It won’t be long now. Fall is almost here; the leaves have already started to change and there’s a bit of a chill in the air. That means the first big snow of the season will be here soon, and if you’re thinking about getting into the snowplowing business, you need to get ready now!
The most important piece of equipment you’ll need for your snow plowing service, besides your truck, is the snowblade itself. Before you decide which snowblades are best for your business, you need to ask yourself 4 questions:
1. What kind of plowing will I be doing?
Will you be taking on large snow removal jobs, like parking lots, side roads, or long rural driveways? Then size definitely matters. Time is money in the snow removal business, and the less time it takes you to finish a job, the more time you’ll have to take on more business – and the more money you’ll make. Don’t skimp on a snowblade. Invest in a blade that’s at least 8’ wide.
Shape matters, too, and you need to decide whether you want to go with a V-shaped or a straight snowblade. Both types will get the job done, but straight snowblades tend to cost a bit less than their V-shaped counterparts. On the other hand, the V-shaped blades can angle and direct snow. It’s also better at handling snow that has crusted overnight.
2. What’s my budget?
Your budget is going to determine the size and type of snowblade you can afford, which determines what kind of jobs you’ll be able to take on. New, commercial-grade straight plows start in the $5,000 to $6,000 range, and go up based on their size. V-shaped plows run a bit higher.
If you’re new to the business, or are on a tight budget, consider buying a good used snowblade. Used blades are often available from reputable snowplow dealers, who will thoroughly inspect the equipment and repair or replace damaged parts. If you’re considering a used blade, look for obvious signs of significant damage – bent blades or beams, broken welds, etc. – and steer clear of them unless you have a reliable source for making heavy-duty equipment repair.
3. Do I want a steel or poly blade?
Steel snowblades are a long-time industry favorite, designed to hold up through countless heavy-duty snow removal tasks. Many snow removal professionals prefer steel because it is less costly than poly, and is more likely to match older blades in existing fleets. Steel blades are also treated with special coatings to help reduce rusting, but will eventually corrode over time as they endure prolonged wear and tear. They’re also prone to rattling, which could be annoying to some operators.
Polyethylene (or “poly”) snowblades combine the sturdiness found in steel blades with additional features that help extend the life of the blade and increase productivity. Composed of durable plastic, these blades are scratch- and dent-resistant. Plus, their slick surface allows snow to easily slide off during use and making it easier to clear the path. Poly blades retain their color, so any possible wear that could occur over time will not show as prominently as it would on steel snowblades. On the flip side, poly blades tend to be more expensive than steel blades and usually end up weighing more because they require a heavily reinforced framework.
4. What about lighting?
Lighting is one of the most important elements of a good snowblade. Visibility during big snow events is often terrible with darkness, snow, and blowing and drifting conditions. So good lighting is crucial to a good plowing system. It’s important to consider the mounting system for plow headlights. Many manufacturers use a dual-stud design, which tend to loosen and move during plowing, creating a lot of frustration for the operator. . Look for a headlight system which uses a two-piece “clamp” design to keep the headlights in place.
Still have questions about snowblades?
Semi Service has them. We have many options for upfitting your truck, including equipment snow removal professionals from top manufacturers including Western, Henderson, and Buyers. Contact one of our representatives today, and we’ll design a package to fit your needs.
Contact us online or give us a call at (800) 442-6687 to get started today!