Snow Plow General Maintenance Inspection ChecklistDave Botz2019-05-05T11:27:53-05:00
Pre-Season Plow Inspection Checklist
Suggested checklist during a pre-season snow plow inspection include the following:
Change the hydraulic fluid
Regardless of how often you used your plow this season, your the year previous, to extend your plow life and ensure your plow continues to run perfectly you should drain and change your plow’s hydraulic fluid. This is something that is good to do twice a year, once at the beginning of the season and once before you put your plow away. Changing your plow’s fluid helps keep material out of your hydraulic system, rid the system of excess air, and give your plow a clean and smooth running performance.
Grease vertical pin (on v-plows) and all wear points
Your plow has many wear points weather on your a-frame, center bolt, or plow hinges. Over time, rust could build up on these point and cause extensive damage and repairs. By greasing these points, you’ll not only extend your plow’s life but it will ensure your snow plow continues to perform as you’ve grown accustomed to. Be sure to hit all grease points on the frame of your plow as applicable.
Clean and grease all electrical connections.
One of the most important aspects of your overall maintenance for your plow that needs to be completed not only in the preseason but throughout the season, is dielectric grease on your electrical connections. In the winter months when moisture comes in contact with your electrical components, you could experience a short in your wiring which could ultimately cost you hundreds in replacement wiring. By ensuring you have dielectric grease on all of your connections you’ll help protect the connections and extend the overall life of the wiring. If you find any frayed wires, repair and replace as needed.
Check all fasteners for proper torque.
Over time, bolts can begin to loosen on your plow. It’s important to check all of your bolts on the frame, blade, and undercarriage of your plow and vehicle mount before the winter season so you aren’t out plowing one night and have a bolt fall off leading to a potentially dangerous situation. If a bolt falls off of a lift ram or plow frame, it could spell disaster and lead to an expensive repair in a hurry. Check your plow’s manual to find specific bolt torque specifications and save yourself time and money in the long run.
Check plow cylinders, hoses and pump for leaks.
The hydraulic system is one of the most vital components to the overall performance of your plow. When something goes wrong, including a minor leak, you’ll usually spot an issue in the performance and movement of your plow. Air can quickly enter your system and cause your plow to skip or not move all-together. If you spot a leak, don’t just tape it, replace the hose or you’ll find yourself broken down in the middle of the night.
Tighten the trip and return springs.
Plow performance can be interrupted by something as simple as a loose trip spring or return spring. You’ll notice it in the plow if it skips or doesn’t trip correctly, and you’ll more than likely feel it in the cap of your truck. Most plow’s springs can be adjusted on the back side of your plow blade with a few eye-bolts and nuts.
Inspect all welds in plow and vehicle mount.
If you’ve had your plow setup for awhile and it’s taken a beating, you may find a few weak welds on your plow mount undercarriage on the under-side of your vehicle, or on the plow frame itself. Before the weld breaks and causes irreparable damage, get the weld spot checked, secured and ready for the winter season.
Inspect and re-torque all bolts on vehicle mount.
One of the most common repairs related to vehicle mounts that we see at SnowplowsPlus are caused by a loose bolt. It sounds crazy, but a loose bolt can lead to thousands of dollars in repairs. When a bolt on your vehicle mount undercarriage loosens, or falls off completely, the mount begins to lose it’s overall hold and connection to your vehicle’s frame. With continued use other bolts will loosen up quicker due to the uneven force being put on the frame of the undercarriage. Eventually, the mount will break off and if it breaks when your pushing snow into a bank, your truck will take the brunt of the force.
Inspect lights and re-align
If your plow lights are adjustable, there’s a chance that from the previous season’s use that your plow lights are no longer aligned properly. Inspect your plow lights to ensure all blinkers, brights, and low beams work properly and replace any bulbs you see that are not working or burnt out. Re-align your plow lights at night while pointed at your garage shed door for a quick way to see exactly where your lights are pointed.
Make sure all plow functions work.
Make sure all of the plow functions work properly including raising the plow, angling the plow, float mode and any other functions your plow may have specific to your blade model. Check your plow controller to make sure all buttons work properly.