How to Plow Effectively While Driving Safely this Winter

When winter hits, everyone changes their driving habits to adjust for the new obstacles and dangers snow poses to roadway travel. Your fleets’ effectiveness depends on how well they can navigate through the very obstacle they are responsible for clearing.

Most plow drivers admit that the snow is the least of their worries, citing other hazardous elements which make the roads a dangerous work zone. While drivers cannot prepare for every occurrence, there are several threats which can be minimized to ensure they are as safe as possible on the road this winter.

Be Aware of Other Drivers

Snow plow drivers name absent-minded drivers as one of the biggest threats they face because non-plow drivers do not practice safe habits when traveling near a plow. Drivers frequently travel too close, try to pass then slow down in front of the plow or drive alongside plow trucks during active snow removal.

Instruct your drivers to constantly survey their surroundings.  Drivers should have a good familiarity of the intersections, hidden drives or areas with low visibility along their route to prepare for drivers who may not be aware of their location and how to correctly adjust their driving to accommodate for a snow plow.

Drivers should have plow lights on at all times, and your fleet should be equipped with flashing lights to attract attention, especially when plowing residential drivers and commercial parking lots. Mounting flags or other markers on the plow blade will make passing cars aware of its width and will encourage them to stay behind or pass with care. When not actively plowing, be sure drivers are instructed to position the blade of the plow so their headlights and field of vision are as clear as possible.

Check Your Speed

Quick and timely service is imperative in a quality snow removal service, which causes many drivers to speed as they complete their jobs.  However, your drivers cannot be effective when they are involved in an accident. Speeding, especially during a heavy snowstorm, is not worth the chance of injury to your driver, others or the costly damage it causes to the snow removal equipment. Advise your drivers to keep their traveling speeds under 40 mph and restrict plowing speeds to under 14 mph.

If you are concerned with your drivers being able to keep up with a storm, remember to have them plow with the snow. Deep, heavy or wet snow calls for more skillful and powerful planning than lighter snow. This type of snow also requires more time to efficiently clear, causing delays in completing your accounts and increasing your drivers’ temptation to speed.  Proactively putting down ice melting materials using equipment like Meyer's Crossfire Spreader that can quickly spread salt and ice melt before a snowfall can help control heavy, wet snow.

Snow plowing is a tough job and it comes with its share of unplanned events and risks. For more tips and trick, download our Plowing Tips Guide today.

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