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Old 09-11-2010, 01:39 PM
mattbatson mattbatson is offline
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Default Is 4x4 really a necessity?



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I'm in the market for a diesel truck and am finding some good deals on 4x2's. It seems the 4x4 comes with a little price premium, and also narrows down my search.

The main purpose of this truck is that it will safely transport my family and tow my trailer, and if/when TSHTF it will be our main mode of transport as I am already storing waste motor oil in my backyard (not too mention, if there are cars stranded everywhere, I can just drain out their engine and trans oil and fill my tank)

I currently do not live in the woods. I live in the burb's.

We may eventually buy some land in Tx or some such state, but this may be several years down the road.

What do you guys think?
Old 09-11-2010, 02:56 PM
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4x4 is necessary in Michigan because of the snow, it might not be necessary in Florida. I used to live in Texas and hardly anyone had 4x4, but in MI everyone does. But, if you have all your stuff loaded in the back weight goes a long way in providing traction.
Old 09-11-2010, 03:04 PM
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4x4 are great, but it depends on were you are planning on going to. They just help you get places that a 2x4 cant get to. Just remember, just cause it is 4x4 does not mean you can go anywhere. I have pulled lots of 4x4's out with people who just don't understand that concept. Just learn what ever rig you drive abilities, before it is necessary
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Old 09-11-2010, 03:07 PM
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I have a two wheel drive dodge ram and when winter comes around this thing is a hazard. The tires will spin in one inch snow and i will be stuck, its embarrassing. Weight helps but its will never compare to a 4x4. I will never buy a two drive truck again ever.
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Old 09-11-2010, 06:21 PM
mattbatson mattbatson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Preacherboy View Post
4x4 is necessary in Michigan because of the snow, it might not be necessary in Florida. I used to live in Texas and hardly anyone had 4x4, but in MI everyone does. But, if you have all your stuff loaded in the back weight goes a long way in providing traction.

I agree, that if living in an area with snow, that 4x4 would be desirable.

It will be years before we can relocate, and when we do, it will most likely be somewhere that doesnt get much snow. We are looking at the panhandle of TX, for instance.

I dont know, maybe I should hold out for a 4x, as I really want this to be the last truck I buy for a very, very long time.
Old 09-11-2010, 06:34 PM
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I will never be without a 4X4 or 4X6 in my garage. You may not always need one but when you do, will be grateful to your maker that you have one...
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Old 09-11-2010, 06:35 PM
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matt, it snows in the panhandle of Texas, I've seen a storm in Amirillo. How much is your budget?

I've been looking at 1980's diesel suburbans all over the country on craigslist and they run anywhere from $800-$4000. Parts trucks to really decent machines, and all 4x4. For under $6000 you could get a sweet truck--people do not have much money right now and they are unloading all their projects.
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Old 09-11-2010, 07:56 PM
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Since you're in Florida and are talking about it as a tow vehicle... probably not. On the other hand, I haven't been without a 4wd vehicle in the past 30 yrs and will never willingly be without one. And not just 4wd, you really want at least limited-slip rear diff, and center diff that can lock if you've got "full-time" 4wd.
Old 09-11-2010, 09:39 PM
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I live in the desert and i wont be without 4 wheel drive.
Old 09-11-2010, 10:22 PM
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a posi-trac or locked 2wd is just as capable as an unlocked 4x4. maybe even more-so.

2wd can be done. 4x4 has become a crutch for people who cant drive for ****.

4x4 is nice in some situations, in the survival community it has become the gold standard of mad max fantasies to have a lifted, locked, supercharged, rammer front bumper equipped super rig.

for 90% of the people out there, 4wd wont even help them because they are THAT incompetant behind the wheel.

a 2wd, with bigger aggresive tires, a traction device in the rear, and some type of recovery system would do anything you asked it to.
Old 09-11-2010, 10:26 PM
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you will kick yourself in the ass if you settle and purchase a 4x2. May seem expensive until the first time you reach down and hit a button/or a lever and it kicks in. then you will be smiling like a fat kid at the twinkie factory.
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Old 09-11-2010, 10:31 PM
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you will kick yourself in the ass if you settle and purchase a 4x2. May seem expensive until the first time you reach down and hit a button/or a lever and it kicks in. then you will be smiling like a fat kid at the twinkie factory.
uh yeah you dont wait till your stuck to put it in 4wd.

i had a buddy, bought a zr2, one bad-azz truck. the minute the tires left pavement he stopped and put it in 4wd-LO. lol. the whole time he owned it! he is such a dweeb.

