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Equipment to Start a Snow Plow Business in 2022

Equipment Needed to Start a Snow Plow Business in 2022

Starting a plowing business in 2022 can be an expensive endeavor, especially if you aren’t prepared with how you’re acquiring your equipment or planning for future expenses. Luckily, DMC Wear Parts has an extensive inventory of snow removal equipment, plows, and more, all at affordable pricing. Contact a DMC Wear Parts expert for more information on how to get your snow plow fleet up and running for the winter ahead!

truck with snow plow attached

Upfront and Ongoing Expenses in Snow Removal

Some of the upfront costs of starting a snow removal business include purchasing a vehicle, acquiring one or multiple snow plows that fit onto your vehicle, buying cutting edges for different terrains, and purchasing ice melt and a salt dispenser.

Plowing involves a good deal of ongoing expenses too. Snow removal can be very tough on your vehicle as well as your other equipment, so expect to be paying for lots of replacement parts and maintenance over the years. Additionally, you’ll want to be sure to purchase insurance to keep you and your business safe in case of an accident. Some ongoing costs to expect include:

  • Vehicle maintenance
  • Replacement cutting edges
  • General liability insurance
  • Salt or ice melt
  • Gasoline

Consider Making an Equipment Checklist to Start

One way to help keep track of essential equipment for snowplow businesses is to keep an equipment checklist. Not only can it help you to visualize the size of the costs, but it can also help you keep a budget in mind.

truck on road with snow plow attachment

How Do Snow Plow Businesses Make Money?

Considering the amount of cash that goes into starting and maintaining a snowplow business, it seems tempting to wonder how, if at all, these businesses can be profitable. Indeed, some seasons can be rough in terms of cash flow for some plows depending on weather, how much clients are willing to pay, and this even can be chalked up to dumb luck at times! However, a snowplow business can certainly earn a decent living as long as they keep their costs low and their customers happy.

Start small, and don’t purchase more than you need to right out the gate. It can be wise to make use of what you already have, like a truck, and keep in mind that your business will take time to build. It may not work out if you purchase a dedicated skid steer, tons of plow styles, and an extra-expensive blade right out the gate if customers don’t know your company.

Charge enough to make a profit, keeping in mind the costs incurred by all of the equipment. People outside of the plowing industry may balk at common plowing quotes, but it does require many man-hours and can take a toll on your truck and your equipment.

You may even want to consider subcontracting at first to get a feel for the job. Many plowing companies in areas that receive a lot of snow will search for drivers that can take up extra work – if you want to make money plowing snow before starting your business, you may want to consider this route before taking the plunge.


Equipment that a Snow Plow Business Needs

Snow Removal Vehicle

Purchasing a snow removal vehicle is the very first step to starting a snow removal company – it’s the piece of equipment for snowplow businesses that all of your work hinges on. For this reason, it’s essential to pick a durable, powerful vehicle that can operate well in low temperatures. Additionally, your vehicle needs to be able to handle a larger plow attached to it, or else you may not be able to make efficient work of clients’ properties.


If you’re starting a snowplow business from scratch, a truck may be an excellent option for you. In fact, you might already own a truck that is suitable for plowing. While a truck might not be as powerful or heavy-duty as a dedicated skid steer for plowing, you can potentially save on start-up costs – especially if you aren’t sure about the volume of work you’ll be taking on. Heavy-duty trucks are great options for snowplow and accessory attachments; a DMC Wear Parts expert can help you find the exact parts that fit your truck so you can be sure that your snowplow rig will be working in top condition all winter long!

Skid Steer

Skid steers are another excellent choice for a snow removal vehicle. They are powerful and relatively versatile in terms of attachments and functions. While a skid steer may be a bigger commitment if this is your first foray into jobs involving heavy machinery, they might be a more economical choice if you would like to do other jobs using your skid steer during the off-seasons. Most skid steers can be fitted with many different attachments, such as pallet forks, backhoes, mowers, and many more. Having work to do beyond the wintertime is critical to the profitability of a snowplow business – few plow businesses have snow removal as their only business venture. Additionally, skid steers can be fitted with snow plow attachments, which can make easy work of large snow plowing jobs.

snowplow side guard attachment

Snow Plow Blades

When starting a plowing business, it’s essential to purchase more than one cutting edge to have in your repertoire. Different jobs will require different snow plow cutting edges depending on the terrain, temperatures, and job requirements.

