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Plowing-High & Low Range

Discussion in '<a href=http://www.plowsite.com target=_blank ?>Sn' started by gene gls, Jan 3, 2000.

  1. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,213

    I run a 89 Chevy 2500 with a V6 Auto, 8' fisher.I plow in 4H low gear,(with the lever in low).I have some decent size drives to push.I don't understand how some of you can plow in 4L unless you are plowing straight ahead on a highway.If you are going to back up do you shift to 4H?
  2. Lazer

    Lazer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,446

    Chevy's may be a little different, because they're so &quot;snappy&quot; compared to a Dodge or Ford. We put the truck in low and keep it there. You can rev the engine higher than most people think without hurting them. We've got 2 older trucks w/ 200,000 miles on them with the original engine that have had the heck revved out of them in low. (one is 11 years old, w/original engine and transmission)<p>It may be different in large lots. You might need more speed in reverse.
  3. GeoffDiamond

    GeoffDiamond LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 1,651

    I tell my guys that if they are doing a driveway, and their speed is less than five miles per hour to use low range. The exception would be if they were plowing a very light snow fall. If they are plowing a lot, we generally plow every 2-4 inches of accumulation depending on if the snow fall is in the day or at night. If they are in a lot or private road and we have a good handle on it, keep it 4 hi and keep it under 15, and yes diamond plows are rated for a top speed of 20 mph. The exception would be out kubota 540 loader, with a 9 foot blade, go as fast as ya can and don't spare the horsepower. Note i only encourage fast speeds on private roads and large opean lots. I would never want to see a truck plowing over the speed of 25.<p>Geoff
  4. Lazer

    Lazer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,446

    We never like to see a truck speed UNDER 25 mph. We charge by the season/per time and production is the name of the game. I suppose if you charge hourly, the approach would be different.
  5. GeoffDiamond

    GeoffDiamond LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 1,651

    I charge by the season or by the visit to. I just don't want to see my trucks flying through parking lots. I would rather have the guys slow it down a little, take a little longer and do a great job the first time.<p>Geoff
  6. Lazer

    Lazer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,446

    Yeah, I agree. You don't want your guys tearing things up.<p>I believe most new plows have a ground speed rating of 14 mph due to air-bag deployment factors with the new trucks. I don't think that really applies to how most people plow. You can damage a vehicle at 5 mph and you can plow safely at 40. (or 60 in a high-way situation) It largely depends on the site.
  7. plowking35

    plowking35 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from S.E. CT
    Posts: 1,687

    Well here is the criteria for high low range with us. If it is a diesel use high range unless you are fully loaded and are going very slow, and no rpm above 2000K. Otherwise use high range but watch for excessive torque load on the tranny.<br>If it has a gas engine use low range at all times plowing unless the snow fall is light and fluffy and you are plowing a long drive. At no time exceed 20mph plowing, and not over 45 traveling with a plow over the road, and that means the highway. If I could get a govenor I would.<br>Reason is on the gas jobs they are always loaded. Meaning at least 1-2 tons of sand/salt and an 8-9' blade. That is aalot of weight and the tranny will be the weak link. I let the transfere case take all the heat (literally) heat is what kills trannies, so the lower the heat the longer the tranny life.<br>Then with the diesel engine rpms are key to long engine life, and the trannies usually have a lower stall speed then gas engines so they hook up sooner, so high range is ok, but we keep a close eye on the rpms and use low range when needed.<br>BTW we have only auto trannies now, with standard low range isnt as important, but be carefull the 5 sp used by ford until 97 isnt the heaviest duty piece ever designed.<br>As far as plowing speed, I have never seen any state or local municipality truck ever plowing over 30-35 mph even on the interstate. Just think what would happen if you hit an obstacle at 60 mph. Do you think it will trip NO, but the truck will flip I am sure.<br>If you want to plow at 25 be my guest, but where are you plowing that you can muster that kind of speed? We plow a lot that has a 1 mile entrance drive and as long as I have plowed there I have never topped 20 mph, and that is plenty fast enough to roll the snow way over the curbing.Only open roads should be handled at that speed. No driveway or lots should be plowed at that speed. How long is your stopping distance, eveasive manuvers, or panic braking will be non existent at those speeds. People pull out all the time. <br>That ceratinly is not responsible or professional plowing technices.<br>Dino <p>----------<br> Professional Ice and Snow Management <br>Products:Services:Equipment www.sima.org<p>
  8. n y snow pros

    n y snow pros LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 252

    i tend to agree with the majority here,we plow large commercial lotswith large open areas. our trucks plow very well under 25mph and anything over this speed even in familiar lots,it is only a matter of time be fore your luck runs out.you damage your equipment crash or worse yet hit someone or something.its not worth the minutes you save to go fast and crash. at the sima seminar in pittsburgh this year the oshkosh truck equipment people were there and they shared a little stoy with us about speed.some one asked at one of the meetings if there is anything that could stop an oshkosh,and the rep said yes speed.if you are familiar with an oshkosh they are like an m-1 tank with a plow or snowblower attached to the front.the cheapest stripped unit without the plow new is about $190,000. the rep said that in japan the oshkosh is used at the osaka airport because of its massive size(plow blade width 35 feet)and incredible power.the trucks can only plow between take offs and there must race down a runway reaching speeds in excess of 80mph.now you ask how does one stop atruck of this size(65000lbs)and turn around for its return trip back up the runway.the right way is to slow down,but the operators have have found that the faster you get this thing moving they pull the air brakes on and do 180 with the truck due to its size an momentum.this would set the truck up in the right direction for its return trip,this worked great until a truck caught a plow edge and caused the truck to barrel roll down the runway.the next question was what was the result.answer,the truck itself wasfine but a catistrophic cab failure and the operator dead. the moral to this story,even a well familiar lot can bite you when you least expect it,but most of all speed kills.<p>----------<br>J PARKER<br>914-485-4200
  9. Lou

    Lou LawnSite Member
    Posts: 39

    Low and Slow is the way to go<br>High and fast your equipment won't last<br>Unnecessary expense makes no sense

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