THE most significant changes in the manufacturers’ guidelines for snowplow mounting for the 2016 model year come from GM.
Ken Joye, GM’s UI liaison engineer, said the light-duty 1500 Series pickup models will receive a front-end exterior refresh, with most of the changes happening above the front bumper. The exterior refresh should have little to no effect on existing snowplow designs, but there are new front-frame enhancements that will affect the interface of snowplow permanently mounted hardware.
Front exterior and frame update drawings can be found in the GM UI Online Body Builder manual, and 3D math data can also be requested at www.gmupfitter.com. RPO VYU Snowplow Prep Package availability on the light-duty “K” Series (four-wheel drive) regular cab model offerings remains unchanged.
Joye said the 2500HD/3500HD pickup and cab chassis models’ chassis and exteriors are a carryover from 2015. RPO VYU Snowplow Prep Package availability on heavy duty “K” Series model offerings remains unchanged.
On the electrical side, both light- and heavy-duty C/Ks will receive new daytime running lamp software updates to the body control module to enhance snowplow upfit performance. In addition, some headlamp connectors may be changing also. For plow manufacturers with designs that interface with headlamp connectors, go to www.gmupfitter.com for more information.
For more information on snowplow usage with Chevrolet and GMC light- and heavy-duty “K” Series trucks, see GM Upfitter Integration’s online website Special Applications ”K” Series snowplow prep section.
Ram’s dedicated circuit
Chris Borczon, supervisor of the Ram commercial vehicle team, said the attachments to the frame are all the same in what is basically a carryover year, but Ram has added dedicated snowplow lighting circuits under the hood.
“One circuit turns the headlights off and has the capability to drive relays to fire all the other lighting circuits,” Borczon said. ”A lot of snowplow guys basically try to unplug our lights and put their lights in. Unless those lights are exactly the same as ours, you run the risk of generating faults. So this takes away that concern. This turns off our headlights, and now all the other circuits can actuate relays, which then in turn will turn on the snowplow lights.”
Ford’s Ken Tyburski, supervisor of product information for special vehicle engineering, said this is a carryover from last year for all models that are snowplow-capable.
“In the F-150, we introduced it as a plow package last year, and that plow package stayed the same in terms of content,” he said. “On the Super Duty, there’s nothing that’s really changed in terms of plow content or any of the ratings.”
The following 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.
Here are some requirements to keep in mind when working with this year’s light trucks:
• For F-150, minimum required equipment: Snowplow Outside Air Temperature (OAT) sensor relocation kit (DL3Z-14K073-A) must be installed (kit is available through Ford Parts and Service); 145” WB F-150 SuperCab, 4X4, 6.2L engine, XLT or Lariat trim (only), or 145” WB F-150 Super Crew, 4X4, 6.2L engine, XLT or Lariat trim (only), or 157” WB F-150 Super Crew, 4X4, 6.2L engine, XLT or Lariat trim (only).
Note: The F-150 snowplow installation is intended for personal use only. The Ford New Vehicle Limited Warranty applies to vehicles with snowplows installed in accordance with these guidelines. Consult your Ford dealer or the Owner Guide for any further questions.
Completed vehicle weight: Recommended plow assembly and aft-of-rear axle ballast weight limits are based upon a vehicle built with noted trim levels with no additional Ford option content, a total of 300 pounds for a driver plus one front-seat passenger (150 pounds each), ballast weight rearward of the rear axle, and additional assumptions for commercially available snowplow assembly weights and mounting location.
The vehicle must not be operated when overloaded. A vehicle is overloaded when the weight of the completed vehicle with aftermarket equipment installed, plus driver, passengers, and cargo, exceeds either the FGAWR, RGAWR, or GVWR established by Ford Motor Company and displayed on the Safety Compliance Certification Label.
The addition of ballast weight placed rearward of the rear axle is required to prevent exceeding FGAWR, and to provide good vehicle braking and handling. The ballast should be attached securely to the vehicle with consideration for the normal driving dynamics of snowplowing, and occupant safety in accidents.
For Ford completed vehicles of 10,000 GVWR or less, the weight of permanently attached aftermarket equipment must not exceed the Total Accessory Reserve Capacity (T.A.R.C.) displayed on the Safety Compliance Certification Label to maintain the compliance representation that came with the Ford-built vehicle. Exceeding T.A.R.C. will require re-certification.
This applies only to the permanently attached equipment, such as the snowplow frame mounting hardware, and not to the removable portion of the snowplow blade assembly.
Front End Wheel Alignment and Headlight Aim Front end wheel alignment (toe) and headlight aim may require readjustment after installation of snowplow equipment. Failure to reset front wheel alignment may cause premature uneven tire wear. If required, reset to chassis manufacturer’s specifications found in the Ford Shop Manual.
No direct current path should exist between Ford vehicle wiring and the installed load that is not filtered by the battery. These recommendations are intended to eliminate or minimize any induced reverse voltage into the Ford circuitry.
