5 Points to Consider Before Adding a Box Plow to Your Winter Fleet

points to consider when adding a box plow to your fleet

The most efficient and productive commercial snowplow around is the box plow (also known as a pusher plow or containment plow). If you’re trying to move a large amount of snow in record time, this equipment is made for the job. Ideal for airports, manufacturing facilities, large warehouses, big retail centers, and distribution facilities with large open lots and minimal obstacles.

When deciding if a pusher plow is the best candidate for your snow and ice control fleet, here’s a few things to consider:

#1) You May Already Have the Perfect Vehicle …or Can Lease It

Box plows are designed for use on skid-steers, wheel loaders, and tractors. Keep in mind that in most cases, the machine is left onsite because of inefficiencies with loading equipment and taking it from one site to the next.

  • Owning: If you already have one of these heavy-duty machines due to landscaping or construction, adding a pusher plow attachment to increase winter business is a no brainer. Owning this equipment can be a smart business purchase if you can put it to use all year long and profit from it.
  • Leasing/Renting: It’s no secret that loaders and tractors are expensive. Leasing and renting allow you to increase your equipment fleet without the long-term commitment of purchasing. This model also allows businesses to better manage cash flow and monthly payments.

Consider how many properties can utilize the machine to determine if leasing or owning is the smarter business decision. At some point, you may realize that having a mix is best—own enough machines to keep up with your loyal customer base and then lease equipment as you grow. The flexibility to add and remove capacity as needed throughout the seasons can be extremely helpful to your bottom line.

#2) Choose The Right Box Plow for the Job

If you’re looking to purchase a containment plow, not only do you have to consider the property type you’re plowing but also the vehicle being used. Not all box plows are created equal. You'll want to choose one that’s designed for durability and overall scraping performance like the FISHER® STORM BOXX™ pusher plows. They are made in a variety of sizes with interchangeable attachment plates to fit various machines and applications.

interchangeable pusher attachment plates

 

FISHER STORM BOXX Horsepower Compatibility
When finding the correct size box plow for your skid-steer, wheel loader, backhoe, or tractor, it’s a little different from finding the right fit for a truck. Instead of focusing on the weight compatibility between the truck and plow, it’s more about brute force and making sure the machine has enough horsepower to move the weight of the snow.

TIP: The weight of thick, wet snow is heavier than the light, fluffy kind. If you find yourself unable to move, back up and take a pass with less snow.

 

8’ 10’ 12’ 14’ 16’
Skid-Steer 45+ hp 60+ hp N/A N/A N/A
Wheel Loader / Backhoe 60+ hp 60+ hp 70+ hp 85+ hp 100+ hp
Tractor 40+ hp 50+ hp 70+ hp 85+ hp 100+ hp

 

Chain Kits for Loader Buckets

For safety and stability, a chain kit (or sometimes known as a binder kit) is highly recommended when plowing with the bucket still attached to the loader. The chain kit secures each side of the plow to the bucket, so it moves in sync. This can keep the plow from torqueing off when encountering an obstacle or pushing snow into a pile and backing up.

#3) Have a Utility Infielder For Entryways & Tight Spaces

Pusher plows are massive and can be hard to maneuver in tight spaces. The best approach to remove snow from entryways or tight areas when using a containment plow is to also have an onsite assist with a truck plow and spreader. The truck comes through and back drags the snow away from doorways and hard to reach spots, taking care of the “cleanup” needed that a box plow can have difficulty performing. V-plows are commonly used for this because they are more diverse than a straight blade. Having a utility infielder is also great for de-icing services when you need to spread sand or salt.

Back Dragging With a Pusher Plow
While typical back dragging techniques are more common with straight blades, winged plows, and V-blades—it’s still possible to back drag with a box plow. The 8’ and 10’ STORM BOXX models offer a back drag edge kit that can pull snow away from loading docks. Tilt the box plow all the way forward onto a pile of snow and drag it backward a very short distance (just enough to be able to drive forward into the pile and push it to the side).

#4) Containment Plows are Built to Last

A pusher plow doesn’t typically die of old age—but can be greatly worn down by misuse. When considering the cost of ownership, you may pay more up front than other plow types but it’s built to withstand harsh winters. Box plows usually last longer because they are simple, yet durable and have minimal moving parts. They are designed to carry a large amount of snow and robust enough to hit ice piles when stacking.

#5) Learning the Technique

The learning curve is usually about getting used to the machine itself, not necessarily plowing. There are no stringent licensing requirement that drivers need to qualify for since these machines aren’t driven on roads. If you’re new to driving a skid-steer, wheel loader, or tractor, take the time to test drive the machine before you start plowing commercial properties with it—being comfortable takes practice.

Move more snow, more quickly with a box plow. Contact your local FISHER dealer for more information on STORM BOXX pricing and availability.

 

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