For most people who are just using a plow for clearing their own driveway, a straight-blade will more than likely be just fine…
I know I wrote about winter driving last week – and the snow and rain began to fall in various parts of the province – but please don’t blame me for this first blast of chilly weather.
I’m here to help and at the risk of bringing on a blizzard, I thought I would share some information on snow plows.
For most people who are just using a plow for clearing their own driveway, a straight-blade will more than likely be just fine. Snowsport offers a personal plow that is perfect for the homeowner. This system attaches to a front mounted receiver just as a boat trailer would.
The U shaped bracket is connected to the receiver and the snow blade rides up and down on these bars to allow for change in the terrain your plowing. Because there are no hydraulics involved, all you do is back up and the snow blade lies back skimming over the surface.
When driving forward the blade automatically re-engages for plowing. When you are finished, lift the blade back over the push frame into the transport position. The cost of this option is $1,644.
K2 is another brand of snowplow designed for the homeowner with acreage. Designed to work with a front receiver hitch, just like the Snowsport, it simply slides in the receiver and locks in place with a hitch lock. The winch is controlled from inside the cab and will raise or lower the height of the blade. The blade comes with a hardened steel cutting edge scraper, rubber snow deflector, skid shoes, and plow markers. It is available in 82”, 84”, and 88” lengths. Cost is $1,315.
If you use a plow to make money, then you will want to be able to do the job quickly and efficiently, so you may want to go with the multi-position. Multi-position plows are up to 50 percent faster due to the fact that you can reposition the blades to all straight-blade positions in addition to the scoop and V positions. This makes the plow adaptable to nearly any job you need to do.
When it comes to the composition of the blade you have the choice between steel and poly. The vast majority of snowplows on the market today come with steel blades, although the poly plows are becoming more and more popular.
The reason for the growing popularity is that poly is just as strong as steel and maybe stronger. They also have a lower coefficient of friction, which saves on fuel costs and is easier on your vehicle. The poly plows are also saturated with color all the way through so nicks and scratches do not show like they do with steel, plus they do not rust.
Attaching and detaching the plow is very important as well. You do not want to be freezing and trying to deal with getting a blade on and off your truck. Try the attachment system for yourself at the dealer so you can see firsthand how easy or difficult it is to use.
Most snowplow makers use a single halogen light bulb, which are not bright enough; some makers have come out with dual halogen bulbs with the option of upgrading to High Intensity Discharge. These HID lights are four times brighter than standard halogen bulbs and also last ten times as long.
Hydraulics is probably the most important part of the plow, along with the controls. Be sure that the hydraulics system is dependable and the controls are simple and easy to use. Go for quality rather than trying to save a buck. Remember “you get what you pay for” definitely applies here. Cost for these units are $6,000 to $8,000 depending on the model.
When it comes to the warranty, be sure to know exactly what you are getting and what the warranty covers. Some only cover parts, while others cover parts and labor. Warranties are usually either one year or two years; so pay attention to the warranty.
Take all of these things into consideration when shopping for a snowplow and you will be able to choose the right one to suit your needs.