When you have a truck, you can rightly assume that you can do all the “truck-things” with that truck, and snow plowing is one of those “truck-things” that one might count on when you own a Ford F-150 Lightning. But when it comes to electric vehicles, it is important to keep in mind that they are a different animal than what we are used to when it comes to trucks.
You can plow snow with a Ford F150 Lightning if you use a hitch-mounted snowplow. This truck does not currently support a front mounted snow plow system because the way the front end is built, there is no way to attach a snow plow system to the truck without major fabrication.
Although Ford doesn’t recommend it, it is your truck, and it has a frame, so you could create a way to attach it to the truck. What it would take is another story.
Can You Plow Snow With A Ford F-150 Lightning?
The problem with being able to plow snow with a Ford F-150 Lightning is that you would need to be able to have a snow plow attached to the truck to do that. Unfortunately Ford doesn’t recommend it and no snow plow company will want to install it for you because of that reason.
To get in a little deeper into the “why” of Ford not recommending to carry a snow plow, the main reason is simply because they didn’t test this during their testing of the truck’s capabilities so they can’t officially say if it can or cannot carry a snow plow.
Technically, the truck has a frame just like the normal gas trucks. The problem is the rest of the components there in the front. There is a radiator positioned in the front between the frame rails that sits lower than the bottom of the frame rails. The lower valance on the front bumper is also in the way of getting to the frame.
If you really needed to get in there and attach the snow plow to the truck there are ways to do it, but it will require some elbow grease.
How A Snow Plow Attaches To A Truck
The snow plows come with brackets that attach to the frame of the truck. They wrap the frame rail from the bottom and bolt into the frame in multiple locations and angles. The front bumper has to be removed in order to have access to the frame rails.
In the Ford F-150 Lightning there is a lot of components in the way, so not only removal of them is required, a new location or a modified location need to be created to install them back because the brackets and the fasteners will be in the way of the old location.
The snow plow kit usually comes with some universal brackets from which you can select which fit your application. Some plows will come with vehicle specific brackets already provided.
Once the brackets are attached to the truck, a crossmember will be attached between them to stabilize and strengthen them. The snow plow then attaches to these brackets.
Fabricating A Way To Install The Snow Plow On A Ford F-150 Lightning
Let’s say that you are a handy with the fabrication thing and you figure out how to attach it, in this case the Ford F-150 Lightning probably has the power and ability to handle a snowplow and has the power to carry it and do all the things that you would expect a truck to do.
The things that get in the way of installing the brackets is the coolant radiator that lives between the frame rails and a bunch of plumbing. The front bumper will also need to be cut in order to provide an opening for the brackets to stick out on which the snow plow will attach. Because of the position of the bumper relative to the frame rails, the cuts can go into the bumper and not just the lower valance.
What can be done is, after the radiator and all it’s plumbing is out of the way and the brackets get installed onto the frame rails, the bolts that are sticking out past the nut into the area where the radiator goes can be cut off to take up as little space as possible, this may provide a way for the radiator to fit back into it’s place.
When you need the truck to do the work, the look of the truck can be sacrificed, so cutting into the bumper to create the openings for the bracket ends to stick out through them is a necessity.
Once the brackets are installed, the components are back in place and the bumper is attached, the only thing left to do is attach the plow and run the electrical as you normally would. The front trunk has a location for the 12V to attach to so you just need to get it all connected.
Ford F-150 Lightning Future Plans For Snow Plow Attachment
The US Snow Plowing Market was over $380,000,000 in 2019 and it expected to grow to $500,000,000 by 2027. The commercial market is about $20,000,000,000 ($20 Billion) and there are over 85,000 snow plowing businesses in the US.
With these numbers in mind, it only makes sense for Ford to provide a way to attach a snow plow to the Lightning truck if they plan to dominate the country with their electric truck.
If they don’t, another brand will and I am sure they are not going to let that happen.
There is no official word about it other than that this truck is still in its beginning stages so there are much more to talk about as they move forward. This means to me that they will be looking into many other things as they develop this truck over the next years.
Can an Electric Vehicle Plow Snow?
Electric vehicles have the strength and torque to plow snow, at least on paper. The difficulty for electric vehicle manufacturers, particularly those looking to incorporate electric snowplows for local road clearing, is one of battery performance.
