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GordonR
10-13-2004, 01:39 AM
On a few occasions, I've seen comments about duallies not being really good in snow. Intuitively, I would think having six tires on the snow rather than four would be an improvement. Can anyone shed some light on this? (I have a shot at a job in Duluth, MN, so this isn't just a rhetorical question.)
Gordon

8.1al
10-13-2004, 02:32 AM
Gordon,
Since there are 2 extra tires to carry the load they tend to float on top rather than sink down and grab hold. I've found that with a bunch of weight in the back and some real snow tires or mud and snow with a very aggressive tread you can get around fine with a dually. I have seen some people take off 2 of the tires for the winter. I guess that would work too.

Montana_657
10-13-2004, 03:11 AM
One of the reasons for 4x4 and locking rear axel...If I didn't have 1,000 pounds in the box of old truck it wouldn't go.... now I just push that funny little lever.

Montana_1280
10-13-2004, 03:12 AM
I agree with Charlie. No experience myself with dually in the snow, but have seen others struggling. More weight and aggressive treads makes sense. Happy trails.

Sue
10-13-2004, 03:38 AM
My girly opionion is that the snow kinda gets trapped and you have less traction. I don't know if I'm describing that correctly, but it seems that the snow kinds gets between the two back wheels and you really cannot do anything but crawl when in deep snow, unlike a regular truck who can kinda pick up the pace so to speak.

If your considering buying a dually just keep in mind that the turn ratio is less than a regular truck. My husbands is a standard, long bed and his manuevers easier with the 5th wheel, but for hauling live cargo, the dually has more stability.

Just my girly two cents [:X]

Jeff Heiser
10-13-2004, 06:46 AM
First, let me say that I will never again buy a standard truck. I will always have a dually. Yes, they cost more to operate, cost more when it comes time to buy tires and fuel but I think the advantage of having one far out weigh the negatives. I have had both types of trucks. The dually has served me much better than any other truck I have had. As for how they work in the snow, I personnally have had no problems and have never been stuck in the snow. But, it more boils down to how you drive and what you are using the truck for. Every winter we go to the NC mountains around Boone NC to ski. I have been with friends who have had terrible times with their trucks and or SUV in the snow but it wasnt because of the vehicles capabilities, it was their driving ability and knowledge of how to drive in snow. My dually has a locking rear differential which means that when the rear of my truck starts to slide the tires on both sides of the truck turn and try to grab; this is different from a limited slip differental which turns only on one side and will get you stuck quick in snow.

Going down the road pulling 11,000 pounds, a full bed of goodies (generator, tools etc) is light work for a well equiped daully truck. The stablity going down the road cannot be compared. But, as mentioned in an earlier post the turning radius is greatly reduced compared to standard trucks. When driving mine I am always aware of my turning limitations and size. Parking can really be a problem.

I hope I helped.

Jeff Heiser
Merritt Island Florida
1999 Chevy 454 Vortec Crew Cab Dually Long Bed
327RKS TT

Montana_89
10-13-2004, 07:36 AM
Gordan,

I do NOT have any trouble in snow with my dually as well. I also have a full locking rear axle and I've been in several rather deep snows (4-11 inches). Many times I do not even activate my 4-wheel drive---because I haven't needed it! I also agree that I will never pull a large 5th wheel without a dually. The stability far outweighs the "other" issues (like washing it by hand, etc.)

Sue
10-13-2004, 08:21 AM
I would like to ADD that the only problem in the snow appears when you are on a two track (tracks that another vehicle has made) that becomes difficult to manuever unless you crawl.....We live on a dirt road so our plow job isn't the best!!! Here in Michigan we can get alot of snow all at once :(

BillyRay
10-13-2004, 09:30 AM
I love my truck! haven't had problems in the snow if you know what to expect. duallys will float, yes but if your prepared and not driving like a nut, it's no problem. I have only been stuck one time and that was my own fault. I have a plow on the front of my truck and I had pushe snow over a bank and got my front tires slightly over the edge....with the weight of the diesel, forget it...I did the smart thing(after the fact) and got out a shovel.

with the weight of the diesel, traction is no problem.

If your main purpose for the truck was JUST for plowing, get a regular truck...the dually is more limited...other than that, I use my dually for everything. it's also my primary vehicle (it has to be for the price I paid!)

