FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Frequently asked questions
Warranty? What breaks on them?
We warrant the plow for one year no matter what you do. Winter work is tough and it's usually done in the night so hitting things is just a part of the job. We designed the plow so that when you do hit normal obstacles like a heave in a sidewalk or a pot hole the rubber edge absorbes that impact and you keep going. Nothing is more unplesant than broken equipment during a bad snow event, so we made the plow tough enough to handle the environment in the real world. Remember that we've spent a LOT of hours using these kits ourselves, and we still do. So we know what happens and we build the plow to stand up to that. We've also all hit things hard and fast enough at some point over the years to get thrown over the handle bars. As for the plow and the machine though, we've never been able to bend one. The rubber cutting edge is made from good quality rubber specifically designed for the application and it lasts for hundreds of hours before needing replacement. A hose can leak at some point from corrosion and age, but that is very uncommon and not expensive or difficult to replace. The quick couplers can leak (just a drip every hour or two) after a few seasons no matter what brand we've used, but that is more of an annoyance than a breakdown and it's an easy fix. The LED lights seem to stop working after 3 or 4 seasons, even though they claim to last much longer they just don't in the real world. Other than those little wear items you can expect your plow kit to last the life of multiple machines, and you can move it from one machine to another through the years as you replace machines. We use thicker steel than what is really needed so it doesn't start to crack in stress spots like stainless is prone to doing, and we also use a high grade of stainless so it doesn't corrode like others do.
How long does shipping take?
Because freight charges can be widely variable shipping can take as short as a few days or as long as 10 depending on how quick we can get quotes and how quick they can move it.
How long does the install take?
We can install a plow kit in less than an hour on either the Z spray or the Steel green machine, but we have done it lots of times so it goes quick for us. Steel green machines are simpler and quicker to install and also don't require any cutting or drilling. The z spray requires removing the locking casters and cutting once piece of stainless off the machine, easily done with an angle grinder and a cutoff wheel. Most will be able to install the kit in two hours. One thing that takes some time is moving existing parts like if you have a hose reel on the right hand side it might need to move to the left, which then involves plumbing etc. Because the z sprays have so many different variations within the same model they sometimes go quick and sometimes require more work. You'll need to switch your tires over to the snow tires that come with the kit, or spend a couple extra bucks and get your snow tires mounted on new rims and make that step quicker too.
Remove my locking casters?
Yes, if you have a Z spray you will need to remove the locking casters and they cannot go back on without welding a tab that needs to be cut off during the install back in place. The locking casters are in the way of the plow mount, so it's one or the other for the Z spray. If you're dead set on keeping them then you could put them back on after the winter, but it would reqire some bolting them back in place and one 2" long weld to re install them.
What sites are ideal for your plow and what ones aren't so great?
The Z-PLOW works pretty much anywhere, but there are some sites it works better with than others. Big, high maintanence sites that get frequent light plowings and ice melt applications are really what it excels at more than any other machine we've ever seen. The purpose of this machine is really to replace 4 to 6 hand shovelers with one operator and one machine, and from our experience it does that easily. The machine has the power to push through deeper snow and does that better than many other sidewalk machines, but it's designed to be manuverable more than anything. If you have miles of city walks that just get plowed and not treated then you'd be happier with a bigger machine that weighs twice as much and has twice the power and goes twice as fast like a tractor or utv. If you've got sites that are difficult to take care of because finding 10 hand shovelers is challenging then you'll love our kit because you will only need 2 operators and 2 machines. The only thing that our setup cannot do that hand shovelers can is stairs, so your operators will still need to get off the machine and shovel those by hand but other than that most sites can be completely cleaned edge to edge without getting off the machine for any hand shoveling or hand spreading salt.
Will it wear out my sprayer quicker?
The simple answer is yes. If you use your machine twice as much then it will wear out twice as fast, but it will also earn twice the income! The machine itself is made to a commercial standard and it's made to operate in a corrosive environment, so the sprayer is more than capable of operating the plow and being in the environment. The extra hours from plowing will take life off the machine similar to fertilizing hours, plus a few extra maintenance items. You will notice the battery needs to be replaced more often so it can start in the winter and maybe a starter will last 2 years instead of 3. The hydraulic systems on the machines are more than adequate to run the plow setup and they are acutally over built from the factory because that's the only size of pump and wheel motor offered that can also turn the spinner under the hopper. From our experience the hydraulics seem to actually do better in the winter than they do in the summer because they don't get as hot, and heat is really what kills them. In fact we find that our kit improves the life of the hydraulic system because it increases capacity by over a quart and prevents over heating even in the summer. The last machine we sold was a 10 year old z spray. It had plowed for 4 of those years, was on it's fourth engine, but still had the original hydraulic pumps and wheel motors on it.
How much work is it to switch from plowing to fertilizing with your kit?
Super easy. Putting the plow on the machine is as simple as sliding it into a hitch tube and hooking up the two hydraulic lines for the angle cylinder. There are some other things needed to get totally set up for plowing but nothing too major. Switch the tires from turf tires to the snow tires that come with the kit. And lastly because we spread a lot of salt with our machines we take the spray boom off just to keep it out of that environment. The spray boom can stay on the machine but it's two bolts and three hoses so we recommend spending the extra 10 minutes and taking it off. The hydraulic valve will stay on the machine all year though and it doesn't get in the way of anything when fertilizing. We like to store door hanger bags on it when fertilizing because we leave invoices on the customer's door, so just for that reason we really like to leave the valve on the machine in summer. The kit that goes on the frame of the machine also stays on all year long as it's not in the way of anything and actually helps us keep the machine in place on the trailer by lowering the hitch tube into a block that holds the machine in place on the trailer between stops. The hitch tube could come off with 2 bolts and 2 quick connect fittings though if you prefered to remove it for whatever reason.
Isn't it cold on that thing?
Yeah, it can be. Our setup is about as warm as it gets with an open station machine, but It's defanitely not as cozy as sitting in a heated cab! There are plenty of other machines out there though that do have a heated cab and none of them offer the manuverability or versatility that this setup does. The foot plate gets some heat from the wheel motors and the engine also throws off a good amount of heat so it's not as cold on the machine as it might seem, but you'll still need a good pair of boots (we prefer insulated muck boots), a decent pair of gloves, and a warm coat. If the sites are really large and the operators are on the machine for a full 8 to 12 hours the gear needs to be better, but if the sites are on a route and the operator is in a truck some of the time you can get by with a less.
Z Spray® is a registered trademark of The Toro Company.
Steel Green Manufacturing is a registered trademark of Steel Green Manufacturing, LLC.