As temperatures in the midwest near the one hundred degree mark during the first heat wave of the summer, snow plows and the number of blades and accessories that can be used to remove drifts of snow are the last thing on many people’s minds. For city contractors and maintenance staff, however, servicing off season equipment is an every day part of the job. While part of the maintenance staff may be making repairs and completing weekly maintenance on the summer equipment, another part of the staff is checking inventory and making repairs to the winter equipment.
Snow plow rubber edges, snow box pushers, and other parts can be purchased new, purchased used, or be rebuilt or repaired. And while many large cities may have the budget to purchase new equipment once every five to ten years, smaller cities with smaller budgets often purchase the used equipment of the larger cities.
Not surprisingly, Salt Lake City, Utah, Anchorage, Alaska, and Denver, Colorado, have each recorded eight feet of snow or more in their record high seasons. In fact, some years the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, has reported snow cover well into the month of March. According to the NOAA National Snow Analysis, at the beginning of March 2015, 63.4% of the contiguous U.S. still had snow on the ground. As recently as June 15, 2016, social media posts show Rocky Mountain National Park’s Trail Ridge Road’s drifts towering three times the height of the visitors. So while much of the country is preparing for the heat of summer, some locations in America are still dealing with record late season snowfalls.
Heavy Duty Snow Plows Last for Many Years, but Attachments Change and Improve
The beasts behind the blades, when properly maintained, often last for 20 or 30 years. The snow plow rubber edge and other boxes and snow pushing mechanisms often need to be replaced, or at least refurbished. Although the steel in a blade, for example, may hold up to the roughest of conditions, the snow plow rubber edge does not always last as long.
Recently, rubber edge snow plows have been made of maintenance free materials that are able to withstand several hundred uses. Depending on the quality of the materials, some of these rubber edge snow plows are durable, but still flexible. The hardest of these plow blades are also curl and chatter resistant. A blade that removes hard pack snow, whether it is in the Spring of the Rocky Mountains or the winters of the Midwest Plains, is a necessity to city engineers in many parts of the country.