How to Troubleshoot a Western Snow Plow for a Pickup Truck

A Western Snow Plow designed for a pick-up truck is a quick and efficient system for snow removal. These units are relatively lightweight and simple to rig. Western has been manufacturing snow plows for over 55 years and their products are used for both commercial and residential purposes. When wear and tear occurs, look out for damaged cutting edge blades, corroded battery terminals and contaminated hydraulic fluids and components.


Step 1

Inspect all wiring and connections if the snow plow motor does not run at all and the plow does not raise or lower. Check the snow plow battery connections and cable terminals for corrosion and dirt. Clean the battery terminals with a soft wire brush. The motor could be worn or damaged. Have a qualified mechanic repair the motor. Replace the motor if necessary.

Step 2

Replace the motor relay if the motor will not shut off. The relay could have shorted.

Step 3

Remove snow build-up on the plow arm if the motor is operating but the plow raises slowly, angles or raises not at all. Excess snow can place weight on the A-frame and quadrant. Remove any after-market accessories that could be weighing the plow arm down. Verify that you have the correct level and type of hydraulic fluid. Consult your owner's manual for the correct type of hydraulic fluid and refill the fluid chamber.

Step 4

Clean or replace the hydraulic pump filter if you are still having problems raising and lowering the plow arm. Flush and refill the hydraulic system. Ensure that the battery has sufficient charge. Replace the battery if necessary. Check that all fasteners and mounting bolts on the plow arm are secure and tight.

Step 5

Clean or replace the cartridge valves if they are sticking or contaminated and the plow will not stay in the raised position or lowers by itself. Flush and refill the system.

Step 6

Tighten the O-ring plugs and fittings if oil is leaking from the hydraulic power unit. Check the seal at the shaft of the unit (pump shaft seal) for damage. Replace the pump shaft seal if necessary.

Step 7

Reverse the cutting edge of the blade if it is worn. This will help to equalize wear and tear. Raise the blade and place a safety block beneath the A-frame. Remove the cutting edge and reverse the blade. Reinstall the blade. If the ProGuard powder coated finish on the blade is scratched or nicked, repair the blade surface with Western red paint, available in aerosol or quart can.