Snowplow Tips: Protecting Your Truck Transmission During Snow Removal
Protecting Your Plow Truck's Transmission During Snow Removal
One of the most common vehicle problems encountered while plowing is damage to the transmission. Overheating the transmission fluid as well as improper use, can contribute to the problem. Keep the following tips in mind when heading out on your next snow plowing run to minimize damage to your plow truck's transmission.
- Most vehicle manufacturers do not recommend snow plowing in overdrive. Consult your vehicle owners manual to find out if plowing in overdrive is recommended--and if so, when and how.
- Plan your plowing pattern so that you are driving forward as much as possible.
- Come to a complete stop before shifting from forward to reverse.
- Wait until the transmission engages before accelerating.
- Accelerate slowly, allowing the wheels to grip the road surface for better traction. Avoid spinning the tires.
- To start a pass, start the vehicle in motion. Then drop the snowplow blade.
- Whenever possible, back into a cleared area.
- If you have a manual transmission, avoid riding the clutch while plowing.
- After plowing, let the vehicle idle for ten minutes or more to allow the transmission cooler time to cool the transmission fluid.
- If you are plowing often during the season, change your transmission fluid before and during the season. A good rule of thumb is to pull your transmission dipstick periodically and smell the fluid. If the fluid has a burnt smell, you should change the fluid as soon as possible.
- To monitor the heat in your transmission, you can install an inline transmission gauge. Once the temperature reaches 250°F, you should let the vehicle idle until the transmission fluid cools to a lower temperature.
Following these tips will help extend the life of your plow truck's transmission and keep your maintenance repair bills down during the season.
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