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Top Plowing Tips to Increase Efficiency this Winter

Semi Service December 30, 2020

While winter is already here, there’s still time to stay ahead of the worst storms of the year and tips to make sure you’re prepared for next year. Communities rely on snow plowing professionals and volunteers alike to keep the roads safe for every day travel. With less traffic on the road to wear down ice and clear paths, emergency transportation and other necessary workers need snow plowing more than ever! We have the top plowing tips for both commercial and residential snow plowers to help you make your roads safe.

Get Prepared Before the Snow Storm

Don’t wait until the snow piles up until you get your plow ready to go. You may be an expert at dealing with the snow, but reacting to a major snowstorm is worse than being ready to hit the roads as soon as it’s time to plow. Worse yet, the longer you wait to hook everything up, the later you may realize something isn’t working correctly. This could leave you out of commission at the worst time possible!

The best time to get your vehicle serviced for the snow season is towards the end of fall, but the second-best time is now. Ensuring that your vehicle and equipment is road-ready before you plan to use it is the way to avoid disaster.

Now’s the best time to stake out the edges of your property. It will help you maneuver in your own property and reduce potential lawn damage when you’re plowing. Snow plows are great for moving snow, but they’ll also move your lawn if you let them!

Plan Ahead

When you arrive at a job, make sure you first plan out where you’ll be moving the snow to reduce problems as the snow builds up. You’ll want to think two snowfalls ahead and push your piles back, to ensure that you have plenty of space for future accumulation.

Think about your plowing route or pattern. Always push snow away from the building!

If you have contracts with residential or commercial properties, see if they’ll let you pin down stakes to mark the edges of their property too! This can be immensely helpful if they aren’t planning to do it themselves – while it would benefit their customers, for you it’s essentially a small insurance policy to help reduce potential damage to their landscaping. You can’t be expected to remember every business’s layout!

Refresh on Back Dragging

When plowing near a wall or garage, use a back dragging technique, where you slowly approach the wall, lower your blade, and pull the snow backwards approximately two truck lengths. Once the snow is clear from the tricky area, back the truck into the space and push the snow to its destination.

Back-dragging is the best technique for getting started on short or narrow driveways.  You can also use it on edges of buildings or anywhere you can’t safely and thoroughly get behind to push the snow away.

Remember to never back-drag farther than a few feet, or you may risk damaging your truck or the snow plow equipment. A short, quick back-dragging will be enough to give you the space to get behind and push the snow the rest of the way!

Deep Snow Layered Sweeps

Here in Utah and Idaho, we get serious snow. It’s not uncommon to run into situations where you’ll be clearing away deep snow piles. When it comes to top plowing tips it’s important to know how to handle these deep snows without turning your job into a rescue mission.

For starters, driving slow still applies, just as it would with lighter snow. When you realize you’re dealing with heavy snow, it’s time to plan for multiple passes. There’s no benefit in pushing your vehicle past its limit and causing damage to try and get the job done a few minutes faster. Take it slow, make passes that clear away some snow, and reset your position to start over until it’s clear.

Overloading equipment is a real problem that happens when snow is deep or exceptionally wet. Knowing your vehicle and its limits are key to being a top snow plowing professional!

One rule of thumb is that for six inches of snow or more, you will want to use a half blade width. Raise your blade and take the first few inches off of the top of the snow and repeat until all snow is clear. You’ll eventually get a feel for what your vehicle can handle and, over time, you’ll be clearing deep snows without a second thought.

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Ready for a New Snow Plow?

If you’re ready to equip your truck with a new snow plow, we can help answer your questions! The snowy season is here, so let our experts help you sooner rather than later.

Contact us online or give us a call at (801) 895-4419 to get started today!

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