Western Michigan is a hotspot for the use of rear-mounted back blade plows, and Grand Rapids-based Ebling Snowplows has been producing them for over 40 years.
Ebling’s Sales Manager Wade Madsen says back blades provide a safer option that maximizes the equipment on which it’s mounted, whether it’s a UTV, ¾-ton pickup truck or a Category II tractor.
He says back blades have evolved from the 6.5- to 8-foot containment model to units with wings that hydraulically open to as large as 16 feet as standard. In addition, mounting systems have improved in terms of durability, specificity and ease of hookup and disconnect.
“With a back blade, all of the snow plow operations are completed while moving forward. This is safer due to visibility and operator fatigue,” he says. “Trucks and tractors are built for pulling and towing. They are not specifically built for pushing. Pulling snow can only lead to extending the life of the vehicle investment.”
The popularity of rear-mounted back blades has traditionally been localized in areas like western Michigan and New York. BOSS Snowplow’s Director of Engineering Jon Coyne says with large dealers in those markets, it made sense for the company to explore the addition of back blades to their roster.
“The back of the truck is very much a new realm for us,” Coyne says, adding that the company is in the second season with their back blade plow. “The more we learned about them, we thought there was an opportunity for these to become more mainstream. We talked to customers to understand how they use it, what they liked and didn’t. We did extensive durability and impact testing so the structural design was solid.”