Reasons Why Snow Contractors Should Get a Snow Plow Prep Package for Their Smaller Trucks

Currently Ford and GMC offer snow plow prep packages for their pickups and you can pick one up for the Nissan Titan beginning with the 2018 model year.  There are good reasons to opt-in for the snow plow prep package for trucks that have one available.

What is a Snow Plow Prep Package?

A Snow Plow Prep Package is a package offered by Ford and GMC to make your truck better capable for handling the strain of running a snow plow.  You will generally find snow plow prep packages for vehicles in the ¾ to 1 ton range with Ford also offering it on their F-150.

Snow plow prep packages are relatively inexpensive.  When Ford introduced their F-150 plow prep package in 2015 it was only a $50 upgrade and still today the plow prep package for the F-150 and F-250 can be had for less than $100.  GMC is on the pricier end with a package on the 2500 setting you back just under $400 (it is less on the 3500).

So what are the reasons to have a Snow Plow Prep Package?

Reason 1: Without a Snow Plow Prep Package, You Could Void the Warranty.

In the fine print of every warranty there is wording that allows the manufacturer of your truck to void the warranty for any unapproved modification on the truck.  A snow plow on a truck that does not have a snow plow package could be used as an excuse to void the warranty.

How bad can it be?  Bad enough that some snow plow installers refuse to put plows on trucks that do not come from the factory with a snow plow prep package.  I know, I used to live a couple of miles from one.

To be fair, most truck dealers want to work with you and they will try to put as much work through warranty as they reasonably can, but if your truck seems to lack electrical power while plowing or your front springs fail early, you could be out a lot of money in repairs to save a few dollars by avoiding the snow plow prep package.  It is just not worth it.

Reason 2: A More Robust Alternator Helps with Electrical Demands While Plowing

Hydraulics take a lot of energy to run…I mean a lot.  When we look at the alternators on trucks 1 ton and smaller, many of them can’t keep up with 10 hours of continuous snow plowing especially if you are running an electric spreader.

Every once in a while, someone will bring a plow into the shop saying, “my plow won’t go up like it should,” and then the mechanic finds it works fine.  What happens is that the battery charges while the operator is driving down the road and then by the time the mechanic sees the plow, everything is working just fine.  The operator goes back out and has problems again not realizing the truck is just not keeping up with the electricity needs of the equipment.

Almost every snow plow prep package will mean a beefier alternator in your truck.  The alternator will pump more electricity into your battery so that you can go for hours without taking a break.

Reason 3: Most Trucks Are Not Designed for Hundreds of Extra Pounds Hanging in Front of Your Bumper

Even a small plow weighs hundreds of pounds and you can easily find plows that weigh over 1000 pounds for a pickup even before you get any snow on the plow.  Unlike throwing 1000 pounds in the bed of your truck, the weight of the plow puts almost all of its strain on the front of the truck and will even give you less traction on your rear wheels if you do not add ballast (extra weight in the back to balance the extra weight in the front).

The snow plow prep packages are meant to strengthen that front end, in particular the springs, so you don’t damage your truck.  Just driving around with a snow plow on a bumpy road without doing any plowing can be hard on the front end of a pickup not designed for that kind of weight hanging off the front, so be very sure to follow the manufacturer recommendations regarding the size of plow, the minimum amount of ballast, and the GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight) limitations.

Reason 4: Some Prep Packages Add Extra Protection

The GMC package comes with a guard to protect your transfer case as well as electrical for a strobe light on top of your truck.  These keep your vehicle safer and make it easier to install safety lights so everyone can see you.

In the end, you won’t lose with a Snow Plow Prep Package.  For the few extra dollars you spend on the package you will get the better alternator and a front end better equipped to handle extra weight, so if you are getting a Ford or a GMC, definitely consider the prep package as a worthwhile option.

 

Top 10 Reasons Why To Love Commercial Snow Removal

Sneller Snow Systems, Michigan - Box Plow

We talked to Mike Stevens, Editor in Chief at Snow Plow News, about what he thought are the top ten reasons why to LOVE commercial snow removal.  We think he came up with a pretty good list.  Check it out!

