A snow plow controller allows the driver to move the snow plow blades up or down and angle them from side to side. The controllers are mounted inside the cab and come in joystick or handheld models that are easy to use while driving the plow.
The joystick controller is usually mounted on the center console and is similar to a video game joystick. It operates the plow blades by moving the stick up, down and from side to side. The driver must reach down to use the joystick, just as he would to shift the truck.
Handheld controllers have a mounted section that's installed in the cab and a separate handheld section that is attached by a cord. These usually have buttons to control the different functions. The "pistol grip" controller is an ergonomically designed version of the handheld variety.
Some of the commands on a handheld controller's buttons include raise, lower, angle left and angle right. Plows that have a V-shaped blade also have a button to retract the blades, as well as one to extend the blades to create a scoop shape.
Almost all controllers have a "sleep mode." This turns the device off after it's been idle for a preset period, usually 20 minutes if the factory setting is used. The driver can adjust this time period. The "sleep mode" prevents the plow blades from accidentally activating while traveling from one snow plow job to the next.