Selecting the right snow plow for your needs

Even if the weather is nice and warm, it is time to think about buying snow removal equipment, especially if you want to buy commercial or municipal maintenance equipment. Depending on where you are located, waiting until fall may be too late, as bad weather can always hit before winter arrives.

Although there are snowplows for all kinds of vehicles, this article is more about commercial and municipal equipment.

How to Choose the Right Snow Plow?

The perfect snowplow does not exist. Snow removal professionals have a range of vehicles so diverse and operating in so many different conditions that it is impossible to find THE perfect snowplow for all possible situations; each snowplow is designed for a specific type of vehicle and specific route conditions.

While shopping for your gear, be careful of the snowplow sizes needed for large WSVs. For example, many DOT fleet managers and contractors prefer a front snowplow to provide a cleared path of at least 9 to 9½ feet, although with the addition of a wing plow, the cleared path measure up to 14 feet or more for use on commuter routes. Another factor to consider is the reliability of advanced blade systems on the edges of the plow that have to go through the hardest ice and snow.

The different types of snow plows

Front mounted – This is the most common type of snow plow. They are designed to push snow off the road with an inclined blade, right or left. In addition, they are built for intensive use and can operate in difficult conditions season after season. Reversible, straight and V-shaped models, as well as flexible snowplows to change casting direction to adapt to the different contours of a road, are standard equipment for mounting at the front of a WSV. Some front plows can be lengthened widthwise, to increase coverage.


Wing Plows – By combining a wing plow with front plows and scrapers, snow removal teams can improve their performance in a single, significantly wider pass. Although generally mounted alongside the truck cab there are also models mounted between the cab and the rear wheels or beside the rear wheels.


Underbody snow and ice scrapers – The type name pretty well describes what these plows do. They work in addition to the other plows and have largely taken over the role of cutting the ice and hard snow from the front plows. Many companies offer fixed angle and reversible scrapers.

Underbody snowplows can complement and in some applications replace a front mounted plow.

Blade materials

Choices of snowplows materials include stainless steel, carbo steel and polymers. Stainless steel offers corrosion resistance and a slight advantage in terms of smooth surface compared to carbon steel. On the other hand, stainless steel is more vulnerable to dents, which can affect the performance of the plow. Carbon steel is the most common material used for snowplows. The advantages of carbon steel are durability, rigidity and their lower cost plus ease of repair in case of damage. Polymer blades are the smoothest, so snow will not stick to the blade and will discharge farther and faster.

The importance of buying quality equipment


The biggest regret of all snow removal professionals is that they did not invest in a quality product from the start. Think about it, when was the last time you regretted buying something high quality? Now let me ask, when was the last time you regretted buying something because it was cheaper than the best products?

When you choose a snowplow for a large WSV, you want one that not only meets your needs and your budget, but will be able to get the job done for many years. Quality equipment may cost you more initially, but lower quality snowplows simply won’t last as long, and you will quickly lose any savings you thought you had made. Not only will replacement parts and repairs cost you money, but downtime without your equipment will be an even greater financial loss.


There are more factors to consider when it comes to buying a snowplow, but this article can serve as a good starting point.

Do you have some questions that we haven’t answered? Contact us today to speak with a snow plow expert.