Our last blog post talked a little bit about the requirements for becoming or being a snowplow operator. Today, we want to discuss some operating techniques and tips that can help you out. Snowplows are large, weighty vehicles. They can be difficult to operate with precision if you have no former experience with this type of vehicle. The following tips will help you know how to safely and efficiently operate your own snowplow.
How to Practice Snowplow Operation
Before you plow the first time for your company or client, you’re going to need some practice. The following are ways you can practice plowing:
- Practice operating in a large area without snow
- Familiarize yourself with the in-cab controls
- Practice driving with the blade lowered in plowing position
After you’ve had ample time to practice and you feel comfortable driving a plow, it’s time to put that practice to use. It’s important to also be familiar with OSHA’s standards.
There are several techniques that snowplow drivers use while they operate. These techniques can make snowplowing easier and more
efficient. The common plowing techniques we’ll cover include the “power V” technique, the scoop and straight positions, and the back-drag.
The “power V’ technique is done by adjusting the plow blades into a “V” position, pointing away from the truck. This is often used to make the first pass in a snowy parking lot or on a long driveway.
The different blade positions will help you move the snow in different ways. Use the scoop position by creating a “V” with the blades and pointing it towards the truck. This will collect the snow in front instead of pushing it to the sides. The straight position is achieved by angling the blade parallel with the truck’s front. This will allow the operator to push large amounts of snow into piles.
Lastly, the back-drag technique can be especially handy when plowing snow piled up against a building or other structure. Drive toward the snow with the blade in the raised position until the blade is positioned over the snow. Drop the blade and reverse, dragging the snow out with you.
These few tips and tricks will get you started but completing an accredited snowplow training course is essential for professional snowplow operators.
For additional information and trainings, visit our homepage.
Good luck and stay safe!