Snow Plow Buying Decision Guide

Thinking about buying a new snow plow this season? Here are some points to consider.

The first decision to be made when looking for a plow is to choose the vehicle that it will be mounted on. This choice is the foundation of all other choices that will be made. Many snow plow manufacturers offer a web based tool that allows you to select your vehicle make and model to see the specific plows that are recommended for your target truck. One important thing to consider is that installing a snow plow on a vehicle not equipped with a dealer optioned snow plow prep package could void the warranty on your truck.Furthermore, not all trucks can be equipped with a snow plow.The installation can be easy or complex ( again depending on the chosen vehicle and plow package)- sometimes additional modifications are required to install a plow other than just bolting it on.

Snowplows vary in price and features. Some have split blades, wings, non-conventional shapes, and other options that can make a plow job easier. Additional equipment can be integrated into the plow setup as well- quality lights being a prime example. The control type is also something to think about- some users prefer a handheld control over a hard mounted one. The options chosen can drive the price of the plow package much higher then the list price, but the return on investment may be worth the initial expense,

The plow should be at lest the track width of the vehicle it is mounted on when the blade is fully angled. Generally speaking, a half ton truck or SUV is looking at between 7 and a half to 8 foot widths. Larger trucks run between the 8 and 9 foot plow models. Heavy equipment can carry the 9 foot blades and above. Obviously, the lager the plow blade, the less passes will have to be made.

Steel and polyethylene moldboards are two common plow construction types. Polyethylene is a type of extremely strong plastic that provides a lighter load, but steel provides more down force when plowing due to the weight. Stainless steel is also available as a blade makeup, and is more corrosion and rust resistant then powder coated or painted steel – potentially leading to a longer useable life. See through polycarbonate blades are also on the market, and they can provide some unique benefits, such as the ability to see through the plow.

There is some debate in the manufacturer community about which plow makeup material can take more of a beating, which all snow removal equipment does under normal use scenarios. It is fair to assume that both steel and poly can get the job done, but manufacturers have a variety of construction and material makeup techniques that vary considerably. Because this makes apples to apples comparison across brands and models impossible and the differing end user use patterns and applications, it is hard to say which is the superior type moldboard type. The consumer must weigh manufacturer recommendations, the type of vehicle to be used, the amount of use, overall budget and the snowfall amounts when making a choice of what type of plow is right for their situation. Having said that, the longer a plow lasts, the greater the return on investment.

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