Montana_621
10-13-2004, 09:30 AM
Being someone from Minnesota, remember that Duluth is cold, cold, cold and they get A LOT of snow. It's lake effect snow too so it's different, heavier and very sticky. It's considered what we call "heart attack" snow because so many have heart attacks shoveling. That snow gets stuck everywhere.

I can honestly say you don't see that many duallies up here and I'm not sure if it's because of the snow or what. We don't own one, it's hard enough to park the crew-cab Ram w/out the dual wheels. LOL

Good luck in your decision....

quote:Originally posted by GordonR

On a few occasions, I've seen comments about duallies not being really good in snow. Intuitively, I would think having six tires on the snow rather than four would be an improvement. Can anyone shed some light on this? (I have a shot at a job in Duluth, MN, so this isn't just a rhetorical question.)
Gordon

BillyRay
10-13-2004, 09:38 AM
I do have to say, I've never heard of anyone removing two tires off the back duals for the winter, but you have got me thinking...I'll have to ask around. has anyone else ever heard of this?

I know what the pro's would be, but what about the con's?

Montana_621
10-13-2004, 09:56 AM
I've seen them like that and always wondered why you would do that. I always thought you had a flat tire on one side or couldn't afford to buy new tires or something like that. [:I] It does look rather stupid!

quote:Originally posted by BillyRay

I do have to say, I've never heard of anyone removing two tires off the back duals for the winter, but you have got me thinking...I'll have to ask around. has anyone else ever heard of this?

I know what the pro's would be, but what about the con's?

BillyRay
10-13-2004, 11:10 AM
I'm sure it's quite a sight to be seen!

GordonR
10-13-2004, 03:47 PM
Whoo! Who would have thought a short note before I left for work would have started this discussion? Here we go; short comments for all.

First of all, thanks to everyone for the replies!

I already have the dooley with the magic 4 wheel button (should it be 6 wheel?) and have no current intention to trade it. (Of course we all know aobut intentions.) I was mostly curious about why there may be a disadvantage to the extra two wheels. Now that I've heard Charlie's explanation about "floating" on the snow, it makes sense. As Jeff mentioned, I don't know how much of a problem it'll be for the type of driving I do, but it's nice to be aware of the potential issue.

Carol and I are from Michigan, and we did live in Duluth for a while a long time ago; so, we have snow experience. We don't have any dooley experience in the snow though. (To be completely honest, Carol doesn't have any dooley experience. However, the recent thread about women pulling the Monty has her thinking.)

I like my truck! Like Melissa, pulling a wheel off each side on the back isn't in the cards for me for aesthetic reasons. And yes, that snow is heavy!

I do like the stability of the dooley for towing, despite the larger turning radius. I hadn't thought about the weight of the Duramax, but Billy Ray has a point, especially when you get into 4WD. If I add a pile of firewood in the back over the winter, as Gruffy suggested, that'll help even more.

Sue, I have never been a horse person, but your pictures are swaying me into learning more. Well, I guess I got plenty of advice for that question! Thanks again to everyone. I'll keep you posted on the job opportunity. If it works, Mike and Melissa will be our friends to the south!

Gordon

Montana_621
10-14-2004, 04:33 AM
LOL! Yes we will be your friends to the south!!! We do get up to the North Shore every once in a while so if you do end up moving to Duluth you will have to let us know!!! Good luck.

Jeff Heiser
10-14-2004, 05:22 AM
Hey Gordon,
If you need a friend way south you always have one down here in Florida. If you ever need a place to stay down here in the DEEP SOUTH, let me know. You can always stay on our farm in Chiefland Florida. We dont have snows here, maybe a flurry or two but no shoveling driveways or side walks. We just get the big winds called hurricanes which is all the more reason to have a dually down here. That way you can pack up more of your stuff to get out of Dodge before the storm ever gets here.

Jeff Heiser
Merritt Island Florida

Bob Pasternak
10-14-2004, 07:54 AM
The main reason for taking the outside tires off a dually is so you only have to make 2 tracks instead of four. With out the duals the rear wheels will generally run in the front wheel track, but with the dually, the outside tires have to make their own track. In wet snow, you're stuck.

GordonR
10-14-2004, 03:46 PM
Bob - Your comments regarding the outside wheels make sense. Added to the "floating" tendency I can see how it might be a problem. However, I think I'll probably keep them on until it becomes an issue. Actually, I hope I have the opportunity for this to become an issue. Depends on the job...

