The XRS plow, designed specifically for skid-steer applications, is a rugged wing plow that automatically puts itself in the “windrow” position (scoops the leading wing and retracts the inside wing) when fully angled and then returns to the scoop position once straight.
Rockland, Maine-based Fisher Engineering, manufacturers of snowplows, spreaders and accessories since 1948, recently expanded its line of snowplows for construction equipment. This includes a new family of trip-edge pusher plows, tractor mounts for heavy-duty straight blades, v-plows and winged plows, and a universal mounting plate specifically for skid steer applications.
"As our customers' businesses grow, snow and ice control contractors focus more on efficiency. Fisher has seen the need for snow and ice control attachments for equipment other than traditional pick-up trucks increase over the years," said Andrew McArdle, director, marketing.
The universal mounting plate for skid steers and tractor mounts allow contractors to choose from a variety of different blade models, depending on their requirements. The HD2, HDX and XRS models utilizing the universal skid-steer mounting plate make hook-up fast and easy regardless of skid-steer brand, according to the manufacturer.
The HD2 model is a powder-coated straight-blade plow that ranges in width from 7 ft. 6 in. to 9 ft. The HDX model is a corrosion-resistant stainless-steel straight-blade plow available in 8 or 9 ft. widths. It has a unique adjustable attack angle feature that allows the operator to select the optimal plow angle based on plowing surface, weather conditions or operator preference. The XRS model, designed specifically for skid-steer applications, is a rugged wing plow that automatically puts itself in the "windrow" position (scoops the leading wing and retracts the inside wing) when fully angled and then returns to the scoop position once straight. This ensures the plow is always in the most productive blade configuration. And hook up couldn't be easier, according to the company. The operator simply aligns the mounting plate with the u-plate, engages the pins and is ready to plow.
"The Fisher legacy has always been to provide snow removal equipment for those who clear the way when snow and ice happens. The legacy rolls on, 72 years later. Today, Fisher offers a complete line of plows for snow removal and hopper and tailgate spreaders for ice control," said McArdle.
Originally founded by Dean L. Fisher to manufacture snowplows for Willys jeep vehicles, Fisher Engineering has become a market-leading snow and ice control brand in New England and the east coast. The company became a part of Milwaukee, Wis.-based Douglas Dynamics in 1984. Since then, Douglas Dynamics has continued to add additional brands to its portfolio to better service the snow and ice industry and the truck upfitting market.
Fisher offers a full line of truck (Truck Class 1-6) and "non-truck" (skid steer, UTV, tractor, etc.) snowplows, hopper spreaders and tailgate spreaders. The need for snow and ice control attachments that work with compact equipment such as skid steers, wheel loaders and tractors has grown as contractors look to maximize their equipment investment and utilize their landscape and construction equipment year-round and not just during the summer months. The prime market for Fisher is the northeast, which traditionally sees high snow falls.
According to McArdle, snow and ice contractors are focused on balancing reactive snow removal during and after the storm with proactive ice control measures prior to the storm. This includes hopper spreaders that allow for salting and liquid brine application. Contractors are looking to find the balance between pre-treating properties in advance and servicing them during the storm.
Earlier this year, the company introduced its all-new v-plow, the Fisher EZ-V, purposefully designed with homeowners and contractors in mind to fit on half-ton trucks. Other new releases included the all-new STEEL-CASTER 0.7 cu. yd. stainless steel hopper spreader for high-performance ice control capabilities specifically for half-ton and light-duty trucks. The company also expanded its line of steel-edge pusher plows, adding 12-, 14- and 16-ft. models to the STORM BOXX pusher plow line. This line is built specifically for construction equipment to move large amounts of snow.
"Fisher utilizes the proprietary Douglas Dynamics Management System [DDMS] which produces superior service and the highest quality products by creating an environment driven by continuous improvement. We are driven by being better tomorrow than we are today," said McArdle.
As part of the commitment to the DDMS, Douglas Dynamics strives to control as much of the manufacturing process as possible. Fisher products are manufactured in its Rockland, Milwaukee and Madison Heights, Mich., facilities. Between the three, there is more than 500,000 sq. ft. of dedicated manufacturing space. Douglas Dynamics employs roughly 1,700 people, driven by operational excellence and dedicated to hiring and retaining the industry's best workforce, according to the company.
"The spirit of continuous improvement ensures our manufacturing is state-of-the-art and embraces new ideas and technology to provide industry-leading service and reliability to our equipment owners and distribution partners," said McArdle.
Fisher Engineering provides a 2-year warranty on its plow and spreader products. To ensure Fisher products continue to operate as they were intended, a full catalog of manufacturer-approved service parts and accessories are available and can be purchased through authorized dealer locations.
For dealers, Fisher Engineering offers several training opportunities for internal sales and service teams and dealer service personnel. These training opportunities are diverse, including in-person training sessions, videos, webinars and 24/7 access to service and installation documentation. Customers benefit from Fisher's participation in several industry associations, including SIMA (Snow & Ice Management Association) and ASCA (Accredited Snow Contractors Association), which promote industry leadership and education. The company lends its industry knowledge and expertise to create content and talk with industry leaders to ensure the right solutions.
Fisher Engineering is an NTEA MVP member (The Association for the Work Truck Industry Member Verification Program) which recognizes eligible companies in the work truck industry for outstanding business practices and successful implementation of quality standards.
Fisher partners with the industry's leading independent network of dealers, distributors and truck upfitters. Fisher also was awarded a four-year national cooperative contract from government agency Sourcewell (formerly National Joint Powers Alliance) in 2018. Members of Sourcewell, which is the largest government purchasing cooperative of its kind in the country, benefit from discounted pricing for Fisher's snow and ice handling equipment and supplies.
"When it comes to future products, it begins and ends with the customer. Customers drive our new product development," said McArdle. "Understanding how they run their business and what they expect from their equipment drives innovation. Our goal is to continue to develop products that will not only meet but exceed our customers' expectations on all levels."
He admitted weather is always the biggest unknown in this industry and therefore poses a challenge.
"Weather can't be controlled, and even predictions are right only part of the time. But by controlling the things we can control — designing and manufacturing the highest quality equipment, on time delivery and industry leading customer support — we put ourselves and our customers in the best position to succeed when the snow starts to fly."
Where the pandemic created uncertainty for many, being reliant on snow actually creates certainty for Fisher. Snow is guaranteed irrespective of the pandemic or other global events. The only variables are exactly when and how much snow to expect.
"The services of our equipment owners are necessary to clear the way for emergency crews, healthcare workers and everyone else who still has to be on the roads on a daily basis," said McArdle. "Our dealer network has proven to be resilient and have adapted to operate in these new conditions. While we can't predict how the winter will go, we do know that Fisher Engineering, our dealers and our equipment owners will be ready to step up to the challenge and clear the way." CEG