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Loud & Plowed

Posted in How To on February 1, 2013 Comment (0)
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Loud & Plowed

Selecting a snowplow for your 4x4 is similar to selecting any other functional mod. Just as there is a wide selection of lockers and tires in the aftermarket, there is also a wide selection of snowplows. Similar to selecting lockers and tires, you have to determine which plow is right for you based on what features you need and what type of 4x4 you drive.

There are basically two types of snowplows that we’re going to cover here, straight-blade and V-blade. A straight-blade is a fixed blade that can be raised, lowered, and angled. A V-blade has two “wings” that are connected by a center hinge, so in addition to functioning like a straight blade, it offers the ability to be used as a V-shaped blade or inverted to act as a scoop. Each of these types is available in a number of models and some have additional features such as hydraulically operated plow wings that extend. There are also a few types of systems used to lift the blade and counter the effects of the blade contacting an obstacle (full-trip, where the entire blade tilts forward when impacting an obstacle versus a trip-edge, where just the bottom edge tilts rearward to absorb an impact). Further, blade widths and heights vary, as does the material they’re made from (steel, stainless steel, and polyethylene are the most popular). There are numerous snowplow manufacturers and they each have their own unique approach to creating snowplows.

Do you plow with a smaller 4x4 truck or SUV? No worries, there are a number of lightweight, easy to install snowplows available. Do you plow with a fire-breathing 1-ton pickup? No worries there either, because there is a number of full-featured, commercial-grade plows as well.

To help you in your snowplow selection, we’ve collected information on a number of plows from various manufacturers that covers a wide range of styles and features. This is by no means a complete listing of what each manufacturer offers. Many manufacturers have a full line of plows in a variety of styles at many different price points. Please visit each manufacturer’s website for a look at the complete line of snowplows. Happy plowing.

Western Suburbanite
The facts: This power angle plow is SUV and compact pickup ready. It uses a 21-inch-tall polyethylene blade that’s available in either 6-foot, 8-inch or 7-foot, 4-inch widths. It uses reliable hydraulics with an exclusive “scrape lock” feature that hydraulically locks the blade down for more efficient scraping action. Specially designed elastomer trip springs on the back of the blade allow it to tip forward when an obstacle is encountered, saving wear on your plow and vehicle.
More info: www.westernplows.com

SnowSport HD Utility Plow
The facts: This simple plow uses no hydraulic or electric components. The plow frame attaches to the front of your truck or SUV with a model-specific mount that’s included with the snow blade. Lifting, lowering, and angling are done manually. When you drive forward the blade engages to push snow and when you reverse it disengages and lies back, skimming over the ground. The anodized aluminum extruded snow blade is available in either 84- or 96-inch widths that are 18 inches tall. The SnowSport HD is great for small or fullsize 4x4s (we’ve used one of these plows on vehicles as diverse as a Jeep Wrangler TJ and a Ford F-150).
More info: 877/460-3198, www.mysnowsport.com

Fisher XLS
The facts: XLS stands for Expandable Length Snow Plow. This power angle plow features wings that give you the ability to expand the blade from 8 to 10 feet (the wings can also be operated independently). One of the configurations allows the blades to be angled to create an 8-foot, 10-inch scoop. The blade is 29 inches tall and is raised via a hydraulic/chain lift system. The blade has a trip-edge design that is much less jarring than a full-trip blade. Fisher says that its Minute Mount 2 attachment system is the simplest and most trouble-free attachment system available.
More info: www.fisherplows.com

Meyer Drive Pro
The facts: Designed to fit today’s most popular light-duty, ½-ton, and fullsize SUVs, this system is available with either a steel blade (in four different widths from 5 feet to 7 feet, 6 inches) or a polyethylene blade (7-foot, 6-inch width). This power angle, full-trip plow is said to attach or detach in less than a minute with the pull of one handle and the attachment system is designed to give your vehicle a clean appearance when the Drive Pro isn’t attached. The overall complete weight of the system ranges from 315 to 620 pounds, depending on model.
More info: 216/486-1313, www.meyerproducts.com

The BOSS Power-V XT
The facts: BOSS Products says this full-trip V-plow throws snow farther and higher for improved efficiency and less time on the job. It’s available with either a steel (in three different widths) or polyethylene (in two different widths) blade. No matter what width you choose you get a 30-inch height at the center of the blade, which rises from 36 to 38 inches at the end of the blade depending on the overall blade width you choose. SmartLock cylinders keep the blades straight when backdragging and the blade is raised via a chainless hydraulic cylinder lifting system.
More info: 800/286-4155, www.bossplow.com

