Tripping: It’s How a Snowplow Protects Your Truck
Obstructions and obstacles are a part of snow plowing. They come in all sizes and shapes, from manhole covers and curbs to frozen snow banks and everything in between. Hitting something covered by snow is almost inevitable. This reality of snow removal requires snow plow manufacturers to design and build in features that protect the truck and the plow from damage.
By definition, Blade tripping is the rotational movement of an element of the snowplow blade system in reaction to impacting an obstacle. Blade tripping is typically offset by some type of spring mechanism. The purpose of Blade Tripping is to protect the snow plow and vehicle from excessive forces which might result in damage to the snow plow or truck. At slower vehicles speeds, the tripping action may be less pronounced, but the inertia of the vehicle will often allow the snow plow to clear the obstacle anyway – either way, the vehicle and the plow are protected from damage.
Two things reduce the energy of the impact to the vehicle and operator and snow removal equipment, the tripping mechanism and pressure relief valves. Pressure relief valves utilize hydraulic cylinders which are able to absorb some of the energy produced by the impact. Working in tandem, the valves and the tripping mechanisms provide protection during the snow removal process.
Understanding the importance of protecting valuable snow removal equipment, BOSS Snowplows has outfitted its plows with various tripping capabilities. Some of our products have tripping moldboards, in which our entire moldboard structure rotates to provide the protection. Other straight blade models feature Tripping Cutting edges, in which just the cutting edges trip.
BOSS V-plows are designed with Full Moldboard Tripping. They are designed to trip in any position that a plow operate or will use them in, including the “V”, “straight” and “scoop” positions – in other words, in any position. The attached video, recently filmed with professional, high-speed cameras gives you an excellent view of the BOSS V-plow tripping moldboard tripping over obstacles at various speeds. Notice how the impact is absorbed before it gets to the vehicle and driver. Even at higher speeds the driver’s body is impacted very little.
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Kelly Allen “Pushing The Edge” On The Slopes And In Life
Pushing The Edge is the tagline we use here at The BOSS Snowplow. It describes the way we do business, the way we innovate and the way we treat our customers. It defines who we are today and who we will be in the future. While we are Pushing The Edge in the snowplow manufacturing market, there are many others who are Pushing The Edge each day in extraordinary ways.
Let me introduce you to, Kelly Allen, small town girl, born and raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, the youngest of four siblings, accomplished high school athlete and college bound student. Sounds fairly typical right? Now, what if I told you Kelly has also taken home four gold medals in women’s kayaking and two silver medals in rock climbing at an annual extreme sports competition. Impressive right for a nineteen year old from a small little town in Upper Michigan? Now, how about if I told you that Kelly was born with PFFD? Proximal Femoral Focal Deficiency (PFFD) is a rare condition that affects musculoskeletal development. Kelly Allen, accomplished high school athlete, college bound student, gold and silver medalist was born without her left femur, patella, and fibula and without a fully developed hip socket. Because of this birth defect, Kelly has learned to adapt to everyday life in extraordinary ways using her prosthetic leg.
Kelly has defied the expectations of the doctors that had told her parents that she would not be able to sit or stand and that there would be no hope of being an athlete. At the age of seventeen, Kelly was inducted into the National Disabilities Hall of Fame and was presented with the 2009 Rising Star Award. The Mark “Doc” Andrews Rising Star Award recognizes a young athlete that has competed at a local, regional and national level and has demonstrated extraordinary effort, achievement and commitment as an athlete with a disability.
Kelly’s story doesn’t stop here. In addition to kayaking, rock climbing, golfing and playing tennis, Kelly also started skiing when she was a freshman in high school. She spent four years on the Kingsford High School ski team and has competed in three NASTAR/Level 1 adaptive ski races. This September, Kelly was presented with a tremendous opportunity. She was selected to train for the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia. So, this small town girl from Upper Michigan has packed her bags and has headed to the mountains of Colorado. She will be living in Frisco and will be training with a local able bodied team, Team Summit, along with Mau Thompson and Adaptive Adventures. Kelly has already started her training on dry land as they wait, like many of us, for the arrival of snow.
