Push it with Steel or Plastic
By Earl Kauffman 10/3/05
Steel, stainless steel, polycarbonate bladeskins, snow clearing capacity, higher snow stacking, backdragging and scraping are just a few of the buzz words connected to choosing and using a snow plow. So what is so special about these moldboards for trucks, skid steers, or wheel loaders, or is it the technology?
Meyers Plows originating in 1926 on a farm in Newburgh, New York, now has over 35 models of snowplows to choose from. The Newburgh News reported Edward Meyer's choice of material for his first snow plow was wood, mounted on a 1926 Buick. Yes, a Buick. The Willies Overland Commencer was the next challenge for the Meyer engineering team, yielding a smaller, lighter and more capable plow because of 4WD. Development of an electric-hydraulic pump to raise and lower the plow from inside a warm cab was a welcome addition. The ability to power angle the moldboard came along with the invention of the 12-volt electrical system. Metal plows have been the material of choice since the early 1920's; slippery polyethylene plastic is becoming more popular. Today steel plows are generally coated with powder-coat paint to reduce friction and prevent rusting. Stainless steel blades are long lasting and require less maintenance than steel. Hi-density plastic blades are not coated, but the material remains characteristically slippery even with wear, resulting in longer blade life, less vehicle wear-and-tear as well as higher fuel efficiencies. (http://www.meyerproducts.com/)
Sno-Way from Hartford, Wisconsin has been awarded over 20 new patents in the last 10-years with up to a 5-year Blade Warranty. (http://www.snoway.com/) Although their focus in the early years was the home or small business owner, the last 8-years they have broadened their applications for compact pickups all the way to Class-5 trucks, as well as skid steers with blade widths up to 10-feet. Sno-Way's patented polycarbonate blades "might not look as strong as steel, but after your first use of a polycarbonate blade you'll see that it's more than just a piece of plastic. Polycarbonate is a high-strength, flexible material; so durable that it has been used for cockpit windows on jet fighters and windows on the President's limo. Polycarbonate yields the same integrity as steel moldboards and offers additional benefits that make it the professional snow plower's choice"
Non-sticking snow at all speeds without rust, are some of Sno-way's polycarbonate blade's outstanding features. Thirty-percent increased efficiencies are achieved by a Down Pressure System, shifting vehicle weight distribution to the blade edge and back wheels maximizing plow performance in scraping and backdragging with higher cutting edge force and truck traction, even with a lighter blade. The ability to stack snow higher comes from a patented direct linkage system eliminating the chain and its slap and bounce common to many other plows.
If plowing snow with a skid steer is your choice, Snow Wolf from Minneapolis, Minnesota, has an oscillating blade that follows ground contours without scraping in 7-widths from 6 to 9 feet. Snow Wolf's Ultra Series features a dual pivot, A-frame construction with the ability to apply full down pressure to clear ice and packed snow. A spring-loaded trip edge helps eliminate false tripping of the blade and is suitable for wheel and track loaders. Accessories for the blade include a snow-pusher conversion, wear shoes, snow deflector, poly soft cutting edge, and a cross-over relief valve.
We've come a long way from a wooden plow to traditional choices of steel, stainless, and now poly, from well-known respected companies allowing you to tailor a plow and system to your needs. Be sure to include a strong dealer who can provide you with service after the sale.