Best Commercial Snow Plow for Your Business

Published on December 19, 2017

Despite what you might think, finding the right commercial snow plow for your business isn’t as complicated as it seems.

In reality, there are only three factors you need to consider:

  1. How much weight can your truck carry on the front axle?
  2. What kind of plowing will you be doing (e.g. residential or commercial)?
  3. What trade-off are you willing to accept when it comes to the blade’s material?

Rather than becoming overwhelmed by all of the dizzying commercial snow plow options, it's important to arrive at the dealership prepared. In turn, you won't end up buying more plow than you need.

This article will help you feel confident and informed in your decision on the best commercial snow plow for your business.

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Should You Buy a New or Used Commercial Snow Plow?

Before we dive into the best commercial snow plow for your business, let's talk about whether you should buy a new or used plow.

First off, buying a used commercial snow plow and a used truck and plow combo are two totally different things.

Much like buying a used truck that's been previously used in another business, you also don't want to buy a used truck and plow combo. Likewise, it also isn't ideal to buy a used plow.

Due to the heavy use businesses put on their snow plows, it's not a good idea to purchase one used.

After all, plows are left to soak in salt water and melting snow. They’re literally scraped against concrete and asphalt for hours on end.

Plus, hydraulic systems may not be properly maintained, and can sit for months at a time. In many cases, a used snow plow is going to be a broken within a small timeframe anyways.

In addition, aside from getting a plow that you know hasn’t been abused, purchasing new plows gives you the opportunity to build a relationship with a dealer.

After all, you’ll need that dealer when something inevitably breaks during the snow season. People are busy during the snow season and a positive relationship with a dealer can be a lifesaver in a pinch.

Remember, it's more than just finding the best commercial snow plow, you've got to get it from the right people.

snow trucks and commercial snow plow

1. How Much Commercial Snow Plow Can You Handle?

Find your truck’s GVWR (i.e. Gross Vehicle Weight Rating). You should be able to find it by consulting your owner’s manual or by completing a quick Google search.

Generally, a standard pickup can carry a 6.5-foot to 7.5-foot plow. A half-ton pickup can carry a 7-foot to 7.5-foot plow, and a ¾ -ton to 1-ton (or full-size) pickup can carry a 7.5-foot to 8-foot plow.

2. What Blade Shape Works Best?

While there are a wide variety of blade shapes on the market, the two most common types for snow removal businesses are straight plows and v-plows.

Here’s how to choose between a straight plow or v-plow.

Residential Work: Straight Plow

  • Requires minimal training
  • Ideal for easily clearing driveways
  • More affordable option (it’s less complicated to manufacture)

Commercial Jobs, Complete Neighborhoods, and Roadways: V-Plow

  • Less wear-and-tear during storms
  • Ideal for commercial work (e.g. parking lots, streets, etc.)
  • Requires more in-depth training (it’s more complicated to operate)
  • Efficient at breaking through heavy, built-up snow and low, icy layers in large areas and extended flat surfaces

3. What Should Your Commercial Snow Plow Be Made Of?

Plows are made from three different materials - each having their own strong pulses and drawbacks.

When choosing the right plow, you’re weighing the added efficiency of snow not sticking to the plow against the fuel costs of a heavier plow.

Although, it approaches a wash. After all, a plow covered in snow is also heavier than a dry plow, which sloughs off the snow.

Stainless Steel: A Balance of Strength and Un-Stickiness

Providing a balance of strength with a non-stick texture, stainless steel is widely considered the most tried-and-true snow plow material. However, it’s the most costly option.

Pros:

  • Finer finish than regular steel
  • Less susceptible to rust and corrosion
  • Usually coated to help snow more easily slough off

Cons:

  • Typically more expensive

Traditional Steel: The Budget-Friendly Option

Commonly considered the budget-friendly option, traditional steel is typically strong. However, it’s not necessarily the most durable option. If the budget is not your primary concern, then this is probably not the right snow plow for your business.

Pros:

  • Effectively pushes snow
  • Moderately less expensive than stainless steel or poly

Cons:

  • Needs to be replaced more frequently
  • More susceptible to collecting frozen snow
  • More likely to succumb to rust and corrosion

Poly: Natural Un-Stickiness

Widely known for having a natural non-stick surface, poly (a form of durable plastic) plows have gained a popularity for being a slightly less expensive option to stainless steel.

Pros:

  • Slightly less expensive than stainless steel
  • Doesn’t have to be coated to slough off snow (they naturally do it)

Cons:

  • Plastic is weaker than steel
  • Heavier than a similarly sized steel plow (due to steel frame reinforcement)

The Best Commercial Snow Plows for Your Business

When choosing the best commercial snow plow for your business, it's important to consider your:

  • Budget
  • Truck size
  • Business needs

Take a look at some of the most trusted commercial snow plow brands businesses currently use:

The best commercial snow plow will vary for each individual business. After all, every snow removal business has unique needs which make choosing some brands more ideal than others.

Remember, even though product reviews are important, always keep your business needs at the forefront of your mind.

Keep in mind, while many snow plows have attached work lights, which are similar to offload lighting for 4x4s.

Since your truck lights will mostly be obscured as you're working, these plow lights are essential in help you see ahead.

If your commercial snow plow doesn’t come with lighting, then consider purchasing an aftermarket lighting kit for your truck.

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Choosing the Best Commercial Snow Plow Is Largely Dependent on Your Client Base

The best commercial snow plow is largely dependent on what kind of properties you service.

Residential accounts are better served by nimble, easy to use, less expensive straight-blade plows.

While commercial accounts are usually better served by larger v-plows, which offer greater efficiency in their big, open service areas.

The commercial snow plow material is usually limited by budget and which trade-off you’re interested in (snow sticking or weight reduction).

Now, you have all of the information you need to get out there and buy the best commercial snow plow for your business today!


Related: The 7 Best Trucks and Tires for Your Snow Removal Business


Originally published Dec 19, 2017 6:00 AM, updated Feb 7, 2022 4:11 PM

Cody Owen

Cody is a copywriter with Service Autopilot. He was writing before he could read, dictating stories to his mom. Of late, he distills business principles and practices learned from his ever-increasing trove of books and his year with SA Support into digestible blog posts designed to provide maximum value to service industry business owners.
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