Which snowplow is best?
Whether this is your first winter living where the snowfall is heavy or you’re looking for something bigger than what you’re using now, you need a snowplow. Not just any plow, but the right one for your weather conditions and snow removal needs.
The best way to choose a plow is to understand what kinds there are and how they’re suited to different conditions. If you are looking for a snowplow large enough to use with your truck or SUV, take a look at the DK2 Storm 84-Inch Snowplow for Trucks and SUVs.
What to know before you buy a snowplow
Snowplows are made to be pushed by a machine. This may be your pickup truck, SUV, four-wheeler or riding lawn mower.
What’s the size, power and weight of your push vehicle?
The general rule is to never hook up to a plow that exceeds your push vehicle’s size, power and weight capabilities.
- Huge trucks with all-wheel drive are needed to push the biggest snowplows we see clearing highways in the mountains.
- Pickup trucks and SUVs vary greatly in total weight and horsepower. Make sure you choose a plow that won’t overburden your vehicle’s engine, transmission and tires, especially if you don’t have four-wheel drive.
- Four-wheelers for sports and utility can be useful when you need to plow large areas or long trails that don’t get a lot of snowfall.
- Ride-on lawn mowers can move some light snow, but don’t ask too much of them.
What areas do you need to plow?
- Wide open spaces: If you need to plow open spaces with no obstacles, bigger plows are better because you don’t need to make as many passes to clear the area.
- Single-lane roads and driveways: If your push vehicle supports a large enough plow to clear 8 or 10 feet in one pass, use a straight blade and plow downhill.
What kind of snow do you plow?
Wet snow and ice are heavy and hard to plow through, so think big for your plow and your push vehicle unless you live where most of the snow is dust and powder.
Anatomy of a snowplow
A snowplow consists of a blade that mounts to your push vehicle, usually at the front and controlled by a driver.
- Blades: Experts call them moldboards, the part that actually clears the snow.
- Mounts: This is where the blades attach to the frame and where the frame attaches to your push vehicle. Not all mounts fit all push vehicles.
- Controls: Most smaller snowplows are adjusted manually. Larger and more expensive models use hydraulics and electronics to control the blade angle and height.
What to look for in a quality snowplow
Snowplow blade shapes
- Straight blades are great for clearing large, open spaces. You set them to push the snow to the left or right.
- V-shaped blades are the most versatile and the most expensive. When in the V-shaped configuration that gives them their name, they push snow to both sides at once. Because the blades are in three hinged pieces, they can also be adjusted to become straight blades aimed in either direction.
When plowing snowy surfaces, the driver cannot see what’s beneath the surface of the snow. Sooner or later, the plow’s blade strikes something that doesn’t give way to the blade. This means the blade is going to have to give.
- Full-trip plows have blades that flip completely forward when they hit immovable obstacles such as curbs and sidewalks. The blade is made so when it hits a preset level of resistance, it flips completely forward so the plow dumps all the snow and rides over the obstacle.
- Bottom-trip plows are made so only the bottom of the blade gives way when it strikes something unforgiving. This means most of the snow is retained on it, reducing plowing time. This less-wasteful design is heavier and more expensive.
How much you can expect to spend on a snowplow
The price depends on its size, design and materials. Most smaller ones, for use with four-wheelers and riding lawn mowers, cost $200-$700. Plows for use with trucks and SUVs cost $1,000-$5,000.
Is bigger always better when it comes to snowplows?
A. No. The best plow is the one that fits the property you’re clearing.
How can I learn where the edges of my plow are?
A. The best way to know where the outer edge of your plow is while you’re using it is to buy a kit with two rods that mount on top of your blade and stick straight up for easy visibility.
What’s the best snowplow to buy?
DK2 Storm 84-Inch Snowplow for Trucks and SUVs
What you need to know: This plow includes a 3,000-pound winch.
What you’ll love: The single-piece blade angle sets and locks in left, right and straight on positions with a single lever. The steel is powder-coated and the locking casters make installation, removal and storage easy.
What you should consider: This plow requires a custom mount made for your exact vehicle and sold separately.
Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot
Top snowplow for the money
Warn 78960 ProVantage 60-Inch Straight Plow Blade
What you need to know: You can put the chains on your ATV and handle all your light-duty plowing with this plow.
What you’ll love: This plow is made from 12-gauge steel, with a thick, sturdy wear bar and a powder-coated finish that helps keep the blade clean. Extra support is provided by a boxed design with heavy-duty ribbing and a center cross member.
What you should consider: If you anticipate rough use, replace the nuts and bolts on the pivot arms with stainless steel.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Get double duty from your riding lawn mower by connecting this plow to it to keep your driveway clear all winter.
What you’ll love: The 42-inch blade can be angled left, right or straight and raised and lowered from your seat. The adjustable trip spring lets your blade ride over obstacles. The universal fit brackets attach to most lawn tractors.
What you should consider: This plow is best for low accumulations of light snow.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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David Allan Van writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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