Winter is upon us, and with winter comes the snow. If you’ll be working with a snow plow attached to your truck, it’s a good idea to stay cautious. Use these tips from the team at Hitch King to keep yourself, your vehicle, and others safe.
Turn Controls Off
If you can, shut off the controls while moving the plow along roads and highways. If you believe that you must leave the controls on, make sure that you and your operators are instructed to treat the plow controls as a “loaded gun”, making sure that anyone operating the machinery is completely familiar with the controls, including any auto-shut-off features, etc. Teach operators to “protect” the controls, pressing the trigger or other engagement devices only when absolutely necessary. Keep in mind that a single slip-up could cause a serious accident.
Note the Weight Increase
The added weight that a spreader and plow can contribute to a vehicle is another item to be aware of. Before installing equipment on a truck, always refer to the owner’s manual and DOT requirements. Additionally, take into account a significant lengthening of the stopping distance due to the weight of the snow plow equipment, particularly if the truck is hauling a full supply of salt. Think about increasing the recommended stopping distance by at least two times, or roughly two car lengths for every 10 mph of speed. Remember that while driving in the snow, a four-wheel-drive car has higher traction but offers no additional benefits for stopping on ice and snow.
Other Quick Tips
Here are a few more things to consider:
- Ensure all windows and mirrors are free of ice and snow.
- Always follow the speed limit, and it’s best to stay under 45mph.
- Wear a seat belt at all times during operation.
- When plowing, use caution lights, flashers, and other warning lights.
- Stay under 10mph while actively plowing.