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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Haven't seen this discussed, so I thought I would post my experiences. This year I switched to a different manufacturer for my U edge for my Trackless sidewalk plow, Superior Edge, mainly because of some discussions at their booth in Quebec at the snow conference. Overall I'm much more satisfied with the superior edge then the other I tried, much better wear rate, and in particular a lot less tearing of the leading edge. The last 3 days have been brutal, sea effect snow ( just like lake effect it can be sunny 10 mins away and total blizzard somewhere else, when really cold winds blow off the Bay of Fundy) and it's been C-O-L-D, highs of -15 C (about 5F) lows of -22 ( -5 F) Wind chills of -30-35C ( this is where the 2 scales are about the same!)
Anyways my point, had to switch to my steel edge, the u-edge just wouldn't cut the hard pack and very frozen snow, even with double the treated salt application. The steel edge peeled back a couple of inches or more of hard packed snow ( bit a bit of down pressure!) the u-edge would just ride over. Not that I would trade my u-edge! it is super at near freezing or above temps squeegeeing slush, plus the smoothness. Using the steel edge today had my seatbelt fetch up a couple of times:rolleyes: U-edge is NOT the perfect solution for every application.
I was told (my another manufacturer) that u-edge would out wear carbide edges! This from my experience is an un-truth there is no physical way it can sub-stain the same wear properties as carbide. The folks at Superior were much more realistic in their sales pitch of the qualities of their product, in fact given the wear properties I've experienced maybe a little modest.
Anyways I'm getting too verbose. The main point, U-edge has it's place, but those that have put it forth has the greatest thing since sliced bread in plow edges I don't think are correct.
It has it's place, and yes it's worth the price, if you are aware of it's properties, but look at your specific applications before you leap, as guys here are from all over the continent ( don't think there are any Europeans, but that would be really informative),what works in NJ may not work in Maine or Thunder Bay.

Bill

Just picked NJ as a midpoint between the Mason Dixon and North
if anyones offended consider it Penn.:grinz
 

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Good info , I surmise that my u edge will be less effective when temps are below freezing , fair enough, that must mean that the material stays pliable to a very low temp ?
 

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Bill THANK YOU!

I have been worried about trying u-edge for the sole reason of making it easier on me and the truck BUT.

Temps here are consistenly in the -20 to +20F and rarely around freezing all winter.

I have a new account where I have almost 600-700 foot pushes. The increased speed is wearing down my edge FAST.

I have got to find a Denver phone book to locate some carbide edges QUICK (like before the next storm).

I love SC.com for honest answers, not the "speculation" of PS.

Howard
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I guess the problem is that it's too pliable! It will ride over hard pack snow and ice instead of scraping it. I think my beef is that it's been touted here for it's superior wear qualities. In fact that's not what it does best #1 is it ride qualities, I'll call it, obstructions ( manholes) and forgiveness on equipment, #2 it's ability to squeegee slush and snow at near freezing temps, it has wear qualities of or maybe better then regular steel edges ( speed is also a big factor), but less then high carbon steel edges and a lot less then carbides edges.

Bill

There is also a lot of difference in the quality of the u-edge, and the old saying of you get what you pay for applies here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Howard

I use Carbide on my Fisher V, I get about 3 seasons out of a set versus 1/3 of a season out of oem edges and 1 season out of Grader cutting edges. In my case would I put u-edges on my V or my Case 10'? NO . Would I run my Sidewing without a U-edge? No, because simply it works better with it. Did I use the sidewing today to scrape hard pack? :nope Because that's not what the sidewing is designed for. I will switch back to the u-edge on the Trackless when the temps warm up, because it does a better job, and the plow trips a whole lot less. plowing!

Bill
 

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I am on my 2cnd set of Blizzard oem edges (put it on in Feb 2003)

I have a few hundred hours of plowing (I don't keep track) But least 50 pushes if not more. Alot of the lots I do have unpaved areas to push the snow off to. The first few storms of the season are miserable till I fill the ruts in with snow.

Howard
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't have any experience with Blizzard, but Jerre could best answer you if you PM him, If you put Cardibes on the main part of the plow, and from what I read here (my carbides are 5/8" thick )I don't think they can be put on the wings, but the carbide edge on the main part of the plow would carry most of the load, in other words the less the edge wears on the main blade the less the OEM wing edges would wear so over all you might be better off.
My experience with carbide edges is that they are awesome, costly, unforgiving ( they will beat the snot out of the rest of your plow, so look for higher maintainance costs) are better then 4th of July fireworks when dropped at speed, require a bit more operator input,because they will grab anything quicker then a dirty old man at a swim suit contest!:shades

Bill
 

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Bill, That's the reason I have told several people here looking at U edges to keep one or two units outfitted with steel edges. They will bite down and scrape the hard pack better than the U edge.

