Plowing Snow With Your Pickup Truck

Basic knowledge is the key. Let’s start with the blade of your plow. You can choose from straight or a V-shape blade. V-shapes are often used more in heavy duty commercial plowing, while basic snowplowing only requires the common straight blade. V-blades feature a pivot point in the center that directs the snow. Extendable blades can be ordered from the factory or you can get wing accessories and create the extensions. The finish may be in a painted or stainless steel option.
The design of the plow blade will either be made of polyethylene, which is often called Poly, which is lighter than steel. However, a steel blades’ greater weight helps with the downward force providing better movement of snow. For times when you might run into unseen objects while plowing snow, most plows allow for that with full trip or edge tip pivoting mechanism to keep from feeling like you crashed into a house. Plow blades range in size from 6 ½ feet to ten feet wide, and can weigh anywhere from 200-1000 lbs. The weight of your blade will dictate which type of set up is best suited for your pickup truck.

The best thing ever manufacturers ever invented for a snow-plowing truck was the quick mount and release system. Most commonly, plows are attached to the truck via brackets or a 2 inch hitch receiver. Unlike my father’s generation who had the difficult task of super heavy blades before and after each snowstorm, or be forced to leave them on their trucks between storms. Our newer technology allows for much less physical stress and quick removal or hooking up of the blade. Once you are ready to plow, you manipulate the plow blade from inside the truck cab with controllers that help you move the blade up, down or side-to-side. Handheld units and joysticks are used by some drivers, the difference being joysticks are usually mounted to the dashboard and handheld can be moved and stored when not in use.

Just like other decisions that are necessary before you purchase your model truck, if you decide you want to do snowplowing, it is best to decide that at the time you purchase your pickup. There is much to consider, such as the price of the plow and its installation, plus any needed accessories or parts your truck would need to accommodate your chosen plow. Pickups are often available with plowing prep packages that give you a stiffer front end suspension and oil transmission coolers which most trucks don’t come with as standard equipment. There is most likely a $3000-3500 price difference in a plow setup that will be used for just your driveway and a few others, as opposed to a heavier duty commercial package. Be aware that periodic maintenance will be involved in keeping your blade and truck equipment since your pickup will have added stress on the chassis, power train and drive train.

In choosing just the plow itself, your local dealer can assist you with options for your truck based on the gross axle weight rating as well as other criteria, the type of mounting hardware you need and any special equipment. Once you’ve selected a plow, you will have to consider what accessories you have on your wish list, such as rear-mounted salters and deicing spreaders, an overhead light bar, rear flood lights and bed-mounted ballast options. You may also want to consider blade guides and possibly a snow deflector. If you are really going into this venture strongly, you might be interested in Fisher’s premium XLS blade, which has two adjustable wings on both right and left edges that can quickly become a 9 foot scoop or fully extended into a 10 foot straight blade which pivots right or left to push snow to the side of your truck instead of in front. Some other reputable brands include Meyer, Western and Snow-Way.

Absolutely there is an initial large expense involved in setting up a snow plow, but in the long term if you are making money plowing snow, you can easily recoup the layout of your investment. The days of making snow angels and snow men may be behind you, but plowing offers a whole new way to play in the snow and reap some cash while you are at it, so give it a shot if you feel adventurous. Most truck owners I know either love it or want no part of it.

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Scania Trucks Heritage and Its Time-Proven Solutions

Success is not a matter of chance. This is the result of ups and downs, risks and earnings. Behind every success story, there is valuable heritage, which is worth commemorating.

How Scania was born

The company has been recently especially energetic, as it is celebrating 125 years of working in the trucking industry. The story begins in connection with a privately owned wagon-building company, established in 1891 in Södertälje (30 km southwest of Stockholm) under the name VABIS (Vagnfabriks Aktiebolaget i Södertälje). It was specializing in manufacturing railway carriages, cars and trucks. Meanwhile, the English bicycle manufacturer Humber & Co opened a subsidiary in Malmö (southern Sweden). Four years later this company’s business was taken over by a just-formed enterprise, known as Maskinfabriksaktiebolaget Scania. The brand title ‘Scania’ was taken from the ancient Latin name of Sweden’s southernmost province. And the brand trademark – the griffin – was borrowed from the coat of arms of the region. As we see, the company’s creators took care of their heritage right from the start.

Soon, the newly founded Scania decided to broaden its manufacturing operations and started to produce rubber machines, vacuum cleaning units, precision gearwheels, but most importantly – trucks and cars. The turning point for the company happened in 1911 when it merged with VABIS. The new enterprise became known as AB Scania-Vabis.

As regards vehicle production, the quality of the manufactured engines is one of the main factors, crucial for business success. Scania boasts great experience in this field. From the brand’s very first 24 hp 4-cylinder power unit to the present-day benchmark – 8-cylinder, 16-litre V8 – Scania’s industrial engines have played a significant role in powering boats, trucks and busses all over the world.

How Scania was in charge of time

Heritage is what we have when time goes by. As a rule, those, who value time and use it thoroughly, take advantage of the later results. But Scania even moved beyond these limits. The company’s enthusiasts dared to challenge time itself and came up trumps.

