V is for versatility

Increase productivity by investing in a v-blade.

In the market for a new snow plow blade? Before purchasing a straight blade, take a moment to look at the versatility in a v-blade system.

V-blades have a pivot point in the middle of the blade, allowing the driver to select the right angle for the job. Although the price is higher, this increased functionality could make a v-blade a worthwhile investment for your business.

“Most professional contractors these days are looking at v-plows,” says Mark Klossner, marketing director for Boss Snowplow. “A v-plow can do everything that a straight blade can, but they also have the ability to adjust the wings independently, offering precision snow moving and stacking capabilities.”

One of the advantages, Klossner says, is that the contractor is able to adjust the blades specifically to meet the demands of the snow. The multiple settings on the v-blade allows the contractor to select the one that suits both the type of snowfall and the area that needs to be cleared.

“The v-mode is useful in some instances, but the scoop mode is the real time saver,” says Josh Slocum, branch manager at Mainscape in Fishers, Ind.

Multiple settings.

V-blades offer the versatility of being able to adjust the angle of the blade to the snowfall.

If the blades are placed in a straight position, then the v-plow functions similar to a straight blade. This option is most often used for back dragging or simply moving snow. However, if you have compact or ice crusted snow, Klossner recommends switching to the v-setting.

“The v-plow has the ability to pierce the snow. If you think of it like an arrowhead piercing through the material, it has the ability to cut into the snow and start a lane for windrowing,” Klossner says.

“With a straight blade, if you get heavy snow that hardens up overnight, there’s a lot more resistance from the snow, making it both harder on the truck and more difficult to move the snow. “

If you have a lot of snow, choose the scoop setting. This function will push snow up and over even large snow banks. Working similar to a bucket attachment, this blade will quickly clear up large amounts of snow.

“A straight blade will leave trails of snow (or windrows). These can be cleaned up much more efficiently with a plow that has scoop capabilities.” Slocum says. “This will eliminate passes which saves time and is easier on your equipment.”

Choosing the right v-blade for the job.

“Speed of operation, specifically how fast the blades move, has become an important factor especially with an experienced contractor who’s on a tight schedule,” says Peter Robison, vice president of marketing and business development for Meyers Products.

The advantage of the v-blade is being able to modify your blade to meet the demands of the snow. However, this advantage is only beneficial if the contractor is comfortable using the various settings available.

Make sure that the system you choose is easy to switch from one blade to the next. Look for a simple control panel that will allow you to quickly modify your blade, according to your current environment. “With a v-blade you are only limited by how creative of an operator you have in terms of the positions that you can put the blades in,” Robison says.

If you’re going to be back dragging snow, Robison recommends selecting a v-blade that has double acting locked cylinders.

The advantage of dual cylinders, Robison says, is the ram (the piece that slides inside of the cylinder) will lock itself in position and not allow the blades to fall forward.

Trip design is another factor to consider to protect the vehicle that your plow is attached to. “There’s two different ways that a snow plow trips. There’s the trip edge and the full moldboard trip,” Klossner says.

As far as trip technology is concerned, Robison says with bottom trip technology, it’s just the cutting edge of the board that trips up, allowing the plow to pass over the obstruction.

In a full moldboard trip, the whole blade itself pivots when it hits an obstruction, Klossner says.

Both Klossner and Robison say that before making the final purchase. it is important to consider the installer, where you are going to get the parts and who is going to do the maintenance.

Developing a good relationship with your distributor is key, Robison says, particularly finding someone that can help the contractor after the sale.


The author is a freelance writer based in Ontario, Canada.

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September 2014
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