We at The BOSS Snowplow are honored to support Kelly in her goal of becoming a 2014 Winter Paralympic athlete. We look forward to cheering her on as she continues to Push The Edge on the slopes and in life.
Do you know someone that really “Pushes the Edge” and defies the odds to do something extraordinary? If so, we’d love to hear their story so we can feature it on our webpage or Social Media Channels…
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Advice for New Comers: Buy Quality
Snowplow Products, It May Save Your Business
Winter and the big storms that accompany it offer a narrow window of opportunity for snow removal professionals to bolster their bottom line. In fact, some winters can provide few major storms and it’s imperative to capitalize on those that do occur. No one knows this better, than BOSS Snowplow-powered Brian Hominunk, President of Foegley Landscape in South Bend, Indiana.
Picking up where his father Robert left off, Hominunk started snow plowing over 20 years ago and today his growing fleet of BOSS Snowplows allows his company to focus on high-end, zero tolerance properties, including; miles of driveways, roadways, commercial lots and other retail parking spaces. He attacks these spaces with a fleet of 8 BOSS snowplows, with plans to add several more this season: “This season I am stripping off two Western 8’6” MVPs and installing 2-8’ 2” BOSS Poly Vs,” he said.Hominunk is also looking seriously at the BOSS BX-12 box plows.
In fact, Hominunk has converted his entire fleet of plows from Western to BOSS over the last couple of years. Why? “Snow has variables and some are out of your hands, while others, like the plow you choose to run is up to you, and why one would choose anything other than BOSS is beyond me,” Hominunk said. “The bottom line, is I can’t afford to have a plow down. Reliability and durability is everything to me. In 7 years we have had to replace one motor on a BOSS snowplow – that’s something!!! I don’t have to worry about the plows making it through the night, the BOSS plow can take the bumps and bruises and gets through. We have never had to bring a BOSS plow in and weld it up!” Hominunk’s years of plowing with other brands of equipment give him the expertise and point-of-view to call the BOSS snow removal equipment “the best.”
When a big snow event is in the forecast, Hominunk’s routine includes getting in touch with all his workers, subs and suppliers – and making sure they are all aware of the impending event. Next, he ensures all the equipment that is off-site is topped off with fuel and are in running and plowing condition. He insists that every piece of equipment is given the “once-over” to make sure it is ready to go. If any larger equipment is being brought in – all of that preparation is also done.
“That’s the best part about the BOSS Snowplows, they don’t require much prep,” he continued, “I can take them off my list.”
Do the BOSS Features Really Mean More to the Bottom Line?
“The BOSS is the fastest V blade I have used and when you team the speed, stout framework and the lack of downtime, your efficiency is improved. Whoever designed the BOSS snowplow cutting edge that got rid of the puck on the v-plow and put curb wear bars needs a pat on the back! Also, the height on the BOSS Power V XT has helped a lot with plowing the miles of roads that we do. As the winter goes on the height of the snow along the roadway edges increases and now with the BOSS Power V XT I can launch it higher over that build up!”
Any Advice to Someone New Getting Into the Snow Removal Business About buying Lower-priced, lower-quality plows instead of a BOSS Snow plow?
“You need to ask yourself, can I afford not to have a plow that functions every time it snows?,” he said. Hominunk explained further: “If a person is just starting out, chances are they don’t have back up equipment and reliability is everything. Then, we you grow and become a significant player in the industry, can you afford to have equipment down and not perform for high-end customers – high-end customers are not going to take excuses, there is no calling and telling them your plow broke – they won’t hear it – and they shouldn’t have to. That’s why BOSS Snowplows is gaining the reputation with professionals that they are – they don’t let you or your business down. No question that BOSS is worth its price – I never even compare BOSS to any other manufacturer, it’s like comparing apples to oranges.”
