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Steel VS Stainless

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by birddseedd, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516

    lighter, stronger. why are so few plows made of it?
  2. lawnboy2121

    lawnboy2121 Senior Member
    Messages: 470

    I dont think stainless is stronger than regular steel. its is softer and tears easier
  3. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516

    well. there are different grades of steel. if you are talking about the high carbon hardened steel of the cutting edge then the high carbon stuff is stronger, but if you are talking about the mold board or ribs which are made out of basic flat stock, stainless is much stronger.

    costs a little more, but nothign compared to manufacturing in either case.
  4. ScubaSteve728

    ScubaSteve728 Senior Member
    Messages: 499


    fisher stainless plows look sweet and you dont have to paint them. maybe just polish them up with stainless steel cleaner
  5. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516

    with the benifit of no rust..... this seems a no brainer to me, but heck if i know.
  6. jasonv

    jasonv PlowSite.com Addict
    from kannada
    Messages: 1,122

    You could ask the same about vehicle bodies and frames. Why not stainless?

    The answer is because stainless doesn't rust (as much) as regular steel. How are they going to sell you a new car when your rustbucket rusts out, if it never becomes a rustbucket? Same with plows. Make it out of regular steel SPECIFICALLY so that it won't last forever. Charge a premium for the stainless.

    I may be in the market for a stainless steel time machine, if anyone happens to have one for sale at a reasonable price. Preferably fusion powered with anti-gravity.
  7. plowguy43

    plowguy43 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,281

    Love my stainless plow, really don't want another regular steel plow again.

    My fisher Xblade was nice as well, but the moldboard rubbed against the Xbraces causing the painted bracing to rust. My Snowdogg has nice rubber strips over all of the bracing, no rubbing and no rust.

    Very happy with it.

    Oh yeah, I think it throws snow better than painted steel as well.
  8. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516

    well now there ya go. we have come to the correct answer.

    side note, although care manufacturers didnt like the guy that made the delorian, or whatever, it would still be around if the guy wasnt so into dealing drugs...

    second question.... wouldn't a new company make lots and lots of money if they started building their new brand of plows with stainless?
  9. ducaticorse

    ducaticorse PlowSite.com Addict
    from we
    Messages: 1,426

    Lighter, doesnt rust, way more expensive lb for lb.
  10. plowguy43

    plowguy43 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,281

    Problem with a Delorian is if you get in a fender bender, you can't repair the panel. It always has to be replaced.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012
  11. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,174


    SS is the only to go

  12. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516

    nice building. wish i had one (and hte customers to pay for it)
  13. jb1390

    jb1390 Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    Not sure that it is worth replying to this and continuing said discussion.....but here we go.

    Steel in a heat treated form is significantly stronger than stainless 304 or 316. You can get stainless that is very strong, (A286), but it also requires a very expensive process to get to that state. You can check on McMaster-Carr for bolt prices, compare A286 hardware to comparable grade 8 or grade 5 hardware, and see what you are paying for each fastener.

    The idea that a company is designing a product to specifically wear out is kind of off-base. That being said, all parts of the car, ideally, would wear out at exactly the same time. The thing is, suspensions, transmissions, and engines will wear out generally before the structural components on a car, but all around the same life cycle. In addition, things like door latches, seats, stereos, and the entire interior are also becoming worn around that time. There is no reason to design one component to last for 50 years, when the rest of the car will wear out. And yes, in some ways it would be possible to design a car that would last for 30 or 50 years. However, technology continues to improve, allowing for smoother, more powerful, more efficient cars, and improved ergonomics. For this reason, people tend to keep a car for around 10 years (plus or minus), and then move on to something new. A manufacturer that designed a car to last 30 years would price themselves out of business, because people would want to purchase a newer vehicle in the 10 year timespan regardless of designed life cycle of the vehicle. Automotive manufacturers recognize the purchasing trends of consumers, and design their products to last approximately that same life cycle. It's a very basic concept in engineering and engineering economics.
  14. plowguy43

    plowguy43 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,281

    ....And here we go :popcorn::whistling:

    Those little wings are so cute, gotta love how DD charges an Arm & a leg and doesn't even make them out of stainless to match nor make them the correct height for the plow.

