Trailerbodybuilders 1176 Mounting Guidlines

2014 changes in snowplow-mounting guidelines

Sept. 1, 2013
Re-engineering of General Motors 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra precipitates most noteworthy changes for plow upfitters

THE most significant changes in the manufacturers’ guidelines for snowplow mounting for the 2014 model year come from General Motors.

GM’s Ken Joye said the 2014 C/K Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra light-duty 1500 series pickup has been re-engineered. The snowplow prep package is still offered on the 4WD regular cab 6.5’ and 8’ box (K15703 and K15903) models.

Snowplow manufacturers have been busy working with GM Upfitter Integration, preparing their offerings to fit the new Chevrolet and GMC front-end designs, he said.  

Select standard features include: frontal and side-impact air bags with Passenger Sensing System; driver and front-passenger head curtain side-impact air bags, front and rear outboard seating positions with Passenger Sensing System; daytime running lamps and automatic lamp control; StabiliTrak stability control system; and Tire Pressure Monitoring System.

Engine availability: 4.3L V6 EcoTec3 with active fuel management, direct injection, and variable valve timing, with FlexFuel capability, capable of running on unleaded or up to 85% ethanol; 5.3L V8 EcoTec3 with active fuel management, direct injection, and variable valve timing, with FlexFuel capability, capable of running on unleaded or up to 85% ethanol; and 6.2L V8 EcoTec3 with active fuel management, direct injection, and variable valve timing.

Select optional features: power-adjustable pedals; power rear sliding window with rear defogger; dual-zone automatic climate control; autotrac 4WD; automatic locking rear differential; trailering packages; aluminum wheels; remote vehicle starter system; rear-vision camera system; EZ-lift and lower tailgate package; ultrasonic rear parking assist; four upfitter switches (fleet only); underbody shield package; and snowplow prep package (regular cab).

The heavy-duty 2500, 3500 pickup and cab chassis models are carryover. The snowplow prep offerings for HD are unchanged.

Ford’s Ken Tyburski, supervisor of product information for special vehicle engineering, said there are no major changes on Super Duty or the F-150 for this model year, but the F-Series chassis cab capability of plow capacity has changed, with an increased capacity of 50 to 100 pounds—all on the diesel engine.

Models affected include:

• F-350 SRW S/C 161.8” wheelbase, 60” CA (900 pounds from 850).

• F-350 DRW 14K GVWR, CC 176.2”, 60” (700 from 650).

• F-450 DRW 16.5K GVWR, S/C 161.8”, 60” (1350 from 1250).

• F-450 DRW 16.5K GVWR S/C 185.8”, 84” (1350 from 1250).

• F-550 DRW 18 K, R/C  188.8”, 108” (1350 from 1300).

• F-550 DRW 18K , S/C 161.8”, 60” (1300 from 1250).

• F-550 DRW 18K, S/C 185.8”, 84” (1250 from 1200).

• F-550 DRW 18K, CC  176.2”, 60” (1250 from 1200).

• F-550 DRW 19.5K, R/C 188.8”, 108” (1350 from 1300).

• F-550 DRW 19.5K, R/C 200.8”, 120” (1350 from 1250).

• F-550 DRW 19.5K, S/C 185.8”, 84” (1250 from 1200).

Ram’s Chris Borczon said this is essentially a carryover year with respect to the front of vehicle.

“However, the major change is that we now have a gasoline engine in multiple trucks,” he said. “We had the 5.7 and now we have the 6.4, which goes from 2500 all way up to 5500. Because of that, there are changes to the 4500/5500 chassis cab front frame—specifically the engine crossmember. The 3500 pickup truck front suspension that was new for 2013 is a three-link suspension. That suspension is now on 2500 and 3500 pickups and 3500 chassis cab models.

“It may or may not affect mounting because in going from a four-link to a three-link suspension, essentially the whole front end of the truck changes. The frame had to be modified to accommodate the suspension and steering changes. Little things were moved here and there that may or may not cause an issue with snowplows. We’re working with snowplow manufacturers to dial everything in.”

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.

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.

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

Ford Trucks

Minimum recommended equipment for the F-150: regular cab 4x4, 144.5” wheelbase, 8’ pickup box; or SuperCab 4x4, 163” wheelbase, 8’ pickup box.

Snowplow prep package (option code 63A) includes FGAWR upgrade to 4300 lb (4300 lb spring rating).

Heavy Duty Payload package (option code 627) includes: 8200-lb GVWR; 4050-lb FGAWR (4050-lb spring rating); 4800-lb RGAWR (4900-lb spring rating); rear axle capacity upgrade to 5300 lb and 10.5” diameter ring gear 4.10 ratio, limited-slip not included but available; 17”x7.5” J 7-lug steel wheels; LT245/70Rx17D BSW all-season tires (5); 5.4L, 3-valve V8 engine, 4R75E automatic transmission; Super Engine Cooling (1.42” core thickness); auxiliary transmission air cooler, oil-to-water increased to 9-channel/18-plate; battery upgrade to 72 amp-hr/650 CCA; fuel tank (35.7-gallon capacity).

Snowplow weights (maximum recommended):

• Regular Cab 750 lb (700 lb removable plow assembly plus 50 lb permanently attached hardware).

• SuperCab 610 lb (560 lb removable plow assembly plus 50 lb permanently attached hardware).

These snowplow weight limits are based upon a vehicle built with maximum buildable Ford option content, driver plus one front seat passenger, 150 lb each, 800 lb of 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 Co and displayed on the Safety Compliance Certification Label.

The addition of ballast weight placed rearward of the rear axle may be required to prevent exceeding FGAWR, and 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 displayed on the Safety Compliance Certification Label to maintain the compliance representation that came with the Ford-built vehicle. Exceeding TARC will require recertification. 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 (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.

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 lb.

• Max snowplow weight should not exceed values for models shown in this section.  ♦