• For Super Duty F-250/350/450/550: Snowplow package includes: front spring/GAWR upgrade (refer to the Weight Ratings charts for specific spring/GAWR selection for each model); standard 157-amp alternator; optional 200-amp Extra Heavy Duty alternator available (6.2L gasoline); optional dual alternators, 357 amp (6.7L diesel).
Recommended equipment: all-terrain tires and roof clearance lights (optional with SRW Pickup models, required with F-350 DRW and F-450).
Standard equipment: front and rear stabilizer bar (rear standard on Chassis Cab and DRW pickup models); roof clearance lights (standard on Chassis Cab and required on Pickup models); steering damper; engine oil cooler, auxiliary automatic transmission oil cooler and maximum capacity engine coolant radiator are standard; all available axle ratios are acceptable; when snowplowing, operate automatic transmission with shift lever in Overdrive position.
GM recommends that when a snowplow is mounted on a vehicle, only one passenger should accompany the driver. More than one passenger may exceed front Gross Axle Weight Ratings.
• Establish vehicle curb weight.
• Establish chassis manufacturer’s front and rear axle weight ratings.
• Chevrolet and GMC truck dealers can provide availability, specifications, GVWR, and Front and Rear GAWR. For vehicles already built, this information can be found on the certification label installed on the driver’s door/frame or provided on the cover of the Incomplete Vehicle Document.
The following information should be obtained and provided by the manufacturers of snowplows and salt spreaders:
• Specifications, weights, and center of gravity data.
• Vehicle installation guidelines and instructions.
• Calculation of weight distribution for the front and rear axles.
The loaded vehicle with driver, passenger, aftermarket accessories, snowplows, spreader, and cargo must not exceed the GVWR, and Front and Rear GAWR.
In addition, the completed curb weight vehicle, with all installed aftermarket accessories, snowplow, and spreader, and with 400 pounds distributed in the driver-passenger area of the vehicle, must have a center of gravity that is located within the trapezoid formed by the coordinates A, B, C, D, H1 and H2, plus it must be to the rear of vertical line E and forward of vertical line F as defined in the Allowable Center of Gravity charts. If the center of gravity does not fall within the specified trapezoid, ballast weight may be required to shift the center of gravity until it falls within the specified trapezoid.
The snowplow manufacturer and the installer of the aftermarket equipment should determine the amount of rear ballast required to ensure that the vehicle, with the attached snowplow and aftermarket equipment, complies with the Allowable Center of Gravity Trapezoid and the resulting front and rear weight distribution ratio as defined in the Allowable Center of Gravity Charts published in the GM body builders manual.
The use of rear ballast weight may be required to prevent exceeding the GAWR of the front axle. The use of rear ballast weight may be required to ensure that the center of gravity location of the completed vehicle, with the attached snowplow and other installed equipment, complies with the Allowable Center of Gravity Trapezoid and the resulting front and rear weight distribution ratio, even though the actual front weight may be less than the GAWR of the front axle. In either case, the rear ballast weight should be securely attached in the cargo box or behind the rear axle of the vehicle in a manner that prevents it from moving during driving and stopping.
To help avoid personal injury, refer to Z-height setting procedure before adjusting torsion bars. If torsion bars are adjusted for aftermarket equipment, be sure to return them to specification when the equipment is removed. Otherwise, a front shock absorber may dislodge and damage a front brake line. This could result in an accident when minimum stopping distances are required.
The loaded vehicle, including all aftermarket accessories, the snowplow system, passengers, and cargo, must not exceed the gross vehicle weight (GVW), front or rear gross axle weight (GAW) ratings specified on the Safety Compliance Certification label located in the driver’s side door opening.
The empty truck with all permanently attached accessories and snowplow components must not exceed 62% of its total weight on the front axle to comply with FMVSS/CMVSR 105 Brake Certification. Permanently attached snowplow parts are those parts not easily removed when the blade is removed. The permanently attached parts are: subframe, hydraulic pump, hydraulic lift cylinder, lamps, wiring, snowplow controls, etc. If the front axle loading exceeds either 62% of the empty truck total weight, or the front GAWR, ballast compensating weight must be securely attached at the rear of the truck to bring front axle weight within weight specifications.
Notes for heavy-duty snowplows:
• At any time, the maximum number of occupants in the truck must not exceed two.
• Under any circumstances, vehicles should not exceed GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating), front or rear GAWRs (Gross Axle Weight Ratings).
• Snowplow prep packages are not available with Sport (AAG) package.
• Cargo capacity will be reduced by the addition of options.
• Ballast should be securely attached inside the box at 9” from the rear tailgate for pickups.
• The total weight of permanently attached hardware should not exceed 125 lbs.
• Max snowplow weight should not exceed values for models shown in this section. ♦
GM includes a 15-mm hole in the frame rails for snowplow mounting. The manufacturer cautions against using OEM steering gear, suspension and powertrain component mounting holes. Allow at least 10 mm clearance to stationary OEM components such as bumper assemblies and 20 mm minimum clearance to OEM moving components such as suspensions and steering gear.