When you plow rural areas, your team may encounter new application challenges along with different weather conditions which can greatly impact their ability to complete snow removal tasks successfully. Rural snow plowing has its own set of rules and guidelines to consider to ensure your drivers do a quality job while keeping themselves and your vehicles safe.
1. Plan for Tricky Driveway and Lot Mixtures
Gravel or other dirt and stone mixture driveways are common in rural residences or commercial lots. This type of loose stone can present a challenge when plowing because it is difficult to gauge how well packed the gravel or stone is and where the edge is between the gravel and grass.
To overcome these obstacles, make sure you have a plow that can use skid shoes. These plow accessories enable you to set the scrapping height of the cutting edge of the plow blade. For gravel drives or lots, you will want to set the scrapping height for about one inch higher than the surface. This distance keeps the blade from digging in too far and ripping up grass or pushing a lot of gravel into the grass.
2. Use the Right Vehicle
Many times in rural areas, the job has tricky areas that could cause your truck and plow to easily get stuck. These instances require a durable, high-performance plow attached to a tractor or all-terrain vehicle (ATV). There are options available to utilize the features of a commercial grade plow on smaller off-road vehicles. Meyer's Path Pro plows are one model that is well-suited for the off-road demands of rural areas and are built to take the punishment less expensive brands can’t handle.
3. Prepare Before the Storm
Before the season starts, inspect the entire area for potential hazards such as holes, speed bumps, medians, low landscaping, fire hydrants and other obstacles that will be covered with snow.
Plowing with the storm is the key to overcoming the challenge of wind and vast open areas. In rural areas, it is common to find more open spaces because of fields or larger properties. Without many buildings to block the wind, gusts of any strength can make keeping up with the snow fall a challenge for even the largest fleets. These areas require more attention and constant maintenance when there is a storm. Spreading sand or other de-icing materials as a preventative measure can help decrease problematic areas, keeping them from becoming too slick until your crew is able to clear them.
4. Communication Readiness
Part of the challenge in servicing rural areas is a fewer number of people around at a given time. This lack of activity can mean a driver who experiences some type of a stuck vehicle, medical emergency or other unplanned event may not have any immediate resources to offer assistance with their problem. Ensure your drivers are prepared and have the communication equipment and procedures necessary to receive help when it is needed. Establishing a type of buddy-system amongst your fleet can decrease the opportunity for driver emergencies due to lack of communication or attention.
Learn more industry insights to improve your fleet's efficiency this season with Meyer's free plowing tips guide.
What other tips do you have for snow plowing rural applications? What lessons have your learned?