Mid-Season Snow Plow Inspection & Maintenance Checklist

Winter weather can be tough on your snow plow.  Prevent costly breakdowns by performing mid-season plow maintenance. FISHER® recommends the following maintenance checks to ensure all the essentials are fine tuned to keep your fleet running at peak performance.

Inspect Cutting Edge Wear

You should continuously inspect your plows cutting edge for excessive wear and tear during the season. FISHER recommends replacing the cutting edge if it’s less than 4 inches or has any significant chips or uneven wear patterns. Once you get close to the base angle that protects the blade of your plow, you know it’s time for a cutting edge replacement.

Tighten the Plow Bolts & Springs

To avoid moldboard damage, all mounting bolts should be inspected and tightened after your first plow of the season. Do this regularly throughout the season, especially after heavy winter storms. The trip springs also need to be inspected for rust and replaced as needed. Tighten anything loose to prevent your plow from falling unexpectedly. Check your Owner’s Manual for FISHER specifications.

It’s best to lubricate all moving components with FREEZE GUARD™ Grease. This protects all bearings, hinges, and pivot bolts on snow and ice control equipment from corrosion, even in arctic conditions.

Check Mounting Points, Fasteners & Electrical Connections

Look at mounting points to make sure nothing is cracked, chipped or damaged and that fasteners are still secure. Battery terminals and electrical connections should be checked regularly to ensure that they’re tight, clean, and free of corrosion.  Dielectric grease will help prevent corrosion if applied to all electrical connections each month during winter. Double check all wiring to make sure nothing is loose.

Keeping your vehicle’s battery, alternator, and regulator in top condition is essential to maintaining the maximum electrical output for your vehicle.

Inspect Your Plow Headlights & Make Sure They Are Aimed Properly

LED and halogen plow headlamps need to be working at full potential and aligned well for your safety as well as the safety of others on the road. Look for dim or burned-out bulbs and replace them if necessary. By parking the vehicle on a level surface and marking the centerlines of the vehicle and plow lights you can align the headlamps to have proper illumination.  

Repaint Exposed Metal to Reduce Rust

Metal oxidizes when it’s in contact with water, causing it to rust. Since salt is popular in the snow and ice industry, winter cleanup applications increase the oxidation process. Powder coating is a barrier to salty water. Nicks or scratches in the powder coating will expose metal to quicker rusting. Make repairs or touch up the paint quickly to avoid further damage.

Proper Vehicle Maintenance is Also Crucial to Performance

Whether you’re using a truck, UTV, skid-steer or other vehicle to conduct snow removal, you won’t get very far without it. Make sure your plow vehicle receives annual maintenance, especially before the season starts. It’s important to regularly check the engine oil, transmission, and brakes to ensure they are reliable. Keep an eye on the tire pressure, which can diminish in cold weather and create a safety concern because of the reduced steering and braking ability.

Keep an Emergency Parts Kit & Hydraulic Fluid on Hand

FISHER offers an emergency kit full of essential items to keep you prepared during a busy plowing season. Hydraulic fluid is necessary for maintaining your plow and will be needed throughout the season. Refer to FISHER specification recommendations when filling the reservoir to the indicated mark. If you notice low fluid levels, check for leaks in the hydraulic system. Check hoses, rams and couplers for cuts, leaks or rust.

Preventative mid-season maintenance can help to avoid surprise breakdowns. Connect with your local dealer to find out if they are open in snow emergencies to help with unexpected situations.