No doubt, hanging a plow on the front of your truck can make for a lucrative winter, especially in some of the more snow-producing climates we have here in the USA, and in Canada. Believe me, I know all about it, being a native Minnesotan myself. For many of us, adding a plow to our trucks has become so common in the snow belts, doing so is nearly synonymous with owning a truck. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that it could be 50% of the pickup truck owners I know, have or have had, a plow on their truck at one time or another.
Snow plowing is good business, it’s necessary, and a lot of money can be made doing it. It’s also super-convenient for those of us fortunate enough to have our own long A$$ driveway!
While there are many positives associated with the addition of a plow, the business of re-distributing snow can also wreak havoc on your truck. While many of us go to the immediate thought to buy a new plow each time we buy a new truck, it seems that we may not always be so quick to think about the consequences, or the ramifications of doing so. Think about it. Hanging a heavy, steel blade 3 or more feet in front of your bumper can create quite a downforce. The effective result on your truck can be substantial, and can cause a number of unwanted, and potentially damaging side-effects. This is especially the case when a snow plow is attached to a ½-ton Pickup or SUV, as the suspension may not necessarily be rated for this amount of weight.
WHAT CAN A LEVELING OR LIFT KIT FOR YOUR SNOW PLOW TRUCK SOLVE?
Plow Clearance: How many times have you driven down the road, plow sparking against the blacktop with every bump in the road?
Headlight Aim: If the nose of your truck is low, then where are those headlights aimed?
Suspension Geometry: A loss of front ride height squats the suspension, changing the camber angle of the front wheels, and causing stress on suspension components.
Tire Wear: See Suspension Geometry, above. The camber angle of the front wheels has a direct relationship on tire wear.
While it seems we have few qualms about spending 10’s-of-thousands of dollars on a new truck, or with spending big bucks on a new plow, it’s curious how many of us truck owners don’t put some dollars aside to correct for these associated, and unwanted side-effects.
PRODUCTS TO CORRECT LOW FRONT RIDE HEIGHT ON YOUR SNOW PLOW TRUCK
AIR-CELLS & LIFT KITS
You may be aware of air cell or air bellows products to support pickup trucks & SUV suspensions, both front and rear. A front product would be purchased for exactly what we’re discussing; helping to support additional front end weight. A rear product would be purchased to provide additional support for towing, hauling, etc. What I can say about these products, is that I can wholeheartedly endorse them.
A few of my personal favorite manufacturers in this category are Super Springs, Timbren & Air Lift, just to name a few. However, before you click any of these links and make the decision to buy an air product, I feel it will behoove you to consider another option prior to doing so.
LEVELING & LIFT KITS FOR YOUR SNOW PLOW TRUCK
When discussing ride height correction for plow trucks, there’s another category of product that I feel is many times overlooked; Suspension Lift & Leveling kits. These kits need to be part of the conversation when discussing ride height correction for plow truck vehicles.
Lift & Leveling kits are made of various designs & materials, varying by manufacturer, to work with all types of suspension systems; Strut, Torsion and Coil Spring. These products not only help with lost ride height, for many truck owners they have the added benefit of aesthetically improving the looks and/or the stance of the truck, even allowing a larger tire/wheel combination to create a more aggressive appearance. The basic principle behind Leveling Kits is, that by creating more space in the front fender, similar to the rear fender, added clearance is achieved. Rough Country is an example of an economy brand, as well as Daystar.
While these products can be a simple, economical solutions, there’s one downside to these manufacturers, as with most Leveling/Lift Kit manufacturers; THEY ARE NOT SEASONALLY ADJUSTABLE. What does this mean to you, the truck owner?
Unfortunately, it means that when you remove the plow, then you will need to make a decision (1) to leave the leveling kit on the vehicle, or (2) to remove the leveling kit from the vehicle.
Or, is there another way?
Fortunately, yes, one lift & leveling kit manufacturer produces a complete line of ride-height adjustable Leveling & Lift Kits, designed to be tuned seasonally to your ride height preference, with or without the weight of a plow. This may be the best overall solution, in my opinion. You can visit ProRYDE Suspension Systems for more information on these patented, adjustable products.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO CHOOSE, YOU CAN INSTALL A LEVELING KIT AND AN AIR CELL PRODUCT ON YOUR SNOW PLOW TRUCK
What’s the best part? Well, the best part is that you don’t have to make a choice, you can have it all. Install a Leveling or Lift Kit, AND your favorite air cell product, they’re a great marriage. Just be sure to check with your air cell manufacturer to see if you need a spacer kit for proper clearance.