Safety Precautions to Take When Snowplowing During a Blizzard

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Snowy days are mesmerizing when you’re indoors by a roaring fire. Venturing outside changes the perspective, however. It’s critically important to keep main roads, driveways and other areas clear of snow. Working with a snow plow and associated safety equipment is the smartest way to clear the area in record time. Before you hop onto or activate your plow or snow blower, understand the safety precautions necessary for a successful trip.

Take Note of the Type of Storm

Knowing the type of storm that will affect an area is a great place to start, notes Meyer Products. There are different storms that will dictate if a shovel or snow tool is necessary, such as:

  • Lake-effect snow
  • Ice storms
  • Blizzard-like conditions

Storms that remain “stuck” over an area will require several passes as you push the snow. Consider the type of snow blower or plow that you own or operate as the blizzard information updates. You can gauge the amount of work to be done based on current forecasts.

Examine the Plowing Area Beforehand

You’ll have plenty of notice before a lot of snow falls. Be prepared by taking a look at where you’ll be located as you push the snow.

Look for these features, such as:

  • Curves in the road
  • Dips and bumps along the pavement
  • Areas where dry or wet snow can be piled

Some snow plow drivers even stake out certain areas along the roadway as markers. When the storm really moves in, these markers can make a difference in safety for all.

Evaluate the Plow

Regardless of the type of snowplow being used, including Fisher models, a solid examination of the machine is an important safety precaution. Being left stranded as the plow driver complicates a stormy day or night.

Before you take on any large projects, plow driveway areas first. Feel how the machine moves under your control. Take a look under the engine, top off fluids and check all of the lights. Don’t forget to examine the plow mechanism too. Snow removal places a lot of stress on the machine, so starting out with a healthy system is paramount.

Stock up the Interior

As a safety precaution, prepare the interior of your plow before you leave. Jackets, socks and extra shirts are important for comfort if you move away from a long driveway. Be sure to bring safety equipment, such as flares, batteries and flashlights, in the cab. Snacks and water can also be included so that you have the energy to keep up the hard work.

Slow-and-Steady Pace

Apply the same caution to either a street or long driveway. A slow pace is how you should treat the project. The Baltimore Sun reports that a roadway might be paved at 16 miles per hour, for example.

A slow pace with a shovel or snow machine allows you to remove as much material as possible without any slipping. Plow driveway areas, in particular, at a very slow speed. Landscaping and property features must be protected.

Stay Focused

Although you may be on your tenth pass of the night, avoid any distractions. Dry or wet snow reacts differently as you pass the snowplow across the road, for example. Each pass can be entirely different than it was 10 minutes ago.

Turn off any music, pay attention to law enforcement and keep your eyes on the road. A lot of snow can drop in several minutes during a blizzard. The plow itself might have an advantage over standard cars, but mother nature can still surprise anyone who’s not focused.

Contact Motion & Flow Control Products today with your snow removal questions. We carry plenty of products and parts to support your cleanup efforts. Keep the snow to the side of the road so that everyone can safely move through the neighborhood.