It’s that time of year again. If you haven’t done it already, get your trucks and plows ready for that first snow. For new plow owners, always be sure that the moldboard is lowered and is sitting on the ground when you are working on the plow. And, don’t forget, the truck needs preseason maintenance, too, especially if it’s a truck that you use only during the snow season.
Start off by making sure the plow is ready for the season. Even if you did these steps in post-season maintenance, you should check them again. Lines could have leaked from non-usage over the summer season and other parts may be damaged from non-use.
- Check the hydraulic fluid while the lift ram in lowered or retracted.
- Check for leaks in the hydraulic system, even if the hydraulic fluid reservoir is full. Wet spots on hydraulic lines are a good indicator of a leak. Also, check for stains on the ground.
- Lubricate the pivot points and grease the pins with chassis lube.
- Measure the cutting edge. If a standard 5-inch cutting edge is worn down to 3.5 inches, it’s time to replace it.
- Check and adjust the spring tension.
- After you plow for the first time, check all of the mounting bolts to ensure that they didn’t loosen up. You should do this regularly during the season.
- Check the powder coating for rust. To extend the life of your plow, touch up any rust with powder coat touch up.
If you did the post-season maintenance last year, you shouldn’t have too much to do. After you check and service the plow, it’s time do check and service the truck.
Truck Maintenance and Service
Even if you had your plowing truck serviced recently, you should check everything before you go out on the first plow job of the season. Checking everything over and replacing any item that looks questionable could keep you from spending hours in your truck while you wait for a tow.
- Check all fluids, including hydraulic fluids and lines.
- Check all hoses, including heater hoses, brake lines and radiator hoses. Don’t forget any bypass hoses if your truck has them.
- Check all belts.
- Check the brakes, including pads and/or shoes, calipers and/or wheel cylinders and rotors and/or drums.
- Make sure the heater is working properly. If the fan works on just one speed, check the blower motor resistor. If you feel water on the passenger floor, the heater core may have a leak.
- If you haven’t had your truck aligned recently, take it in for a four-wheel alignment. While the auto techs are checking the alignment, have them check all steering and suspension parts.
- If your truck has a dump bed, make sure the dump bed works and the hydraulics are not leaking. Also, check the hydraulic fluid reservoir. Grease the gate so that it doesn’t stick when you need it to open.
- Check the salt/sand spreader if the truck is equipped.
Contact Drake Scruggs
If you are uncomfortable checking all of these items on your own, contact Drake Scruggs for an appointment so that we may check your truck and equipment for you. If you need a new plow or spreader, contact us and we will help you choose the best plow and spreader for your truck and the type of winter work you do.