    Unlike Snowdogg (credit goes to cmo18 for the pic)

    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012
  15. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516

    That is very interest. and while i do NOT neccerally DISagree with it, i would like to point out that cars last more around 20 years before they are considered unusable. in fact most of my vehicles have been 86's.

    but here we are talking about plows that do not have such integrated parts as stereos and computers which vehicles have. you can get a new contorl moduel for a newer plow for a few hundred bucks. which is well worth not buying a brand new plow if the plow itself is in good condition. so it seems when plows are replaced, its due to the condition of the metal, not the few electronics.

    and yes you can treat steel to become harder than stainless, correct me if i am wrong, but they do not do that. your ribs, mold board, frame and mount are all made of basic flat stock steel. I think there are multiple reasons for this, one being that if steel is heat treated, yes its harder, but its also more brittle.

    I would like to know the answer to the question, but this question is kinda skirting around the issue. the issue is not with strength, plows are plenty strong enough, the issue is rust resistance. while my plow has fared pretty well, if i want it to last im going to have to blast and have it re coated. which isn't the cheapest process. and i do not know of any way a home user could powder coat.

    also mentioning no rust == higher resale if you want a new plow for better features.
  16. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,174

    Well it's a custom one off plow. The black ties back in with the truck
  17. birddseedd

    birddseedd PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,516

    nice plow. all i woudl change would be to have the wings flip forward into a scoop position

    straight mode, straight extended mode, vee mode, vee scoop mode AND straight scoop mode..... that woudl be a plow and a half.:D
  18. jb1390

    jb1390 Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    Your basic carbon steel is stronger than your basic stainless, and significantly cheaper. And nearly all steel is strengthened to one degree or another. Cold rolled steel is very common and significantly strengthened by the working process.

    There were some manufacturers (airflo I think?) that built their moldboards entirely out of stainless (but their a frames and lifting arms, etc were still steel). It is still a lifecycle and cost issue-how many steel grade 8 or 5 bolts and other hardware is installed holding the stainless in place? How about hydraulic hoses that wear out? and pump internals? And A frames that really cannot be made to last with stainless because they would bend? Plus, as vehicles change, do you want plow manufacturers to design different vehicle hookups to go on new vehicle frames with antiquated connection designs? The new meyer setups (or fisher, boss, and everything else), is so much easier to connect. When customers buy a new truck, they often (but not always), want a newer style plow to go with it.

    And all that being said, if someone is halfway decent with maintenance, and stores their plow in a good way in the off season, the rust really isn't that big an issue. Plus, to have it sandblasted and painted once every 5 or 10 years is still cheaper than making it all out of stainless. Would you pay 8 or 9K for a completely stainless plow when you could have a painted boss or meyer for 5K? And that's the answer, some people would, but most won't. Fisher and snowdogg have an interesting idea-to replace the thin moldboard with stainless, while building the structural pieces out of steel. For some, this solves the corrosion issue and rust all the way through the moldboard. For others, the pin wear and other items continue to be the limiting factor, not rust through the moldboard.
  19. plowguy43

    plowguy43 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,281

    Looks good don't get me wrong, but they don't even offer stainless for their extreme v. Plus the wings really don't add much width and are angled a lot.

    The wings are angled forward, but you are right they don't move electronically for the other "modes".

    My "And here we go" was aimed at jasonv btw.
  20. ryde307

    ryde307 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,145

    I do not have a SS plow or know anyone with one. But in relation to mild steel vs ss in other applications cost would be the bid one.
    Stainless is harder to work with as well. The average person with basic welding skill can't weld it and its not as formable as mild steel.
    The big problem I see with alot of stainless things is the main body or parts will be stainless but the fasteners or other items will not be. With those rusting its starts to look like crap.
    With a plow again I don't have or have zero experiance with SS so not sure. With salters due to how much corrosive material is in them always I would only buy poly or stainless, At this point I am just not convinced on the plows.