Pickup trucks and SUVs are commonly equipped with snow plows to prepare for heavy snowfall. Smaller, lightweight blades can even be attached to compact cars. Although these accessories can be convenient for clearing your driveway and local roads, choosing the right one isn’t always easy. Follow these steps to help pick the best snow plow for your truck, SUV, or car this winter.
1. Match the blade to your vehicle
Many sizes are available, but one of the most important things to consider is the snow plow’s weight. If the blade is too heavy, your vehicle won’t work effectively. Moreover, it could strain your car’s mechanical components and lead to premature performance issues.
According to Snow Magazine, you should check your car’s gross vehicle weight rating before attaching a snow plow. Heavier vehicles can accommodate wider blades. Some of the longest blades, measuring 7.5 to 8 feet, are suitable for many one-ton trucks.
If you have a full-size pickup, it can safely hold a snow plow measuring up to 7.5 feet wide. One that’s 6.5 feet wide is often a good option for SUVs and some sedans.
However, Ninja De-Icer warns that the largest snow plow isn’t always the best option. If you attach a lighter blade to a heavy-duty vehicle, it’s easier to maneuver the blade, and your wheels will get the best traction. Whenever possible, choose a plow that measures slightly below what your vehicle is estimated to handle.
2. Decide which snow plow type you need
Most are straight plows, which can clear snow in a straight line. There are also V-shaped models with two wings that allow you to push snow in different directions.
V-shaped plows give you more flexibility, so they’re best for buyers with large properties. However, in terms of cost, straight plows are usually the cheapest.
If you have a large pickup truck or dumpster truck, it should be able to handle a heavy-duty plow. Pusher plows can be up to 10 feet wide and are available with various useful attachments. For example, they can efficiently move snow from hard-to-reach places with top-mounted back drag edges.
Also, plows usually have two lift options. Snow Magazine recommends the 12-volt design because it’s completely removable when you’re not using it, maximizing its lifespan. Engine-mounted systems consistently draw power from your vehicle’s engine, though that can result in more plowing power.
Steel and polyethylene are popular materials used to manufacture snow plows. Although steel is also prevalent (and the strongest), it’s also heavy and susceptible to rust or corrosion. Polyethylene models are easier to maintain and often light enough to attach to smaller vehicles.
3. Plan your budget
According to Western Parts, the average snow plow installation can cost up to $1,500, including parts and labor. The heavier the plow, the more you might pay.
Ask yourself how many properties you need to plow or how often your area usually receives heavy snowfall. If you’ll be using your snow plow often, purchasing a heavy-duty blade is a good idea. And choose used models only from reliable brands.
4. Find a trusted snow plow dealer
A good dealer should carry more than just the plows. They should have replacement parts and trained service technicians who can fix issues. Regardless of the manufacturer, even the best snow plow will last many winters only with proper upkeep.