Chevrolet Silverado: Conversions and Add-Ons / Adding a Snow Plow or Similar Equipment

Chevrolet Silverado 2019-2024 Owners Manual / Driving and Operating / Conversions and Add-Ons / Adding a Snow Plow or Similar Equipment

Caution

Do not exceed 72 km/h (45 mph) with a snow plow mounted to the vehicle. The vehicle could overheat and be damaged.

Before installing a snow plow on the vehicle, follow these guidelines:

Caution

If the vehicle does not have the snow plow prep package, RPO VYU, adding a plow can damage the vehicle, and the repairs would not be covered by the vehicle warranty. Unless the vehicle was built to carry a snow plow, do not add one to the vehicle. If the vehicle has RPO VYU, then the payload the vehicle can carry will be reduced when a snow plow is installed. The vehicle can be damaged if either the front or rear axle ratings or the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) are exceeded.

The plow the vehicle can carry depends on many things, such as:

  • The options the vehicle came with, and the weight of those options.
  • The weight and number of passengers to be carried.
  • The weight of items added to the vehicle, like a tool box or truck cap.
  • The total weight of any additional cargo to be carried.

For example, if the snow plow weighs 318 kg (700 lb), the total weight of all occupants and cargo inside the cab should not exceed 135 kg (300 lb). This means that you may only be able to carry one passenger. Even this may be too much if there is other equipment already adding to the weight of the vehicle.

To safely carry a snow plow on the vehicle:

  • Follow all aftermarket snow plow manufacturer’s instructions for the operation and transportation of the snow plow.
  • With a snow plow attached, the engine coolant temperature gauge may show a higher temperature than while driving without one. The snow plow could block the airflow to the radiator. This could be more noticeable as vehicle speed increases. At speeds above 72 km (45 mph), this may cause the engine coolant to overheat.
  • To increase the airflow, move the snow plow blade postion.
  • If driving more than 24 km (15 mi), angle the plow blade position.
  • Make sure the weight on the front and rear axles does not exceed the axle rating for each.
  • For the front axle, if more cargo or passengers must be carried, appropriate counter ballast must be installed rear of the rear axle. Counter ballast must be properly secured so it will not move during driving.
  • Rear ballast may be required to ensure a proper front and rear weight distribution ratio, even though the actual weight at the front axle may be less than the front axle rating.
  • The snow plow manufacturer or installer can assist in determining the amount of rear ballast required, to help make sure the snow plow/vehicle combination does not exceed the GVW rating, the front and rear axle ratings, and the front and rear weight distribution ratio.
  • The total vehicle must not exceed the GVW rating.

Front axle reserve capacity is the difference between the Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) and the front axle weight of the vehicle with full fuel and passengers. This is the amount of weight that can be added to the front axle before reaching the front GAWR.

United States

Canada

The front axle reserve capacity for the vehicle is in the lower right corner of the Certification/Tire label.

To calculate the amount of weight any front accessory, such as a snow plow, is adding to the front axle, use this formula:

(W x (A +W.B.)) /W.B.= Weight the accessory is adding to the front axle.

Where:

W = Weight of added accessory

A = Distance that the accessory is in front of the front axle

W.B. = Vehicle Wheelbase

For example, adding a 318 kg (700 lb) snow plow actually adds more than 318 kg (700 lb) to the front axle. Using the formula, if the snow plow is 122 cm (4 ft) in front of the front axle and the wheelbase is 305 cm (10 ft), then:

W = 318 kg (700 lb)

A = 122 cm (4 ft)

W.B. = 305 cm (10 ft)

(W x (A +W.B.)/W.B. = (318 x (122 + 305))/305 = 445 kg (980 lb)

This means if the front axle reserve capacity is more than 445 kg (980 lb), the snow plow could be added without exceeding the front GAWR.

Heavier equipment can be added on the front of the vehicle if less cargo or fewer passengers are carried, or by positioning cargo toward the rear. This reduces the load on the front. However, the front GAWR, rear GAWR, and Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) must never be exceeded.

Warning

On some vehicles that have certain front mounted equipment, such as a snow plow, it may be possible to load the front axle to the front Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) but not have enough weight on the rear axle to have proper braking performance. If the brakes cannot work properly, the vehice could crash. Always follow the snow plow manufacturer or installer's recommendation for rear ballast to ensure a proper front and rear weight distribution ratio. Maintaining a proper front and rear weight distribution ratio is necessary to provide proper braking performance.

Total vehicle reserve capacity is the difference between the GVWR and the weight of the truck with full fuel and passengers. It is the amount of weight that can be added to the vehicle before reaching the GVWR.

Reserve capacity numbers are intended as a guide when selecting the amount of equipment or cargo the truck can carry. If unsure of the vehicle's front, rear, or total weight, go to a weigh station and weigh the vehicle. Your dealer can also help with this.

The total vehicle reserve capacity for the vehicle is in the lower right corner of the Certification/Tire label as shown previously.

See your dealer for additional advice and information about using a snow plow on the vehicle. Also, see Vehicle Load Limits.

Pickup Conversion to Chassis Cab

We are aware that some vehicle owners might consider having the pickup box removed and a commercial or recreational body installed. Owners should be aware that, as manufactured, there are differences between a chassis cab and a pickup with the box removed which could affect vehicle safety. The components necessary to adapt a pickup to permit its safe use with a specialized body should be installed by the body builder.

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