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How to Use a Snow Plow Without Damaging Your Truck

How to Use a Snow Plow Without Damaging Your Truck

You’ve Got the Power to Clear the PowderA truck with a plow on a snowy road

Installing a snow plow on your truck is a great way to get inches or even feet of snow cleared out of your way when you need without waiting around for a municipal or private service to arrive. People who live in snowier parts of the country know that the saying is correct: “If you want something done, do it yourself!” It’s especially beneficial for those who live in rural areas or may need a clear route in an emergency. Many truck owners with added-on aftermarket snow plows also choose to offer their services to neighbors or set up small businesses during wintertime.

Let’s face it, many truck, SUV and Jeep owners forego installing and operating personal snow plowing equipment because of the risk to their vehicles. But most of those snow-laden horror stories usually originate from poor maintenance and improper installation. Fortunately, the experts at NAPA Auto Parts have all the right snowplowing tools and equipment, tips for first-time snow plow drivers and techniques for snowplowing to ensure your rig can handle the next big blizzard or nor’easter.

How to Use a Snow Plow on a Truck

Before getting your rig out in the downy flakes, it’s important to consider a few things:

  1. How much snow will you plow and where? Will you install the plow mechanism only once or twice every winter? Will you focus on a driveway or will you clear larger areas? What kind of terrain will you clear? Roads? Fields? Answering these questions can help you determine the type of plow to install: a  for light-duty snow clearing, a v-plow for breaching large drifts and depositing snow on either side or a box plow for moving large amounts of snow.
  2. Once you find the right plow, you need to install it correctly. Carefully study your vehicle owner’s manual, as well as the manual for the plow, so you know the right tools to use and what precautions to take.
  3. Get familiar! Study the terrain prior to a snow event and never plow unfamiliar terrain. Hidden boulders, ditches, stumps and retaining ponds can spell disaster for a truck, so make sure you know where you’re going and what’s below the snow.

To minimize the chances of engine trouble while you’re plowing, set aside some time to do a full tune-up on your rig before you start. Check your tire pressure and fluid levels, change the oil and the oil filter. Replace any headlights or taillights that are dim or out completely. Replace wiper blades if they are worn and consider upgrading to a model that’s suited for winter use like the Bosch ICON or TRICO Ice Beam.

Transmission issues are common problems that can arise from plowing with a truck, but you can avoid undue stress to your gearbox by doing your research and adhering to a mindful maintenance schedule during the winter months. Check your transmission fluid frequently. Smell it for a burning odor that could indicate overheating. Consider installing a transmission temperature gauge and pause plowing if the temperature goes above 250 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Putting Safety First Comes with Rewards

Winter driving can get risky, especially when you’re plowing with your truck, SUV or Jeep, so make sure you are prepared for any possible emergency situations. Along with keeping your truck stocked with a good winter roadside emergency kit, keep a travel blanket, hand warmers, foot warmers, energy bars and bottled water in case you become stranded overnight. 

Retrieval equipment like traction tracks, reinforced tow straps and  can come in handy in case you come across a stranded driver. Visibility on the road is always important, but the bleak, dim days of winter make visibility crucial. Equip your rig with a fully-functional lighting kit for snow plowing before you begin so that everyone else on the road can see you and you can see them. 

From windblown drifts to a few inches in the driveway, let NAPA Auto Parts help you prepare for the powder this winter! We also offer a great selection of smaller plowing options if you want to plow with something other than your pickup. Turn your UTV, ATV or even your  into a small plow so you can leave your ride in the garage. 

Start reeling in the points when you join the NAPA Rewards program this winter—sign up now and get $5 automatically!

Featured image courtesy of Pixabay.

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More than 90 years ago, the National Automotive Parts Association ("NAPA") was created to meet America’s growing need for an effective auto parts distribution system. Today, 91% of do-it-yourself customers recognize the NAPA brand name. We have over 6,000 NAPA Auto Parts Stores nationwide serving all 50 states with a unique inventory control system that helps you find the exact part that you need.

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