Snow Plow Warning Signs and How to Handle Them

Here's how to know when your snowplow needs some attention!

Mother Nature doesn’t wait for anybody before she dumps drifts of dangerous snow onto an area. The weather doesn’t have the manners to ensure that you and your plow are ready to get to work before blowing a winter storm through, and that means that you have to stay on top of your game and be prepared at all times! Even the most foresighted people, however, can still get caught off-guard by an unexpected malfunction, or a warning sign of damage. If you’re surprised on a snowy morning by one of these problems, it doesn’t have to spell disaster for the day. Here’s how to handle them!

Blade Won’t Raise or Lower

When the blade of your snow plow is refusing to move when you try to raise or lower it, it can be a sign of damage to your hose. Your first step should be to check it for wear and tear, holes, or leaks. If checking the hose doesn’t turn up any problems, shift gears to the solenoid valve and pump. Cleaning the valve and checking the pump pressure can often resolve this problem.

Plow Won’t Raise or Lower

If the plow itself isn’t lifting and lowering as it should, whether it’s moving jerkily, slowly, or not moving at all, it is likely a warning sign of problems in your electrical system. Check your wiring for frayed or damaged components, loose connections, rust or corrosion, or other electrical problems. If that all seems fine, your hydraulic fluid levels and pump pressure might be to blame.

Blade Angles Too Easily While Plowing

If you’re in the process of plowing and find that your blade is angling too easily, as if it has little or no resistance to the weight of the snow, it’s probably a problem with your pressure relief valve. A blade that angles too easily indicates a valve that has its pressure set too low. Adjusting it should solve this problem.

Pump Chatters When Moving Plow

No one wants to hear an unfamiliar sound coming from any part of their truck, plow, or other equipment– it’s almost always a sure sign that something is amiss. In this case, however, it’s a relatively easy fix. A chattering sound when you try to move the plow up or down typically indicates that the hydraulic fluid is low and needs topping off. Doing so should allow things to move smoothly and quietly again!

Plow Leaves Snow in Low Areas

If you’re finding that the plow is not adequately cleaning the snow from low areas while you’re plowing, the problem might be that your up/down switch is not in the neutral position. Place the switch at the Float position instead, and this should allow the plow to work properly and clear up all of the snow.

Some of these problems are quick and easy to fix, even when you’re out in the middle of a job. Some of them, however, require a little bit more effort, and might even be difficult for you to do on your own. In these cases, you need the help of qualified truck and machine experts like the ones at Levan Machine and Truck Equipment! Seeing us at the beginning of the season for a check-in on your snow plows can help to avoid many of these malfunctions from happening, so contact us today to set up your visit.