We often hear clients and dealers ask for advice on vehicle selection. The significance of the question is increased if that person is new to the industry, or trying to expand their business. The role of the equipment deal is of great importance, in this scenario.

The popularity of different brands varies from market to market, due to many different reasons.

Mercedes-Pickup equipped with Hilltip Snowplow

What brand should we recommend?

A question we have asked several car dealerships in the Hilltip network is: On what basis have you brought new clients to you customer base? Is it because of the pick-up brand they sell or because of the specific snow plow and salt spreader type/brand they sell?

More often than not, it is because of the accessories (equipment) rather than the vehicle itself. When selling the complete package, the advantage from one car to another is normally minimal whereas the features and benefits across equipment options, very significantly. This makes a lot of sense, after all the customer is looking for a snow removal vehicle, hence the emphasis on the actual snow removal component!

What is the difference if you have a snow plow and spreader with Ford Ranger? or Isuzu D-max, Toyota Hilux, Nissan Navara, Renault Alaskan, Mercedes X- Class, Mitsubishi L200 or VW Amarok, Suzuki Jimny, Piaggio Porter, DFSK, yeah you name them all, and let us not forget all the 3,5t series Mercedes Sprinter, MAN TGE, VW Crafter, Citroen Jumper, Fiat Ducato, etc. that is gaining popularity in the winter service industry as well.  Yes, they may vary in wheel base, engine power, comfort etc. but in fact, all the car brands, have 4 wheels, a motor with drive train, truck bed, frame structure for plow mounting, and comfortable cabin. The specifications may differ from the different brands, but all of them are powerful enough to move snow and carry approx. 1000kg payload.

So, what brand should we recommend?

All the common pick-ups are perfect for snow removal! It’s more up to the taste and brand awareness, and of course what type of use the pick-up will be when not in use for snow removal. The most economical choice will normally prevail.

Hilltip Salt spreader mounted on pick-up

The recommendation we have when purchasing pick-ups with snowplow, is pick-up with automatic transmission. That is the most reliable transmission for a pickup with snowplow and spreader. Manual transmission is reliable, but the driver has to understand and be competent with the use of the clutch in heavy snow conditions.

The result of our research was that the car dealers should focus on selling snowplows with features that customers actually want to have, like high strength steel, with trip edge, light weight, down pressure, and made for European pick-up standards. Salt spreaders that have industry leading technology, with GPS speed control, tracking capability, Pre-wetting, and liquid de-icing integrated into one machine that meets the demands in the industry today. This tends to be the bigger decision for the client. The car dealership which also sells the equipment, sells the car with it. No matter what brand it is.

Frank Mäenpää

Sales Manager, Co- founder