Building a Better Snow Blade
Better Roads Staff | October 1, 2009
Valley Blades Limited in Waterloo Ontario has been making snow plow blades for over 40 years. In those 40 years, they have led the way with technological innovations such as heat treated and carbide tipped blades. Recently a new product, PolarFlex, again changes the rules in the blade business. PolarFlex replaces the rigid cutting edge of a standard blade setup with independent 12 inch long carbide tipped steel segments. These segments are mounted inside a system of synthetic rubber components which completely isolate the segments from the plow. The rubber mounted segments are free to move vertically and axially (float), allowing them to conform to the uneven contours of most roads.
Free floating segments have many advantages over standard blades. Cutting edges conform closely to the uneven surface of the road and therefore remove more snow. If more snow is removed fewer trips with the plow and less salt use can be expected. Also, the 12 inch segments will wear more evenly as they will all be in contact with the road. If a few segments wear prematurely or are damaged by road obstructions, these segments can be replaced individually.
With no metal to metal contact between the truck and the road, vibration is significantly reduced, leading to other benefits. Unlike traditional blades, the unique design of PolarFlex reduces the blades’ tendency to chatter or bounce. Eliminating the chatter leads to much longer wear life as the chipping and cracking of the carbide edge is all but eliminated. A reduction in vibration also has a positive effect on driver fatigue, plow damage and truck maintenance.
The design allows for the reuse of all flexible elements. Wear segments and flexible elements can be easily separated to allow recycling.
Contact Valley Blades Limited to find the dealer nearest you.
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