May 28, 2021 3:49:33 PM / Brooke Loeffler /

How To Prepare Snow Plows For The Off Season

As winter weather moves to the rearview mirror, snow plows across the country are being tucked away for the off-season. No matter the size of your fleet, taking the time for some pre-storage maintenance will greatly extend the life of your plows, save money, and help you prepare for the next winter season.

How To Prepare Snow Plows For The Off Season

Off-Season Snow Plow Maintenance

Most of the following tasks are inexpensive, simple, and have a big effect on the longevity of your plow.

Wash and dry well

First things first, give you plow a thorough washing to remove all salt and grit build up before storage to reduce corrosion.

  • Don’t neglect your vehicle’s undercarriage
  • Be sure to clean salt spreaders as well
  • Allow your plow to air dry for a few days before storage

Touch Up Paint

After washing and drying, look for nicks/chips/scratches in your paint or powder coating.

  • Touch up problem spots with vehicle paint or manufacturer specified touch up paint
  • Don’t just paint over rust. If rust has started to form, use a grinder or dremel tool to remove before touching up

Plow blade

Inspect plow blades for wear and damage. 

  • Replace if wear is severe
  • Apply mineral oil if you have a stainless steel blade

Top off Hydraulic Fluid

  • Refill hydraulic fluid to eliminate air pockets where condensation can form

Grease Electrical Connections

Protect electrical connections to reduce corrosion, shorts and arcs when you fire your plow back up.

  • Clean off dirt and dust buildup
  • Apply dielectric grease to each electrical connection point

Grease Pivot Points

Keeping pivot points lubricated during the off season prevents locking

  • Lubricate all pivot points (hinges, springs, and pins)

Pistons

  • Fully extend all piston rods and lubricate
  • Fully compress the pistons and slide them as far into the ram as possible to protect from corrosion
  • Make sure any exposed portion is coated in grease before storage

Hold Off On Oil Changes

According to the Snow and Ice Management Association, internal engine components will stay plenty lubricated during your plow’s dormant months.

  • Oil changes can wait until you are getting ready to fire your plow back up again in the fall.

Shelter

Make sure you find appropriate shelter for your plow for the summer months.

  • Keep away from moisture, sun exposure, and temperature extremes (all of which can take a toll on electronics, paint/powder coatings, hoses, fittings, etc.)
  • Best to store or gravel or concrete instead of dirt
  • Clear away nearby dirt or other debris that can contribute to corrosion and rust
  • You can also store on top of pallets or 2x4s to elevate off the ground
  • Store away from leftover salt product piles. Click here to learn more about organizing and storing leftover product.
  • Don’t tarp it (tarps trap moisture and heat and offer little to no ventilation)
  • If you do not have access to indoor storage and need to use a cover for dust and sun protection, make sure the cover allows for some breathability and doesn’t trap moisture and heat

Vehicle Maintenance

Make sure trucks and vehicles also get a thorough once over before going dormant over the summer. Take on mechanical inspections and repairs as your skill sets allow. Some mechanical shops offer affordable tune ups that can help you identify problems before they become too expensive.

Mechanical vehicle inspection

Mechanical Truck Inspection

  • Clean and tighten fasteners on plow and vehicle mount
  • Check welds for cracks
  • Test battery health
  • Check heater and blower motor
  • Relax springs according to manufacturer’s specifications
  • Light check (clean lights and replace bulbs)
  • Check fluid levels and inspect for leaks
  • Check tires (replace, align, balance, and rotate tires as necessary)
  • Check all belts, hoses, and fittings
  • You know your vehicle(s) better than anyone...keep a close eye on any other chronic problem areas 

Restock Emergency Vehicle Kit

Later in the summer, ensure your vehicle’s emergency is fully stocked and ready to go. Here is a list of items to consider:

  • Spare hoses, solenoids, fuses, springs, bolts, etc.
  • Extra hydraulic and engine fluids
  • Emergency lighting (safety strobes, flares, reflectors, etc.)
  • Tow strap
  • Sturdy snow shovel
  • Emergency winter clothing/gear (gloves, socks, hats, etc.)
  • Emergency food and water rations
  • Air activated heat packs
  • Snow chains
  • First aid kit
  • Ice melt to help clear and improve traction around tires

Ice Slicer

Ice Slicer is grateful to all the hard working snow fighters...the first, first responders.

We are proud to partner with and support snow fighting organizations across the country and even around the world. Ice Slicer knows that having the best tools at your disposal gives snow fighting teams an advantage over winter weather. Click here to learn more the natural high performance of Ice Slicer that snow fighters trust!