Fall and Winter Pickup Truck Accessories: Snow Plows
It’s coming, the sound of the wind howling at night while the familiar rumble of chains clanging against the ground as the blade of a snow plow scrapes along the concrete. It might only be September, and the weather might still be nice, but winter is coming. South Dakota winters can be harsh, brutal, and unforgiving. Time Equipment Rental and Sales has all of the pickup truck accessories you need. This month, we’ve got some basics for deciding on which type of snow plow is right for you.
Snow Plows Basics: Straight Blade or V Blade
There’s a lot that goes into snow plows, but the most obvious part is the blade. Finished in shiny stainless steel or painted any variety of colors, snow plow blades are either straight or V-shaped, the latter featuring a pivot point in the middle that helps direct the snow. Buyers can opt for extendable blades, ordered directly from the factory or created by hooking up so-called “wing” accessories.
Both snow plows can get the job done. Straight blades can be less costly than a V-blade. Because of the multi-position capabilities of a V-plow, it’s easier to direct snow much differently than a straight blade. However, in the “scoop” position, a V-plow can stack snow in a way that a straight blade simply can’t match. It’s not always as easy as plowing fresh snow however, and slicing through snow that has frozen overnight is also a good deal easier with a V-plow. The plow’s sharp arrowhead configuration cuts through hard snow better than the flat edge of a straight blade when it’s in the “V” position, which makes operating the plow easier on the truck and operator.
The materials are always an important factor when deciding which Regardless of the design, the snow plow blade will be made of steel or polyethylene (poly). Poly is the most slick, and snow tends to slide off the blade faster and easier. It’s also resistant to scratches, dents and corrosion. A common misconception is that poly is the lighter of the two snow plow blades. In fact, most poly snow plows are heavier because of their reinforced steel framework that rests behind the poly moldboard. This added weight provides greater downward force and does a more thorough job of clearing snow.
Stainless steel is corrosion resistant and has a slight advantage over mild steel in “slickness.” Some also consider it to be the most visually appealing. However, it is more prone to dents and scratches. Any rocks you hit will leave “dings” on the plow. Over time, this may look unsightly and could ultimately affect the plows performance.
Unfortunately, you may occasionally run into hidden, immovable objects in the process, so most plows are built with full trip or edge trip mechanisms that pivot in the direction of an obstacle strike while keeping the rest of the blade upright. This allows you to keep moving without feeling as though you’d driven into a brick wall. Snow plow blades range from about six-and-a-half to 10 feet wide, and weigh between a couple hundred to more than 1,000 pounds. That kind of weight will dictate which setup is suitable for your truck.
What Kinds of Plowing Will you be Doing?
The next step is to determine what size plow will be best for you and your budget, and the experts at Time Equipment Rental and Sales can help you with snow plows and whatever other pickup truck accessories you might need. First though, consider your usage:
If you want a snow plow purely for home use, or even to clear a few family members’ or friends’ driveways, a 6’8’-7’6” straight blade should be more than sufficient. If you own a UTV or ATV, consider our Straight blade options for personal use at home or at camp. Their plowing capabilities are almost equal to the efficiency of those of a snow plows meant for smaller sized pick-up trucks.
If you’re looking to plow commercially (parking lots, long rural driveways or side roads) or simply intend on having more than just a few accounts, a minimum of an 8’ snow plow should be your starting point. Commercial snow removal professionals typically need to clean up snow quickly and efficiently. A “V” blade snow plow is probably your best option. The multi-position capabilities of V-plow will make plowing snow easier and faster, which keeps you moving from one job to the next.
Lighting and Control Systems
Visibility is the most important aspect of any sort of vehicle operation, and it’s particularly true while clearing snow. During major snow events, or even simply plowing at night, visibility is often reduced because of the combination of less light, blowing or drifting snow, and oncoming headlights. An efficient and reliable lighting system is integral to having a good snow plow product. The mounting system should be taken into serious consideration as well. A system that uses a two-piece “clamp” design will help keep the headlights in place.
Another important part of your snow plow system is the controller. The controller is the only interface you’ll have with your snowplow. Having one that’s intuitive and easy to use is extremely important. Manufacturers offer traditional joystick or touchpad controllers with keypads to quickly position the plow in any way the operator wants. Some controllers can have up to 8 buttons on them, which can make it difficult to learn for beginners and harder to use for people with bigger hands. As with other pickup truck accessories, make sure you choose a controller than you’re comfortable with and you feel you can easily learn.
Ease of Use
Winter is rough, and you’ll need to be able to attach your snow plow in some of the worst conditions of the year. When shopping for snow plows, you’ll want to evaluate the attachment system because they vary from one manufacturer to another. One of the main selling points of an attachment system is how easy it is to use. Look for one that you can quickly attach your truck to and begin your plowing job. If you are a snow contractor, you’ll want to consider how quickly and easily the attachment system can switch between multiple trucks in your fleet. This also varies by manufacturer.
There are more considerations when it comes to purchasing a snow plow, but this is a great starting list. Stop by Time Equipment Rental and Sales or give us a call at 605-348-2360 to talk to your local pickup truck accessories experts and see which snow plows are right for you. Don’t forget to Like Us on Facebook to stay up to date with promotions, news on rental equipment and pickup truck accessories, and all of your Time Equipment information.