When there are multiple snow events, stacking and piling snow always becomes an issue. With snow weighing as much as 12 pounds per square foot, safety protocols and avoiding equipment damage are paramount.
To effectively and safely pile snow, set your blade in the straight forward position, not angled. Drive straight into the pile, not at an angle. Push snow forward and upward by raising the plow as you move into the pile. The vehicles’ momentum will carry the plow into the pile.
Never stack snow with the plow in the lower/float or angled position. Doing so could cause damage, including: twisting the A-frame; causing the moldboard to hit the lift arms. Many times, such damage will not be covered by your warranty.
Ideally, the stack should slope naturally outward. Stacking snow on too steep an incline, could cause instability in the stack, which could lead to: equipment damage when adding more snow to the stack, possible injury to pedestrians or obstruction of parking spaces near the stack.
When pushing snow up to hardened piles, start a new pile first and then push it up onto the hard pile.
Choosing a place to pile or stack accumulating snow should always be done before the season, or at least while there is no snow on the ground. If you live in an area where there are very few thaws and multiple snow events, selection of a place to pile or stack snow is that much more important. You must always allow yourself enough room to pile the snow without adversely impacting parking spaces, buildings or walkways.
Talk to your client before the season to see if there is an area where snow can be stacked. If there is no ideal place to stack snow, it means you’re plowing in a trapped area. This might mean having to haul snow out of an area, which can be expensive. Advise your client of the problem.
Selecting a place to stack is really a matter of common sense. Select an area, preferably toward the rear of the property where snow can be piled. If you’re plowing a residential drive, you can stack near the base of the drive, or at the front of the drive near the street on either side.
The former is always the better choice, while the latter could mean obstructing the client’s view of traffic—which is never good. Piling snow on either side of the drive, may also obstruct access to the client’s mailbox or interfere with curbside deliveries or trash pickup.
Plowing snow across a street is not legal in every municipality, so try to avoid it if possible. If you must take snow across a street, check with your local municipality. When piling or stacking snow from a residential drive, make sure you don’t obstruct any walkways, and don’t pile snow next to any structures, like a fence, garage or dog house. Never stack snow where it can cause damage to landscaping or shrubbery or block access to electric or gas meters. Never stack snow on an existing structure. And never stack snow on someone else’s property.
Stacking snow on commercial parking lots requires a little more planning, but the same common sense rules apply. The stacks and piles of snow can get quite high on commercial accounts. Once again, never pile snow where it will obstruct the view of incoming or outgoing traffic. Always avoid piling snow near fire hydrants, mail boxes, electric boxes or dumpsters.
If there are drains on the property, select an area in proximity to the drain to allow for drainage during a melt, but maintain a safe distance and never cover the drain. Avoid piling snow near walkways or building entrances.
If you would like more advice on stacking or piling snow, or the right equipment for the job, contact your local Meyer dealer or representative. They often know resources, or professionals in the business who can answer your questions.