Steel Blades

Steel is a common material for snowplow blades because they are often rust-resistant, strong against built-up snow and hard ice, and can do a thorough job scraping up ice that has frozen to the ground. However, steel is tough on roads, making it a bad fit for plowing jobs in residential areas or on special pavement like driveways or decorative paving.

Steel cutting edges often come with the plow as a default edge due to its relative versatility. While they aren’t as gentle as rubber blades nor as durable as carbide snow blades, they represent a middle ground that makes them an excellent general-purpose cutting edge that can handle several different terrain types.

Rubber Blades

Rubber cutting edges are another common choice, as they can handle extremely low temperatures without sustaining much damage. Additionally, they are very gentle on roads and pavement, making them a good choice for plowing in residential areas that require a gentle plow job.

Unfortunately, however, rubber blades are very flexible, which means that they may wear out faster than other blade types. Additionally, they often leave a thin layer of snow on the ground because their lack of rigidity makes them bad for scraping ice and snow directly off the ground, requiring an additional application of salt to melt any remaining snow.

Carbide Blades

Carbide snow plow blades are essentially beefed-up steel blades. They’re used for similar jobs, but they boast greater durability and a more robust cutting surface. They can be used to cut through solid, packed-in ice and snow, and they will likely require far fewer replacements over time due to their strengthened design. However, they can be very damaging on roads, making them a poor choice for residential or driveway plowing. They are best suited for heavy-duty commercial uses.

construction equipment snow plow

Other Equipment for Snow Plow Businesses

Snow Melt / Salt Dispenser

Two other vital expenses include a steady supply of ice melt and a salt dispenser that can be affixed to the back of your truck or skid steer. Salting the road that you’ll be plowing ahead of time can make your job that much easier, as it can help prevent a hard layer of ice from forming if applied correctly.

Additionally, if you have used a rubber cutting edge, snowmelt or salt can help you finish up the job without risking damage to the driveway or road once you’ve plowed the top layers of snow away.

Ballast for Your Truck (if needed)

If you’re starting a plowing business using a pickup truck, it may be wise to consider investing in some sort of ballast for your truck. After all, you’re affixing a very heavy piece of equipment to the front end of your vehicle, which may put your truck at risk of tipping over. For a ballast, you might want to consider using sandbags and purchase a ballast retainer to keep your vehicle’s weight safely secured in the very rear of your truck bed. weight safely secured in the very rear of your truck bed.

Contact a DMC Wear Parts Snowplow Expert Today

Are you looking to start a snowplow business? Want guidance on maintaining a plowing truck or skid steer? Need new parts? Contact a DMC Wear Parts expert today! We’ll help connect you with the right replacement parts for your vehicle, no matter what model, and help to keep your snow plow business running in tip-top shape.

Poly vs. Rubber Snow Plow Edges

Snow Plow Edges: Rubber vs. Polyurethane

Snowplowing can be a never-ending battle. The snow will always come, and it’s often up to snowplow operators to figure out the best way to handle it!

Two common materials that snowplow edges can be made from include polyurethane and rubber. While both of these materials offer different benefits and drawbacks, polyurethane and rubber plow edges can both aid in getting pesky snow removal jobs done efficiently!

rubber edge snow plow attachment

Polyurethane Snow Plow Edges

Polyurethane snowplow edges are a type of plow blade that can be installed on most conducive vehicles. These blades are fitted onto the snowplow rig and have a polyurethane material on one side to serve as a protective coating.

Advantages to Poly Edges

The advantages of a poly plow edge can include a longer wear life and that polyurethane plow edges can, in fact, be mandated by some locales.

Poly Lasts Longer than Rubber

Due to polyurethane’s resistant exterior, some experts say that poly plow edges can last up to twice as long as a rubber plow edge. Since poly edges provide a longer wear life than rubber, they can reduce downtime due to maintenance and having to swap out your blade.