10. You Get to Play with Big Toys!

I’m sorry, but moving snow with a Cat 950 is just plain fun!

9. You Get to Save the Day!

It is about helping people out.  Snow removal at a single location can literally protect thousands of people.  We have a noble profession right up there with firemen, police officers, and hospital staff.

8. Big Piles of Snow!

Admit it, you used to have fun making those big piles of snow when you were a kid.  Now looking back, you think those 3 foot piles are nothing compared to your 20-foot high piles 100 feet long!

7. You Get a New Obstacle Course Every Snow Fall!

While some things stay the same, vehicles and people are always moving around you.  You have to keep alert and focused to do a great job and to keep from hitting that shopper that thought it was a good idea to leap in front of you!

6. It’s Just You and Your Truck Baby!

Maybe it is a loader or a skid steer or something else, but you don’t have someone sitting next to you telling you how to do your job all day long.

5. No One Limits Your Coffee or Caffeine intake!

Whether your favorite is coffee, Mountain Dew, or something else, let the good times roll!  Your Momma is not going to be asking if you really want that next cup.

4. You are Working While Others Are Sleeping.

There is something enjoyable about getting a whole lot of work done while Average Joe needs his beauty sleep.

3. You Have Time to Think About Life

While you have to stay alert, let’s face it, when it is just you, your machine, your cup of coffee, and Mother Nature, you get to think about life…or forget about it and just sing at the top of your lungs to the music you are blaring in the cab!

2. You are Tested to the Extremes

You feel like a Real Man (or Real Woman) when you are out conquering the snow Mother Nature has dished out over the last 60 hours.  Bring It On!

1. You Never Get Pushed Around because You Do All the Pushing!

Need I say more?

Thanks for your input Stevens.  Here is to the next snow season we all love!

Homemade Snow Removal Solutions Best Left Untried

Remote Control Snow Plow - RC Snowplow

Unlike us at Sneller Snow Systems in Grand Rapids, MI, most people groan when they realize that winter is coming. Snow and its solidified evil cousin, ice, cause hazardous conditions, safety concerns, and are downright inconvenient to have to deal with for several months in a row. However, the war against winter will never end, leading some people to MacGyver impressive tricks and creative ways to keep battling on instead of just letting experts like us tackle snow with ease… Kind of like the folks going to extraordinary measures in these videos:

Building your own metal snow plow for under $10 (minivan not included – but based on the sound of the engine it might not add much to the price!):

Or souping up a remote control car to plow snow for you if you want to stand outside for hours waiting for the mini-plow to get the job done:

And then there’s always building a wooden plow for your mower in all your spare time:

… Or you could leave your snow removal up to the professionals.

When most people are cringing, those of us here at Sneller Snow Systems get pumped up. We work year-round to prepare for the upcoming snow season, learning from the previous season, upgrading and maintaining our commercial equipment and helping our customers prepare in advance for intense Michigan winters. With over 30 years experience and ISO 9001 certification, we have the kind of knowledge and reliability that puts all of your snow-related worries to rest. Since our services are both preventative and proactive, we’ve got you covered. Don’t let winter get the best of your business. Keep the safety and accessibility of your customers, employees, and residents at the top of your priority list with the expert guidance of Sneller Snow Systems.

Winter will be here before you know it–are you ready? We are. Contact us today to find out what kind of winter maintenance and preventative measures you need to keep your business safer and stress-free. We’ll design a custom snow removal plan just for your business!

A Glimpse into the Hidden World of Snowflakes

Alexey Kljatov Snowflakes

As you watch the snow lay down a thick blanket for winter at last, to some it is a welcomed beauty while others find it nothing short of a nuisance. However, while watching the snow fall, few remember that they are actually looking at a somewhat hidden world. That thick blanket of snow is made up of hundreds of billions of individual snowflakes, none featuring the exact same patterns. However, one photographer out of Moscow is making the world remember by giving the world an up close and personal look at snow’s hidden world.

