Feature Image with text: Prolong your snow plows life.

With the winter season drawing to a close and the snow giving way to the first signs of spring, it’s critical to shift our focus to ensuring the longevity of our plows. As a key asset in the battle against winter’s harsh conditions, a plow represents a significant investment of both financial resources and time spent clearing snow-laden paths. Neglect at this juncture could lead to detrimental rust, hydraulic malfunctions, and accelerated mechanical degradation. My aim is to equip you with the necessary insights to meticulously clean, inspect, and store your plow, thereby guaranteeing its optimal performance for future snowy encounters. By highlighting potential issues before they escalate into exorbitant repairs, and by instilling best practices to safeguard the plow’s structural integrity, I intend to position you a step ahead as you prepare for the inevitable return of winter’s white mantle. The actions you take in the immediate post-season days are pivotal in maintaining your plow’s efficacy—actions that could very well define your readiness for the next onslaught of winter flurries. Keep abreast as I unfold the industry-advised strategies to maintain your plow’s durability, ensuring that you are well-prepared to face subsequent winters with confidence.

Cleaning Your Plow Thoroughly

To ensure your plow’s longevity, start by thoroughly scrubbing it with soap and warm water to eliminate any debris that could cause corrosion. Hand washing your plow is crucial, as it allows you to pay close attention to all its parts without the risk of damaging sensitive electrical components with high-pressure systems. Utilize a soft brush to gently remove accumulated materials.

During the cleaning process, focus on eliminating all traces of snow, salt, sand, and dirt. These substances are particularly corrosive and can lead to significant damage if they’re not removed before storing your plow. It’s essential to be meticulous in this step to prevent the onset of rust and other forms of decay that can impair the plow’s functionality and structural integrity.

After you’ve washed the plow, conduct a thorough post-season inspection. Look for signs of wear and tear, such as cracks, bending, or any other damage that may have occurred during the winter months. Addressing these issues promptly can save you from the inconvenience of last-minute repairs when the next snow season arrives.

Regular inspections coupled with consistent cleaning are not just about aesthetics; they are fundamental practices that help maintain your plow’s performance. By adopting these habits, you’re not only ensuring that your plow operates at its best, but you’re also extending its service life, which is critical for an efficient and cost-effective snow removal operation.

Inspecting for Damage

As you move on to inspecting your plow for damage, start by identifying any visible wear, such as rust or corrosion, particularly after the washing process. Ensure the structural integrity by examining the cutting edges and the plow’s frame for signs of wear or damage. Finally, assess all functional components, including electrical systems, to spot any corrosion or damage that could impair performance.

Identify Visible Wear

Regular inspections of plow edges for visible wear, such as bending, chipping, or excessive thinning, are crucial for maintaining your snow removal equipment’s effectiveness. You’ll want to:

  • Check for any signs of bending, chipping, or excessive wear on the plow edges.
  • Bending can indicate structural weaknesses.
  • Chipping may suggest contact with rough surfaces or debris.
  • Look for any cracks, dents, or deformities along the cutting edges of the plow.
  • Cracks can lead to potential breakage.
  • Dents may affect the plow’s ability to scrape snow cleanly.

Ensure that the plow edges are properly aligned and securely attached to the plow. Replace any damaged or worn edges to preserve the integrity of your cutting edge and ensure efficient, effective snow removal.

Check Structural Integrity

Inspect your snowplow for structural damage, such as cracks, dents, or bent components, to ensure its reliability and performance in harsh conditions. During your maintenance routine, scrutinize the frame for any signs of wear or stress. This is crucial, as the frame bears the brunt of the workload. Focus on weld points and connections, which are susceptible to fatigue and can compromise the snow plow’s effectiveness. Rust or corrosion on any structural elements must be addressed immediately to prevent further deterioration. Lastly, don’t overlook the cutting edges – they’re vital for efficient plowing and should be checked for integrity. A meticulous inspection of these areas is imperative to maintain your snowplow’s safety and longevity.

Assess Functional Components

Frequently examine all functional components of your snowplow for any damage, focusing on the hydraulic system, electrical connections, and moving parts to maintain optimal performance. Here’s what to check:

  • Hydraulic System:
  • Inspect the hydraulic pump for wear and ensure no leaks compromise the hydraulic fluid integrity.
  • Examine connections and hoses for damage that could impair function.
  • Electrical Components:
  • Test the controller stick and lights; replace any nonworking buttons or malfunctioning parts.
  • Ensure all electrical connections are secure and free of corrosion.
  • Moving Parts:
  • Assess the condition of cutting edges, pivot pins, wear points, plow shoes, and blade marker guides for damage or excessive wear.
  • Replace worn parts promptly to prevent further damage and inefficiency.