Jeff - be careful what you offer... If this does work out, we'll probably take a couple weeks off between jobs and Florida is very possible.

Melissa - We will keep you posted. Things got better today. Interview is scheduled for the first and second of November. Just thinking about the possibilities is exciting.

Thanks for the comments.

Gordon

Countryfolks
10-14-2004, 05:48 PM
You could also consider doing what the otr drivers do, use chains when necessary.

Skip

GordonR
10-15-2004, 01:36 AM
Skip - Thanks. That's a viable option that I hadn't considered. We've done some chain travel in the past; only with four wheels rather than six. Do they make chains that go across both tires on each side or do you just put them on the outside tires?

Of course, I could always just stick a snowmobile in the back too. That'd be a lot more fun than putting on chains!:D

Gordon

Jeff Heiser
10-15-2004, 03:45 AM
Gordon,
You are always welcome to stay on our property. It's 30 arcers with no one around; very quite, very dark at night and very relaxing. Closest town is Chiefland Florida about a 20 minute ride.

Skip,
I tried to go down the route of chains on my daully and the dealer and the place I tried to get the chains installed said it's a BIG NO NO on duallies. I have no idea if this is true but it makes sense. You either have to chain each tire seperately which means the chains from the one tire rubbing the other tire and vice versa. Or, you have to have a chain set that covers both tires together which I havent found anyone who makes them. My rear tires have just about an inch between them which would make it impossible for me to get chains on my truck.

Has anyone out there used chains on their rear wheels of their dually?

I have been in some really bad snows in the NC mountains 12 plus inches and honestly I have never been stuck do to snow. One of the things I do when traveling to snow country is I carry between 300 to 400 pounds of sand (6 to 8 50 lb bags) in the bed of my truck. Never have had to use it for me but have used it for others.

I found out something interesting this past hurricane season. We evactuated to GA and of course the strom followed us and YES this time I got stuck (really bad) in GA clay. We sunk about 6 inches with the truck and about the same with the trailer. Anyway I was talking with the tow truck driver about getting stuck etc and he told me to carry a bag of cat litter with me. He said if you are in the snow or on a slippery wet surface, sprinkle the cat litter on the ground where you are stuck and 1. the cat litter absorbs the moisture and; 2. it gives you better traction than sand or gravel. I havent had to try it yet but it makes sense. I am going to carry a bag of it in the truck when we had to the winter mountains.

Jeff Heiser
Merritt Island Florida

Bob Pasternak
10-15-2004, 04:45 AM
Jeff: If you use kitty litter, you must make your attempt right away. Kitty litter is nothing but baked clay and if it gets wet, you're no better off than you were. As for chains for dual wheels, they're made for large trucks but I'm not sure about pick-ups. In 40+ years of driving truck I never "hung iron" as they call chaining up. If I came to an area that required chains, I waited 'til it cleared or found another route.

NJ Hillbilly
10-15-2004, 04:51 AM
Lime also works good in a pinch in the mud. Dried things right up.

Jeff, I use a set of cable chains (1 on each outside tire) that have worked well. I needed them plowing in a ice/freezing rain/sleet/snow storm. A soon as the snow was pushed off, everything turned to a sheet of ice. If You can get a finger between the tires these will fit. For the winter I have a row of 12" solid concrete blocke across the tailgete, 900 lbs or so really improves the ride also.



John

Jeff Heiser
10-15-2004, 06:08 AM
quote:Originally posted by Bob Pasternak

Jeff: If you use kitty litter, you must make your attempt right away. Kitty litter is nothing but baked clay and if it gets wet, you're no better off than you were. As for chains for dual wheels, they're made for large trucks but I'm not sure about pick-ups. In 40+ years of driving truck I never "hung iron" as they call chaining up. If I came to an area that required chains, I waited 'til it cleared or found another route.


Bob,
Thanks for the great infromation. I might try the cat litter but I do have my reservations whether it will work or not. I agree with you on if the area requires chains to just wait until it's cleared. We did just that in DC a few years back.

Jeff Heiser
Merritt Island Florida

BillyRay
10-18-2004, 04:08 PM
we had over 2 feet of snow on christmas of 2002 dually pushed right through!

GordonR
10-19-2004, 01:15 AM
BillyRay, Six wheel drive... ya gotta love it!
Gordon