You may want to try a sandwich of U edge and steel/Carbide in your case. Try running the carbide in front and behind the U edge to get the best performance for your application. In front cuts down but the U gives longer wear. Behind gives more float over but makes the U stiffer and works great for back dragging because the Carbide is the attack edge.

Just what I've tried out. Jerre

p.s. Howard check with me about Carbide for the 810.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Jerre,

Actually I was running the worn edge of the OEM Trackless edge as a backer for the Superior edge, and this morning I took the U-edge off and flipped the steel edge ( the OEM Trackless edge is center punched) I know we'll be back out tommorrow, so I'll install the steel edge with the good side down in front of the Superior edge, and get the best of both worlds! But most of the year, except this cold period, I prefer the u-edge.

Bill
 

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Bouncing between thread posts...

Bill, you mentioned in the "not happy caliber" post that you are getting a good result as to reduced hardpack since you have been pre-treating. I was just trying to see a correlation between temps and where the Caliber started to lose its effectiveness. Not that salt wouldn't have given up many degrees earlier.

I know people say the U-edge scrapes as well as steel, and it seems to be the case, except at extremely low temps. I was just curious if the Caliber or Magic would allow edges to scrape well down to those loooooow temps.

We run steel all around, just haven't gotten to the u-edges yet. And with the temps we have had around here for plowing events, there wouldn't have been an issue. Good scraping, black and wet, etc etc...I mentioned that in my previous posts. Just good to get feedback where there are extreme or unusual circumstances.

Thanks for the info!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well this is a hard question, because I don't run u-edge on my lot plows, except on my sidewing. I use Caliber on all my salt, but the build up problem has been with the sidewalks ( about 20 miles), which have only been plowed with u-edge. The problem was worse on the concrete walks, then the asphalt ones, in fact we upped the de-icer application rate on the concrete walks by about 25% and the build up was worse where drive/road ways crossed the sidewalks. I don't have a buildup problem with any of the lots, and some ( a liquor store in a mini mall) see a lot of traffic, so I have to think that it is the U-edge not scrapping, and not the de-icer is the root cause of the problem. This only became an issue with the low temps, in fact looking at sidewalks plowed by towns on either side of me, ours were generally better, at higher temps with the u-edge.
I think what I found is that U-edge doesn't scrape, it cleans, carbide and steel scrape. U-edge doesn't break things (plows, edges of concrete), and is generally much easiler on the operator, and machine then steel.
Other lots , which were plowed with steel edges, but de-iced with salt had major hard-pack build up and most other contractors were spreading sand today.
Hope this helps

Bill
 

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You bet it helps!!!

Learn something new every day!!! Gives us a starting point for when temps start to dip.....

Thanks Bill!
 

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Lots of great stuff in this thread! Couple of quick thoughts. The asphalt will show better results because it holds heat better than the concrete, so those observations make sense to me. Another thought on why the walks are having worse performance ( a contributing factor to the extreme cold etc.) is that those plows are smaller & probably lighter than the lot plows? I believe that would certainly affect Urethane performance. For example the pics that Pelican just posted in the other urethane thread, that plow will perform to lower temps, than the urethane on a sidewalk type plow IMO.

I have always been a big supporter of urethane since trying them. I agree that they are not the answer for every situation. There is probably one event per season where I really wish I had gotten off my butt & spent the money to have a spare blade with steel edge ready to hook up for those occasions. I had posted at length on Plowsite about an ice storm that we had where I had to bench the one urethane truck completely, and got minimal results out of the other one, resulting in my hiring more subs hours using their steel edges. But the rest of the time & the other benefits far out weigh those few negative times. As far as the wear factor, I bought mine from MPT, and they are actually outlasting the wear that I was told to expect. The one edge has 350+ hours of actual plow time & I stll don't need to flip it or raise it yet. The other edge probably has around 200 hours on it and is close to needing to be adjusted (that one was installed with only 1.5" below the plow like it is supposed to. The one with more hours was installed with much more below, and is just now getting to 1.5" below). I used to get around 250 or so hours out of my steel edges, I know that I always bought the more expensive ones, but I'm not sure if I bought carbides or not.

