by Lori Straus
Perhaps the biggest headache in winter next to an increased chance for an accident is clearing snow. Clearing sidewalks is bad enough, but if you have a garage that’s clean enough to store your car in, that leaves your driveway fully exposed to the next dump of snow. A plow on your truck can help you remove snow faster. Plus, in the time it would take you to shovel your driveway clear, you could help family members, friends, and neighbours when the snow gets too deep for them. In this blog post, we’ll cover the basics of buying a snowplow for your truck.
Collect the Stats on Your Truck
Don’t buy a snowplow after a quick Internet search. The buying process takes a little longer than that. First, gather some information:
- Your truck’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR)
- Your truck’s gross axle weight rating (GAWR)
- The make, model, and year of your truck
This information will help you find the right plow for your vehicle.
The Automotive Training Center recommends buying a plow that weighs at least 300 pounds. Because the weight of your truck, including passengers, cargo, and the plow cannot exceed the GVWR and GAWR, the Training Center recommends that you own a half-ton truck, though a three-quarter-ton truck would be better.
Decide on Your Blade Material
Snowplow blades come in three materials: polyurethane, mild steel, and stainless steel. Each one has pros and cons, of course, depending on what you need.
The major benefit of polyurethane blades is that snow slides off them, whereas it builds up on steel blades. However, polyurethane isn’t as strong as steel, so make sure you line the bottom of your blades with steel plates to protect them. In addition, they don’t flex as well as the blades of a steel plow.
Mild steel is the classic snowplow material. It can withstand a lot of use without getting damaged, but for those who worry about appearance or don’t want to constantly step out of the truck to remove snow, they can be inconvenient.
Stainless steel snowplow blades are smoother than mild steel, so the snow slides off easier, and they are also resistant to corrosion. However, you’ll notice nicks and scratches much easier with stainless steel blades than you will with mild steel or polyurethane blades.
What Shape of Blade Do You Want?
Snowplow blades come in two shapes: straight and V-shaped. If you have a long driveway or plan to use your snowplow to help out people in your neighbourhood, V-shaped blades are the better option. You can use them to scoop up snow, cut through deep snow and ice much easier, and arrange them to form a straight blade.
However, an actual straight blade is cheaper. You can still push snow to the left or right of your truck or directly in front of you, so for city driveways and other small surfaces, a straight snowplow blade is often sufficient.
Time to Install Your Snow Plow Blades
If you’re buying non-commercial snowplow blades, and you have some mechanic know-how, you should be able to install them yourself. They will attach to the front hitch of your truck. However, if you’re uncertain about how to install them or are considering buying snowplow blades for commercial purposes, have everything done at a trusted garage. But once you have that snowplow attached to your truck, almost no amount of snow can stop you from clearing the way.