One of the most important winter maintenance equipment is the plow blade. Blade types and materials can vary. Selecting the right plow blade depends on the task required. Plow blade types include one-way-only, V and reversible.
Blade materials include the following: poly, mild steel and stainless steel. While all three are satisfactory for commercial work, each has advantages and disadvantages. Poly is extremely resistant to scratches, dents, and corrosion, making it a quite durable option. Stainless steel is also corrosion resistant. Many find that stainless steel is the most visually appealing, yet it is more prone to dents and scratches. Mild steel is the industry standard. It is durable, rigid, and valuable but not quite corrosion resistant. While most are treated with zinc powder to prevent rust, over time rust will occur.
Click on state to download specifications of plow blades for that state’s department of transportation.
Member states share results of pilot-testing of winter maintenance products and materials that their agencies have conducted.
Products reviewed include:
- BlockBuster blades – hammerhead carbide
- Ice-O-Force underbody blades
- Joma plow blades
- Kuper Kombi H ceramic – insert blades
- Lake Effect blade assembly
- Monroe flex plow with trip edge
- PolarFlex blades
- Power float valves
Other Research and Resources
- Multiple Blade Plow Prototypes: Clear Roads initiated and funded the development of innovative prototype snowplows capable of tackling a range of winter road conditions with the use of multiple blades.
- Investigate Plow Blade Optimization: Researchers investigated the cost-effectiveness of different types of plow blades for Ohio DOT.
- Joma Snowplow Blade Life Span: A Survey of State Experience: A research synthesis on the use and performance of Joma blades.
- Joma Plow Blade Evaluation: An Ohio DOT report summarizing information gathered on Joma blades.
- Performance Evaluation of Snow and Ice Plows: A research project that evaluated common snowplow brands on performance indicators such as blade types, scraping forces, and shock acceleration, among other suggested parameters.
- Multiblade Snowplow Project: A Clear Roads project that assessed interest in the private sector in the development of a prototype
snowplow that moves snowplow design beyond the single rigid cutting edge.
- Measurement of Ice Scraping Forces on Snowplow Underbody Blades: In this study, several new cutting edges were tested in a series of closed road tests. The study also included measurement of ice scraping forces by in-service trucks.
- Snow Plow Cutting Edges for Improved Plowing Performance, Reduced Blade Wear, and Reduced Surface Impacts: A report that provided MnDOT Maintenance and local agency winter maintenance units with concise research synthesis on snow plow cutting edge research.
- The Optimal Parameters of Installation of the Snow Removing Blade: The article defines optimal geometric conditions of installation of the snow blade that can be used in the development of new energy-efficient designs for snow working bodies, the improvement of existing technologies and snow removal.
|Indiana DOT Prototype||
Iowa DOT Protottype
|Iowa DOT – Road Cleared Before and After||Iowa DOT – Slush Blade Removing Water|