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Manual transmission truck for plowing? or...slushbox?

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by 360ci, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. 360ci

    360ci LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 995

    Alright. I'm considering biting the bullet and forking out some cash for a Dodge Diesel. I know manufacturers spend their dollars on automatics as that's where the market is, but I'd very much like to be able to shift for myself. Obviously first gear at 6.29:1 is very low.

    I'm considering a dually as well, for the extra capability and now that I've widened my driveway. Dodge wants $2K for the automatic here in Canada, and to me, Dodge should be paying me to select that on the options list, not charging me for it. Anyway, I'd just like to get some feedback and perhaps some pros and cons in terms of reliability for those who have a manual transmission and use it for plowing. Even if it's in a higher weight class, that's fine as well.

    I drove transport for a while with a 13 speed as well as a later model Volvo with a 12 speed auto. The auto sucked all power out of the truck and the company went with automatics across the board so I found a desk job driving one speed pencil sharpeners (think CVT!).

    I know the Ram's top gear is a 0.79:1 ratio which is a touch on the high side when compared to the auto at 0.67:1 but I'm not buying it for fuel economy. Capability only. Again, any feedback would be appreciated, more or less on the durability side of things! I'd really like to get a stick shift before they become obsolete.

    CLARK LAWN LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,526

    what kind of plowing are you doing? i plowed with a manual trans for a few year but all i did was large open parking lots were i was able to go in circles and not have to shift gears much. if you are doing that they are nice if you are doing drives or alot of small areas were you have to go back and forth it gets old real quick.
  3. flatlander42

    flatlander42 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,239

    I say save the 2k!!!! I wish I had another manual. I used to plow with them....everything from driveways to the large lots. Also used to pull a 35'+ gooseneck with it around town to mow. Keeps ya awake! Granted that your left leg will feel like you worked out just the one leg!!! It's funny that I'd get back into an Automatic vehicle and SLAM my left foot on the Non-existant clutch. hehe
  4. 360ci

    360ci LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 995

    I've done the foot slam myself! I know it's cheaper to replace the transmission linkage than a clutch. Shifting constantly isn't a big concern on my end, my body can handle it - five hours through Jersey traffic in a transport was a good test to that.

    As for plowing, I've had some offers for smaller commercial lots, which is why I want to go the HD route. My Durango obviously doesn't have the FAWR to handle any plow for a prolonged period unless I do a heavy solid axle swap in the front, but even then, it's still no HD.

    I've always preferred sticks to autos, but when I decided on a midsize SUV I had NO options in terms of transmissions. It was auto only, with either 4 or 5 speeds depending on the make/model.

    Dodge here in Canada also has decent financing if I feel too lazy to write a cheque for $48 large - 2.25% for up to 84 months. Crazy.
  5. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,131

    Grab the stick, my brother just picked up 3500 Dodge dually, and he made damn sure it's the 6 speed stick, the automatics fall apart.
  6. 360ci

    360ci LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 995

    Well, I've heard mixed reviews on the newer autos. I know the autos up until 2002 were very problematic, but again, who's to say I'll have any problems.

    It's actually closer to $3K Canadian for the auto. When I select the manual I get $1000 back LOL. I think stick it is.
  7. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    If you are the only driver of the truck go with the 6 spd now if you have employees driving that have never driven a standard before better get a automatic.

    You only plow snow 3 months out of the year maybe 4 the rest of the time a 6 spd will be fine.

    I would rather have a 6spd and I have one but the new emmissions motors don't work very well with one the 6.0 doesn't. No throttle response till you get boost.

    Been driving standard trans vehicals for 18 years bought my first automatic which is a 06 F-450 6.0 I'am not totally impressed with the Torqshift.
  8. 360ci

    360ci LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 995

    I heard the torqshift is better for '11, but as it's a 'new' model the price isn't worth it, not to mention first year reliability. F250 was actually considered the second worst value by Consumer Reports last year. However, I'd rather have the stick shift, better control, etc. So my only option is Dodge.

    I did some more research at the dealer with a brochure (wooo!) and found that the payload is about 30lbs less than the automatic, so I suppose that's a good sign of durability if the MANUAL transmission actually weighs more than the automatic, generally it's the other way around.

    I'll be the primary driver. I might, MIGHT, decide to teach the wife on it once she gets more experience behind an automatic. I'm sure the G56 can take the abuse.

    I'm not a fan of the newer emissions, but at least I don't have to worry about that AdBlue Urea crap with Dodge.

    As for plowing, we can get 5-6 months of snow here in Ontario. However, it's not always heavy as I'm in the southern end of the province.

    I won't be making a solid decision until summer starts closing, so I can still get something on my Durango when I trade it in before the doors and other pieces show rust on the outer edges.... All the dealers in my area have no 6 speeds to test drive, convenient of course! One dealer that I know is looking around for me as I need a test drive before I make a final decision.
  9. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    The transmission is strong enough it is the power these trucks have you can slip and burn a clutch really easy if you have somebody that doesn't have standard shift experience.
  10. 360ci

    360ci LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 995

    That's what happened to my last truck (GM 5.0 5 speed). It was stolen, but the thief couldn't drive it more than a few blocks and he ditched it, the clutch was on it's way out anyway, so it took time to drive it properly, time a thief just didn't have!

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