Some Locales Require Poly Edges

Some regions require poly edges because they are less harmful to road surfaces. Snowplow blades and edges of all types are subject to wearing down road surfaces due to repeated use and friction from plowing. Polyurethane-lined plow edges can reduce this friction and wear to public roads.

Disadvantages to Poly Snow Plow Edges

Disadvantages to polyurethane plow edges include a higher price tag than other common materials and the fact that they are not suited for use in rough terrain.

Higher Cost than Other Snow Plow Materials

Polyurethane plow edges can carry a more expensive price tag for beginners compared to more common steel, rubber, and carbide edges. Ensure that a poly plow edge is right for your application by contacting a DMC Wear Parts expert!

Not Ideal for Rough Surfaces

Poly edges are not ideal for rough surfaces as they cannot grip the road’s surface as well as a rubber edge. Poly edges work best on a smoother surface and aren’t ideal for off-road or uneven surface plowing operations.

tractor with snowplow attachment

Rubber Snow Plow Edges

Rubber snow plow edges are a type of snowplow blade designed to work on most types of vehicles. These blades are installed onto the vehicle, and the rubber side of the blade is put against the surface of the snow while it’s scraping it off.

Advantages to Rubber Edges

Rubber plow edges offer many advantages, including providing a quieter plow, being lightweight, and having a cheaper price point than other snow plow materials.

Quieter than Other Plow Types

Rubber snowplow blades are not as noisy as different blades because they’re softer and less forceful. As stated previously, nearly all plow blades make contact with the road or ground, causing lots of friction as the plow moves along. These plows’ rubber material offers a softer and gentler touch when plowing roads.

Cheaper than Polyurethane

Rubber snow plow edges often come with a lesser price tag than other styles of plows. This is mainly due to their lightweight and flexible nature – rubber plow edges are also more susceptible to wear and tear over time.

Disadvantages to Rubber Edges

Disadvantages for rubber plow edges can include their longevity and their inability to plow in certain conditions effectively.

Doesn’t Last as Long as Other Plow Types

Rubber snow plow edges don’t last as long as other snowplow blades because they are softer and more pliable than different plow types. Rubber can also wear out more quickly than polyurethane.

Ineffective Against Ice and Heavier Snow

Rubber snowplow blades are often soft and not as strong as poly, steel, or carbide blades. This makes rubber plows ineffective when dealing with ice or heavier snow.

large plow truck snow clearing road

Choosing the Right Snow Plow Edge for the Job

It’s essential to choose the right type of snowplow edge for your snow removal equipment. There are many options to select from, and it can be challenging to know what’s best for your application. Luckily, DMC Wear Parts is here to help you select the best snow plow blades!

Other Types of Snow Plow Edges

DMC Wear Parts offers a complete selection of snow plow blade and edge styles, going beyond just rubber or polyurethane. We offer heavy-duty carbide, steel, and hybrid rubber-steel JOMA-style blades. We also carry unique special-purpose blades from manufacturers like Built Blades, Kennametal, and Sno Shock.

snow plow cutting edges

Contact a DMC Wear Parts Expert Today

Do you have any questions about pinpointing the perfect snow plow blade for your needs? Contact a DMC Wear Parts Expert t

Intro to: carbide snow plow cutting edges

Carbide Snow Plow Cutting Edges – An Intro Guide

Carbide snow plow blades are a widely used type of snow plow blade. They are a natural progression from standard steel snow plow edges which were discussed in the first post of this series: Snow Plow Cutting Edges – An Introduction to Steel.

DMC Wear Parts has experts in all aspects of ground engagement edges, blades, and tools. We are doing this educational introduction series to share some of our knowledge with operators so that they can be more efficient and reduce their overhead costs.

To begin, it is important to give a brief overview of this particular snow plow cutting edge style. Carbide snow plow edges are used on the front, underbody, and wing of a snow plow. Carbide snow plow blades look very similar to traditional steel edges; however, they have a carbide insert brazed into the thickness of the steel face along the bottom of the blade. This carbide insert has much better wear resistance properties than a cutting edge made of just steel.  This gives the operator the following benefits:

  1. Longer Wear Life – on average carbide cutting edges have 3-5x more wear lifespan than heat-treated steel edges, and up to 20x more when compared to Carbon Steel
  2. Even Wear – carbide snow plow cutting edges will wear evenly across the face of the blade, which can help reduce the “crowning” effect that many operators experience with steel edges.
  3. Saves Time – Because the blades last longer and wear more evenly, operators can spend less time changing blades and more time out on the roads pushing snow.