my favorite is when people think that 4wd-low is some kind of "super-unstuck" mode
Old 09-11-2010, 10:49 PM
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Just going off the paved road can be bad news for a 2wd. a little rain or sand and your stuck
Old 09-11-2010, 10:51 PM
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Just going off the paved road can be bad news for a 2wd. a little rain or sand and your stuck
unless your one of the few of us who knows what the hell they are doing.

you know that there are 2wd classes in off road and desert racing right?
Old 09-11-2010, 11:29 PM
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I'm from the panhandle of Texas born and raised on cotton farms on the Llano 4x4 is not a requirement but it does snow and there are a lot of dirt roads and places two wheel drive will not make it.
last winter we got almost eight inches of snow on the night before Christmas Eve and i spent all morning pulling two wheel drive vehicles out of the bar ditches many were 2 wheel drive diesels since they are so heavy on the front end in a bad situation they sink like a lead weight
4 wheel drive is something we have on all our farm and recreational vehicles you may kick yourself for dropping the extra money but it only takes one time for it to keep you from walking, waiting for help or digging yourself out to realize how great it is
Old 09-11-2010, 11:40 PM
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Quote:
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I'm from the panhandle of Texas born and raised on cotton farms on the Llano 4x4 is not a requirement but it does snow and there are a lot of dirt roads and places two wheel drive will not make it.
last winter we got almost eight inches of snow on the night before Christmas Eve and i spent all morning pulling two wheel drive vehicles out of the bar ditches many were 2 wheel drive diesels since they are so heavy on the front end in a bad situation they sink like a lead weight
4 wheel drive is something we have on all our farm and recreational vehicles you may kick yourself for dropping the extra money but it only takes one time for it to keep you from walking, waiting for help or digging yourself out to realize how great it is
yeah well every time it snows here in NY for the first time every moron and thier sister crash off the road as if they have never seen snow before. and they are in 4x4 suv's and trucks and suburus

do you think it is the cars or the drivers?

most people have no idea how to drive. i live on top of a mountain, we get a LOT of snow and ICE storms. i have gone all winter with only a 2wd pick-up before.
Old 09-11-2010, 11:45 PM
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Old 09-11-2010, 11:49 PM
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I have 1 four wheel drive in my 3 vehicle stable. It is nice to have the security when needed. Are you talking a pickup type truck? It seems pickup style 4wd tend to still need weight in the back to be effective.

I had snow plow drivers clean of my drive way in the winter and my drive way is on a hill and everyone of them got stuck sooner than later.So I now use a snow blower or my yard tractor with chains.Mt 4 wd explorer never has a problem on the hill except when it is black ice. Ice will stop a 4wd every time as it will with any vehicle.

I have a 2 wd cargo van that has been in the woods and on many jobsites and with the high clearance and weight the thing moves well in most terrains.

Front wheel drive Dodge caravans are nice in the snow as well as Buick Lesabres , I have driven in over 12'' of snow with both of them almost as nice as the explorer. The times you would need the 4 wd may not warrant the cost for the OP unless he is off roading in Fla and then he should have a winch just in case.
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:06 AM
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I own both types. A gas powered 2 wd 3/4 ton that does pretty well until I hit mud. It has the Dodge sure grip rear end which is more usefull than 4 wd if I had to choose. It sometimes spins out when I am not carrying a load in the bed, but tossing several sacks of sand in the back makes a big difference.

The other is a one ton diesel 4 wd. You should not underestimate the added wt of a diesel engine. It has tremendous torque, but it also weighs an extra 800 lbs. All of which is over the front axel. If you are planning on buying a diesel pickup, I would look for 4 wd and a locking or posi rear end.

You mentioned buying a suburban type vehicle. I have seen these stuck out here in the desert. Might be they don't know how to drive. But it might also be too much load on narrow tires. Flotation is key when driving on loose sand.

I had the best luck with an older forest service Ramcharger. It had full time 4 wd, oversized tires, and a sure grip rear end. With the wt of the body centered over both drive axels it when everywhere and rarely even spun a tire.
Old 09-12-2010, 12:23 AM
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All I can say is were I lived growing up, it was chain up for 10 miles both axles of the 4x4 if that was still an option if not it was snow machines, but I have spent several hours chaining up to get from home to the highway when I was driving to high school. So saying that a 2wd will go were ever a 4x4 will go all I can say is come follow me on a weekend and see how it goes.
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