An electric vehicle’s range is already significantly reduced in colder weather due to the design of EV batteries.
When you add the significant workload of operating a snowplow, electric vehicles simply cannot compete with the stamina of their gas-powered counterparts.
Can You Put Snow Tires on a Ford Lightning?
You can swap the stock all-terrain or all-season tires on a Ford Lightning for an aftermarket product that is more suitable to your needs. Some options to consider include the following:
- Nokian Outpost
- Nitto Terra Grappler G2
- Nokian Rotiivas
Is Ford Lightning an AWD or 4WD?
The Ford Lightning standard packages for 2022 and 2023 are 4WD vehicles. The 2023 Ford F150 Lightning is equipped with two electric motors and a 98 kilowatt battery with 462 horsepower, making for an impressive 775 pounds per feet of torque.
In addition to the 4WD system, each model of F150 Lightning also features locking rear differential technology skid plates, and stock all-terrain or all-season tires.
How Is the Ford Lightning in the Snow?
The Ford F150 Lightning handles admirably in the snow, and its safety features are second to none. The F150 Lightning is capable of detecting wheelslip within a fraction of a second, adjusting the powertrain accordingly to deliver torque to the ground.
Nick Harris, an F150 Lightning powertrain engineer, noted that Ford’s goal with the vehicle was to deliver a product that would make drivers feel “very confident” in the snow and the ice.
On the downside, as is the case with many electric vehicles, the Ford F150 Lightning is likely to lose some of its range in more extreme climates, prompting the need for more frequent recharges in between driving sessions.
Can the Ford F150 Lightning Plow Snow?
While the Ford F150 Lightning might be more than capable of handling extreme weather conditions, it has a number of issues when it comes to mounting a snowplow.
While it certainly has the power and torque to handle the workload, the F150 Lightning was not designed with front-mounted snowplows in mind.
The cooling radiator box on the Ford F150 Lightning is lower than other models, level with the bottom of the frame to make room for the frunk. Normally, this is where you’d install the front-mounted hardware on a snowplow, but with a Ford 150 Lightning, doing so isn’t possible.
Another issue raised by snowplow manufacturers is regarding the battery. The Ford F150 Lightning does have a 12-volt battery system, but the stock system would be put under great stress in heavy-load plowing conditions, greatly affecting the range of the vehicle.
Fischer (and several other snowplow companies) were unwilling to consider the possibility of installing a snowplow when approached, at least for the time being. Installing a front-mounted snowplow, with all the welding, suspension adjustments, and electric installation could cost up to $30,000. Of course, making such extreme modifications will also void the warranty.
Will Mounting a Snowplow Void My Warranty?
On other models of Ford, properly installing a compatible snowplow model will not void your warranty, but because the compatibility issues with front-mounted snowplows, your warranty may be voided if you choose to install one on a Ford F150 Lightning.
Specifically, using a snowplow on a Ford F150 Lightning may cause denial of warranty coverage if the damage/part failure is determined to be as a result of installing the plow.
What Snowplow Is Compatible with the Ford F150 Lightning?
Because of the position of the radiator cooling box, you can’t include a front-mounted snowplow on the new Ford F150 Lightning.
You can, however, include a hitch-mounted snowplow. These rear-mounted plows are usually floating, meaning that you have no control over up and down motion with the plow. SnowSport offers a hitch-mounted plow for around $1300.
The plow is suitable for level ground and light snow squalls. Of course, a floating hitch-mounted plow is not suited at all for commercial use, but for most residential circumstances, it works well enough.
Another option, if a front-mounted snowplow is a must for you, is welding a bracket onto the front of your Ford F150 Lightning. Of course, you’ll need to know what you’re doing to make the mount safe, and doing so will completely void your warranty. Do so at your own risk.
The Ford 150 Lightning can have a hitch-mounted snowplow, but that’s about it. As such, if you want to use this vehicle for light-duty snowplowing at your place of residence, then you can certainly do so with plows from companies like SnowSport.
It’s not practical if you need your truck to have a front-mounted snowplow or if you’re plowing snow commercially.
Valik loves tinkering in the garage and is currently restoring a 2000 GMC Sierra 1500 truck. He also writes about the progress on this blog. When not in the garage, Valik is also a web developer and a blogger. I know, strange, a hand in two completely different worlds. And that is the way he likes to keep it.