Types of Carbide Snow Plow Edges

There are a wide variety of carbide edge styles for snow plows. The standard is a flat, 3/4″ thick by 6″ tall blade with a single carbide insert. These edges are great for front mounts, underbodies and wing plows. It is important to note that specific mounting applications have specific additional edge qualities. Specifically, an underbody blade should have a top bevel, whereas front mount and wing blades are unbeveled square edges.

Picture of a Carbide Snow Plow Edge

Another type of Carbide snow plow edge is a serrated edge. These blade types are designed for a more aggressive cut that can easily break through hard compacted snow and ice. The blades are easy to identify (as you can see in the picture below) because they have a carbide square welded to the front that look like teeth.

Picture of a serrated carbide snow plow blade.

Hybrid Edges

Finally, there are some carbide snow plow edges that are more of a hybrid. These blades can consist of steel and/or rubber in addition to the carbide segments. In these cases, the carbide and steel segments are completely encased in a rubber shell. The most common model for these hybrid blades consist of a steel mounting blade, rubberized carbide segment (pictured below), and a steel cover plate. The mounting plate and cover plate offer stability for the rubber segment.

This setup is beneficial for operators because it helps give a better clean sweep on snow. You can almost think of it as a squeegee effect on the road surface. Plus, the rubber embedded metal snow plow blades offer greater flexibility to contour to changing road surfaces and the rubber also drastically decreases vibration on the machine for a better operating environment.

Picture of a rubberized carbide snow plow blade

Carbide snow plow edges are a great way to increase wear life and decrease the time and effort that changing blades creates. The extended wear life of carbide does come at a higher price than a steel edge; but when ran properly the longer wear life and cost savings will be a financial advantage in the long run.

Ideal uses of carbide snow plow cutting edges:

  • Highway & interstate roads
  • Municipal/city streets
  • Private/commercial parking lots
  • Residential roads

Please feel free to reach out to DMC Wear Parts to discuss more about carbide snow plow edges and get a quote. There are many different styles to choose from, and as always, we want to provide Parts for Progress. Call (605) 840-8082 or send us a contact form to get more information.

View other Snow Plow Guides:

intro to: steel snow plow cutting edges

Snow Plow Cutting Edges – An Introduction to Steel

Snow plow blades edges come in many different sizes and varieties; sorting through them to find out what is best for your operation can be difficult.  This series of posts will serve as a beginner’s reference to better understand the different choices of snow plow blades; so you can choose the best blade to bring progress. First we take a look at steel snow plow blades. 

Steel snow plow cutting edges are widely used today.  Mainly because they were the first design and they are the cheapest option. Steel edges are used on the front, underbody, and wing of the snow plow. Steel snow plow cutting edges can be carbon steel (sometimes called butter blades) or heat treated steel.  Heat treated will offer considerably better wear life compared to carbon and is more than worth the extra cost per foot.  

Steel snow plow blades range from 3’ to 12’ pieces.  Shorter lengths are typically preferred to make changing easier.  The blade itself; is flat, non curved, with a  square edge.  However, underbody blades do require a beveled top edge, similar to a motor grader cutting edge.  Typical dimensions for a steel snow plow blade are 3/4” x 6” for front mount, 3/4 x 8” for wing, and 7/8×5” for an underbody with a hole pattern of 3”-3”-12”. While steel snow plow blades are the lowest cost per foot they also provide the lowest wear life.  When using steel edges in high usage operations; all costs associated with changing cutting edges should be greatly considered.  In our opinion steel snow plow blades are a cost effective plow option for low usage situations.  Better alternatives such as carbide snow plow blades and rubber encased JOMA Style Blades will be discussed in other posts. Take a look at our snow plow cutting edge options here:


View other Snow Plow Articles:

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