How to Inspect Your Plow Before Using It
Learning how to inspect or test your plow before using it is a crucial part of running a successful snow removal business. Maintaining your equipment is as much a part of the job as clearing parking lots. After all, if you want to make money, you NEED to ensure your plow runs when the snow is falling. A DIY inspection is how you guarantee it will work every time you need it to. To inspect your snow plow, you should visually inspect the plow for signs of damaged components — and test the plow itself to ensure it will perform properly when you need it.
At TP Trailers & Truck Equipment, we repair hundreds of damaged plows and other pieces of snow removal equipment each year. We see the most common places plows break down and take damage — so we know exactly what to look for. Read our in-season plow inspection guide to learn when and how to inspect your plow.
TP Trailers’ Guide to Testing Your Snow Plow
Running a successful snow removal business requires the grit to work hard when most people are fast asleep. It also requires your equipment to be in top shape 100% of the time you need it. When the snow starts falling, that’s your chance to make money — don’t let a damaged plow force you to sit it out.
Whether you plow roads, parking lots, driveways, or something else, the job is tough on your plow and your truck. Even if you think everything is fine, checking your plow a few days before you need to use it is a good idea. You may have damaged your plow without realizing it — or general wear and tear may have taken its toll.
When should you test your plow?
There’s no rule for it, but we say test it a day or two before you expect the snow to fall. That way you have time to schedule any repairs.
Remember: the repair shop at TP Trailers is open 24 hours a day for emergencies during snow storms. Even still, it’s better to get your repairs done in advance, so you’re not waiting in our repair shop while the snow is falling.
Snow Plow Inspection Part 1: Walk-Around Checklist
Here’s what you’re looking for when you inspect your plow from the outside.
- Look for dripping fluid. Hydraulic fluid coming from the cylinder or hoses is a bad sign. Just like with your car, you’ll want to get this checked out before you lose too much fluid.
- Inspect hose fittings that are loose or bent. This is often a cause of leaking fluid and can keep your plow from making it through the entire night.
- Check crimps on hoses. You’ll want to pay attention to crimps on your plow hoses during your inspection. This is another source of hydraulic fluid leakage.
- Examine bolts and pins for mounting the plow to the truck. Inspect these connections to ensure your plow is securely attached to your truck. Losing your plow during a job is the recipe for a bad night and a hefty repair bill.
- Look at the lights. Driving with one headlight is fine most days — not when you’re plowing snow. Stay off the road if you only have one headlight. Reduced visibility can be dangerous during a storm.
- Check the tires. Trying to plow while dealing with a flat tire or tires with low tread can be unsafe for you and your truck.
- Inspect the plow blade. Check the business end of the plow for any irregularities. If the cutting edge is low or the blade is damaged, have it replaced.
Snow Plow Inspection Part 2: Plow Testing
Fire up your truck and make sure you’re ready. Here’s what you need to test.
- Test the turn signals and beacon lights. You’ll want to address anything wrong with your truck BEFORE you start plowing.
- Check the battery and the connections. If the battery is corroded, you’ll want to fix it to ensure your truck starts when the time comes.
- Test the plow. Make sure the plow raises and lowers and can perform a complete battery of functions. If you have a V-plow, you’ll want to be certain that the wings extend and the plow turns.
- Check the salt spreader. Whether your salt spreader runs on gas or electric, you should run a test on it. Also ensure that the drag chain is working as well. If you leave salt sitting in it, the salt will freeze and you’ll need to chip it out before you can use it.
Contact TP Trailers for Emergency Plow and Snow Equipment Maintenance
Discover an issue with your plow during the inspection? We can help.
We’re a full-service snow equipment repair shop, meaning we handle everything that your plow may need, including custom fabrication of hydraulic hoses. Plus, we offer 24/7 maintenance during emergency conditions. That’s right: if your plow needs help during a snow storm, you can call us and we’ll meet you at our local repair shop.
Have any questions? Contact TP Trailers & Truck Equipment today.