Snowplow Buyers Guide: 10 Things To Look For When Buying A Used Snow Plow

Well it’s that time of year again. The kids are going back to school, the days are getting shorter, and everyone is trying to sell their old snowplows on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. Over the past few weeks, I have seen all types of used snowplows popping up. Some of them look nice and well maintained, however the majority of these snowplows look rusty, unreliable, and are probably missing numerous parts that can add up quickly.

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Here is your used snowplow buying guide

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  • The Moldboard (or blade) must be thoroughly inspected for rust, cracks, and any modifications the previous owner may have made. A new moldboard will cost about $1000 or you can always add a new sheet metal skin for about $300-$500

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  • The Powerpack (or pump) should be on the unit, if not run like Forrest Gump and don’t look back. A new powerpack is about $1200-1500. Not bad if everything else works and you got a smoking deal, but that is rare. Coils carry electric current to open the valve. Usually $15-20 per coil. Valves allow fluid to pass through and move cylinders. Usually $50-75 per valve

  • Hydraulic Cylinders (or ram) can usually be rebuilt inexpensively or purchased for about $60-280 per cylinder so don’t worry much if they look damaged. You can always find a quality OEM or aftermarket cylinder.

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  • Lift Frame should be inspected for twists in the frame and cracks in the welds. The reason this is important is because a slightly twisted frame may make it difficult to attach/remove the plow and you won’t know until you try to use it. A new lift frame is about $300-600

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  • The Headlights should be secure to the lift frame and not wobbling around. Headlights aren’t expensive compared to some other electrical parts, but why spend the extra cash unless you plan to upgrade to LED lights. A new light kit is about $200-450

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  • The Quadrant (or sector) on most plows is usually okay and you have to really inspect them good to find any problems. If the other parts of the plow seem okay, the quadrant is probably fine. A new quadrant is about $250-350

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  • The Cutting Edge (or scraper) you will rarely find a used plow with a new cutting edge so just forget it. A new cutting edge will run about $80-125

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  • The Mount (or truck mount) is only important if the plow you’re getting came off the same type of truck as yours. Most times this is not the case so you’ll have to get a new one. If you can find a mount that works, you will want to make sure all the parts are there, but 9 times out of 10, you will new a new bolt kit. One major point to remember is that sellers will usually tell you the mount will work with your truck. DO NOT TAKE THEIR WORD and always check for yourself. If you get the make, model, and year we can help you identify and make sure it will work. A new mount is usually $400-600 and a new mount bolt kit is about $80-$100

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  • The Wiring (or harness) is very important and comes in two parts, truckside, and plowside. The majority of the truckside wiring is universal besides the headlight adapters, which are truck specific like the mount. The plowside wiring is always universal but if the plow is old and your truck is new, you will most likely have to upgrade. The price of wiring varies depending on exactly how much you need but in general new wiring will cost between $200-500

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  • Finally yet importantly is the Controller (or switches) you’ll never know if the controller you’re getting is good unless you can test it. If the person selling the plow seems legit you’re probably okay, my best advice is go with your gut. A new controller is anywhere from $100-$300

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