Can I use a midsize pickup truck for commercial snowplowing?

There are more midsize pickup trucks available on the market now than ever before. Along with all these different sized pickup trucks, there are various grades of snow plows you can purchase to use on them. So the question isn’t so much if these options are available as it is should you use a mid sized pickup for commercial snow plow purposes? That is the discussion had on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum which brought up many good points to consider before jumping at purchasing such a truck.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I have been looking for a new snowplowing and landscape truck. I looked at the Titans first but they absolutely refused to budge a penny on the price. I am upgrading from my ‘96 Dodge 1500. So the truck I went with is a Nissan Frontier. This truck was $39,000 new. After a rebate and trade ins I drove it home for $17,000. So far I am very happy with it. I pulled my landscape trailer for the first time yesterday with it. The wait was killing me so I just pulled the trailer around town unloaded just to get a feel for how this truck pulls and I am very impressed. This mid size truck with a 4.0 V6 in it pulls many times better than my full size Dodge did.

This truck I would say was purchased 80% for pleasure and 20% for work however now I do NOT have a dedicated work truck now so this is all I have to drive.

Nissan Frontier for snow plowing

Nissan Frontier for snow plowing

One thing I forgot, this midsize pickup truck is only midsize by name. The towing capacity is only 500lbs less than my Dodge was. The receiver is rated at 7,500 lbs while my full size Dodge was 8K lbs. The payload on the Frontier is a lot less though. It can haul a lot of weight but the bed is only like 4′ X 4.5′ because of the 4 door cab. I rarely ever had anything in my Dodge bed though because my back has issues and I have a hard time lifting things up and down from it so the small bed does not bother me at all. Another downside to this size truck is no rental place around here will hook up something like a bobcat or even a car hauler to this truck.

I do wonder though if it will make for a good snow plowing truck.”

A second lawn care business owner responded “the truck you bought and a Toyota Titan should not even come up in the conversation of commercial snow plowing.

Sure there are snow plow manufacturing companies that make a plow for any vehicle but a snow plow company like say, Fisher would not. They do offer what would be called the homestead series but it is so scaled back from a real snow plow it is almost pointless.

Maybe they would work for a large driveway so a homeowner could plow their own yard but they wouldn’t be capable of commercial plowing for the long haul.

I do think it is a pretty slick truck, though I would buy something like that for pleasure more so then work.

When you look at the truck models specifications, you have to take into consideration that the tow ratings on all trucks these days are over inflated and are not based in reality. The tow vehicle’s abilities are not only based on horsepower of the tow vehicle but the weight of the vehicle is a major factor as well as brakes.

There is no way even if this Nissan Frontier is pushing the same horsepower as the full size Dodge that it will handle the load the same as the Dodge. Take a 6,000lb trailer load on a crazy twisty road with the Frontier and I am sure it will pull it fine but it will get pushed all over the road and the brakes will wear ten times quicker and the transmission will overheat.

I can put a hitch on my Hyundai Accent beater car and move a 6,000 lb trailer if I really wanted to but come time to hit a turn doing 30mph, it will get rag dolled as well as it will eventually fold like a cheap tent if it did not kill me first.

The truck looks like a nice truck and I am sure you will use it in a manner that is safe and within it’s ability and only you know what is best for you. I know you said you will be using it more for personal than work and I am sure you are not gonna pull a 8,000lb enclosed landscape trailer full of riders with it. I certainly wouldn’t try to use it for commercial snow plowing. It is just not strong enough or big enough to handle it.”

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