MANUFACTURERS haven't changed many of their guidelines for snowplow mounting this year. But there hasn't been much need. Professional snow and ice equipment distributors are aware of the dangers of attaching poorly-matched equipment.
Distributors, as well as the chassis manufacturers, have become more aware of possible mounting problem areas. Ford's revelation this past year that sometimes two people do ride in the cab of the truck during plowing operations was certainly a step in the right direction. GM's equally astute move to include a transmission cooler and the complete forward lamp harness, 10-amp power feed, and premounted roof beacon harness with an instrument panel switch for the VYU package illustrates that chassis manufacturers are listening to the demands of the equipment installers.
The biggest model news concerning the installation of snowplows would be Ford's inclusion of specific instructions for the F-450 and -550, 4X4 models. The inclusion of mounting recommendations for these two Super-Duty models is simply an outgrowth of the Ford QVM program, and Ford's desire to provide an accurate and stipulated position concerning the F-450/550, 4X4 models.
Ford also has included the popular 141.8-inch wheel base, F-350, 4X4 Super Cab equipped with the 7.3V8 Powerstroke Diesel, as an approved model to receive the 86M Option Code.
Snowplow manufacturers and distributors should familiarize themselves with the selected option codes and installation recommendations that chassis manufacturers are specifying. This information is provided as a general guide and should not be used as a definitive reference. Refer to the manufacturer's upfitter/body builder book for specific reference.
For snowplow applications, Dodge Truck Engineering (DTE) recommends that the maximum number of occupants in the truck cab should not exceed two. DTE additionally advises that installers should complete a complete front and rear vehicle weight analysis to insure that the stipulated capacities haven't been exceeded. In some circumstances, ballast should be applied inside the box eight inches from the rear tailgate. Please review DTE Bulletin 02BR052101 dated May 21, 2001 for further information.
The General Motors Upfitter Integration Group recommends that the truck carry the Snow Plow Prep Package code VYU before front snowplows are attached.
The new 2001 Chevrolet/GMC K15703, K15903, K25753, K25743, K25903, K25943, K25953, K35903, K35953, and K35943 K-series pickups can be used with the VYU option. Chassis cab models K36003, K36053, K36403, and K36453 can also be ordered with the VYU option. Additionally, GM has included the VYU option for the popular K25906 utility vehicle. The VYU includes, where applicable:
Increased front spring and possibly torsion bar rate (F60)
External engine oil cooler for LQ4 (KC4)
130 Amp Generator (KG8)
Provision for roof mounted emergency light (TRW)
High air flow front bumper impact strip (VG3)
LT247/75R 16E HWY/OOR tires @60 psi (Required)
Limited slip Positraction rear axle (G80)
42mm Hole FOD with rubber grommet
Forward lamp harness with in-line connector
Mounting location for snowplow controls
The 4X4, Ford F-150 regular cab and Supercab models are available for snowplow applications, along with the 4X4 Super Duty F-Series. Ford does not recommend snowplow installation on the Ranger, Explorer, Expedition, or Excursion models.
Option Code 627 should be specified for the 4 X 4, F-150 model to provide the 7,700-lb “Payload Group” recommended for snowplow applications.
For the Super Duty F-250 thru F-550, the Option Code 86M offers a snowplow package that provides the upfitter/body builder with the necessary installation options for snowplow attachments. The package includes front and rear stabilizer bars, roof clearance lights, both engine and oil coolers, and the largest cooling-capacity radiator available. The 86M option will allow for all of the available rear-axle ratios to be accepted when ordering units electronically.
Ford's QVM program guidelines do advise upfitters about improper electrical connections to the OEM supplied wiring harness.
Ford recommends strict adherence to the QVM practices for installing front snowplows to vehicles that have been equipped with front BlockerBeams. Ford cautions that removing the BlockerBeam without installing snowplow attachment hardware may affect air bag deployment in a crash situation.