You may never have thought about snowplowing equipment until you moved to a municipality or township that didn’t offer basic winter road-clearing services. But if you want to pick up a plow of your own, there are few things you should keep in mind that will help you make the right purchase. Check out these tips that should see you through the season safely.
How Much Plowing Will You Do?
The size of the snowplowing equipment needed is directly linked to two things: how much snowfall you think you’ll be dealing with, and how much area you need to clear. You may have an idea of how much area you will need to cover and you can easily check the history of the region you live in to find out what the average snowfall is.
The Right-Sized Truck
If you only plan to do a small amount of plowing and have a tight yard, then a vehicle with a short wheelbase and four-wheel drive, such as a regular-cab pickup, a Jeep Wrangler or a small SUV, is typically a good choice. You can either buy a dedicated piece of snowplowing equipment or add a plow to your existing vehicle if it meets those criteria.
If you’re dealing with heavy drifts on a long road, then you’ll want to upgrade to a heavy-duty truck, such as a three-quarter or full-ton pickup. These vehicles feature stronger front suspension systems necessary to deal with the extra weight of a large plow hanging off the vehicle as well as the impact of the snow itself.
Choose Your Plow
Snowplowing equipment is a big seller because it’s relatively affordable and easy to use. A small 7-foot straight blade will work fine for plowing around your home or in a small yard, whereas a larger 8- or 9-foot blade is recommended when dealing with commercial-sized terrain.
If you have the budget and need to plow a long road or big parking lot, then consider upgrading to a V-plow. You can position a V-plow into an arrowhead or other shapes, which can be more effective at breaking up large, frozen snowbanks and directing snow to one side or the other. You can even use a V-plow to stack snow, which simply isn’t possible with a flat blade.
Finally, consider the materials the plow will be made of, for example, steel, stainless steel or poly. A mild steel plow is the most common and least expensive. Upgrading to stainless steel reduces the chances that the snowplowing equipment will rust over time, while a poly plow will last the longest, resist damage better than steel and also be lighter and slicker.
If your municipality won’t break out the heavy winter gear, you may end up plowing yourself this year. Make sure you have the right equipment to get the job done.
Check out all the snow plow parts
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Having been bitten by the car bug at a young age, I spent my formative years surrounded by Studebakers at car shows across Quebec and the northeastern United States. Over ten years of racing, restoring, and obsessing over automobiles lead me to balance science writing and automotive journalism full time. I currently contribute as an editor to several online and print automotive publications, and I also write and consult for the pharmaceutical and medical device industry.