So you lifted your truck for off-road driving. Mud and snow are no obstacle for your truck, but can you put a snowplow on your truck without damaging it?
You can put a snowplow on a lifted truck. However, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you can damage your truck. Fortunately, you can reduce the chances of damaging your truck with the right equipment and snowplowing techniques.
This guide will take you through everything you need to know so you can properly snowplow using a lifted truck.
How To Modify a Lifted Truck for a Snowplow
To attach the snowplow to the truck, you’ll have to make some modifications. These include getting a leveling kit, upgrading the electrical system, reinforcing the frame, and using the correct tires.
Get a Leveling Kit
A leveling kit helps you lift your truck’s mount attachment to the required height. A plow mounted in the recommended height range will slide more smoothly and wear the cutting edge of the plow evenly. Also, the kit helps increase plow clearance.
However, if the low front ends touch the road surface, it may damage the plow. This usually happens on grade changes, such as transitions from the road to a driveway. Lower plow clearance also makes it more challenging to pile snow since the plow can’t get up to the needed height.
Finally, weight distribution will be improved with a leveling kit. The extra weight of the plow pushes into the front suspension, forcing the back to rise and causing several problems.
Upgrade the Electrical Components
When the temperature drops, batteries become less effective. Therefore, make sure your batteries are in good condition. Replace an old battery before it dies mid-winter. Also, make sure the terminals and connections are clean. Depending on your truck, the weight of the plow, and how many accessories you will run, you might want to invest in a dual battery set-up.
A plow system can draw a 250-amp load in addition to the heater, defroster, and additional lights. A high-output alternator is also a good idea.
Strengthen the Frame
Make sure to reinforce the frame of your truck as well. One option is to weld additional steel to the frame, which lessens the chance of a frame cracking, which drivers often don’t realize until it’s too late. Note that any warranty you have on the truck will be affected by this alteration.
However, if your warranty has already expired, go ahead and reinforce the pick-up to ensure it won’t get damaged when you push the heavy snow.
Use the Correct Tires
It’s better to use stock tires and wheels during the winter for a couple of reasons. First, you don’t want to ruin them in the snow. Second, wide tires (regardless of tread) don’t work well in the snow. It’s also important not to ignore the axle weight ratings. A large plow might add 1,000 pounds or more to the front axle weight, so a lighter or long-cab truck might not be able to carry the extra weight of a plow.
How to Put On a Snowplow
If you modify your pick-up correctly, you should be able to add a snowplow on a truck that can lift for up to eight inches. Along with modifications to the truck, you might also have to adjust the plow. Here are the general steps to install a snowplow for a truck.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for assembling the scraper and snowplow components.
- Jack up the vehicle so you can operate securely and comfortably below it.
- Connect the snowplow attachment brackets to the vehicle while it’s jacked up.
- Loosely install the mounting hardware’s brackets and cross-member to the frame of your truck.
- Tighten all the bolts evenly once they’ve been installed.
- Connect the snowplow’s wiring system to the battery and winch.
- Use the hitch pins provided by the manufacturer to secure the mounting hardware to the plow.
Tips for Snowplowing With a Lifted Truck
Damage to the transmissions is a common problem when using a truck to plow snow. This damage usually results from overheated transmission fluid and poor plowing techniques. To make sure your truck stays in good shape while plowing, keep these suggestions in mind.
- Come to a stop before switching directions.
- Don’t accelerate until the transmission engages.
- For better traction, accelerate slowly.
- Don’t spin the tires.
- Start the vehicle in motion to begin a pass.
- Drop the snowplow blade after the truck is moving.
Also, a temperature gauge for the transmission is a wise investment if your pick-up didn’t come with one already.
Types of Snowplows for Trucks
No two snowplows are the same. Each of them have their unique features that may vary in their usefulness for you. That said, there are three main types of snowplows which have different price points. If you’re not sure which one to pick, ask your local dealer.
- Manually operated plows. These are the most basic and inexpensive plows available. The plow mounts on your truck and has no electrical or hydraulic components. The lack of these components means the plow must be raised and lowered by hand (if it has an angling option).
- Electric snowplows. These plows lift and lower the blade using controls inside your cab. They’re more expensive, but the extra price is worth it. Not only do they help you stay warm on the job, but you also save time. If you don’t need complete control over your plow’s angle but still want to raise and lower it from the cab, go for an electric plow.
- Hydraulic snowplows. These give you even more control because they let the user angle the plow. That means you’ll have better control over your plow and complete a job quicker. Of course, hydraulic plows are the most expensive of the three types.
How Much Does a Snowplow Cost?
A snowplow can cost $1,200 to over $4,000 depending on the manufacturer, size, features, truck, and the type of plow you want. You can choose between manually operated, electric, and hydraulic snowplows.
Although attaching a snowplow to your truck is not as easy as putting on a hitch, anyone with a little mechanical know-how can do the job. That way, you’ll be able to clear your driveway, roadway, and help out your neighbors. By offering to clear snow for others, you can make enough money such that the snowplow will pay for itself.