As the full brunt of winter edges ever closer, we at E.P.M. are making sure all of our equipment is in working order so we can work quickly and safely to remove snow from parking lots, walkways, loading areas, and more. In doing so, we thought it would be a good idea to share some snow plowing tips for those who opt to handle it themselves.
1. Transporting Your Plow
When you are taking your plow from one location to another, you should keep the blade angled toward the curb. Doing so greatly reduces the odds of your plow accidentally snagging a snowbank or curb, which can pull your truck right into it. Further, don’t use the plow when going from one location to another. In fact, it’s a better idea to just keep the plow control turned off all together when going from one location to the next. This helps prevent any accidents with plow operation.
One last note on transporting your snow plow. Make sure your blade is positioned in such a way that it doesn’t block your vision or the plow headlights. Since it can get dark early (and quickly) in winter, it’s best to get into the habit of doing this regardless of what time of day you are driving.
2. Watch Your Speed
Don’t go faster than 15 mph when snow plowing. Don’t go faster than 40 mph when transporting your snow plow.
3. Watch You Temperature Gauge
When using or transporting your snowplow, keep a close eye on your temperature gauge. Blowing an engine because it got too hot can lead to an ugly repair bill. If your truck does overheat, stop right away and do whatever you can to fix the problem (if possible). If you are starting to overheat while transporting the plow, stop and reset the position of the blade to allow greater airflow to pass through the grill and to the radiator.
4. Check for Obstacles
Prior to the snowfall, take a look at the area you will be plowing and note any obstacles that can be covered up when there is snow on the ground. This can include sidewalk edges, water drains, landscaping elements, fences, and even the curbline. Once you have identified potential obstacles, mark them so that they can be seen when the snow falls.
5. Buckle Up
Always, always, always wear your seatbelt when operating a motor vehicle. Further, never plow with your head hanging out the window. If visibility is an issue, stop and correct the issue.
6. Look Twice
Mirrors have blind spots. When you are backing up, check your mirrors first, then turn around and look to see where your are going.
7. Different Surfaces Require Different Plowing Tactics
Dirt and gravel surfaces require you to lower your plow shoes. This raises the blade so you aren’t piling up that dirt and gravel. Concrete and asphalt is a different bag of burritos. In these instances, you’ll want to remove (or simply raise) the shoes. This ensures you can scrape as close to the surface of the ground as possible.
8.Be Kind to Your Hydraulics
After you are done plowing, lower the blade so that it is resting on the ground or a wooden block. Then turn off the plow control. Not only will this take the load off the hydraulics, it’s also a good safety move.
Hopefully, some of these tips will help ensure you a safe, snow-free season this winter. If you, or someone you know, are in need of commercial snow plowing services, feel free to contact E.P.M. online or give us a call at (517) 990-0110 today!