A snowplow is an invaluable tool for anyone who has a large driveway or parking lot. It will help you get the job done faster and allow you to spend more time on other winter home maintenance tasks, such as removing frozen gutters. However, before you buy a plow and attach it to your car, there are some things you should know first.
Choose the Right Size and Material
The size of a plow is largely based on the vehicle it will be mounted on. A pickup truck, for example, typically needs a 6 1/2-foot plow blade to get the job done. A half-ton truck can handle a 7 or 7 1/2-foot blade, and a 3/4-ton truck usually uses an 8-foot blade. The plow’s weight is also an important consideration. A plow that is too heavy for the vehicle can stress the front axle and suspension and diminish braking effectiveness.
Check the plow’s Cutting Edge
An over-worn cutting edge can cause problems later on. To avoid this, make sure the cutting edge is sharp and angled correctly to scrape the snow efficiently. Some plows come with a wear bar that is attached to the blade, which can be replaced as needed to keep it from wearing out.
Select the Correct Plow Mount
When you attach a plow to your vehicle, make sure that the plow mount fits properly and is easily accessible. You can consult a snowplow blades specialist for help choosing the best mount for your project and vehicle.
Choose the Right Place to Store a Plow
After plowing, clean off the snowplow blade and stow it in a safe place. This will protect the blade from damage and promote long life by preventing dirt, ice, or salt from clinging to it. It will also keep the blade free of snow, which can freeze and become difficult to remove.
Use a Proper Plow Pattern
Before starting to plow, mark out the area you are plowing and check for objects that may become hidden by snow. These may include bumper stops, speed bumps, curbs, sidewalk edges, shrubs, water drains, fire hydrants, fences and pipes sticking up from the ground.
Once you have marked out the plowed area, walk around it with the plow to ensure that it is clear of obstacles that may be hard to see when there is snow on the ground. Getting the job done safely will reduce the risk of property damage and injury while you are working.
If you’re a contractor, ask your boss to approve the plow pattern and ensure it’s not too close to structures or siding. Otherwise, it will eat away at the underlying surface, making it harder for you to push snow.
When the plow is not in use, stow it properly on the back of your vehicle to protect it from damage and encourage rust-free performance. This will help to preserve the vehicle’s warranty, too.
Prepare a Plow Emergency Kit
If something goes wrong with your plow while you’re on the job, be prepared to fix it quickly and get back to work. This will help you save money by not having to pay a professional to repair it for you. A well-stocked plow emergency kit will contain the tools you need to make a quick repair.