1. Do your homework. Become familiar with your snowplow owner's manual. It provides valuable information such as maintenance procedures, operation guidelines, parts diagrams, snowplowing tips and a troubleshooting guide.
2. Safety first. You should carry safety items in your vehicle at all times including a fire extinguisher, a tool kit, a tow strap, a flashlight, flares, a first-aid kit, fuses for your vehicle, jumper cables, an ice scraper, a lock deicer, extra washer fluid, a shovel, and a bag of sand or salt.
"Your safety and the safety of others on the road are most important," said Rick Robitaille, marketing manager for The Boss Snowplow. "Winters can be harsh; that's why it's essential to prepare a safety kit."
Robitaille also suggests packing warm clothes, insulated boots and underwear, a winter jacket, a hat, gloves, sunglasses, and a cellular phone or two-way radio.
3. Prepare for emergencies. As a minimum, your snowplow emergency parts kit should contain extra hydraulic fluid, hydraulic hoses, a pump solenoid, extra cutting-edge bolts and a trip spring.
4. Double-check. Because subzero temperatures can wreak havoc on your vehicle, you should routinely check tire pressure, engine belts for cracks and tightness, and hoses for leaks. Also, watch fluid levels including the engine oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, battery, radiator coolant and windshield washer fluid. And don't forget to fill your fuel tank.
A battery's biggest enemies are wet conditions and salt, which cause it to corrode. Therefore, be sure to check the battery terminals for deterioration or loose connections.
Also, don't forget to ensure that your vehicle's windshield wipers and defrosters are in good condition and working properly.
5. Make a spectacle of yourself. If you don't have a strobe light or backup lights, consider adding them. They will increase the visibility of your vehicle, especially while plowing in the dark or during severe winter conditions.
For example, The Boss Snowplow offers optimal headlight systems that use "HID" or high-intensity discharge light systems providing up to four times more light output than the typical snowplow light for unmatched nighttime visibility.
"Good visibility is extremely important for efficiency and safety reasons," Robitaille said. "The Boss HID Light Package is able to project a much whiter light that reduces eyestrain and helps prevent fatigue while meeting all federal motor vehicle lighting safety standards."
Brake lights, vehicle lights, plow lights, turn signals and strobe lights should be examined before going out to plow to be sure they're working properly.
6. Look closely. Always check your snowplow's bolts to ensure they are tight and examine your snowplow for cracked welds and hydraulic fluid leaks.
7. Don't wear it out. Get in the habit of always inspecting your snowplow's cutting edge and plow shoes for wear so a worn cutting edge doesn't cause costly damage to your snowplow.
"Before the first flake hits the ground is the time to get your vehicle and plow ready for winter," Robitaille said. "These snowplowing preparation steps will help you have a safe and worry-free plowing season."
Media Release Date: 8/20/03