Published on September 22, 2020
Don’t Get Snowed in this Winter
Snow removal. Just the words spoken aloud can bring a shiver for equipment operators. But the right tires and the right tools can make all the difference going into unpredictable winter weather, giving you more time to focus on your business instead of worrying about your equipment.
We’re going to take a look at two things in this article: snow tires and hydraulic wing plows for skid steer loaders. Knowing how to leverage these two winter weather equipment attachments can be exponentially beneficial when it comes to productivity, time management, and machine upkeep. So let’s jump right in with some short analysis and recommendations on how to get the most out of your equipment this winter.
Nothing is more frustrating than losing traction and control of your equipment due to slippery conditions. It drags on your efficiency and in some cases, the wrong tires can actually be dangerous. That’s why outfitting your machines with snow tires is critical when the slush and powder shows up.
Snow tires are distinct from your normal skid steer tires for several reasons. For one, the rubber compound is created to respond appropriately to cold weather conditions by becoming more supple as the temperature drops. Normal tires stiffen and reduce traction, making your machine slip. In addition, the tread pattern on a snow tire is deeper, which allows it to bite and hold you in place when pushing large amounts of snow around or pulling heavy loads on slopes. Finally, the profile of the snow tire is more narrow than normal weather tires. This allows your machine to cut a finer line through the snow as they apply more ground pressure.
All in all, snow tires can improve your machine’s productivity by more than 30%, and they will help give your operators confidence when working in tough conditions. You get more work done, and you will have prioritized the safety of your team and your equipment. Win-win.
ADVANTAGES OF THE WING PLOW
If snow removal is part of your job, you are already familiar with the traditional box snow pushers. Not a bad piece of equipment, but certainly not as effective, versatile, and reliable as hydraulic wing plows.
A hydraulic wing plow is a skid steer attachment that allows you to seamlessly shift from angle plowing to straight plowing to high-capacity pushing to back-dragging without leaving or having to adjust your machine. It’s that simple and you will not believe the amount of time and energy this will save you when you have a lot of snow to clear.
One advantage that the hydraulic wing plow has over the box snow pusher is the application of its cutting edge. A wing plow will keep about 75-85% of its cutting edge on the ground while at work. The box pusher typically applies about 50% of its cutting edge when in operation, so its removal capacity is limited, and more than likely you’ll need another attachment like a bucket to finish the job.
The hydraulic wing plow has the ability to maneuver its wings to form various angles. This enables the operator to create neater, more strategically placed rows that can be easily removed from the parking lot or jobsite, versus a mountain of discarded snow that will be an eyesore until warmer weather shows back up.
The wing plow’s back drag ability may be its most impressive capability. In addition to being able to form neat, easily removed rows, the back drag component will allow you to get your skid steer close to garage doors, curbs and steps for a cleaner removal in less time.
Proper tools are the key to effective snow removal. Good tires and hydraulic wing plows are two such tools that you should investigate before the snows come.