Courtesy of Buyers Products & SIMA
Consider these points to help you decide where to upgrade your fleet.
What’s your next step?
Grow my commercial (lot) business.
More area in less time is the key to success when clearing lots.
TIP: A plow with expandable wings allows you to efficiently plow large areas and still move between jobs quickly.
Become a dependable subcontractor.
You need equipment that’s reliable push after push.
TIP: If you need a new plow but you’re using a lighter truck, check out some straight blades that are optimized for lighter trucks. Many commercial-use plows have been released with weight strategically removed to accommodate lighter trucks.
Grow my driveway business.
If driveways are still your bread and butter, think about a V-plow. A V can work well in tight spaces and also clear large swaths quickly when fully extended.
TIP: Make sure the V-plow you choose has double-acting angle cylinders. They’re essential for back dragging up against garages in straight driveways.
What’s your biggest pain point?
Constantly having to reload material.
Time is critical during a storm. Stopping to refill your spreader just gives the snow and ice more time to take hold.
TIP: A spreader with a double-walled poly hopper is lightweight but spacious. You can have up to 2 cubic yards of material capacity in the back of a pickup.
Salt freezing overnight in my hopper.
Any auger spreader needs dry, free-flowing material to work smoothly. It’s critical that you unload your spreader at the end of the day. Luckily, many spreaders offer easy swing-away or removable chutes to make bulk unloading a breeze.
High price of salt.
If high salt prices are eating into your profits, it might be time to consider a system to pre-wet your spreading material with brine prior to application.
TIP: Pre-wet reduces bounce, and help conserve salt. See Just Add Liquids.
What’s annoying about your current plow?
It’s a pain to get on and off the truck, especially when it “slumps” into the ground.
Adjusting the mount height of your plow is a common struggle, especially if you dismount on bare ground and then the ground “slumps.”
TIP: You might want to think about a plow with easy height adjustment to take the hassle out of mounting.
It’s awful on gravel and uneven surfaces.
Gravel driveways, ripped up parking lots, etc. can cause your blade to trip. Constant tripping makes it hard to keep the snow in front of your plow and forces you to waste time repeating the same push.
TIP: If you’re running into these problems, consider a trip edge plow.
Takes many passes to clear a lot/doesn’t provide an even scrape.
Uneven scraping can make it impossible to do an efficient clean-up. Worse still, uneven scraping causes uneven wear, forcing you to replace your cutting edge more often.
TIP: Many new plows offer solutions like SnowDogg’s Floating A-Frame™ to help remedy this issue.
For more plow and spreader tips, check out the Buyers Products Youtube channel. It’s regularly updated with new product videos, tips, tutorials, and more. Subscribe to receive notifications each time a new video goes live.
This article was featured in the Snow & Ice Management Association’s SB In Focus issue focused on transitioning from a residential to commercial snow company. Read the whole issue, sponsored by Buyers Products, here.