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Types of Snow Plow Blades

by | Dec 17, 2023 | Snow Plow

What’s the best snow plow blade for your setup?

There are quite a few different types of snow plow blades on the market today. The key distinguishing factors of snow plow blades include width, moldboard design, presence of wings, hydraulically activated components, and plow blade ends.

The most typical snow plow blade types for a conventional pick-up truck include straight blade, V-plow, winged blade, box plow, and a rear mounted plow. Regarding larger trucks and heavy equipment, underbody scrapers, standard front loaders, tractors, motor graders, and track loaders are standard, usually with factory attachments.

Straight blade

The most common type of snow plow blade is the straight blade. The straight blade is simply a moldboard attached to the snow plow arm and equipment. These types of straight blades come in various sizes, ranging from approximately 6 feet to 8 feet. Out of all snow plow blade types they are the most simple. A fixed snow plow blade has no additional hydraulic wings, or special features that allow for specific articulation of any portions of the plow blade. Rather, all the adjustments you can make with these are from the controller including the angle and tilt. This makes a straight blade easiest to pickup and learn with, as there are less variables to be concerned with. A straight blade plow is also the simplest with least moving parts, meaning less likelihood of anything breaking down. In the hands of a skilled operator, a straight blade plow setup may be all you need.

V-plow

Another common snow plow blade type is the V-plow. A v-plow is split down the middle of the moldboard as to allow for either side of the snow moldboard to be angled away from or towards the truck center. When the two sides of the moldboard of V-plow are pointed towards the center of the truck, or forward, this creates a scoop, or trap for the snow. This is great for narrower roads or pathways, and making precision maneuvers.

Image source: https://www.meyerproducts.com/snow-plows/contractor-truck-plows/super-v3-(1)

There is allot of flexibility in operation with a V-plow. When either side of the moldboard is angled away from the center of the truck, or outwards, this allows for a more normal straight blade plow operation. Even angling further can allow for easy clearing of heavy snow fall, where the V-plow allows the user to utilize the windrow technique with ease. Out of all types of snow plow blades, a V-plow, for pick-up trucks is considered one of the most versatile.

Winged blade

A winged blade is typically a straight blade snow plow moldboard but with wings on each end of the moldboard. Each wing can be controlled independently, and made either scoop or direct snow into the moldboard, or being angled away as to drive snow off the side of the snow plow truck path of travel. Having this adjustability with the wings allows for additional levels of maneuverability not found in a conventional straight blade plow setup. The wings retract or extend as you need, and can increase the overall width of a snow plow straight blade to which they are attached. Wing blades are controlled with hydraulics, just like most other snow plows components, and by widening the surface area of the plow can greatly increase the coverage of the snow plow blade. A winged blade generally increases efficiency and effectiveness for all types of snow plowing requirements, including parking lots, pathways, roads, and detailed properties.

Image source: https://hlasnow.com/blades/3230W.php

Box Plow

A box plow is generally a straight blade plow setup with wings on either side that help to channel snow back to the moldboard and reduce spillage off the sides. The benefit of the box plow is that it allows more snow to be accumulated in snow plow pass. The box plow blade setup increases efficiency of each snow plow pass and reduces the amount of time spent for re-targeting areas where windrow or spill of the side of the snow plow truck has occurred. A box plow can move more snow, but at the same time needs to be operated by the hand of a skilled operator. With more snow means more need to keep momentum, being prepared to course correct through counter-steering, and ensure path of travel remains consistent. The box plow is one of the most heavy duty types of snow plow blades and lets you bridge the gap between light duty pick-up and heavy equipment when it comes to plowing snow.

Image source: https://fisherplows.com/resource-articles/5-points-about-box-plows/

Bucket or scoop

A standard bucket or scoop can be found on many light to heavy equipment such as compact track loaders, front loaders, tractors, or telehandlers. They are all purpose attachments for these equipment, and can be used year round to facilitate earth moving, material moving, and in the winter, snow plowing and snow removal. With the right tilt and angle of attack, and a skilled operator, a bucket or scoop can be used to great effectiveness in both plowing snow, but also removing snow from a site. As is the nature of a front loader or telehandler, the articulation of hydraulic arms allows for snow to be picked up and placed in a dump truck to be hauled away from site. When space constraints are tight on a property requiring snow plowing, and snow has to be hauled away, consider a larger piece of equipment for the job. This is as opposed to a stand light to heavy duty pick-up truck, as you can both plow snow, and load it for removal if there is no where to feasibly pile it. Optionally a custom robber or poly cutting edge could be installed on the bucket or scoop attachment to improve efficiency and reduce wear on the metal components of the metal bucket/scoop itself.

Front loaders, telehandlers, compact track loaders

These are commercial heavy duty construction equipment that when equipped with a bucket or scoop setup can be used to effectively clear snow. Generally a tracked setup is going to be more versatile, and allow for ease of access to tough areas in the winter months.

Underbody scraper

An underbody scraper is designed to withstand severe road maintenance tasks and is located under the body of a commercial vehicle. It is straight blade plow but with a shorter moldboard to allow it to be mounted underneath the vehicle. Just like a normal front mounted snow plow blade, the undermount scraper plow blade can angle to either side, and be tilted up or down accordingly.

Motor grader

A motor grader is excellent for snow removal, and can be equipped with standard moldboard, snow wings, a V-plow or just straight blades. Due to the size of the grader, attachments for snow removal can be placed at various locations. Motor graders are best utilized for clearing long stretches of road effectively and efficiently.

What’s right for your setup

Depending on your needs there are a variety of snow plow blades out there. If you have a light to heavy duty pick-up truck and are looking to get to Calgary snow plowing this winter, then a V-plow is a great choice!

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