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The Truth About DRW Trucks?


freestoneangler

DRW Truck in Snow  

49 members have voted

  1. 1. Are DRW Trucks (w/4WD) a Problem in Snow?



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I'm not sure why someone would say they are useless in the snow. They are not as good as a SRW truck because the outside set of wheels must create it's own path thru the snow. That said I have never gotten stuck in mine and I don't have aggressive tires. They still out perform any of the AWD suv's out there by a big margin.

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We lived in NE Oklahoma and had some snow. I drove a DRW without 4 wheel drive as a daily driver. I put about 300# of sand in bags over the rear alxes and never had an issue with snow, even with a 2 wheel drive vehicle.

 

If you the trailer you are towing has enough weight to require a DRW, you need a DRW truck.

 

Kene

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We had a family emergency a couple weeks ago. We left the rig in Arizona and drove 1200 plus miles quickly to central Washington to be with family in our empty 1-ton. We overnighted in Twin Falls, ID and woke the next morning to several inches of heavy wet snow. This is my 7th 4x4 Chevy pickup but my 1st with DRW. Fifty years in Alaska provided me plenty of experience driving in winter conditions. As mentioned the outside rear wheels must cut their own paths since they do not track with the front tires (no one breaking trail sort to speak). Though this extra splashing/pulling can be felt I found I quickly became use to its feel and learned to compensate for it. This effect was not an issue in lightly or untracked/rutted snow regardless of depth. On the other hand in heavily rutted show all bets are off and you should slow down to compensate for the uneven push/pull that will occur from the ruts. These seemed pretty normal for the conditions and were no different with the DRW. Ice on the other hand can be felt much more readily due to the higher flotation from the extra tires. Two things to keep in mind 1) you only have four wheel drive (or any drive for that matter) when you have your foot on the gas so travel at a rate you can keep it there, and 2) do not use your cruise control. When your foot leaves the gas you rig is higher off the ground and heavier than a 2WD so keep it in mind.

Love this DRW truck!

Later,

J

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Started driving the dually in 1998, 2 wheel drive, last year was the first year that it sort of did NOT drive in snow - well after Christmas that is. prior to that it was a daily driver for 15 years and 400K in Michigan.

 

F350, 7.3 L, ZF manual 6 speed. Some years I did 'cheat', took the outside 2 wheels off and just ran 2 in the back. Other people said that it looked goofy as he.., I was in the drivers seat and it didn't bother me a bit. Taking the 2 insides off did make it squirrelly, so I flipped them to the inside.

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I do not have a dually now but have had driven them for years but none 4X. While in snow or mud for that matter they are light in the rear not unlike a SRW. I think probably some of the criticizem in snow it a result of the rear flotation but I think because a lot of the criticizem is from those with diesel engines because of the extra weight they tend to bury the front end. If you need the dually and there is a lot of pluses go for it you will not regret at least I did not. :)

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I will say my current Dually doesn't get around as good as my previous LGT, but if you know your limitations and tread carefully they can all be driven safely in most conditions.

 

I used to work with an Ambulance service and it was an experience the first time it snowed and we realized the limitations of the dual rear wheels. I personally was never stuck but was riding when my driver decided to plow through several drifts, unfortunately the last drift was twice as wide as the previous 4 and our speed had steadily decreased with each of the previous drifts. We made it to within a few inches of clearing but when we stopped we were done. I opened the hood of the van and found the front end completely packed with snow. With the fan turning keeping the snow from stopping it. (thankfully).

 

I used a 1999 F 350 in Utah one winter and didn't have a problem. I did have a tractor tire inner tube filled with sand sitting on the bed just in front of the tail gate but i didn't have snow tires. I put new steer tread tires on just before heading out there. Stopping was more of an issue than going.

 

Rod

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When carrying weight for traction think about it in a sudden stop, a friend got a nasty set of dents when his weight (frozen into a solid chunk) came forward and slammed into the front of the bed. It doesn't take anything fancy to keep it in place, a couple loops of rope or cargo straps is plenty, likely won't stop it if you hit something hard but then you'll be fixing other dents anyway.

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I own a dually two wheel drive and a friend owns a four wheel drive. To both us, both of them are like a pig on ice. Having had a Ford F-450 (two wheel) at work with a utility body and bucket on, the weight never helped either. I never really looked at them as funny because I want something that works and the dually with our fiver works out great. But then since I retired there will never be anymore snow or ice.

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My 2002 Chevy Duramax dually does quite well in snow, and muddy CG's too, even though I run B.F. Goodrich all-season tires instead of snow/mud grips. Sure i'ts a bit more difficult to drive in the city, that just means I park further from stores and get much needed exercise walking another 100 yards. The stability of a dually cannot be matched by any single rear wheel truck when towing/hauling a heavy load. My wife likes to drive our dually, even though it is a crew cab, long bed, 4WD.

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You never said why you are considering a DRW. There is absolutely nothing I don't like about our truck, and it's been in mud, snow and everything in between. I think one of the mistakes some folks make with their DRW is rear tire pressure. If you air those tires like your SRW truck, you won't gain the traction and you surely will suffer a rough ride.

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Spindrift makes a very good point. The thing with a dually is you need to adjust tire pressure fairly often. My dually I ran 50 psi when towing with a 2500 lb pin weight. But when driving the trck without the fiver I would lower the pressure down to 35 psi. These were according to Michelin's pressure chart. If you leave the rear tires aired up for towing all the time you will experience a rough ride and you will definitely not have as good traction. The other thing about duals is they spread the weight out over the footprint of 2 tires on each side versus a single tire on srw trucks. Its not about the rear tire having to plow its way through snow , its more about the amount of weight per square inch on the road.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't duallys as a huge negative in snow. We camp year round and travel off road in snow/mud. Like posted above....They are not quite as nice as SRW and correct air pressure is key! 26psi unloaded for us and 52psi loaded. Obviously you would want to get valve extensions so it makes adjusting tire pressure easier....

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When I had my 04 F-350 4 x 4 Crew cab I ran the rears a little softer than the fronts. I also built a jig out of 2 x 4's that went to the front and filled it with concrete and a rebar loop. Pull the B&W hitch, Set it in in the fall, take it out in the spring. Worked great. Also if your going to be pulling into a drift , a lot of times I would back into it first to "bust " it a little , turn around and when you go through, mean it Did I get stuck? Yes once in a while when I should have known better...

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

So you see that better than 2 to 1 do not have any issue with rear wheel drive only in the snow. The biggest thing I have seen is that you have to know how to drive in the snow. Slow and easy and not like driving on regular dry pavement.

 

Ken

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When your foot leaves the gas you rig is higher off the ground and heavier than a 2WD so keep it in mind.
Love this DRW truck!
Later,
J

What does this mean?

Just a BFOTO (blinding flash of the obvious) and a reminder that besides slippery surfaces physics are involved, i.e. centrifugal force. Which is greater for a heavier, higher, mass in motion than a lower less heavy mass in motion regardless of speed.

Later,

J

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