Fluids and Hydraulics Check

You need to regularly inspect your hydraulic lines for signs of wear or damage, ensuring connections are secure and leak-free. Change your hydraulic fluid according to the manufacturer’s guidelines, as old fluid can lead to system inefficiencies and potential failure. Always keep an eye on your fluid levels, topping off as necessary to maintain peak hydraulic performance and protect your plow’s operational integrity.

Inspect Hydraulic Lines

To ensure your snowplow operates smoothly, regularly check the hydraulic lines for signs of wear, damage, or leaks. Your hydraulic system is vital for the plow’s performance, and diligent maintenance is key.

  • Inspect the hydraulic lines:
  • Look for abrasions, cracks, or cuts that can lead to leaks or failure.
  • Ensure there are no kinks or bends that impede the hydraulic fluid flow.
  • Address potential issues:
  • Tighten loose connections to prevent leaks.
  • Replace worn or damaged lines to maintain system integrity.

Hydraulic fluid levels and quality are also crucial; low or contaminated fluid can cause system malfunctions. Follow these Maintenance Tips to prolong the life of your snowplow’s hydraulic system.

Change Hydraulic Fluid

After inspecting and addressing any issues with the hydraulic lines, it’s essential to change the hydraulic fluid annually to ensure the system operates at peak efficiency. During your post-season plow maintenance, prioritize this step to maintain viscosity and prevent moisture buildup, which can compromise your plow’s performance. For optimal results, use Meyer Hydraulic Fluid M-1 when you change hydraulic fluid. This specific brand is recommended to avoid voiding your warranty and to guarantee your plow’s hydraulics function smoothly. Before adding new fluid, flush the system with Meyer Hydra-Flush to eradicate any contaminants. Additionally, remember to clean the filters regularly using mineral spirits or compressed air. Adhering to these maintenance practices is crucial for your plow’s longevity, particularly during off-season storage.

Monitor Fluid Levels

Regularly monitoring your plow’s hydraulic fluid levels is crucial for maintaining its efficient operation and avoiding costly damage. For end-of-season maintenance, pay close attention to your snow plows’ fluids and hydraulics:

  • Inspect for leaks or abnormal levels
  • Leaks can indicate seal or hose issues
  • Abnormal levels may suggest system breaches
  • Top up fluids as necessary
  • Maintains performance
  • Prevents system strain and potential damage

Ensure you’re checking the condition of hydraulic hoses and fittings, replacing any that are damaged to prevent leaks. A comprehensive check of the hydraulic system helps you catch issues early, safeguarding your equipment’s longevity. Remember, monitoring fluid levels isn’t just a once-a-season task; it’s vital throughout the plowing season for the optimal performance of your snow plows.

Lubricating Moving Parts

Ensure the smooth operation and longevity of your snowplow by using the correct grease to lubricate moving parts such as pins and joints, which helps prevent corrosion. During the plowing season, your plow is exposed to harsh conditions that can lead to premature wear. To mitigate this, it’s crucial to use a high-quality grease that’s designed for cold temperatures and capable of repelling water and road salts.

When lubricating pistons, fully extend and compress them to ensure the grease reaches all surfaces. This complete movement pushes out old grease and allows new grease to coat the pistons adequately, maintaining their functionality and preventing sticking or seizing.

For electrical components, dielectric grease is your go-to solution. It’s essential to apply it to connections to protect against moisture-induced corrosion, ensuring proper electrical function. Remember that electrical failures can be just as crippling as mechanical ones, so don’t overlook this step.

Metal-on-metal contact is a major culprit for wear and tear on your plow. Regular lubrication is imperative, especially in salted environments where corrosion accelerates. Use white lithium grease on pins and springs at the start of each season. This type of grease adheres well and remains effective under a wide temperature range, providing a protective barrier against the elements.

Adhering to a thorough lubrication routine will reduce wear, preserve the integrity of moving parts, and extend the service life of your snowplow. Proper maintenance ensures that when the snow falls, your plow is ready to tackle the job efficiently and reliably, season after season.

