The forecast this winter is for a lot of precipitation, and depending on where you’re located in the U.S., this could mean having a lot of snow in your area. Particularly in the southern U.S., which doesn’t normally get as much winter weather, there could be more snowfall than usual.
So if you’re a business owner, and you want to make sure your parking lot and the routes around your store are open for customers, purchasing a small commercial snow plow may make a lot of sense. Most small plows can be mounted to 3/4-ton trucks, and some also exist that will work on 1/2-ton pickups. Your local heavy equipment dealer can help you find the right match for an existing truck you may already use for your business.
But besides knowing the right size of plow for your needs, there are three other decisions you’ll need to make about the type of snow plow you purchase.
1. Type of blade.
Your traditional snow plow uses a straight blade, which is perfect for scraping away and piling up snow. Straight blades are most popular for smaller applications, and that’s likely what you’ll predominantly find for small commercial applications. About 78 percent of commercial snow plow drivers use straight blades.
But snow plows with a V-blade may make your work easier. While they are a little more expensive, V-blades can clear snow into tighter piles than a straight blade can — an important consideration if you’re clearing a small parking lot.
V-blades are also easier for drivers who don’t plow snow regularly. While a straight blade and a V-blade may be equally efficient for an experienced plow operator, a small business owner who only plows a few times a year can get quicker results from a V-blade.
2. Length of blade.
The length you choose may depend somewhat on the size of vehicle you plan to attach the plow to and what it can handle. You’ll have three main options to select from:
- 7′ – A 7-foot plow is usually used for residential or very small commercial applications.
- 7’6″ – A 7.5-foot plow may be the best choice for a small business owner who won’t use the plow frequently.
- 8’+ – An 8-foot plow will be the most efficient, but it will also cost more. However, it is likely to pay off if you have a larger parking lot. Anything larger than 8 feet is probably more than you need and not worth the extra cost unless you will be clearing parking lots for many of your neighboring businesses and live in an area guaranteed to get snowfall at least a few times a year.
3. Construction of blade.
Most plows are made of one of three different materials.
- Polycarbonite. A plastic plow is not as durable but it is much less likely to get scratched or dented. It also won’t rust while you store it for most of the year. Note that most affordable poly plows are not much lighter than metal plows, as they have a metal framework that reinforces the plow.
- Mild steel. Zinc-treated steel is one of the most common and traditional types of plows. They will rust eventually but the zinc coating helps repel rust. They’re often more durable than poly models, except for the risk of rust. A good choice for occasional use.
- Stainless steel. Stainless is the most durable and longest lasting option, but it may be overkill for your small business needs.
Talk to a company like Drake-Scruggs Equipment Inc about the best snow plow options for your small business.