FROM the perspective of those who mount snowplows on light-duty trucks, the 2003 model year will look a lot like the 2002 model year.
Ford, for example, has made only minor changes to its truck lineup this year, none of which will affect the trucks on which snowplows can be installed. The changes include a new engine and transmission, but the weight differential is insufficient to force Ford to redraw its snowplow guidelines.
Here is a list of the 2003 light-duty models on which a truck equipment distributor may install a snowplow and still retain the OEM certification for compliance with federal motor vehicle safety standards. This list is for quick reference only. For a comprehensive list of the specific guidelines for each model, refer to the body builders book published by the truck manufacturer.
For Chevrolet and GMC models: only the C/K, utility, and chassis cab models are eligible. Regular-cab vehicles include the K15703, K15903, and the K35903. Extended cab models available for snowplow use are the K25753, K25753HD, K25953, and the K35953. Snowplows can be mounted on the K25743, K25943, and the K35943 crew cab models.
Eligible models should be ordered with the VYU snowplow prep package. This package includes, where applicable, the upgrade front torsion bar, external engine oil cooler, 145-amp generator, a provision for roof-mounted emergency lights, air-to-oil automatic transmission cooler, forward lamp harness with inline connector, and mounting location for snowplow controls.
For Dodge Ram models, Dodge Truck Engineering says the following four-wheel-drive trucks may be equipped for snowplow use: the 2500 and 3500 regular cab (140.5" wheelbase), the 2500 Quad Cab (140.5" and 160.5" wheelbase), and the 3500 Quad Cab with 160.5" wheelbase. Dodge specifies that no more than two people should occupy trucks equipped with snowplows. In addition, ballast should be applied inside the box nine inches from the rear tailgate when mounting snowplows on pickups. However, this or any other weight must not exceed the GVWR and the front and rear GAWRs.
Snowplow prep packages are not available with Sport (AAG) and off-road (AWL) packages.
Ford Motor Company will permit snowplows on vehicles as light as the F-150 as well as on the Super Duty F-Series. Eligible F-150 models include regular and Super Cab trucks with 138.8" wheelbase and GVWR of 7,700 pounds. The conditions: permanently attached hardware must not exceed 50 pounds, and the removable snowplow hardware cannot weigh more than 650 pounds, factoring in the weight of the driver and one passenger in the front seat (150 pounds each).
A variety of four-wheel-drive Super Duty models can be used in snowplow applications. They include the 137" wheelbase regular cab F-250 and F-350, and F-350 through F-550 regular cab models with 140.8" to 200.8" wheelbases. Eligible Super Cab models include the 141.8" and 158" wheelbase F-250 and F-350 (161.8" wheelbase included, too, for F-350 models). Snowplows may be mounted on these crew cab models: the F-250 and F-350 with 156.2" and 172.4" wheelbases; and the F-350, F-450, and F-550 models (wheelbases of 161", 176.2", and 200.2").