Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Put The Snow Plow Together Last Night

Supposedly 1 1/2 hours of work; my wife and I spent more like 2 1/2 hours.  Admittedly, we were being very, very careful, and my 5/16" drill bit is sufficiently unsharp that I had to start with a 1/8", then 1/4" drill bit to get pilot holes going into the aluminum blade.  I am a bit unclear on why they did not do this at the factory; it did not really make the box much smaller, just a different shape.

It is a very clever design.  In the down position, the blade rides up and down on a metal frame so that changes in grade cause the entire blade assembly to go up as needed; gravity brings it back down again.  The angle of the rubber part of the blade means that going forward it digs in; going backward causes it lift up on the frame.

The theory seems to be that you put the frame into the 2" trailer hitch receiver at the start of the season, and leave it there.  You lift the snowplow blade onto the frame.  In the up position, it hooks in place so that you can drive around, and it does not block the headlights (at least on the TrailBlazer).  To put it in the down position, you unhook two pins, lift the plow up over the up position slots, and drop it down to the ground.  Then you reinsert the retention pins so that it can't fly up and off the frame.

Inserting the frame is a bit annoying because of weight and because it will be cold and snowy when you need this gadget, so I expect to put the frame into the hitch receiver at the start of the snow season and leave it there.  Taking the blade off the frame or putting it back in place is a task that I can do myself, but my wife will probably have trouble doing alone, except at the risk of causing the other shoulder to demand surgery a bit sooner.  I will certainly be much more buff in the upper body if I have to do this regularly.

The one area that I am a little disappointed in concerning direction.  I thought that it was adjustable to point either straight ahead, or to the left or right.  But that appears to be the considerably more expensive HD model (that's Heavy Duty, not High Definition).  I think I see a way that the frame on which the blade rides could be modified (or replaced) so that it gives that same capability.  A friend of mine has just started a welding business; perhaps I will throw the idea at him.

6 comments:

dearieme said...

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2239773/Ive-killed-best-friend-Academic-restrained-Oxford-University-Professor-fatal-headlock-EMAILED-tragic-news-victims-wife.html

Anonymous said...

You probably don't need the reminder, but a welding alteration is likely to void your warranty.

Clayton said...

Yes, perhaps better to make a replacement for this.

Mr.B said...

grease the receiver well before you put the blade holder in to keep corrosion down. Makes it easier to remove.

A friend just bought one of these, and his had a pin to allow angling the blade.

KCSteve said...

While I've never had a plow I know friends who kept theirs on a stand so they just had to drive (carefully) into it to mount it.

Taking if off, of course, is just a matter of pulling the pin and backing up.

As to lifting the blade in and out of the working position, how about a lever of some sort? Make it like a check mark with a fulcrum point on the ground and a jaw to catch the blade.

Anonymous said...

CC,
This summer I picked up a used blade for a Polaris utility quad. 6' wide, pivot, trip edge, etc. Very light duty.

My original plan was to mount it on my 4wd tractor and make short work of the occasional snow storm. But you have inspired me to also make a mount for the truck, since I already have the 2" mount on the front.

At the local scrap metal place (Burchams in Albany, OR), I found the right metal. Plus a darn big telescope tripod with tracking stuff. All it needs is a scope roller and, of course, an actual telescope.