Ford always has been at the forefront of final stage installed equipment, and that is no different for its latest spreader and snow plow assemblies that use a programmable upfitter interface module.
The upfitter interface module is a factory-installed option that gives end-users “smart” logic controls that can affect the auger, spreader and the snow plow.
Ford has various speeds of spreaders on the market presently, and with the upfitter interface module, the company can tie the speed of the auger directly to the speed of the vehicle. Peter Severson of Ford says his company has the only vehicle with upfitter interface module technology today, and he considers it a critical aspect of today’s snow plowing industry.
For example, upfitter interface modules can be programmed to stop a salt spreader stop whenever the driver leaves the vehicle. With the smart logic control of the upfitter interface module, the spreader can be programmed to disengage if the following parameters are met: vehicle enters either park or neutral, the driver door is open AND the safety belt is unbuckled. Instead of the driver having to remember to turn off the spreader, the vehicle remembers for the driver.
By programming the module to different conditions, the upfitter interface module automatically outputs the data to the spreader based on Computer Area Network data from the vehicle. For example, if output conditions are set based on the speed of the vehicle, the spreader will automatically adjust as the vehicle reaches various speed intervals.
The upfitter interface module also can prevent the operation of a mechanical device when certain vehicle conditions are not in range. If there is a front-mounted auger, upfitter interface modules can be programmed to monitor for parameters such as vehicle in Park or Neutral, engine status, and operator safety engaged. The auger, in these instances, will operate only while all parameters are in a normal mode.
Western Plows is constantly innovating, whether that means making improvements to its existing product line or creating new items. Most recently, the company unveiled its Wide-out and Wide-out XL adjustable wing snow plows. These plows represent Western Plows’ entrance into the heavy contractor segment.
For the Wide-out line, Western Plows heightened the moldboard from 29 to 31 inches – the company’s tallest winged plows – and a 14-gauge steel moldboard comes standard with a ½-inch, high-carbon steel cutting edge on the moldboard and wings. The Wide-out is available in two sizes, as well. The original model expands from 8 to 10 feet wide, and the XL plow extends from 8 ½ to 11 feet.
Western Plows also structurally reinforced its new Wide-out line. Six vertical ribs – eight on the XL model – and a dual power bar provide torsional strength and rigidity across the entire back of the plow blade to eliminate twisting.
The Wide-out plows feature flared wings – reaching as tall 36 inches on the XL model – to move snow up to 30 percent faster. Operators can control each wing independently for ultimate efficiency, as well. These features unique to the Wide-out product line work in conjunction with Western Plows’ universal features, including the UltraMount 2 snow plow mounting system, chain lift system and the fleet flex electrical system.
These plows can be attached to Class 6 medium-duty trucks, representing Western Plows commitment to the heavy contractor segment.
Although Western Plows is focused on this new revenue stream, Doug Clark, product manager for Western Products, said his company remains dedicated to existing product lines customers have grown to rely on.
“One of the things that launching a new Wide-out says to the market is, we’re always committed to making new products, but we’re also committed to our classic products and well-received products,” Clark says. “That’s part of the commitment to constantly re-innovating tried and true and popular products.”