There are usually two routes one can take when building the perfect plow rig. One is you can go bare bones with a used pickup and plow combo—or, you can go hog-wild and invest in a top-of-the-line setup. People's viewpoints on this topic can be polarizing, but no one can deny how nice it is to have heated leather seats and other luxury amenities while pushing snow.
This past weekend we went the route of a luxurious plow rig and it completely spoiled us. Equipped with a 2017 GMC Sierra 2500HD Denali (Duramax diesel) and a Western Plows MVP 3 V-Blade plow, we took on the last licks of winter. As luck would have it, New York was hit with a significant storm that dropped around 12 inches several days before and there was still plenty of snow to push around.
The streets of Yonkers, NY were technically cleared by the DPW, but there were tons of side streets, secondary lanes and driveways that remained untouched. Since the 2017 GMC Sierra 2500HD is a bit of a beast (239.5 inches long excluding the plow), we had to be strategic in every move as we made when clearing snow from around stuck vehicles, confined spaces and tight driveways. Fortunately, the MVP 3 V-Blade allowed us to fine-tune our plowing ability with its scoop and wing functions. Rather than making several passes to achieve the desired movements, we were able to dip into a spot, snag unwanted snow and clear it to an awaiting bank in one fell swoop.
Thanks to the all-new 6.6-liter turbocharged diesel V8 cranking out 445 horsepower and 910 lb-ft of torque, we never had to get a running start to push piles of snow down the street. If the truck began to lose traction, we utilized the on-the-fly four-wheel-drive and continued working. The only real downside to using this $70,000 truck as a plow rig was the flurry of technology, especially front-end collision warning, that constantly went off due to the plow. Every time we changed gears, rotated the plow or started the truck, that unrelenting beeping and seat vibration went crazy.
When pushed hard, the Allison 1000 6-speed automatic transmission performed like a dream. Plows often can increase wear on a truck’s drivetrain and transmission, but the GMC Sierra 2500HD handled each task like a champ. When traveling between plow locations, the 6-speed smoothly cycled through the gears and never complained once we got back to work. At no point did we feel the truck was overworked or incapable of completing a push: the plow blade was met with over a foot of wet snow time and again, and the 6.6-liter V8 happily kept chugging along. If you decide to use this truck as your plow rig, GMC offers a 220 amp alternator and roof light wiring for an additional $235. Just keep in mind—you may want to plow some affluent areas to pay the truck off.
When the plowing season is over, you will be pleasantly surprised with how smooth the truck rides. Although the model we were given was set up with an off-road suspension with twin-tube Rancho shocks, we never found ourselves making a human smoothie as well traveled down the road.
Would we recommend this truck to someone with a chubby wallet? Yes, you won’t have to worry as much about maintaining the truck or having to do on-the-fly repairs. Plus, you will be more than comfortable using the 2017 Sierra 2500HD Denali as your luxury daily driver.