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Professional Snow Removal Equipment: 10 Tools You Need

September 15, 2023 7 min. read
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The right snow removal equipment will help you complete jobs faster and more thoroughly—and clients will be happy they chose you to clear their ice and snow.

Use this guide to choose the snow blowers, plows, and other tools you’ll need to run a successful snow removal business. We’ll share tips on choosing the right products, along with average price ranges.

You could spend $4,360–7,190 (USD) for all the equipment listed here, not including your truck or ATV, but you might only need a few of these tools to get started. Cut costs by buying used equipment early on and replacing items as you win more work.

Disclaimer: The equipment prices listed are approximate ranges for brand-new items. Pricing will vary by brand, store, quality, and whether they’re new or used.

1. Snow blower

By suctioning in snow and expelling it out of a chute, snow blowers let you clear large areas of snow fast. Blowers are best for long driveways, patios, and decks.

For heavy-duty work and better efficiency, opt for a gas snowblower. You should look for:

  • A single-stage snow blower for lighter snowfalls
  • A dual-stage snow blower to get more clearance and handle heavy and wet snowfalls
  • A self-propelled snow blower to make snow clearing even more efficient and less physically demanding

Cost: $500–2,000

2. Snow shovel

Shovels are essential for scooping, lifting, and throwing snow off surfaces. Use a snow shovel to clear small areas like sidewalks, driveways, and pathways.

Pick up shovels of varying sizes to handle different volumes of snow—and choose ones that are comfortable to use. Some models have ergonomic designs or bent handles to reduce back strain from shoveling.

Shovels with metal blades are more durable and help you chip at ice, but you might start with a plastic-bladed shovel if you’re on a budget. An electric snow shovel can make your job easier if you’re willing to spend more. 

Cost: $20–50

3. Snow pusher

A snow pusher is designed to push and glide snow off surfaces. With blades that are broader and flatter than shovel blades, pushers help you clear large areas of snow faster.

Some pushers have wheels that help you control and maneuver your pushing movements for easier snow collection. 

Handheld pushers work great for sidewalks and driveways. Or, you can use an attachable snow pusher that mounts to your loader or vehicle if you usually work on big lots. 

Cost: $50–90

READ MORE: Snow removal pricing formula: how much to charge

4. Snow plow

Snow plows are usually affixed to vehicles or ATVs and have large, angled blades that push accumulated snow to the side of a road. Use a standard snow plow to clear long driveways, and a commercial snow plow for large commercial areas like parking lots.

There are three common types of snow plows:

  • Straight blade snow plows have a plow at the front with a flat, straight blade, and work well for clearing driveways.
  • V-blade snow plows have a dual-blade design that forms a “V” shape, which is ideal for cutting through deep or hard-packed snow with ease.
  • Back plows attach to your vehicle’s rear, helping you pull snow away from obstacles  and speed up snow removal.

When picking a snow plow, think about the blade width you’ll need for your typical job, the blade’s durability, and whether the plow is compatible with your vehicle or ATV.

Cost: $1,500–4,000

5. Ladder

To remove snow from customer rooftops safely, use a ladder made of durable, non-conductive material like fiberglass that offers stability in cold conditions.

Look for ladders with slip-resistant rungs, wide base support, and ice-resistant feet for the most safety. Some ladders are extendable or adjustable to help you adapt to different roof heights.

Cost: $50–300

6. Roof rake

Snow roof rakes help you safely pull snow off rooftops—even without a ladder—using a flat blade with an extended handle. Raking a roof prevents ice dams from forming and removes heavy snow that can cause structural damage.

Look for a lightweight roof rake that won’t cause back strain, but has durable enough material to handle ice removal. Some rakes have adjustable handles so you can reach roofs of different heights.

Cost: $40–100

7. Salt spreader

A must-have tool for regions with heavy snowfall, salt spreaders distribute road salt that makes ice melt faster. Spreading salt protects your customers from accidents on their properties.

Salt spreaders range from simple handheld models to large, tow-behind units. Many residential snow removal pros use handheld spreaders or drop spreaders for even salt distribution. A broadcast spreader helps you cover larger areas faster.

Cost: $150–400

8. Loader

Ideal for removing snow from properties, loaders are large machines that plow, blow, and scoop deep snow on roads, parking lots, or other commercial areas.

You can drive this piece of commercial snow removal equipment along like a tractor to maneuver it where you want snow removed.

  • A skid-steer loader has a steering mechanism that locks one set of wheels while the other set moves, allowing it to skid its wheels for easier rotation. Use a skid-steer to remove snow in tight spaces.
  • Wheel loaders steer like cars, have larger tires, and can handle more types of terrains than other loaders.
  • A backhoe loader has both a front loader bucket and a rear excavator arm to lift more snow. These loaders have great torque and can handle extreme weather conditions.

When choosing between loaders, consider the machine’s capacity, size, and what snow removal attachments it’s compatible with (like snow buckets, snow plow blades, and pushers).

Cost: $2,000+

9. Truck or ATV

Have a reliable pickup truck with winter tires or an ATV—both are good vehicles to attach your snow plow and snow pushers to. ATVs are easier to maneuver in smaller spaces, but many successful pros work with only a truck.

 If you don’t already have either vehicle, here’s what to look for when you’re buying:

  • Truck: Minimum 6-foot bed length, 1,500+ lb payload, and towing capacity that can manage the combined weight of your equipment.
  • ATV: Four-wheel drive for good traction, snow plow and pusher attachment compatibility, heated grips, and large tires.

Prices vary depending on where you live and whether you buy privately or from a dealership. You can also get financing for this type of purchase and file it as a small business tax deduction.

Cost: $5,000–40,000+ truck, $3,000+ ATV

10. Snow removal business software

For your snow removal business to be a success, you’ll need more than just on-the-job snow removal equipment.

Snow removal business software like Jobber helps you organize and manage your snow removal jobs. Easily schedule jobs, dispatch and route crew members, invoice, and collect payments—all from the cab of your truck.

Here’s how Jobber helps you improve your daily operations and keep your snow removal company organized:

Cost: $50–250/month (pricing varies by plan)

How to choose the right snow removal equipment

There are so many products, brands, and types of equipment to choose from—it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

Follow these tips before purchasing snow removal equipment:

  • Look for reviews and recommendations. Always check equipment reviews to check a product’s reliability and performance. Reach out to other snow removal pros in your area for recommendations, too.
  • Consider local snow conditions. If you work in a region with frequent and heavy snowfalls, robust machines are a must. Opt for simpler gear to handle lighter, more sporadic snow events.
  • Choose ergonomic equipment. Comfortable tools reduce fatigue and help you work with more efficiency. Look for shovels and roof rakes with ergonomic handles.
  • Choose quality over price where it matters. Invest in higher quality for the equipment you use most often—and the ones that make you the most money. Some brands might have cheaper upfront prices but will cost you a lot in maintenance.
  • Make a long-term plan for equipment purchases. You might budget $200 or $500 for initial equipment purchases now, then buy new tools or upgrade when you reach a certain annual revenue or number of customers.

No matter what you buy, take good care of your equipment—and trust in your skills and experience to get the job done well.

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