Snow Plowing conditions are always stressful in one way or another. The following winter conditions are usually present, depending on what Mother Nature is sending.
Different temperatures play a role:
Snow at 32 degrees with no wind Snow at 32 degrees with high winds
Snow with Extreme cold Snow with extreme cold and wind
Different type of snow conditions:
Wet heavy snow Dry light snow Blowing snow
Drifting snow Snow pack Ice and snow pack
Freezing rain with black ice
Different surface conditions:
Frozen black top Thawed black top Frozen cement
Thawed cement Wheel ruts Poor quality holes & obstacles
Different types of chip seal
The above road conditions spell STRESSFUL driving not only for road operators, but everyone on the road. Anything can happen in these conditions. Snow plow operators know all to well what these conditions are like. The operators are dedicated un-sung hero's that take on the stressful road conditions, no matter what the scenario is.
On occasion the the operators can decide what type of blade they run, but not all of the time. The decision makers can be Engineers, Superintendents, Road Supervisors, Mechanics, Procurement staff, and Operators. When it comes to buying blades hopefully the "low bid" mentality is not the #1 priority.
The snow plow blades are an important part of getting the job done!
What is currently considered when an entity buys snow plow blades?
Buy the snow plow blade that lasts the longest (is it a wear life contest)?
Buy the cheapest blades you can? Then double them up (double the cost) or cover them to protect them to try to make them last longer? This tactic ultimately causes them to be less effective when it comes to cutting, but it may extend the wear life.
Buy the least expensive blade (get the lowest bid)?
Buy snow plow blades that you have used for years? They work, why change?
Bit Boards were purchased and the investment is so high you can't justify using anything else?
Whatever method was used in the past is what it is. In the future it is important to put considerable thought into what type of snow plow blades to buy. The battle of keeping roads clear and the public safe is an ongoing challenge.
Consider the following:
A snow plow blade that cleans better
A snow plow blade that cuts better
A snow plow blade that wears excellent with carbide
A snow plow blade that has forgiveness
A snow plow blade that has less impact and vibration
A snow plow blade that runs quiet
Ultimately a snow plow blade that is affordable