Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

Fresh from a used commercial vehicle dealer, a black 2023 Chevy Silverado 1500 HD, is shown from high above plowing a snowy road.

Not All Heroes Wear Capes; Some Plow Snowy Roads

Let me tell you a story about Gary… Gary woke up one bright December morning, ready for a big day; he had a lot of things to take care of, and now that a winter storm had passed, he could handle everything that needed doing. So Gary grabbed his keys, headed outside, and ran into massive walls of snow as far as he could see: snow covering sidewalks and driveways, snow on the road, and his little front-wheel drive sedan wasn’t about to move a quarter-mile before getting stuck. Gary’s day was ruined—at least until he decided that binge-watching every season of Ted Lasso was just as important as anything else he had wanted to do.

For those of us in the Midwest, this kind of scene is not uncommon; the only reason it doesn’t happen for weeks at a time is because of the heroes driving snow plows. If you’re interested in becoming one such Lord of Winter, then you’re probably wondering which trucks will work best for handling a plow and clearing tremendous quantities of snow. Before you head to your nearest used commercial vehicle dealer, it’s worth taking a moment to formulate a game plan; you have quite a few options available to you, and picking the right one can make a big difference in what you get done.

Best Snow Plow Trucks: New or Used?

Before you start looking at different trucks, you have a couple of important decisions to make—one of the most vital being whether you want to go with a new or pre-owned truck. There are advantages and drawbacks to both: a new model will cost you more, but you don’t have to worry about what a previous owner did with it, whereas used trucks can save you money, but there’s always the uncertainty that comes with one. A new truck is generally the best choice, but if it’s not in the budget for your business, then a used vehicle can still work great.

Do everything you can when choosing a used truck for plowing snow to ensure the pickup is in the best shape possible. A used truck with a diesel engine can be a great choice since those engines last a long time when properly maintained, and they have the degree of power you want behind a snow plow. We’ll get into some specific models here in a moment, but keep an eye out for used trucks that already have a Snow Plow Prep Package on them, which makes connecting a plow and using it a whole lot easier. It can be tempting to choose a truck with a plow already attached, but if you do that, then you need to be sure the plow and other hardware are all in great condition.

Best Snow Plow Trucks: Light- or Heavy-Duty?

The other major decision you need to make when looking at trucks for use with a snow plow is whether you want to go with a light- or heavy-duty model. I’d generally suggest you skip anything that isn’t full-size, especially if you want to plow city streets and similar locations. If you’re solely looking to offer plowing services to residences—clearing driveways and small lanes but not city streets and large parking lots—then a midsize truck might work. Generally, however, it’s not a great idea, and you’ll be much better served by a full-size pickup.

Both light- and heavy-duty trucks can handle snow plowing jobs, but the kinds of plows you can attach to their front ends will differ. Ultimately, your decision here should be guided by the kind of plow you want to get and what you’ll use your truck for throughout the rest of the year since you’ll only be worried about snow for less than half of it. If you need a big truck to load up with debris in the summer and clear snow while spreading salt in the winter, then a heavy-duty pickup can work great, but if you prefer a general-use truck for a wide range of tasks and you don’t need the heaviest plows available on it, then a light-duty model can work very well.

A black 2023 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD High Country Midnight Edition is shown parked on a driveway.

Trucks to Consider: The Chevy Silverado

Now, let’s dig into the first of five trucks you might want to consider: the Chevy Silverado (or GMC Sierra since they’re largely the same). The Silverado series boasts excellent options for a snow plow, and they’re available with powerful engines, including a diesel option. GM offers a Snow Plow Prep Package for the Silverado and Sierra that include a second alternator for extra power and more. One thing I love is that the Silverado has a removable front air dam and skid plate, so you can extract them and mount a snow plow blade without any drilling; then, when winter’s over, you simply disconnect the plow and reattach the air dam and skid plate.

Trucks to Consider: The Ford F-Series

Alongside the Silverado and Sierra, the Ford F-Series are some of the best pickups on the market for use with a snow plow. You can find a wide range of options here, including the light-duty F-150 and the heavier F-250 and F-350. While these Ford trucks are powerful and well-known for their great capability, diesel engines aren’t offered on the F-150 anymore, which is a shame and something to keep in mind. Ford has a fantastic Snow Plow Prep Package available for the F-Series Super Duty trucks, so look for that as you consider your options and choose the right pickup.

Trucks to Consider: The Ram Series

Ram combines impressive power with gorgeous interior details and features. If you’re interested in a light-duty option, then the Ram 1500 is a great pick, while the Ram 2500 and Ram 3500 are more powerful choices that can handle bigger tasks. Starting with the 2021 model year, Ram released a Snow Plow Prep Package for the Ram 1500, so keep that in mind if you’re interested in a used Ram truck to function as a plow.

Trucks to Consider: The Nissan Titan XD

While the full-size Nissan Titan is a good option overall, if you want to use your truck with a plow blade, then I suggest going with the Titan XD model. This is a more powerful pickup, on par with the Chevy Silverado 2500 HD and Ford F-250, which makes it a better choice as a plow and all-around work truck. For 2018, Nissan released a Snow Plow Prep Package for the Titan XD, which is worth keeping an eye out for since it replaces the stock front springs with more powerful ones designed to support the weight of a plow blade.

Trucks to Consider: The Toyota Tundra

The Toyota Tundra is a fine full-size truck, but I have reservations about suggesting this for use with a snow plow, and it’s definitely the last one I’d consider. Although the Tundra is a powerful pickup with a lot to offer, the one thing it lacks is a Snow Plow Prep Package; Toyota is seemingly not interested in making one available for their truck. This isn’t the end of the world, and there are plenty of good aftermarket options that can make a Tundra work well with a plow, but the lack of such a package from the manufacturer is disappointing.

A black 2023 Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition is shown parked outside a building.

Wear a Cape, Plow Snow, Be a Hero

A hard-working truck is essential in a wide range of industries and for many businesses; the fact that one can also double as a snow plow in the winter makes it an even better value. It’s important to choose the right truck for such a task, however, so consider your options carefully and pick one that will meet a wide range of needs.

It’s also a good idea to first decide which plow you want to get, since different sizes and designs are better for different tasks, and then choose a truck that can handle the plow you want. This way, you won’t find yourself with a pickup that can’t handle the kinds of tasks you need from it.

The cape is optional, of course, but you’re sure to be remembered by clients as a superhero.