There are many reasons a snowplow professional would be looking to either upgrade or transfer their snow plow. Snow plowing is a rough business. Parts break and trucks are beat up on a regular basis. As a result, upgrades are often necessary to ensure a safe vehicle and plow set up for the season. One of the main questions we get here at Traffic Safety and Equipment: “Should I transfer my plow over to a new truck or upgrade my plow setup all together?” Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-answer-fits-all solution. Each situation should be analyzed on a case by case basis to determine the best path for the snow plow professional. We’ve compiled a few key points we look for when advising our customers whether to upgrade or transfer their Western snow plow to help you determine the best solution for you. You can also check out our advice and how to transfer your snowplow here.
Conventional Plow or UniMount
The first question to ask is what type of plow do you have and what condition is it in? If you have a UniMount style Western plow or a Conventional style, right out of the gate I would be more inclined to advise purchasing new. The Western Unimount plows switched over to the Ultramount style back around 2003. Even if your Unimount is in excellent condition, putting this plow on a new truck might not be the best option. You would also very likely need to add a conversion kit so that your plow will mount properly to the new style mounts on the truck frame. As a result, it is usually best to upgrade your plow at this time.
What if you already have an Ultramount style Western snowplow? If you do, it might not be as straightforward of an answer. That’s when you’ll want to dig into some additional questions such as the condition of the plow and your future plans for it. If it’s in excellent condition and you plan on running that plow on your new truck for a few years, transferring your plow would be the best option. If the plow is in need of repair, analyze the cost of repair and compare that to the cost of buying new. It might make more sense to buy new and sell your plow privately to recoup on some of the cost.
You’ll also need to take into account the change of trucks. If you’re switching from a Ford to a Chevy, you will need to get a new frame that’s specific to your new vehicle. You’ll also need a new headlight harness, as that is also vehicle specific. Even if you’re going from a Ford to a Ford, you might still need new harnesses and a frame; that is completely dependent on what your previous model was and what your new truck is. However, there is the possibility of reusing a few harnesses and parts depending on their condition. The receiver pockets can easily be switched over as well as the control harness and a few other pieces. These instances must be dealt with case by case, which we have no issue assisting with. Overall, we recommend that you analyze the cost of the additional parts needed to transfer (frames, headlight harnesses, etc.) and add that aspect to your comparison for transferring versus buying new.
It’s always important to look at these questions from a big picture view. Is your current plow the right fit for your plowing needs? Maybe over the years you’ve elevated your business from home driveways to more commercial jobs. That could also play a deciding factor in whether to upgrade or transfer. If a larger or more commercial plow would better suit your plow needs, upgrading would be the best bet!
It might seem complicated, but don’t be discouraged! The professionals at Traffic Safety and Equipment are more than willing to dive into your specific needs and give their professional opinion. To find out more about your plow and what options are available, please don't hesitate to reach out to us!