SnowBear PS82
The facts: This system has a steel plow blade that is 82 inches wide and has a height of 19 inches (it’s also available in 84- and 88-inch widths that are taller yet). The company says that the simple design of the plow reduces the number of parts that cause problems in commercial snowplows. It offers three-position manual angling, full-trip design, a custom geared winch lift system, and a wireless control system. The PS82 fits most trucks and fullsize SUVs and requires the purchase of a Class 3 2-inch hitch receiver.
More info: 800/337-2327, www.snowbear.com

Sno-Way 29HD Series
The facts: Ready for work on ½-, ¾-, or 1-ton trucks, this power angle unit has a 29-inch-tall steel blade and is available in either a 7-foot, 6-inch or 8-foot widths. Sno-Way says the 29HD offers commercial plow performance without the weight (571 or 635 pounds depending on model). Features include robust, full-load trip springs, the Shock-Killer Trip Return System, high-strength steel construction, and fast, responsive hydraulics. It also has optimized blade geometry for exceptional snow-rolling performance.
More info: www.snoway.com

Hiniker 2803
The facts: Boasting an 8-foot-wide blade that stands 30 inches tall, this system offers an externally-mounted pump that simplifies installation and comes off the truck with the plow. Other features include power angling rams, soft return compression springs, and a hydraulic scissor-lift that cuts transport bounce and eliminates chains.
More info: 800/433-5620, www.hiniker.com

SnowDogg VMD Series
The facts: Do you have a ½-ton truck? This VMD Series (stands for V-plow, medium-duty) is designed for ½-ton plow prep trucks and it has a 7½-foot-wide width (6.6-foot width at angle), a stainless steel blade (33 inches max height), a Trip Edge Design (with four springs) for plowing over obstacles, and a 35-degree lift arm for exceptional snow stacking.
More info: 440/974-8888, www.snowdoggplows.com

Pathfinder TE
The facts: The TE is designed for rough terrain, poor road surfaces, raised manhole covers, thawed undersnow, and gravel surfaces. The company says that its elastomer spring-equipped trip-edge plow transmits less shock to the vehicle than competing trip-edge plows. This power angle plow has a hydraulic/chain lift system and is available in four different blade widths from 7.5 feet to 10 feet and all have a 30-inch blade height. Blades are available in steel or stainless steel.
More info: 401/397-4700, www.pathfindersnowplows.com

Blizzard Speedwing
The facts: A Blizzard exclusive, the Speedwing blade thinks for itself with wings that automatically angle forward or back, based on the blade position, to maximize plowing efficiency. The Speedwing is available in either a 7-foot, 7-inch blade width or an 8-foot, 7-inch blade width. Features also include heavy-duty trip springs and shielded hydraulic components that are low-mounted for unobstructed airflow to the vehicles cooling system.
More info: www.blizzardplows.com

Sno-Pro 3000 Series Polymer
The facts: There’s a lot going on with this power-angle plow system. Features include a polyethylene blade that comes in either 7.5- or 8-foot widths with a 28-inch height, an extended push frame that is the widest on the market, full-trip design, and a Hide-Away Hydraulics cavity that tucks away the hydraulic power system.
More info: 800/343-7676, www.snoproplows.com

The Cost of Moving Snow
Are you wondering how much it costs to purchase and install this snow-pushing goodness? Well, the cost of a new snowplow varies greatly. Depending on the design and features of a plow, prices can range from approximately $1,600 for a very basic setup to approximately $6,500 for a commercial-quality unit. Scott Lackas, owner of Moose’s 4x4 in Hartford, Wisconsin (262/673-4557, www.mooses4x4.com), has been selling and installing snowplows for about 25 years. He says that on average it takes approximately 4 to 7 hours to install a snowplow. That includes installing the mount, wiring up the lights, and things of that nature. The install time can vary depending on the type of plow being installed as well as the make and model of vehicle on which it is being installed. On average it costs approximately $300 to $500 for the install. Some plow systems are heavy, so if you plan to commute with a plow on your rig you’ll need to prep your front suspension to help compensate for the added weight. Depending on what type of front suspension your rig has, this could include items like air springs, heavy-duty springs, or an add-a-leaf.

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