Following in the footsteps of Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley and Kenneth G. Libbrecht, Alexey Kljatov has moved on from taking macro images of bee eyes and fruit to the wide world of snowflakes. Using a low-cost variation of the lens reversal macro technique with his compact Canon Powershot A650is at maximum zoom, Kljatov is able to capture the majesty of unique snowflake designs like never before. Through this technique, Kljatov is able to not only achieve superior magnification, but his pictures have much less chromatic aberrations and blurring than say, the original snowflake pictures taken by Bentley.

The pictures are taken from inside while snow falls against his balcony window in his home in Moscow. By placing an LED light outside behind the snowflakes, he is able to capture individual flakes in a series of 8 to 16 shots. Through the use of multiple shots, Alexey Kljatov is able to align the pixels so as to reduces noise over the subtle details and color transitions of the snowflake.

The pictures he captures while using this unique technique have burst the hidden world of snow wide open. However, it is easy to look at individual snowflakes and see how beautiful they are.

When they come in great numbers, however, it is time to have something done about these pesky beauties. For businesses that need snow removal services in the Grand Rapids and Lansing area, contact Sneller Snow Systems today to see what we can do about limiting the disruptive beauty of snow at your business.

The Anatomy of Michigan’s Winter Dangers

Christmas Dinner

As the dark shadows of another Michigan Winter begin to loom over us and we head toward the Christmas Season, most of us look forward to our favorite winter enjoyments: skiing, building mammoth snow castles, Christmas shopping, or simply curling up by the fire with a good book.

We here at Sneller Snow Systems, however, would like to remind you that winter is all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Not to be a downer, but we’ve built our business around helping businesses reduce risk and feel it incumbent upon ourselves to remind you of some of Michigan’s greatest holiday dangers so that you can begin preparing early.

Decorations

Statistics tell us that incidents of home fires and electrical incidents greatly increase during the winter Christmas season. Decorations not only increase your chances of a house fire, but they also increase your risk of injury due to slips, falls, and other accidents.

Reports of falls from ladders while stringing lights and hanging decorations, incidents of lacerations from broken glass ornaments and other holiday-related injuries are increasing. During November and December 2010, CPSC estimates that more than 13,000 people were treated in emergency departments nationwide due to injuries involving holiday decorations (CPSC).

While we’re not recommending that you completely tamp down your decorative instincts, we do suggest that you always complete outdoor decorations while taking proper safety precautions and using the buddy system.

Sidewalk Ice

Every year, thousands of people slip and fall on icy sidewalks during the holiday season. Apart from the pain of embarrassment, many who slip also deal with the physical pain of bruises, fractures, or head injuries. While it’s true that Michigan’s slip and fall laws leave some flexibility for liability, it’s also true that business owners have a responsibility to keep their sidewalks clear of accumulations of ice and snow, thus rendering them more safe for pedestrians. Using a professional snow and ice management company will help reduce risk of injuries and lawsuits.

Family Dinners

Family dinners can be more than just a danger to your blood pressure at times. Each year in the United States, 100,000 people are treated in Emergency Rooms for scalding incidents–many of those a result of holiday cooking frenzies. Bacteria from improperly-thawed turkeys can lead to intestinal distress. Apart from all of the food-related dangers, carrying and lifting luggage while helping out-of-town relatives settle in before the big dinner can lead to further complications.

Since the holidays are widely celebrated in West Michigan, we can only imagine how high our state statistics will rise in these particular categories this coming holiday season.

While we know that this isn’t the typical sort of post you’d expect from us, we couldn’t avoid telling you what the data says. Although we focus on snow removal and ice management, those aren’t the only things we care about. We really do have our clients’ best interests at heart–and it’s in your best interests to be extra careful as you make your way down those frozen sidewalks to your family’s decked-out houses for a Christmas dinner.

We can’t do much to help you with the cooking or decoration-related injuries, we’re more than equipped to ensure that an accumulation of snow and ice does not turn the sidewalks and walkways around your business from turning into a hazard. For more information on our commercial snow removal services, or to discuss a winter snow plowing contract, please contact us.