Trailerbodybuilders 851 Snowguide

Changes in snowplow-mounting guidelines for 2015

Sept. 1, 2014
THE most significant changes in the manufacturers’ guidelines for snowplow mounting for the 2015 model year come from Ford.

THE most significant changes in the manufacturers’ guidelines for snowplow mounting for the 2015 model year come from Ford.

Ford’s Ken Tyburski, supervisor of product information for special vehicle engineering, said the 2014 F150 has no orderable snowplow prep package and is only capable on the 6.2L engine-equipped units, but the 2015 MY F150 snowplow prep option package is available with 5.0L engine only and 4x4 only.

It is also available on regular, SuperCab and SuperCrew models (5.5’, 6.5’, and 8.0’ boxes), with XL, XLT, and Lariat Trim, and both regular and heavy-duty payload packages.

It requires the addition of an outside air temperature relocation wiring kit (available from Ford Customer Service Division at Ford dealers) to insure proper readings when equipped with plows (this is also required on current 2014 MY F150s). It’s recommended on personal use/residential applications only.

Ford Chassis Cab Axle Limits for 2015

Tyburski said the snowplow mode button on the instrument panel will disable (load shed) the following features to maintain required electrical-charge margins during plow operation/use: 110V inverter, fog lamps, heated steering wheel, heated front/rear seats, and massaging seats. The snowplow mode button also activates the relay to the snowplow controls.

Ken Joye, GM’s UI liaison engineer, said the light-duty 1500 Series pickup models are a carryover from their 2014 introduction and the RPO VYU “Snowplow Prep Package” availability on LD ”K” Series (four-wheel drive) regular cab model offerings remains unchanged.

But the heavy-duty 2500/3500 pickup and cab chassis models like the 2014 LD had a significant makeover and now offer double cab along with regular cab and crew cab models. Everything from interior and exterior styling to ergonomics and performance have been re-engineered.

RPO VYU “Snow Plow Prep Package” availability on HD ”K” Series model offerings remains unchanged. New charging feature changes include dual 220 amp alternator standard with the VYU package on both gas and diesel. Snowplow manufacturers have been busy working with GM Upfitter Integration preparing their offerings for the new Chevrolet & GMC HD front-end designs. The new front-end sheet metal/bumper may affect plow-mount hardware designs. Although the chassis front frame rails are a carryover, the HD “K” Series Snowplow Package (VYU) includes specific front shocks and torsion bars to meet front GVWR specifications.

Ford Axle Limits F250-F450 for 2015

For more information on snowplow usage with Chevrolet & GMC Light & Heavy Duty ”K” Series trucks, see GM Upfitter Integration’s online website Special Applications ”K” Series Snowplow Prep section. (

Ram’s Chris Borczon said this is a carryover year and there are no changes that would affect snowplow mounting.

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.

Ford 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: Snowplow not recommended for Raptor. For additional information, see SVE Bulletin Q-214 on the BBAS website at under the “Bulletins” tab.

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 lbs for a driver plus one front-seat passenger (150 lbs each), ballast weight rearward of the rear axle, and additional assumptions for commercially available snowplow assembly weights and mounting location.

Ford F150 Weight Guidelines for 2015

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.

Installation of any inductive load devices such as electric motors, or electric clutches for clutch pumps, must not be connected to Ford vehicle wiring or fuse panels. Power for such devices should be taken directly from the battery or starter motor relay power terminal. Control of these devices should be achieved via relays.

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.

General Motors

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.

Prior to installing a front-mounted snowplow, the following process should be followed and necessary information obtained:

  • 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.

GM 2015 LD and HD Pickup Snowplow Applications and Maximum Plow Weights

In addition, the completed curb weight vehicle, with all installed aftermarket accessories, snowplow, and spreader, and with 400 lbs 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 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.

Ram Trucks

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. ♦