How To Shop For A Snow Plow
The winter season is upon us, and for many people, that means snowy days and too much shoveling or snow blowing. Want to speed up the process of getting snow out of your way? Consider getting a snow plow this year. The investment could pay for itself many times over, if you currently hire someone to do the work for you. Or, it can mean you’ll be spending less time out in the cold getting rid of the snow by hand.
The thing about snow plows is that it’s hard to know which one is right for you, especially if it’s your first time buying one. Check out this simple guide to shopping for a snowplow for helpful advice.
What Vehicle Will You Mount Your Snow Plow On?
The first thing you need to figure out is which snow plows work for the type of vehicle you have. Generally, you’ll need either a pickup truck or an SUV if you want a vehicle-mounted snow plow. If you have a relatively common vehicle, you may be able to enter your make and model into a web-based tool that will automatically bring up compatible snow plows.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when searching for a snow plow to fit your vehicle:
- Not all vehicles can use a snow plow. Not all trucks and SUVs can be equipped with a snow plow. If you’re not sure about your particular vehicle, call the dealership where you got it or look up details about your make and model online.
- Snow plow prep packages should be used. If your vehicle still has a warranty, putting on a snow plow without getting the snow plow prep package when you purchased it could void the warranty.
- Weight is a key factor. Snow plows can be quite heavy, so find out how much extra weight your vehicle can handle before making a purchase.
What Types Of Snow Plows Are Available?
When selecting a snow plow, you need to think about which features will work best for your needs. The following information covers the key features that a snow plow may have:
- Front- Or Rear-Mount: While most people get a front-mounted plow, there are also snow plow that can mount on the back of the vehicle. This is a good option if you don’t have a huge area to clear and want to simply back out of your driveway when it’s time to plow.
- Size: While most people get a 7.5- to 8-foot wide plow, there are larger 9-foot models available for larger vehicles. The bigger plows can help you clear the snow faster, but they can also make it more difficult to maneuver or park your vehicle.
- Blades And Wings: Most plows stick to a basic rectangular shape, but for more control in plowing, you may consider getting a plow with movable wings and/or blades.
- Materials: Metal plows are very sturdy and durable, but they tend to be quite heavy. Stainless steel is a popular option since it is resistant to corrosion and rust. Another option is polyethylene, which is a very strong plastic that weighs less. There are even polycarbonate blades, which are clear, so that the driver can see through the plow.
- Manual/Hydraulic/Electrical: The way the snow plow functions is an important factor in your decision. Manual plows work by taking out the locking pins the drop the plow down. This adds an extra step to the process, but it means the plow needs less maintenance. Other plows powered by electrical wiring or hydraulics are more convenient but may require more maintenance in the long run.
How Much Do Snow Plows Cost?
Snow plows vary widely in cost. A vehicle-mounted snow plow can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, with most falling into the $1000+ range. Generally, hydraulic and electrical models made from heavy duty materials like stainless steel are the most costly.
To keep your costs down, you can look into getting a used snow plow from a reputable dealer or through people you know. Another option is to buy your plow during the off-season. Generally, prices will be lower during this time of the year.
Where Can I Buy a Snow Plow?
You can find snow plows at some major retailers like Sears or Lowe’s or even at some local dealerships. However, the largest selection is available online. By shopping for a snow plow online, you can potentially save hundreds of dollars due to the larger selection.
Remember that a snow plow is something that you want to last for years, so ask about warranties when you purchase yours. It may be worth getting a warranty on your snow plow since it is a major purchase that will undergo heavy wear and tear.