Adjusting Plow Tension

Adjusting the tension on your snowplow’s springs is a critical step in maintaining optimal performance and extending the equipment’s lifespan. When you’re preparing your snowplow for storage at the end of the season, you must ensure the springs are not overly tense, which can lead to unnecessary wear.

For Straight Blade plows, here’s how you can adjust the plow tension effectively:

  • Before Adjusting Plow Tension:
  • Verify that the plow is on a stable and level surface to avoid any uneven tension on the springs.
  • Disengage the plow from the vehicle to ensure safety and ease of access to the tension adjustment components.
  • Adjusting Plow Tension:
  • Lower the tension of the springs using the adjustment mechanism provided on your plow model. Consult your owner’s manual for specific instructions.
  • Use a business card to gauge the correct tension during the plowing season; it should slide between the spring coils but with some resistance.
  • Remember, lowering the tension helps maintain the springs’ longevity and effectiveness, which is crucial for the upcoming plowing season.

Regularly adjusting the plow tension is an integral part of snowplow maintenance. Ensure you’re familiar with the specific requirements of your plow model. Proper tension adjustment is essential not only for the longevity of your plow but also for safe and efficient plowing operations. By following these guidelines, you’ll contribute to the overall care of your snowplow, ensuring it’s ready for service when the next winter season rolls around.

Selecting Proper Storage

Having adjusted the tension on your snowplow’s springs, it’s equally important to focus on selecting a proper storage location to further safeguard the equipment’s longevity. The ideal storage is indoors, where your snowplow can remain dry and protected from environmental factors that could lead to deterioration. Moisture is a primary enemy of metal components, so an indoor facility, such as a garage, shed, or a rented storage unit, will help protect your investment from rust and corrosion.

Elevating the plow off the ground is a practical measure to prevent damage from any potential flooding and to thwart the onset of corrosion. By doing so, you ensure that even if water finds its way into your storage space, your plow will stay in good condition. If you’re using a storage facility that isn’t climate-controlled, consider the additional step of utilizing a moisture-resistant cover. This is not simply a tarp, but a cover designed to shield against rust and corrosion, providing an extra layer of defense to help protect your snowplow during its dormant months.

Furthermore, the precise location within your chosen storage space is important. Avoid placing the plow near windows where it could be exposed to sunlight and varying temperatures, which can cause expansion and contraction, potentially warping metal over time. Lastly, ensure that the storage area is free from harsh chemicals or fumes that could accelerate wear on the plow’s surface.

Handling Plow Accessories

To maintain your snowplow’s peak performance, regularly inspect the controller stick for signs of wear or malfunctioning buttons. This is a crucial step to ensure precise control when you’re out clearing snow. If you find any issues, don’t hesitate to make repairs or replace the controller to avoid any operational hitches that might arise from faulty equipment.

In addition to the controller stick, it’s essential to keep your plow in top shape by monitoring and managing its various accessories:

  • Plow Shoes
  • Check for Wear: Regularly assess the wear on your plow shoes. If they’re worn, they won’t maintain the consistent blade height necessary for efficient snow removal.
  • Replacement: Replace worn shoes promptly to protect the blade from damage and make cutting through snow easier and more effective.
  • Visibility Enhancements
  • Halogen Lights: Ensure your truck’s halogen lights are functioning properly. Good lighting is vital for safe operation, especially during low-visibility conditions.
  • Blade Marker Guides: Evaluate the condition of your blade marker guides. If they’re no longer visible or too worn, replace them to maintain accuracy and safety while plowing.

Don’t overlook the potential benefits of adding accessories like Pro-Wings, which can extend the reach and lifespan of your blade, enhancing performance and ensuring more efficient snow removal.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Life Expectancy of a Snow Plow?

Your snow plow’s life expectancy depends on its construction materials, how often you use it, and any aftermarket modifications. Proper care can significantly extend its serviceable life beyond the typical range.

How Long Should a Plow Blade Last?

Your plow blade’s lifespan depends on blade materials, usage frequency, and cutting edge wear. Regularly inspect and maintain it to ensure you’re getting the most out of your plowing equipment.

How Do You Maintain a Snowplow?

To maintain your snowplow, regularly clean it, check the hydraulic system, and conduct wear inspections to ensure it’s in top condition. Follow the manual’s guidance for specific maintenance details.

How Do You Store Snow Plow in the Summer?

To store your snow plow in summer, choose a dry storage space, apply rust prevention techniques, and properly wash the equipment to ensure its longevity and readiness for next winter’s demands.