Whether you are responsible for removing snow from your own personal driveway or if you are a commercial snow removal contractor responsible for multiple accounts, the purchasing of snow removal equipment is an investment and there are many important considerations before you buy. To help sort out all of the elements involved in purchasing a snowplow and to find the right plow match for you, use this list as a basic guideline.
Buy a quality plow and establish a quality relationship with your local dealer
The relationship between you and your snowplow dealer is vital throughout the entire time you own your plow, and it all begins with the first purchase. Your dealer is going to be there to help you with the installation and initial setup of your plow, but be sure to ask if installation is included in the price or if it is an additional cost. The importance of your dealer does not end after you purchase a snowplow. For the duration of time that you own your plow, your dealer will be able to assist you with maintenance questions, spare parts and repairs.
What kind of plowing you will be doing and what it means for your budget
Once you find a dealer to buy from, the next step is to determine what size plow will be best for you and your budget.
If you want a plow purely for home use, or even to clear a few family members’ or friends’ driveways, a 7’ or 7’6” straight blade will be more than sufficient. These products generally range from about $3,000 to $4,500—but of course, the specific price will depend on the size and model of the plow.
If you own a UTV or ATV, consider the V and Straight blade options for personal use at home or at camp, as their plowing capabilities are almost equal to the efficiency of those of a plow for smaller-sized pickup trucks. UTV or ATV plows can cost anywhere from $200 to $3,000, and be sure to ask if the attachment system is included with the purchase or if it must be bought separately.
If you are looking to plow commercially (parking lots, long rural driveways or side roads) or simply intend on having more than just a few accounts, you will need nothing less than an 8’ plow. Generally, commercial snow removal professionals need to clear snow quickly and efficiently. So, if you’re looking to go commercial, you may want to consider a V-plow. The multi-position capabilities of a V-plow will make plowing snow easier and faster, keeping you moving from one job to the next. Prices for commercial-grade equipment will vary. V-blades can cost somewhere in the $6,000 range new, while straight blades will be slightly less costly.
Straight vs. V
In short, both plows are tough enough to get the job done. Straight blades are still a big seller as they are a less costly than a V-blade. However, due to the multi-position capabilities of a V-plow, it is able to direct snow much differently than a straight blade. In the “scoop” position, a V-plow can stack snow in a way that a straight blade simply can’t match. Slicing through snow that has frozen overnight is also vastly easier with a V-plow. While in the “V” position, the plow’s sharp arrowhead configuration cuts through hard snow better than the flat edge of a straight blade, making operation easier on the plow, truck and operator.
Plow Materials – Poly Vs. Mild Steel Vs. Stainless Steel
For commercial snowplow work, all three materials will be adequate. However, they all have their strengths and weaknesses.
Of the three, poly is the most slick. Snow will not stick to the blade and will slide off the side faster and easier. Poly is also extremely resistant to scratches, dents, and corrosion. As a result, more and more snow professionals are switching their fleets to poly. However, one common misconception to dispel about poly is that it is lighter than steel. This simply isn’t true. In fact, most poly plows are heavier than steel because of the reinforced steel framework that rests behind the poly moldboard.