My edges look like crap now, they have been through abusive plowing on some nasty pavements & a few gravel lots & drives. But they still plow well, so I am not concerned about some of the scratches dings marks and missing chunks that I see here & there. There is a good 4" x 2" chunk ripped off of one that happened 2 seasons ago, but that hasn't affect the plowing for some reason that I can't explain.

I agree with Bill's statements that the #1 reason I use them is less wear & tear on my trucks & plows, I haven't had to bend anything back since using them, but before that I remember regularly breaking out the torches during & between storms. #2 for me would be the wear factor, I can't wait to have to adjust them just to have to do some work on the plows :) #3 would be the scraping results, there are times when my lots treated similarly to other's in the area look much better after plowing, and the rest of the time, they look the same as those lots do with them using all steel edges.

The thing to remember is that I live in an area much warmer & with much less snow than Bill gets, so keep that in mind when reading my posts. I have only plowed in cold conditions like Bill is mentioing for 2-3 light (1|2" - 2" snowfalls) events last year, and my lots looked no worse than the other ones around, & I didn't have to bench the urethane trucks for those either, so that was good. Temps for those events were 10-18 F, so still warmer than what he is talking about, so maybe that was still warm enough to provide good results? This week we are supposed to get a plowable snow on a night with lows forecasted around 10F for here, so that will be another good cold test, if not as cold as what he gets.

Also I agree with what Bill said about you get what you pay for. The biggest complaints about urethane that I have talked to people about involved urethane that those people bought at half or less than what I paid. One or 2 storms & they were shot or worn way down. I don't believe they were using the same quality of materials that I was using in those cases.
 

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Wow! There's a lot of good information in this thread!

I don't have much input on this because you guys have covered it very well. One thing I can do is further emphasize Jerre's point. By sandwiching the urethane between two carbide edges you still get the scraping you desire, and the urethane reduces some, but not as much vibration and impact damage. I see many municipalities like Erie, PA for example, using this technique and it works for them.

We originally got into this industry because airports were trying to reduce the damage to inset runway lights. In this case urethane was the best solution because of it's impact resistance and increased wear life over rubber. Wear life is always so hard to measure with a product like this. Some airports, for instance, have the same type edge on the same model equipment, plowing in the same envirionment, but wear much quicker. It could something in the truck, it could be the way the truck is driven, or it could be subtlety in the way the plow is set up. It's hard to tell.

Trying to offer a performance characteristic such as wear life in an industry such as snow plowing, is therefore, next to impossible. In every area where the snow is at different levels, in different temperatures, the urethane will work and wear differently. What you again need to remember is that you get what you pay for. Some urethanes may have scraped a little better than ours in the conditions nsmilligan described in this thread. However, as soon as he would have hit a crack in the sidewalk or any uneveness, the edge probably would have cracked or broken.

So, if you call me an ask how long the urethane will outlast steel or rubber, I may give you very wide time frame, such as 4-10 times, but I try to always clarify that this is all dependent upon the environment inwhich you plow. We know urethane will outlast rubber in virtually all circumstances. We, in fact, have a local contractor who used the same Polar Edge for 5 years, and has just recently flipped it. He was replacing his rubber edges twice a year. We also know that urethane will outlast steel in cases where you may be hitting manhole covers, train tracks or curbs, but by how long can not be determined.
 

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could the reason the steel edge scrapes better at a colder temp is the fact that it has less contact area and thus a higher psi?
 

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Interesting theory Got Snow. Could be what is required in cold temps to deal with hard pack.

Well this last storm was officially the coldest I have ever done snow ops in. I am a cold weather loving dude & frankly I don't know how you northern folks deal with worse than I experienced on a regular basis LOL. I found no difference in the performance of my urethanes while plowing in 6-8 degrees F with wind chills around 20 below, then next night temp of zero and WC 21-25 below. So I'm pretty sure I will never have to worry about this issue if I continue to live & plow in this area.That worse case scenario has been tested, and a passing grade was had LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well I took Jerre's and Greg Blairs advice and we installed a high carbon steel edge in front of the u-edge. The scrapping performance is like a steel edge alone, but the u-edge behind cleans, just as well as before, so if it's possible it may be the best of both worlds. We've worn 2 inches off the u-edge since the start of the season, about 150 hours, that's on the groud time. Given the anmount we wore off the steel edge in the few days it was on I'm reviseing my wear estimate for the u-edge to be better then high carbon steel edges. The combination should produce even better wear characteristics.

Bill
 
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