200,000kms (124,000 miles) if you do get more mileage than that you have a miracle engine. I know the local tow company barely got 100,000kms (62,000miles) out of a rebuild in that time the heads were off once in the 100,000kms.

As for the injection pumps GM doesn't even know how to fix them a rebuilt electronic pump is 5 grand the semi electronic is around 3 grand.

If I was going to buy a Chevy or GMC it would have a 454 I wouldn't touch a old GM diesel with a 10' pole. Its been said that Chev shouldn't have been allowed to sell the 6.5 diesel because it is such a POS.

12-26-2004, 11:12 PM
i was reading your post and you know chevy and ford both offer 4x4 in thier 450,550 and 4500,5500 series trucks. thought i would tell you just in case

12-26-2004, 11:23 PM
I like chevys, but not that diesel. I would still look for 4 wheel drive, you will not regret it. I guarantee that if you go with 2WD their will be more than one time that you will wish for 4WD.

01-10-2005, 02:10 PM
no problem with 2wd my buddy has a 2002 3500HD with a 9 foot mason dump body with a sander, and a 9ft fisher
X-Blade, says it the best plow truck out of all of them. however the truck may be slow and the fuel problems are not as extensive as some make it out to be. my 2500 extended cab with the 6.5 has 106,000 miles on it and nothing has gone on it except for the fuel pump module driver. the dealer carged $85.00 for the diagnostic and gave and estimate of $828.00 to replace it. i took it to my buddy's shop and did it my self. i got the module for $230 from the dealer ship. i also had to pull the whole intake manifold to get at the pump, (module is located on side of the pump). total it took me 4 1/2 hours but i have never worked on this motor before. i have herd the pump goes but mine has not yet and from what i here it is about $3,000.oo. As for other 6.5's i know about my buddy's got it in his 2500 suburban and has 174,000 miles on it and has only done the fuel pump, and the fuel pump module, and runs brand new, another friend has a 97 3500 mason dump that has done serious pulling and has only done the fuel pump it has 137,000 miles on it and a plow, my roofer has a 97 3500 crew cab with a 9 ft rack body and has about 110,000 miles on it and has done injectors and fuel pump, however he says it runs better now than when bought as far as power.