Thinking Snow on the Hottest Day of the Year
Here's how we built our snow plough range from the ground up. Designed from scratch for the demands of the most popular 4x4's in the UK.
A Plough Designed for UK 4x4 Vehicles
We have spent the last couple of years developing a range of Snow Ploughs.
The drive to do this arose from our experience selling American built Snow Ploughs over the last 12 years.
As you can imagine, the needs of winter maintenance contractors in the US are quite different from those of the winter maintenance contractors in the UK.
The vehicles are larger in the US, the roads are bigger, the snow drifts are bigger and the focus on sustainability and environment just isn't what it is in the UK.
With regulations around emissions making it necessary for car manufacturers to add more and more weighty emissions devices into their vehicles, the front axle weight capacity of our 4x4's is getting less and less. The US built snow ploughs aren't able to comply.
Unfortunately there are no light weight, professional quality alternatives allowing the ploughs to be controlled effectively from the cab.
So we decided to build one.
So what makes our plough different?
We had two main goals;
- To produce a plough light enough to be used with modern pickup trucks.
- To build sustainability and reliability into the design.
Light Weight Blade Construction
Most snow ploughs are made with steel, welded with heavy ribs and support structure.
All this weight is stuck out a long way from the vehicle making it impossible for the plough to meet the front axle weight limits.
To overcome this we invested in dies to extrude our plough blades from Aluminium. This process allows us to build incredible strength into a light weight aluminium blade. This also gives the benefit of eliminating welding operations for the bulk of the plough, as extrusions allow us to slide parts into position along rails and clamp them in place with bolts. This makes replacing any parts a far easier process and allows us to reduce the energy required to build the plough.
Electric Plough Angling and Lifting System
Most ploughs from the US and Europe use an electro hydraulic system.
This adds a lot of weight into the plough and a great deal of potential for part failure and requires a large current draw to operate.
Some existing ploughs draw so much current that when you operate the plough you see a voltage drop in the entire vehicle system, which could potentially disrupt other electronics on the vehicle. Parts such as mechanical solenoids quickly wear and need replacing.
In contrast, the electric rams on our plough eliminate much of the weight and only draw about 20 amps, which is easy for modern vehicles to accommodate. Compared to traditional relays, our MOSFET relays offer many benefits, including lower maintenance costs, a longer lifetime (greater than 500 million operations), and higher-speed switching.
Most plough manufacturers adapt controllers designed for other equipment and use these with there plough. Because it is doing something it was not designed to do, they can run into issues, such as needing to add a separate controller to operate lights. As we designed our controller ourselves, it is made specifically for operating the plough and incorporates controls for the lights within the one console.
Ground Clearance of the Plough
Most US built ploughs are made to go on much larger vehicles, they therefore aren't so worried about the ground clearance, because the truck is higher off the ground to begin with. In the UK, our pickup trucks are typically much lower to the ground, making this vital.
We have created an adjustable mounting plate for our plough so that the ground clearance can be adjusted to suit the carrier vehicle height. You should have no trouble driving over speed bumps or a standard kerb with our plough frame.