Another aspect of BOSS products that Hominunk touted was service. He said the BOSS Snowplow Dealers and BOSS Manufacturing representatives stand behind the product and get parts, when they are needed, out as soon as possible.
You can also see Brian’s story on BOSS Snowplows YouTube Channel at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9gFfULWgTs or simply go to BOSSplow.com and click on the YouTube Channel link. His story is also found on BOSS Snowplow’s Facebook page, which can also be accessed at bossplow.com.
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10 Things To Consider When Buying a Snowplow
According to all weather sources, another brutal winter is in store for cold-weather states in the U.S. That’s great news for everyone that makes money pushing snow and melting ice – there’s money to be made out there, that’s for sure!
Perhaps this string of big winters has you thinking about buying a plow to make some money. Or maybe you’re just looking for a plow to clear the snow from your driveway – either way, there are some important considerations in your choice of plowing equipment. Here are a few:
1. Buy Quality Products
- It’s important to start here because as you research your plow options, you will find a wide range of products at different prices. How different can they be – right? But beware – because a plow looks good sitting in the retail sales floor does not necessarily mean it will perform and last in the long run. It’s important to remember that phrase – “the long run”. If you step up to a quality plow, which may cost you more upfront, you can expect that the plow will last you for nearly a decade (depending on how severely you use it). Most plows of lesser quality simply will not last that long, and to compound the problem, you’ll quickly lose all the savings you thought you realized and the point of purchase by having to constantly replace broken parts. Not only will the parts cost you money, but the downtime without your plow will cost you even more – as those contracts you had for snow removal will quickly abandon ship and find someone to replace you – and just like that – your income stream is interrupted. When we speak to professional plowers about their business, this is the #1 regret they all have – not investing in a quality product in the beginning. Think about it, when was the last time you regretted buying something of high quality? Now, let me ask, when was the last time you regretted buying something because it was cheaper than the better products?
2. What kind of plowing will you be doing?
- Are you thinking about contracted snow removal of big parking lots, side roads, long rural driveways? You are going to want a larger plow - nothing less than 8’ in width – and you should seriously consider a V-plow – which provide quicker and more efficient snow moving capabilities than a straight blade.
- Are you a homeowner that has a long driveway that you want to clear, but don’t plan on doing commercial work? You will be more than happy with a 7’ or 8’ plow – and V or straight blade plow will work. If you own a UTV, consider a v-plow for it as well – as the UTV’s plowing capability, when matched with quality UTV snowplow can move snow nearly as efficiently as a smaller pickup truck.
3. What kind of vehicle do you own?
- If you are going to do commercial plowing work, you will want nothing less than a ¾ ton pickup truck. They have the Front Gross Axle Weight Rating (FGAWR) to handle the larger plows that are available, and chances are, you’ll need that larger truck’s payload capacity to outfit the truck with a salt/sand spreader too – after all, commercial contracts will always require ice control as well – and to be considered for the job, you’ll need the equipment.
- If you are plowing a driveway, most ½ ton pickups will do the job just fine, and in some cases, even smaller pickups will work. As was previously stated, if you own a UTV, it will do a great job on driveways with a good plow on it as well.
4. V-Plow Vs Straight
- In short, either plow design will get work done. Straight blade snowplows are still a big seller as they tend to cost a bit less than V plows. But the V-plow does have the ability to angle and direct snow – as well as “scoop” snow for stacking that straight blades simply can’t do. The v-plow also handles snow that has “frozen” overnight better than a straight blade – when put into the “V” position, the plow’s arrowhead configuration can slice through hard snow better than the flat surface of a straight blade. That slicing action also makes the operation easier on the vehicle and the operator.
