As a Chicago area snow and ice management contractor for nearly 20 years, we have grown quite accustomed to the effectiveness of steel edged snow plows, shovels, blowers, etc. Steel is the most common and in many cases lowest cost material to use at the bottom of a snow clearing piece of equipment. The reason steel is the go-to trusted material for scraping, plowing and even lifting snow is it’s great durability, performance and availability. Another great aspect of steel is that it can be repaired fairly easily by welding two broken pieces together, straightened when bent by applying intense heat and if needed quickly replaced. Even though steel edged snow removal tools have earned their place in the snow fighters “tool box” over the years, you should be aware of other great materials that can provide excellent snow and ice clearing, but also provide very minimal wear or scratching of the surface being cleaned. The other materials that make for great snow removal cutting/wear edges are solid rubber and polyurethane. Rubber blades offer great abrasion resistance. As you know rubber blades are more flexible and elastic than metal blades, therefore absorb impact, shock, and conform easily to the pavement surface. Rubber will reduce damage to the surface being cleared, making it the ideal choice for use on parking garages, brick pavers, cobblestone, or any other sensitive uneven surface. Rubber (in my opinion) is the fastest wearing material when used commercially on a vehicle operated snow plow. The other material is polyurethane. Polyurethane provides improved abrasion characteristics over rubber and most metals. Even though polyurethane is very expensive, it is also very resilient, and therefore absorbs impacts and conforms to the surface being plowed quite nicely. Polyurethane cutting edges reduce equipment wear by minimizing blade and equipment vibration. Polyurethane cutting edges are very quiet in operation, making them ideal for use in residential areas and hospitals. Even though rubber and polyurethane cutting edges certainly have earned their place for clearing snow across the greater Chicago and northwest surrounding suburban area, my favorite material remains to be steel for the excellent proven results it produces year after year. Please contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any questions or snow and ice management service requests you may have. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog!