Well it’s that
time of year again. The kids are going back to school, the days are getting shorter,
and everyone is trying to sell their old snowplows on Craigslist.
Over the past
few weeks, I have seen all types of used plows popping up. Some of them look nice
and well maintained, however the majority of these plows look rusty, unreliable,
and are probably missing numerous parts that can add up quickly. Here is your
used snowplow-buying guide.
Moldboard (or blade) must be thoroughly
inspected for rust, cracks, and any modifications the previous owner may have
made. A new moldboard will cost about $1000,
or you can always add a new sheet metal skin for about $300-500.
Powerpack (or pump) should be on the
unit, if not run like Forrest Gump and don’t look back. A new powerpack is
about $1200-1500. Not bad if
everything else works and you got a smoking deal, but that is rare.
Coils – carry electric current to open the
valve. Usually $15-25 per coil.
Valves –allow fluid to pass through and
move cylinders. Usually $50-75 per valve.
Hydraulic Cylinders (or ram) can usually
be rebuilt inexpensively or purchased for about $60-280 per cylinder so don’t worry much if
they look damaged. You can always find a quality OEM or aftermarket cylinder.
Lift Frame should be inspected for
twists in the frame and cracks in the welds. The reason this is important is
because a slightly twisted frame may make it difficult to attach/remove the
plow and you won’t know until you try to use it. A new lift frame is about $300-600
Headlights should be secure to the
lift frame and not wobbling around. Headlights aren’t expensive compared to some
other electrical parts, but why spend the extra cash unless you plan to upgrade
to LED lights. A new light kit is about $200-450
Quadrant (or sector) on most plows
is usually okay and you have to really inspect them good to find any problems.
If the other parts of the plow seem okay, the quadrant is probably fine. A new
quadrant is about $250-350
Cutting Edge (or scraper) you will rarely
find a used plow with a new cutting edge so just forget it. A new cutting edge
will run about $80-125
Mount (or truck mount) is only
important if the plow you’re getting came off the same type of truck as yours.
Most times this is not the case so you’ll have to get a new one. If you can
find a mount that works, you will want to make sure all the parts are there,
but 9 times out of 10, you will new a new bolt kit. One major point to remember
is that sellers will usually tell you the mount will work with your truck. DO
NOT TAKE THEIR WORD and always check for yourself. If you get the make, model,
and year we can help you identify and make sure it will work. A new mount is
usually $400-600 and a new mount bolt kit is about $80-120
Wiring (or harness) is very important
and comes in two parts, truckside and plowside. The majority of the truckside
wiring is universal besides the headlight adapters, which are truck specific
like the mount. The plowside wiring is always universal but if the plow is old
and your truck is new, you will most likely have to upgrade. The price of
wiring varies depending on exactly how much you need but in general new wiring
will cost between $200-500.
yet importantly is the Controller (or
switches) you’ll never know if the controller you’re getting is good unless
you can test it. If the person selling the plow seems legit you’re probably
okay, my best advice is go with your gut. A new controller is anywhere from $100-300.