In order to demonstrate the unique abilities of the latest truck generation, Scania decided to organize an enormous clock moved by trucks. Thus, the creators wanted to emphasize their commitment to the value of time with regard to long haulage transportation, and the corresponding promise, given to the brand’s customers.

The demonstration took place at a large deserted airfield under 40 degrees heat. About 250 project participants created a fully functional clock built of 14 Scania big rigs and made them keep track of every hour, every minute and every second within the whole day. The challenge became possible thanks to highly experienced and specially prepared 90 drivers (who had to change their shifts actually on the fly to ensure the unstoppable pace of the trucks, operating as the clock hands) and the Scania Fleet Care operators (who watched and supervised the scene from the tower nearby).

So, this is the case, when the word ‘time-proven’ is not just a smart word but a true fact of the matter.

Why Scania is back to the top

The main heroes of the successful experiment with time – the latest generation Scania S-series trucks – continued the tradition (set by the brand’s previous truck generations) of winning the ‘International Truck of the Year’ awards. This year’s title became the 5th in Scania’s gold collection, following the victories gained by Scania R-series in 2010, Scania R-series in 2005, Scania 4-series in 1996 and Scania 3-series in 1989.

No doubt that such a triumph of the launched S-series is the result of over a century of hard work in the industry. These trucks were designed with respect to long-distance orientation, where driving profitability is the key. Indeed, if to trace the main truck solutions, it becomes clear that the prime concern of the designers was to raise the stake in long-haulage driver comfort. That’s why the cab offers luxurious and spacious living, provided by a flat floor, exceptionally convenient storage facilities and an extended panoramic view from the driver position. Other advances were developed for optimized operating economy. Due to the modernized injectors and combustion chambers as well as the new rear axle ratio, the latest Scania’s engines are 3% more efficient in relation to engine speed and fuel consumption.

However, it goes without saying that the present-day automotive industry is not only about manufacturing state-of-the-art vehicles, it’s also about offering high-quality service solutions. As for Scania, it provides comprehensive advice relevant to financing and flexible maintenance planning.

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Keep Your Truck Perking In Cold Weather

The average auto battery lasts 3-5 years depending on usage and your driving habits. If you know how to check the battery and replace spark plugs, do it before deep winter sets in. Check your cables for any loose fittings. You can do this with the engine off, and observe whether the cables slip free from the nodes. Don’t yank on them, but use more of a gentle firm tug. You can tighten the nuts easily as needed while you are at it to prevent loss of battery power when you need it the most. If you aren’t familiar or comfortable in these procedures, you will thank yourself for taking your truck to a mechanic when you have some time, rather than in an emergency situation when it’s below freezing weather.

Our hands and feet get dried dead skin with winter air, so check for signs of corrosion which is like white powder around the battery nodes or clamps. If getting a new battery isn’t practical right when you see this, you can clean these parts with a toothbrush using baking soda and water that you make a paste out of for this task. Simply loosen those cables, clean the nodes and clamps with the paste that you made, and then dry them and retighten everything back the way it was.

It’s pretty important to check your oil. If you are due for a change, try refilling it with 5W twenty or thirty instead for the winter months. Lower viscosity oil has less fluid in it which is better for cold temperatures. Visibility is crucial if you are driving in a winter storm. If you current blades are so-so at clearing the snowfall, they won’t be adequate for freezing rain or sleet. Blades designed for winter do a better job for removing moisture before it freezes. You may pay a couple of bucks more, but you will find it worthwhile.

Did you know that a temperature change of just 10 degrees can cause a 10 percent reduction resulting in constriction of air. Air pressure can virtually chance from day to night depending on temperatures. Double check the optimal tire pressure for your specific truck on the label inside your driver’s door frame or in your owner’s manual. Never rely on the PSI on your actual tire. That number is the maximum air your tire can hold, not for the specific load of your truck.

Mechanics differ on some subjects such as adding a can of fuel line antifreeze to the gas tank to prevent water accumulation from the fuel lines. I recommend this preventative measure especially for trucks that are not garaged. Key word here is preventative, which would make it most likely a benefit if it is done BEFORE freezing temps. Keep your headlights clear and clean. Toothpaste can be brushed on gently to clean them. I’ve tried it and it works great. Other useful tips include always keeping your gas tank half full in winter weather. It can help prevent a fuel line freeze also, and if you hit a storm and got stranded, you would benefit from being able to keep the truck on with heat for a longer period. Good preventatives for preventing lock freezes include keeping the door gaskets lubricated with silicone. I’ve had some mechanics recommend a product called Tri-Flow, but I have not personally tested this one. Some truck owners swear by WD-40 sprayed into the locks, but it can gum up your tumblers. Safest bet is to buy a deicer and keep it handy throughout the winter months.

Extreme cold will turn your truck fluids into molasses slowing the internal workings of the moving parts. You can minimize those effects by letting your truck warm up slowly and avoid turning your steering wheel until the power steering fluids have warmed to avoid hose leakage. Put fresh grease into all the fittings of your pickup. Are you aware if your truck has unit bearings? They need to be inspected to make sure they have give and no squeaks. If you are not sure if your truck has unit bearings, all 4 x 4 GM trucks with independent front suspension, all Ford Super Duty trucks and all Dodges 1994 and newer have unit bearings. And finally, check your U joints and tie rods to make sure they have some give and take. Knowledge is power, so now you and your truck have it.

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