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The Best Plowing or Pushing Snow Cutting Edges

by janeausten
Cutting Edges

It’s 3 a.m. The snow removal contractor is in a condominium complex’s driveway. He’s already pushed the snow away from the garage doors, and now it’s time to move it all to the far end. He lowers his pusher and begins to go ahead.

His steel scraping edge cleanly scrapes away the ice and hard-packed snow. Isn’t that great? Well… My recommendation to the contractor is to have his mobile phone close by since the condo complex management will be calling soon. The steel cutting edge’s loud crunching, grinding, and screaming sounds on the asphalt are waking up his tenants. They’re not happy, and she’s not pleased either—people sleeping. The edge is made of steel. Not the finest option.

Choices with A Twist

I realize the example is a little far-fetched. A respectable snow removal company would never go into a condo or apartment complex driveway with steel-cutting edges. It’s only basic sense. Steel is ideal for clearing large box store parking lots. There is no noise, and they have the finest scraping ability. As a result, steel is the most often used material for trip-edge or full-trip plows. However, steel-cutting blades are not always the greatest alternative; in other cases, they are not even possible.

Steel Experts

We’ll start with steel because it’s what most machines are made of. And we may as well start with the most common question: how much does it cost? A steel cutting edge costs less than polymer but significantly more than rubber. If affordability is your primary concern, steel is not the material for you. In most instances, a steel cutting edge gives the finest scraping because it remains solid and oriented forward to easily cut beneath hard packs or ice.

Because you start with a clean finish, you won’t need as much salt or other ice-melting chemicals to remove the pavement completely. That implies less time and money for you or the man who owns the surface. In terms of product longevity, depending on the sort of surface you’re removing, a steel edge will normally last the longest of the three materials. Granite chip, for example, is a rough, scratchy surface found on many municipal roads that quickly wears down the cutting edge, even steel. Gravel, cement, ornamental cement, and paving stones (sometimes known as “pavers”) all wear your cutting edge at varying rates.

Steel Drawbacks

Steel is not suitable for cleaning delicate surfaces like cement, ornamental cement, or pavers. The edge will scar the surface or leave metal scratches that appear as rust streaks in the spring. Parking ramps are classified as well. They feature expansion joints and unique surface treatments that the harsh steel might harm. As a result, you’ll frequently encounter RFPs (Request for Proposal) that expressly exclude state steel cutting blades.

The same is true for pavers commonly utilized on residential driveways. There are also some higher-end commercial properties with paver driveways or parking lots. Scars aren’t the most concerning aspect of pavers. A steel edge might damage the stones; if they aren’t completely flat, you could even start popping some of them out. Finally, steel is just plain noisy, as evidenced by the crunching, grinding, and screaming noises of steel on the pavement in the condo complex.

Rubber Experts

Snow removal professionals have always considered rubber cutting blades an alternative to steel. If cost is the most important factor, rubber is the way to go. They’re inexpensive since they’re composed of material comparable to conveyor belts. You’ll have a sharp edge, but it won’t scratch properly. And for other purposes, like spreading snow around a company’s storage facilities, that’s irrelevant. A rubber edge will protect you if you use fixed cutting edges for plows since it folds back when it hits ice or hard pack.

Assume you run into a maintenance hole cover a couple of inches above the ground. Since the rubber edge will simply fold back, you’ll plow right over it. You’d feel it if you used a steel edge in the same circumstance. You may be hurt. A rubber cutting edge is also useful for cleaning delicate surfaces. Instead of gouging, scraping, or injuring the surface, it will bend and yield to meet surface differences. Finally, a rubber edge is quieter than a steel edge, and even with the full weight of a plow pushing down, the surface contact is smoother.

‍The Cons of Rubber

A rubber edge will not scrape properly. After cutting edges for plows with a rubber edge, you might leave a job site with a lot of snow, hard-pack, and ice on the surface. That creates a risk for your clients – “What? “Did Grandma stumble and break her hip?” They will not be pleased with you because their renters will not be pleased with them.

‍Going over the surface again is out of the question. You get a squeegeeing effect when you run a rubber edge over a surface. The edge will slip over the ice and hard pack, making it more difficult with each pass.

‍So, leave the snow, hard pack, and ice where they are, or apply a lot more salt or ice melt. Depending on how the contract is written, it will cost you or your client extra money. Either way, it isn’t nice for you.

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