With temperatures dropping in the Upper Midwest and the leaves beginning to change color and fall in the South, winter is just around the corner. Preparing for a winter season of handling snow versus other trades can keep crews working all year long. Having the right snowplows for your fleet of vehicles can gain a better return on investment, depending on the amount of snow in your neck of the woods. I recently came upon some helpful information in NTEA’s September
2016 issue, gathered by its Technical Services Department.
- The question was asked as to which upcoming model year vehicles are available for snowplow applications. Bob Raybuck, NTEA director of technical services, and Steve Spata, NTEA technical assistance director, shared the following:
- The 2017 model year brings an all-new Ford Super Duty pickup with optional LED headlamps on many high-line versions, requiring specific wiring harnesses from a plow OEM. An HID lamp system is the alternative. The 2017 Super Duty with LED headlamps may come to shops soon, so it’s a good idea to ask your plow supplier about wiring harness requirements.
- Ram Commercial pickups and chassis cabs have dedicated wiring harness bundles for controlling truck headlights and turn signals on vehicles equipped with snowplows. The plow manufacturer may have instructions for proper use of this wiring system, eliminating the need to find the plug at the back of the OEM headlamps.
- GM C/K pickups have LED headlights on many light-duty versions, which will require specific wiring harnesses from a plow OEM. Production started in October 2015, so many are just now seeing these trucks. The HID lamp systems will also be offered.
- Only Ford, GM, and RAM Commercial have factory snowplow preparation option codes for specific pickups, and each OEM has done internal testing and reviews on specific models to ensure durability and compatibility with snowplow equipment. Adding a snowplow on a truck with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 lbs or less can affect multiple Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) requirements, so upfitters need to know which trucks have been tested for compatibility.As we get closer to winter’s grip and the snow begins to fall, may your pickup and snowplow bring you added income until the weather warms again.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Donna Campbell is editor in chief of Modern WorkTruck Solutions and Modern Contractor Solutions. This monthly column will feature commentary on trending issues for work truck and transportation matters.