Lightning as a light duty snow plow - likely?

Discussion in 'F-150 Lightning' started by Shannon Mollenhauer, Aug 25, 2021.

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  1. Shannon Mollenhauer

    Shannon Mollenhauer New Member

    I have a large concrete driveway and used a very lightweight plow on my old Sport Trac for a few years. Took care of a few neighbors' drives as well when we got a heavy snow. The family got bigger and ended up with an Expedition. Managed to put a Boss sport duty plow on that and moved a lot of snow. I'm between plow rigs now, but have been thinking the Lightning might work well for residential needs.

    I've heard @Tom Moloughney speculate on EV plowing a little. Just thinking out loud here and looking for others' thoughts:

    Reasons the Lightning would likely get a snow plow kit:
    1. Being part of the #1 truck line increases the likelihood the plow makers would have an easy transition to adapt their mounts and plows to it.
    2. Residential plowing probably wouldn't stretch the range much if I'm just working my own driveway and local neighbors.
    3. Electricity for the plow is abundant, and I acknowledge it will suck range like towing.
    4. Torque from electric motors should be sufficient for such a plow (?)
    5. Electric drive should stand up to the plowing work better than a mechanical drive train. I've heard of landscaping companies who just refuse to do plowing because the profits from offseason work are consumed by truck repairs after a winter of back and forth shifting.
    On the flip side - I know F150 is at the low end of plowing capability and that most are F250 or higher, but expect the modern lightweight sport duty plows used on SUVs and other light trucks shouldn't stress the truck too much. Obviously you need counterweight in the bed, but that built in scale will sure make it easy to know how you're loaded. ;)

    Do you think Ford will say putting a plow on a Lightning will void the warranty?

    What am I missing?
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  3. I can't say I know Ford's position on this, but we may have someone on the Podcast in September in a position to answer this, so I'll put it on my list of questions.

    I would think the Lightning would be great for plowing because the drivetrain wouldn't experience the same kind of torture as a combustion truck. Traction control might also be a big aid for that kind of work.
  4. aamyotte

    aamyotte Active Member

    One concern would be the draw on the 12v electrical system. My dad had a plow on his 91 F150 and you could see some strain on the system when the hydraulic pump worked.
    BEV don't have a large 12V battery if I understand correctly which might provide the necessary reserve.
  5. Puppethead

    Puppethead Well-Known Member

    My intent is to replace the F350 I use for plowing with an F150 Lightning so I really hope it can be used for plowing. If not, I'll have to keep my F350, which happens to have two 12 V batteries.

    That said, I don't think a BEV puts the kind of strain on a 12 V battery that an ICE vehicle does. ICE vehicles use the battery to crank the engine for starting, which a BEV doesn't need to do. Also, as a resident of Minnesota, it's common practice to replace 12 V batteries with higher-amperage ones to handle winter, so I think a single battery should be okay.

    Another thought is with all the 120/240 V electricity coming off the high voltage batteries, I wonder if anyone will think to utilize that for powering a plow. There are more power options with the Lightning beyond the 12 V battery.
  6. aamyotte

    aamyotte Active Member

    My comment about the 12v battery is that from my understanding in a BEV the 12v battery is smaller than an ICE due to not needing the cold cranking amps.
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  8. ENirogus

    ENirogus Active Member

    Since a plow frame will have to be developed for the EV, I imagine the pumps system could be modified. While the size of the battery is a thing, it is really the alternator in an ICE vehicle that is doing the work. If Ford intends these to replace the regular F150 they need to have a voltage system that can handle the pump current
  9. Puppethead

    Puppethead Well-Known Member

    I ran across this video about plowing with the F-150 Lightning, it's not encouraging. Apparently Ford put the cooling radiator underneath the frunk where plow mounts normally go. And here I thought figuring out power would be the biggest hurdle. Not sure if this is a deal-breaker for me or not, but I definitely am rethinking if I'll get one.

    Last edited: Jan 9, 2023
    Domenick likes this.
  10. Puppethead

    Puppethead Well-Known Member

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  11. Hikesh

    Hikesh New Member

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  13. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Maybe the Lightning was designed in the Bahamas rather than in Detroit, where Ford engineers see snow-plow blades mounted on their trucks.
    Hikesh likes this.
  14. Hikesh

    Hikesh New Member

    Haha that would explain it I suppose
  15. teslarati97

    teslarati97 Well-Known Member

    I mean you could always do a trailer hitch mounted snowplow.

  16. ENirogus

    ENirogus Active Member

    Power should not be a big thing. Regular plow rigs use a small hydraulic pump connected to the battery. If the DC-DC converter that recharges the battery is not up to it, probably a bigger battery might be needed. Power is only used during raise and angle moves, not while actually plowing
    Someone needs to develop mounting rails, oh, gee they will be different than the stock F150 ones, it is not rocket science. As long as the frame is strong enough
    Wiring harness for the lights. Plows usually block the headlights and running lights, so a harness must be made to use the lights on the plow rig.
    Once someone is out of the 12 month 12k warranty, they will make one.
    Most plowing eliminates a whole bunch of factory warranty anyway, front end, wiring, transmission, wheel bearings, poof gone.
  17. Puppethead

    Puppethead Well-Known Member

    Considering there are 120 V outlets in the frunk I would think a nice solution would be to get power from them assuming the outlets are active while the vehicle is in drive state. I suppose one could drop as many 12 V car batteries as needed in the frunk, although charging them would need to be figured out.
  18. ENirogus

    ENirogus Active Member

    You won't need 'batteries'
    The pump runs a very small percentage of the time
    As a guess, if you had a regular car battery with no charging involved, it would last long enough to plow for one charge of the vehicles battery

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