You have already done your pre-season equipment check to prepare your vehicles for the mechanical demands of the winter season but another asset you need to prepare is the members of your plowing fleet crew.
Even if you have seasoned plow veterans on your staff, there are several important health, safety and productivity issues to pro-actively address to keep your team's efficiency high throughout the demands of the winter season.
Health & Wellness
Flu Shot: Ensure your plowing fleet is operating at full capacity by offering flu shots to keep them protected from catching and spreading the flu virus.
Physical Demand Precautions: During peak plow season, strenuous activities like shoveling snow can create health risks such as heart attacks, frost bite and employee exhaustion. Give your staff information on recognizing the signs and symptoms of each and, if needed, how to get immediate help.
Sleep deprivation: When a blizzard hits, your drivers may be in for some long and draining hours. Give them gift cards to local gas stations or coffee shops to encourage them to stop for some caffeine or a quick snack to keep them going. Establish a system to check in on drivers and recognize when a driver needs to be removed from the road due to sleep deprivation concerns.
Clothing: Keep your drivers safe when they are outside the vehicle by supplying reflective vests or hats to alert passing vehicles of their presence. Require that your drivers carry extra gloves and extra warm clothing in case they find themselves outside the vehicle for an extended period of time.
Equipment Management: Review all safety guidelines for operating plows and salt spreaders highlighting any parts that could catch clothing and cause injuries.
Safe Lifting Techniques: Review the proper way to lift heavier items like bags of salt and pieces of snow equipment to avoid back and strain injuries.
Training: Establish snow removal procedures for all your drivers to implement on their routes, including proper snow stacking, de-icing techniques and methods for handling wet or heavy snow.
Roadside assistance: Provide your team with an emergency resource in the instance of a truck break-down or stuck snow plow. If your company has towing capabilities, have an on-call member available to offer assistance.
Deliver exceptional snow removal service to your customers this season by taking time to review these important issues with your crew to ensure they are fully prepared for whatever winter throws their way.
Want more information to increase your team's plowing efficiency? Download our free plowing tip guide and help your crew perform at their best.
What other preparation do you make before the snow plowing season? What recommendations would you make to others?