2 wheel drive snow plowing thoughts

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by JCLawn and more, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Messages: 5,274

    ok, I live in central southern michigan. We only get between 2-6inches on a normal snow. Here is my issue with 4 wheel drive trucks. They expensive to buy and expensive to maintain. I can find a ton one 1 ton trucks around here that are 2 wheel drive for dirt cheap. My thought is if I have one or two 4 wheel drive trucks for difficult drive ways and awkward hills, then for flat ground plowing and parking lots would it be fine using a 1 ton 2 wheel drive trucks with like a loaded truck bed salt spreader in it or like a ton or more of weight in the back with aggressive snow tires? Also to I would but a limited slip in it or a locker so it would be true 2 wheel drive. Would this work? or is it a theory of disaster?
  2. Swampy

    Swampy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,435

    Yes to most of your questions, No to residental driveways, That locking rear end the one key for plowing in two wheel drive, the other is ballist. I assume the type of salter your looking at is a under tailgate salter just remember that salt is a removable ballist your going to have problems towards the end of a snow event if its still icy out.

    You want that solid front axle in front instead of a IFS, it will carry the wieght a lot better.

    If this is your only 1 ton I'd avoid getting a 4x2 and saving up more to get a 4x4 instead.
  3. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Messages: 4,345

    90% of the time you will be good (if the driver knows how to plow with 2 wheel drive). The other 10% of the time it will limit what you can do.

    I would consider the downtime that would occur if you did get stuck. Plow service is a time sensitive service. If your late an hr because of being stuck it could lose biz.

    To get more on the subject go to plowsite.com and do some searches. The topic has been discussed many times over there.
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  4. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Messages: 5,274

    I was thinking one of the 5yd or so spreaders that takes the whole truck bed. If I had a tailgate spreader then I would put something heavy in back. I am thinking of running new 3/4 4x4's and older 1 tons. The 1 ton diesels are as cheap around here as gas 3/4 tons. So I am thinking of good summer trucks along with a back up winter truck for if I get more than expected work.
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  5. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    The problem with limited slip is they are limited by how much they can help.

    I live on a hill that has a varying grade. Steep, then slight, then steep, slight, then moderate. I live on the second steep section. My suburban, and jeep both have limited slip. I like to see if I can make it up slow in 2wd. Sometimes the LS rear does it. Thing is LS rear is about a 1/4 effective as 4wd.

    Vote for 4wd.

    Lockers are made for off road use because a soft surface is needed to allow the wheels to slip when making turns being the the differential can no longer allow the wheels to revolve at different speeds.

    Also your wheels will be running on cleared pavement behind a plow so locked rear wheels will not be able to slip.

    Also lockers are made for slow speed use which is good for plowing but of no use helping you to get to your next job. What good is it having a plow and getting stuck on the road?

    Vote for 4wd.
  6. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Messages: 5,274

    Um that's if you go with an OEM limited slip and a redneck locker where you wield the differential. They make limited slips in varying torques all the way up to they only give when you about break the axel and lockers that are allow enough play to turn. They also make rear end lockers that are manually engaged and they make self locking lockers like the one in my dodge 1500 that was OEM.
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  7. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    I have both 4wd and one 2wd truck. The 4wd wil be doing all of the plowing, I would never put a plow on my 2wd (2007 Crew Cab Ford v10), even with weight on the back and good snow tires it sucks. Could it push show on an open parking lot with plenty of manuevering room? YES. But the problem is on driveways and streets, if my tires get caught in a soft patch and I get pulled off the slightest bit into snow on the side, I am waiting to be pulled out.
  8. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,570

    With good tires and weight (ballast) it is amazing what you can accomplish. I wouldn't hesitate using a 1 ton 2 wheeled truck 1 ton or larger for plowing. Having a second 3/4 ton 4x4 is a prudent contingency.
  9. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,769

    There's an awful lot of GM owners that this will be news to, better head over to PS and inform them of the mistake they've been making for a long, long time.

    Where in south central MI? What's your topography?

    I'm going to say you should be fine with enough weight and the right operator.
  10. Swampy

    Swampy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,435

    Oh great I started a pissing contest, Let me rephrase that. Comparing apples to slightly retared apples. From what seen and witnessed, about solid front vs IFS in 1tons and Ford's F-Superduty (it is lumped in there even though people call it a F450, it is not a true F450 just a F-350 plus) the solid front axle with the leaf springs carried wieght a lot better then IFS with coils. Again my opinion and no one else's.

    I'm not saying that GM owners made a mistake, as I'm a GM owner myself. I'm going on that at least in my area for older cab and chasis trucks is dominated by Ford. Thus is why I commented above about Fords F350 and F SuperDuty.

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