5. Dealer Relationship
- I can’t stress the importance of a having good relationship with your dealer enough. Snowplows operate in a tough environment and as such, things happen. You will need parts or service at some point in time. This relationship usually begins in the purchasing process – and too often, folks make the mistake of price shopping dealers against each other, or, buying the plow on-line from a distant source and then expect their local dealer to fix the product immediately if something goes wrong. Trust me, the couple of hundreds of dollars you saved buying it elsewhere will not be worth it the long run – after all, your plow should last you for years – and having that relationship with a nearby dealer will make your service trips much easier!
- Do you have an idea of how much you want to spend on a plow? $3,000, $4,000, $6,000? If you’re looking at commercial grade products, the v-plows will be in the $6,000 range new, with straight blades being slightly less – again all depending on the models. For the homeowner – products will range in the $3-$4,500 range.
7. New vs Used
- Of course it’s always great to buy new products, but the reality is that often buying good used product makes more sense, especially if you’re just starting a business from square one. Used plows are often available at good snowplow dealers, and this is really where building a relationship with a local plow retailer will pay off. They will ensure that the used product you are considering has been thoroughly inspected and that any parts which need replacement – will be replaced. When looking at a used plow – look for obvious signs of abuse – bent blades or beams, broken welds, etc. Paint chipping and scratches are normal, and can be “touched-up”. You’re looking for damage to the major components here – and when you see them, they will be obvious. Remember, thick, heavy steel does not bend on its own, in some mysterious manner – if it’s bent, the previous owner hit something – it’s that simple!
8. Ease of Use
- Don’t overlook the attachment system of the plows you’re considering. You’ll need to attach the plow in the worst of conditions, dark, cold, ice, wind, salt, grime – it’s all part of the winter environment! Don’t buy into the hype of the “fastest” attachment systems, instead focus those that tout “ease” of attachment. There’s a big difference.
9. Blade Materials – Poly Vs Stainless Steel vs Mild Steel
- On the commercial plow side: All three materials will do the job for you, but each has its own strengths and weaknesses. Poly is the slickest material of the three, as such, snow will not stick to the blade and will slide off the blade further and faster than it will with the other materials – as such, it is becoming the choice of more and more professionals out there. It is also extremely corrosion resistant and scratch resistant.
- Stainless Steel has visual appeal and corrosion resistance and perhaps a slight advantage in “slickness” versus mild steel, but it is also prone to denting – any rocks you hit will leave “dings” and over the course of time, this will become unsightly and may affect the plow’s performance.
- Mild steel has been used to manufacture plows for decades. This workhorse proves durability, rigidity and excellent value.
- One common myth to dispel: Poly plows are not lighter than their steel counterparts. In fact, they are usually heavier. Why? Because the poly material lacks the rigidity of steel, it must be “backed” or reinforced with even more steel in order to keeps it shape. As such – poly plows are commonly heavier than steel plows.
10. Lighting Systems/Control System
- Lighting is one of the most important elements of a good plow product. Visibility during big snow events is often terrible with darkness, snow, blowing and drifting snow all parts of the plowing environment. You simply cannot overvalue good lighting – like a high-output, dual burn system. It’s also important to consider the mounting system for plow headlights. Many manufacturers use a dual-stud design which are prone to loosening and moving while plowing, a source of great frustration for those who have to operate them! Look for a headlight systems which uses a two-piece “clamp” design, which will keep the headlights in place.
- The only real interface you’ll have with your snowplow will be via the controller. Every manufacturer offers options for controllers like joysticks, an old traditional standby, or the touchpad controllers, with a keypad that features buttons which quickly position the plow in any way you want. Some manufacturer’s keypads controllers have 8 or more buttons – which can make them difficult to learn and use, especially for a beginner or someone with large hands. Again, ease of use is important for a snowplow, so look at the controllers with fewer, large buttons for easier use and learning.
There are more considerations when it comes to purchasing a plow, but this is a great starting list. Visit plowing on-line forums or Facebook pages of the plow brands to learn more. Contact BOSS Snowplows at any time to ask questions – www.bossplow.com.
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