Whether you're starting a new company or a 30-year veteran, investing in new snow pushers can have a huge impact on your snow and ice management operation. Trying to evaluate all the models and their multiple features can make the process feel overwhelming, but taking time to consider how each enhances safety and/or productivity helps you make a decision that gives your business a competitive edge.
Don't get hung up on size. Both small and large pushers have their own purpose. Short snow pushers - as narrow as 6 feet - fit easily on skidsteers and compact tractors. This allows operators to precisely remove snow and ice from tight loading ramps and small parking lots. On the other end of the spectrum, some snow pushers are as wide as 30 feet, which makes them a good fit for wheel loaders. These move large quantities of snow in a single pass, but, depending on their design, might leave behind a significant amount of snow because they ride on the highest point of the ground.
It's tempting to pick a pusher with a solid moldboard because that might be what your competition uses to clear their customers' lots. But, a solid moldboard's inflexibility might actually be their biggest weakness. Instead, consider sectional moldboards, which consist of several pieces that form one large surface area. This allows the operator to remove large amounts of snow in a single pass. Plus, each section responds to rises and depressions in the pavement better than a one-piece moldboard since each section adjusts itself to changing surface and terrain heights. As a result, virtually no snow gets left behind. That essentially eliminates the need for a pickup-mounted plow or salt applications.
Like sectional moldboards, mechanical side panels quickly adapt to changing worksite conditions. Instead of a head-on collision with obstructions - including curbs, medians and manhole covers - the side panels automatically pivot up and over objects. This reduces damage to the equipment as well as the pusher and, more importantly, keeps the operator safe from jarring jolts.
Many pushers typically require the operator to manually adjust their height after each drop. This eats up valuable time and results in extra maintenance if done incorrectly. Drop-and-go slip hitches, on the other hand, automatically lift and lower the pusher as the surface and terrain heights change. This ensures the pusher plows efficiently every time, reducing the risk of premature wear and guaranteeing a clean surface.
The pusher's cutting edge can be a point of contention among manufacturers. Some say rubber is the best. Others claim steel is better. Keep in mind that steel cutting edges are more effective and durable than rubber. Replacing steel edges, though, can be significantly more expensive, especially for a solid moldboard. When incorporated with sectional moldboards, however, an operator can replace 24- to 32-inch edge sections at a time rather than the entire 6- to 30-foot length of the pusher. This significantly reduces repair costs while providing all the benefits of the steel edge.
Let us know what you look for when selecting a new snow pusher, or contact us if you have any questions about how an Arctic Sectional Sno-Pusher™ can benefit your operation.