Snow Plowing Tips and Tricks to Save You Money and Time
When it comes to snow removal, time is money. So, whether you are in the snow plowing business or simply plowing your own driveway, you want to make the most of the time you spend doing it. The key is to focus on preparation and efficiency while observing the necessary safety protocols.
5 Snow Plowing Tips to Help Avoid Problems that Can Result in Wasted Time and Hits to Your Bottom Line
1. Evaluate Your Plowing Equipment Before the Snow Hits
To avoid getting caught off-guard by the first big storm, our first tip is to conduct a thorough inspection of your snow plow equipment before the start of the winter season. Consult the maintenance guidelines in your plows’ operating manuals. If any equipment is due for repair or replacement, address it now to ensure all of your equipment is fully ready for operation. Throughout the season, be sure to perform regular inspections and any necessary maintenance and repairs to keep your equipment operating at peak performance.
If you’ve purchased a new plow this year, become thoroughly familiar with the owner's manual before operating or servicing it. Protect yourself and your snow plow crew by checking to make sure all aspects are working properly before you hit the road.
2. Include Plowing Site Inspections in Your Preseason Prep
The best defense is a good offense. Before the first snowfall, it pays to familiarize yourself with locations that you will be plowing. Look for obstacles like speed bumps or elevated manhole covers that could be hazardous when snow-covered.Placing markers or guides to map out the edges of driveways and sidewalks helps reduce property damage and will protect your equipment, too.
Check sites for any pre-existing damage or issues and note areas of heavy foot and automobile traffic that should be prioritized. It’s a good idea to create a site plan identifying potential hazards and changes in surface elevations. If you work with other operators, share this plan and be sure to provide directions to each site and the most effective plowing paths. This tip will help improve your plowing company’s efficiency, as well as operator safety.
3. Stash an Emergency Kit in Your Truck
Equipment breakdowns and stranded operators are not only dangerous, but they can wreak havoc with plowing schedules. Invest in a snow plow emergency parts kit that includes the most useful replacement parts for your plow, like extra hydraulic fluid and hydraulic hoses. Keep emergency essentials on hand, including a flashlight, flares, jumper cables, tow strap, shovel, ice scraper, lock deicer, extra washer fluid and a bag of sand or salt. Also make sure you have a first aid kit, blanket, extra clothing, water and snacks. A portable cell phone charger or two-way radio is another wise investment.
4. Pay Attention to the Forecast
During the winter months, plowable snow can fall quickly day or night – and you can’t afford not to be ready. Customers rely on you to clear driveways and walkways, and commercial businesses want safe access for their customers and employees as quickly as possible. If a significant amount of snow is expected, plow with the storm rather than letting snow accumulate. The longer you wait to start plowing, the harder and heavier the snow will become. Plowing multiple times during a storm and removing the snow in layers will not only save time in the long run, it will also help reduce unnecessary wear and tear on your equipment.
5. Know Where to Put the Snow
Knowing how to properly remove the snow from a driveway or parking lot will save you countless hours during the hectic winter season. Each plow pass makes a difference, and using the proper technique to do the job the first time means you won’t have to go back and redo the work. Typically, plowing in a straight line and pushing snow from the middle to the outside helps to efficiently place the snow where you intend to stack it. And make sure to ask the customer if they have a preference for where to pile the snow – before you start plowing.
Plow Parts Direct has the parts and the experienced personnel to service all of your snow removal equipment – from the first snowfall to the last. Give us a call at 888-260-3246.