SnowSport Snow Plow For Trucks & Jeeps - Snowsport Personal Utility PlowPosted in How To: Body Chassis on December 1, 2002
You're reading Four Wheeler, so chances are you have a four-wheel-drive vehicle in your driveway. That's a good thing. If you live in a part of the world that gets snow, and you're shoveling your driveway by hand, or worse yet, paying someone else to plow it, that's a bad thing. Fortunately, we have good news. The folks at Agri-Cover have introduced an affordable, easy-to-install personal utility plow that allows you to put your 4x4 to work to save you time, energy and money. It's called the SnowSport, and one of its most appealing features is its $1,195 suggested retail price, which is less than half the cost of most other snowplows. The SnowSport underwent four years of extensive testing by Agri-Cover engineers before it was released to ensure durability and simple installation. As we found during hands-on testing, the SnowSport offers a variety of benefits to those of us who want to use our trucks to effectively move snow, but avoid the installation of a plethora of permanent items to do it, or worse, have parts of the assembly hinder our off-highway travel.
The SnowSport personal utility plow consists of three major components: The 7-foot-wide by 18-inch-high by 3-inch-thick anodized 6063-T6 aluminum extruded blade, the steel push-frame and a bolt-on 2-inch receiver hitch. There are no electrical or hydraulic connections and no controls to clutter the interior of your truck because the plow is manually raised and lowered by the operator.
The heart of this system is the plow's ability to lay back and slide on the heavy rubber box ends when the vehicle is reversed, then automatically re-engage to its upright position for plowing when the vehicle is driven forward. The plow accomplishes this action via the use of an ingenious slide hinge, which not only allows the blade to lie back, but also allows it travel up and down on the push frame to compensate for uneven terrain. When transportation of the plow is required, the operator simply lifts the blade; one end at a time, onto the top retainers of the push frame, then installs the snap pins to hold it in place for safe on-road travel. The low-profile design of the SnowSport allows for the unobstructed use of your vehicle's stock headlights, whether the blade is in the transport or plowing position. The entire assembly weighs approximately 215 pounds (a fraction of the weight of a standard hydraulic plow) and the blade features a heavy-duty 1-inch rubber cutting edge that moves snow effectively while flexing over stationary objects (unlike most plows, which use a steel cutting edge). In addition to acting as a slide when reversing, the heavy rubber box ends also give the plow a larger capacity so you can move lots of snow quickly and easily.
We were anxious to test the SnowSport's capabilities, so we installed and tested the personal utility plow at our Midwest Bureau, where we get lots of snow. We were impressed by the quality of the components, and installation of the plow on our '97 Jeep TJ was a breeze, taking less than an hour from start to finish. Over the course of several snowfalls we used the SnowSport to push a variety of snow types and depths-from heavy, wet snow to dry, drifted snow, ranging in depth from just a few inches to drifts over 3 feet in height.
We followed basic snowplowing Do's and Don'ts, including plowing at slow speed using 4-low and keeping current with the snowfall (it's always easier to plow fresh snow). The SnowSport performed superbly, the rubber cutting edge leaving a clean swipe on surfaces including gravel, cement and rutted, frozen dirt. The rubber cutting edge also absorbed surface irregularities, thus there was much less shock transferred through the vehicle's frame to the driver than one would experience with a steel cutting edge. The rubber box ends helped create added capacity that helped the plow push an amazing amount of snow. We'd recommend the optional blade end markers for those who plow in tight quarters, because the low-profile design of the blade makes it a bit hard to see from the cab, especially when trying to see the passenger-side edge of the blade. We did encounter one snowfall that dropped heavy, wet, wind-driven snow and this was the first (and only) time the blade didn't completely clean the surface on the first pass. This was due to the inherent light weight of the aluminum blade, and it was to be expected. We simply made another pass over the same area and the job was done. Another major benefit to the SnowSport is the fact that the blade and plow frame completely remove in less than a minute, leaving only the 2-inch receiver hitch on the front of the vehicle. This is a huge benefit to those who don't want a massive plow frame protruding from the front of their 4x4, annihilating its front approach angle.
Overall, the SnowSport personal utility plow did more than meet our expectations; it exceeded them. The SnowSport is an easy, effective and affordable tool for those who have snowplowing needs.