Basic Best Plowing Practices
Basic Plowing Practices
When transporting a snowplow, angle the blade to the right (toward the curb). This will reduce the chance of catching a curb or a snowbank that could pull your vehicle into it.
Never operate a plow while transporting it to and from a job site. It's a good idea to keep the plow control turned off in order to prevent accidental operation.
When transporting a plow, position the blade so as not to block the plow headlights or your vision.
Do not exceed 40 mph when transporting a plow. Do not exceed 14 mph when plowing.
When transporting a plow or while plowing, check the temperature gauge often. Overheating the engine can be costly. If the vehicle overheats, stop and correct the problem. If overheating occurs while transporting, stop and adjust blade position to allow more airflow to the radiator. Before it snows, walk around the area you will be plowing to check for obstacles that will become hidden when snow is on the ground. Look for things such as bumper stops and speed bumps, curbs, sidewalk edges, shrubs, water drains, fire hydrants, fences and pipes sticking up from the ground. To prevent damage to the area being plowed as well as to your snowplow and truck, mark any obstructions that will be hard to see when there's snow on the ground.
Always wear a seat belt when plowing and never plow with your head out the window. Hidden obstacles could cause a vehicle to stop suddenly, resulting in personal injury.
When moving in reverse, don't rely on the vehicle mirrors. Turn around and look where you're going. When plowing in dirt or gravel, lower the plow shoes. This will raise the blade so you don't scrape the surface away. When plowing on asphalt or concrete, raise or remove the plow shoes so that you scrape as close to the surface as possible. When you're finished plowing, lower the blade to the ground and turn the plow control off for safety. This will also take stress off the hydraulic components.
Protecting Your Transmission
One of the most common vehicle problems encountered while plowing is damage to the transmission. Overheating the transmission fluid as well as improper use, can contribute to the problem.
Most vehicle manufacturers do not recommend plowing in overdrive. Consult your vehicle owners manual to find out if plowing in overdrive is recommended--and if so, when and how.
Plan your plowing pattern so that you are driving forward as much as possible.
Come to a complete stop before shifting from forward to reverse.
Wait until the transmission engages before accelerating.
Accelerate slowly, allowing the wheels to grip the road surface for better traction. Avoid spinning the tires.
To start a pass, start the vehicle in motion. Then drop the blade.
Whenever possible, back into a cleared area.
If you have a manual transmission, avoid riding the clutch while plowing.
After plowing, let the vehicle idle for ten minutes or more to allow the transmission cooler time to cool the transmission fluid.
If you are plowing often during the season, change your transmission fluid before and during the season. A good rule of thumb is to pull your transmission dipstick periodically and smell the fluid. If the fluid has a burnt smell, you should change the fluid as soon as possible.
To monitor the heat in your transmission, you can install an inline transmission gauge. Once the temperature reaches 250?F, you should let the vehicle idle until the transmission fluid cools to a lower temperature.
Things not to Do
Never pile snow on someone else's property.
Never pile snow on a street or on sidewalks.
Never pile snow on top of any structure.
Never pile snow by mailboxes, dumpsters, water drains, catch basins, electrical boxes or fire hydrants.
Never push snow across a road without first checking the local regulations. In many areas it is illegal to push snow across a road.
Plowing Parking Lots
Make sure you know where the customer wants you to pile the snow.
Use extra caution when plowing next to curbs.
If a significant amount of snow is expected, plow with the storm rather than letting snow accumulate.
Keep water drains and catch basins clear at all times.
Do not stack snow by the road so as not to block the visibility of vehicles coming or leaving the parking lot.
Use caution when plowing next to parked cars--as the snow can push you into the car.
When pushing snow that is next to a building, push away from the building.
If you are responsible for sidewalks, they should be shoveled first before you start plowing so that the snow can be plowed away.
To start a pass, start the vehicle in motion. Then drop the blade.
As you come to the end of a pass, lift off from the accelerator while starting to use the brake. At the same time, start to raise the blade to help stack the snow--and to make it easier on your electrical system.
Plow areas in front of buildings and overhead doors first. With the blade raised and in the Straight-position, drive up to the building, drop the blade, and pull the snow away from the building. Then turn your vehicle around, back into the cleared area and push the snow to the outer edges of the lot. Push the banks back far enough to accommodate future snowfalls.
After backdragging snow away from the buildings, it's time to start plowing the lot. Start by making a pass down the center of the lot, and then push snow in windrows to the outer edges. If there has been a significant amount of snowfall, push as much bulk off the lot as possible. Then go over it again. In large lots it may be best to break your plowing down into smaller areas.
Do not pile snow in the middle of the lot. It will be difficult to remove later.
Do not pile snow near handicapped parking areas.
Plow in straight lines whenever possible and push to the outer edges of the lot. Keep the wind direction in mind--and pile snow downwind to minimize drifting later. Plow snow during low-traffic hours and always be cautious of cars and people in the lot.
Once the majority of the snow is removed from the lot, it's time to do the cleanup work. Start by plowing next to curbs. Be sure to square off corners where possible, and don't leave trails of snow behind.
Make sure you know where your customer wants you to pile the snow.
Drive up to the garage; drop the blade; then back up--pulling the snow approximately two car lengths back. Turn the vehicle around and back into the cleaned area. With the blade angled to the center of the driveway, push the snow to the end of the driveway. Finish by pushing the snow into the corners at the end of the driveway. Be careful to not leave snow on the road or on sidewalks.
Plowing snow across a road is illegal in many areas, although some rural areas will allow it. Check your local regulations first. If it is allowed, push the snow far enough back to allow for upcoming snowfalls--being sure to not leave snow on the road.
The more you operate your BOSS Snowplow, the more you'll appreciate just how easy it is to use. Whether opening up roads or plowing driveways, parking lots or apartment building complexes, THE BOSS Snowplow is designed to save time while making your job easier. We hope these general guidelines will help you to get started. And remember--there's no substitute for doing a quality job. And for doing so safely.