Now that winter is approaching, it’s time to start shifting gears towards your snow and ice control jobs for the season. Whether you’re a one-man-operation or you have a full staff of drivers and team members who will be plowing the roads with you this winter, this is also a good time to give yourself a quick refresher course on safety tips for snow plow operation. No matter how long you’ve been doing this job, we can all make mistakes, and reminding ourselves of best practices every now and then is a good way to avoid problems! Here are four safety tips for you to remember when operating your snow plow this winter.
You may be in a rush to get to other jobs or get home, or maybe you’re just putting the pedal to the metal a little bit out of force of habit. It happens! But whatever your reasoning is, when you catch yourself speeding up while plowing, it’s important to check yourself and slow down right away. Most effective snow plowing is done at speeds of 25 mph or lower. Racing through a job can result in sloppy work, and can be dangerous for you and anyone else who might be out on the road, so slow down for everyone’s safety!
Watch Your Engine Temperature
A snow plow is a heavy piece of equipment as it is. Add on the weight of wet, dense snow, and now you’re taxing the engine of your vehicle in a major way. Even heavy duty trucks have their limits, which is why it’s important to always keep an eye on your engine temperature while plowing. An overheated engine can be a recipe for disaster, potentially ending up with you stranded by yourself out in the cold. Instead, make sure to avoid pushing snow uphill, keep your plow angle adjusted to allow plenty of airflow, and pull over if you start to overheat.
Check for Hazards
Whenever possible, it’s smart to check out the area you’re going to be plowing before you start and familiarize yourself with any hazards that you’ll have to avoid. Curbs, speed bumps, manhole covers, railroad tracks, mailboxes, islands, the list goes on. You can damage your local infrastructure and your equipment by hitting these obstacles, so it’s always a good idea to have some understanding of where they are before you start plowing, especially if you can get a chance to check out the area prior to any snowfall. You’ll thank yourself for it later!
Maintain Your Vehicle and Equipment
Above all, the state of your truck, plow, and other snow control equipment has a huge impact on how safe you can be on the job. Malfunctioning or damaged equipment is sure to result in problems that could put you or your employees at risk, not to mention forcing you to spend unnecessary time and money on repairs. Getting maintenance done regularly on your vehicles and equipment can save you this hassle and help you to stay safe! If it’s time for your plow to see the inside of a machine shop or your truck is in need of servicing, don’t hesitate to contact Levan Machine and Truck Equipment today! We’ll get you in as soon as possible and help you ensure that you’re ready for whatever the season brings.