If you’re considering buying a snow plow truck attachment, you probably have some questions. It’s not a simple process to find the right snow plow for your vehicle, but it is an important one. There is a lot you need to keep in mind to make the most of your snow and ice removal service. Is the plow you’re purchasing right for you and your truck? Before you buy a snow plow, make sure you review these five important facts:
#1. Not All Plows Work the Same
How you plan to use your plow will be a major factor in choosing the best suited plow for your vehicle. There’s a big difference between the type of plow you should use for home plowing versus commercial plowing:
When you invest in a plow for home use, you won’t go too high-tech. A comfortably-sized straight plow should be all you need. Straight plows are less expensive, making them far more cost-efficient for easy jobs. While they lack any distinctive features, they’re more than effective for clearing driveways for your family and neighbors.
Likewise, you won’t need a particularly large blade. This is helpful for smaller pickup trucks, as heavier blades won’t work well on lighter trucks. If you aren’t planning to sell snow plowing services, you can stick to lightweight, straight blades with no problem at all.
For those that want to purchase a plow as part of a commercial business, a V-shaped plow or adjustable wing plow is more than worth the extra investment. For starters, these plows offer you greater control. Straight plows can’t effectively direct, angle or scoop snow as well as V-shaped plows can. Adjustable wing plows offer you even more versatility. Clients can have specifics requests regarding how you plow their snow, so extra control can go a long way to keeping your clients happy.
V-shaped plows are also powerhouses when it comes to plowing difficult snow. Overnight freezes leave snow much more difficult to move than when it’s fresh. While a straight plow can handle this type of snow too, a V-shaped plow will do it with less stress on the plow and your truck.
Size also matters for commercial plowing. Time is money, and larger plows equal less time. When you’re scouting out the best plow for your commercial plowing business, go with a larger model. Just remember that ultimately you need to make your decision based on the second most important thing to know…
#2. Your Plow Must Fit Your Truck
The type of snow plow truck attachment you buy will depend heavily on the type of truck you own. Larger, heavy-duty trucks will be able to equip bulkier plows. To give you an idea of the difference between some plows, their weights can range anywhere from around 300 pounds to almost 1,000 pounds. Your truck needs to not only be able to properly equip the plow, but also not fail when pushing the additional weight of the snow. Check your vehicle’s front gross axle weight rating (FGAWR) to get an idea of the maximum weight for the plow.
Another consideration is whether or not you plan to incorporate a salt-spreader. For commercial operators, they’re great if your truck can support them. Like your plow, you’ll want to pay attention to your vehicle’s gross weight axle rating to make sure you won’t cause any damage. If you can profit from operating a fully-equipped snow and de-icing vehicle, it’s not always a bad idea to upgrade to a larger truck. If you’re already managing a fleet, consider getting a heavy-duty truck next time you want to expand.
#3. Snow Plow Material Makes a Significant Difference
Not all snow plows are built the same. There are three major materials used in snow plows. Each one comes with its own benefits and drawbacks. Pick the one that’s right for you based on their unique traits:
Steel is the most common type of material used for snow plows. They’ve been around for decades and are reliable, lasting for years. Plows made of steel are often cheaper than the alternatives, which make them more desirable for small businesses to large fleets. It’s hard to go wrong with a standard steel snow plow.
They do have some drawbacks. Steel is heavy and noisy – expect to hear them rattling as you drive. And while steel is incredibly resilient, it’s not impervious to rust. With all the weather you put a snow plow through, it’s inevitable to find rust eventually. However, there’s a reason they’re one of the most common types of plows out there: they just work.
If you’re able to invest a bit more into your plow, stainless steel is a great option. Plows made with stainless steel carry many of the benefits of standard steel plows. In addition to being tough and reliable, they’re far more resistant to rust and corrosion. That makes your winter vehicle maintenance easier – not to mention how a good, simple cleaning can make stainless steel look brand new. Many operators find that stainless steel has a “slick” feel to it, which helps keep snow moving instead of sticking to your plow.
The drawbacks of stainless steel are straightforward. For starters, they’re more expensive pound for pound. It’s a significant investment over cheaper options. Though, like anything else, you get what you pay for. Stainless steel is also prone to denting and those dings will add up over the years.
More commonly referred to as simply “poly,” these plows are a modern option that have seen increased popularity over the recent years. Unlike steel, poly snow plows are resilient against scratches and dents. Due to its slick surface, snow rarely sticks to a polyethylene plow, which significantly improves your ability to get the job done. On the aesthetic side, poly snow plows also resist wear better – the color is retained all the way through, so regular wear-and-tear doesn’t show as easily.
One common mistake that operators make is buying poly snow plows to cut down on weight. Poly plows are typically heavier than steel. The simple reason why is that the plastic needs to be reinforced, and that reinforcement adds extra weight. On top of that, poly is even more expensive than the steel options. However, for commercial operators, the investment can pay off by saving you time and effort.
#4. Not All Snow Plows Work the Same
In addition to shape, size, and material, snow plows are also attached to complex operational mechanisms that dictate how you can use them from your vehicle. These mechanisms can range from simple to complicated – with benefits to each. Depending on your business and your fleet, the difference can be significant!
Simple snow plow control mechanisms can make learning your new plow easy. That means you’ll be on the road in no time, working the snow plow like you’ve used it for years. Additionally, simple plow controls are easier to train to employees. If you operate a fleet of plows for your city, that means you can on-board new employees quickly and easily, with less room for errors or damaged equipment.
On the other hand, more complicated controls mean better control over your equipment. This can be the difference between clearing a job from the safety of your truck, or having to hop out and manually clear snow in tight spaces because you can’t quite get your plow working the way you need it to.
On top of plow controls, the mounting systems and accessories like plow lighting are often determined by the brand and plow you buy. At the end of the day, any plow that moves snow can get the job done, but when it comes to quality work, efficiency, and safety, choosing the right plow can take time. Don’t rush it – and make sure you ask the right questions!
#5. Find a Reputable Dealer
Buying a snow plow isn’t a transaction that ends when the cash register closes. It’s something that determines the success of your business for months and years down the road. That’s why you should always look to work with reputable dealers.
They’ll help you with more than simply picking a plow that works with your vehicle. By asking questions and getting to know your business, they’ll be able to make recommendations on all the items above so you get a plow with the right design, material, mounting system and controls for your needs.
These days, it’s easier than ever to feel out a dealer’s reputation. Online reviews, with real customer experiences, can tell you a lot about a potential dealer. With hundreds of reviews online, our nearly 5-star total says all you need to know about how reputable we are when it comes to being your partner for truck equipment and upfits.
Why Picking the Right Plow Matters
The snow plow you choose is important. It doesn’t matter if you’re purchasing a snow plow for personal or commercial use. A bad snow plow will make your job harder and cost more – but most importantly, it can impact the safety of your snow plowing service. If you’re not experienced on the subject, trust those that are. Semi Service has snow plow experts that can help, from snow plow truck equipment to municipal plows. It’s better to ask the important questions now than get stuck in a few inches of snow with a broken truck later!
Do You Have Questions About Snow Plow Truck Attachments?
If you’re wondering which snow plow is best for you, we can help answer your questions! The snowy season is just around the corner, so now is a great time to stop in and let our experts help you today.
Contact us online or give us a call at (801) 895-4419 to get started today!
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