It’s imperative that drivers maintain the highest safety standards while out on the road plowing. Accidents are not only devastating for the driver on an emotional level, they can also cost the municipality. Avoid unsafe practices at all costs!
Here are some important rules for equipment and snowplow driver safety.
Ensure the fleet’s drivers are educated on proper plow lifting techniques.
This includes making sure the plow is lifted when backing up and lifting the blade as the vehicle approaches a pile of snow. This will help ensure that the plow can lift snow to greater heights, push the snow farther off the surface of any driveway or lot and prevents operators from crashing in to the wall of snow that has been created.
Make sure drivers have read the operating manual for the plow they are using and that they understand required lifting techniques.
There is no need for speed!
Remember, this is a snowplow not a race car! Implore drivers to resist the urge to rush the job, no matter how much snow they need to remove. Establish maximum speeds for plowing. For example, in most situations the vehicle should not be driven at a speed over 25 mph.
Be mindful of other vehicles.
First and foremost, snowplow drivers should obey all traffic laws. If an operator notices that motorists are having trouble driving in the snow, encourage them to be patient even if the cars are travelling slowly. Keep an eye out for vehicles driving erratically or tailgating as well.
Plow markers are key.
Snowplow operators should utilize plow markers to help them see where the ends of the plow are located. This prevents drivers from striking things like curbs and islands, reducing potential impacts that can cause damage.
Ensure hardware is fastened.
Before each plow use, check for weak connective points from nuts to bolts. Be mindful of used plow, which sometimes have parts welded together that can cause equipment to fail.
Inspect the route.
Before each trip, drivers should conduct an inspection for possible hazards like curbs, bridge joints, railroad tracks, mailboxes, guardrails, manhole covers, islands, etc. Operators should also be mindful of any obstacles hidden underneath freshly deposited snow.
By following these key rules, drivers will keep themselves and their plow equipment safe! Be sure to include this information in driver training and provide regular check-ins to ensure drivers are following rules during every trip in their plow truck.
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