Snow driving 4WD trucks…

Please share your wisdom. I have on older model truck that you have to get out to lock in the hubs. Last time I drove my truck in snow, I followed the rule that you use 4WD on non paved snowy surfaces. You only use it on paved roads if there’s actually snow on the road (actively snowing). However, since it’s a pain, and dangerous, to get out to unlock in the hubs, I’ve been leaving it in 4WD going from snowy rural roads to plowed town roads (still slushy and icy) until I get where I’m going and change it in the parking lot where I don’t have to worry about getting hit. I don’t change it back again until I pull over on our dirt road (which really needs it). Now, I’m worried about wear and tear on the drivetrain. I don’t think these older models were made to do this, like the shift on the fly ones.

What do you guys do?

As long as the roads are still bad traction it’s ok to leave it in 4WD. It’s only good traction roads where you really need to worry about it being in 4WD and you’ll feel it if it’s fighting with the road. If it gets to where you could switch to 2WD when you hit the pavement you should be able to shift to 2WD while the hubs are still in. We used to leave the hubs in all winter basically and just switch in the truck until the roads were consistent. You have weight in the back too, right? Helps a TON.


Agreed with @OnAMission. It feels like it’s “bucking” when it’s fighting the surface.

That feeling is coming from the front wheels, which are spinning the same speed regardless of a turn, where the inside wheel has a shorter distance and the outside wheel a longer one.


Thanks. Is that a consensus? Leaving the hubs locked? That would be so much easier. Although, I think I would unlock them for a lot of highway driving in dry conditions. They make a noise.

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I don’t have weight in the back. I used to when I had a 2WD truck, but I didn’t think it mattered so much with 4WD? I really had some fish tailing issues without tube sand over the wheel wells with that first 2WD truck (why did I have a 2WD truck in Colorado? I was in college and very cheap, lol).

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When I had a truck that external locking hubs, I would still have to shift into 4wd above and beyond locking in the hubs. So I could be in 2wd with locked hubs.

Weight in the back is always a good thing.


Weight would help IME, would make it so you didn’t even need the 4WD as much. I think our trucks travel a lot better in 4 or 2 on bad roads if there is some weight in the back, balances it from being so front heavy, especially those older trucks. And having the sand back there can be handy if things ever go sideways off into the ditch or you come across someone to help. Throw a shovel back there too lol


Not a Shovel.

Ignore my attempt at humor from the Barisone thread.
A shove is a great idea to have on hand.

The extra plus of having bags of sand in the back is you can use them for traction if you need them.


That tube sand is handy if you get stuck. Good idea.

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If the roads might be questionable I leave the hubs locked and shift in and out of 4 wheel drive as needed.



That is my experience too.

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I grew up driving my dads old 77 Chevy.
He always told me to leave the hubs locked once winter was here & Just switched from 2WD to 4 WD as needed.
Granted we weren’t doing much highway driving. It was most all small town & backroad driving.

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Shovel the snow off the driveway into the truck bed. Free weights!

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Also free flying snow bits torture to the person in the car behind you on the expressway.


Good tailgating deterrent! :rofl:

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