You love your job right? Or at least like it enough to keep coming back every day. You sometimes receive praise about what a great job you’ve done, you get new and exciting projects to work on, and cool people to work with. Now think about a job where you’re all alone, doing the same thing over and over again, and you rarely receive compliments about a job well-done, but there are no shortages of complaints. Think about a job that doesn’t allow you to escape the cold, when break-downs happen and there is no one around to help you fix it, or you’ve been working a 12 hour shift, your brain is fried, but you don’t have the option of losing focus. Think about a job where many people rely on you to provide them safety and the work keeps coming and coming. Enter the world of a snowplow truck driver.
I don’t mean to cut down on all of your professions or jobs because I know you work hard and many of the above challenges apply to you as well, but it’s that time of year to give our snowplow drivers a huge THANK YOU and praise them for the work that they do because many times they don’t get it. They provide us with safe roads, open spaces to park so businesses can open, move snow from busy streets to areas where it can rest until it melts. We here at Dot Zero Multimedia recognize the task at hand for snowplow drivers and want to extend our appreciation.
I speak from personal experience about working in these conditions, as I had a route myself about 5 years ago working for LP Tree Service. The hours are long, you’re up early before anyone hits the road, it’s constantly dark, you’re alone, and the snow just keeps dumping on you. My experience wasn’t all that bad, I actually enjoyed it as I’m sure many plow truck drivers do, but it seemed as though sometimes I was fighting a losing battle against the snow.
There are some things we can do, as drivers, to help out snowplow truck drivers to finish their jobs and below are some of those things along with some winter driving tips to help keep us all safe.
- Clear snow and ice from all windows and lights – even the hood and roof- before driving
- Plows will typically travel under 35 miles per hour and there is always a temptation to pass them. For your safety, it is recommended that you stay a safe distance behind the snowplows.
- Use brakes carefully. Brake early. Brake correctly. It takes more time and distance to stop in adverse conditions.
- Turn on your lights- to see and be seen.
- Bridge decks freeze first.
- Exit ramps are an even greater challenge during the winter since they may have received less anti-icing material than the main line.
- If you’re a business owner, mark the edges of your parking lot so plow truck drivers can visibly see the edges of your property.
- Allow plenty of room when passing a snowplow. Do not cut back into the lane ahead of the plow too quickly since the blade extends several feet ahead of the truck. Some snowplows are equipped with a “wing plow,” a 10-12 foot extension off the side of the truck.
- Don’t use the “cruise control” option driving in wintry conditions. Even roads that appear clear can have sudden slippery spots and the slightest touch of your brakes to deactivate the cruise control can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
- During plowing operations, visibility can be reduced by blowing snow and plow operators may need time to stop or move over to avoid stranded vehicles. Keeping a safe distance between your vehicle and the plow is very important in order to avoid accidents.
- Look further ahead in traffic than you normally do.
- When you see an approaching snow plow on an undivided roadway, move as far away from the center line as you safely can since blowing snow may obscure the actual width of the snowplow’s blade
- Remember that trucks are heavier than cars. Trucks take longer to safely respond and come to a complete stop, so avoid cutting quickly in front of them.
- Leave room for maintenance vehicles and plows – stay back at least 200 feet and don’t pass on the right.
- Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle (including warm clothes and boots).
- Most importantly please remember to SLOW DOWN! Also, seat belts should be worn at all times – it’s the law.
- When you see an approaching snow plow on an undivided roadway, move as far away from the center line as you safely can since blowing snow may obscure the actual width of the snowplow’s blade.
- Winter driving requires motorists to be careful and alert, but the most important tip for winter driving is…SLOW DOWN!
The inspiration behind this article happened the other night as I was driving home after about 10 inches of snow hit our valley. The roads were absolutely gorgeous and allowed me to get home safely. A local shout-out goes to all snowplow truck drivers of Town Of Eagle, Town Of Gypsum, and Colorado DOT. Let’s all do our part to help out the snowplow truck drivers this winter season and if you ever see the driver behind the wheel of the truck, throw up a wave and give them thanks. Also, to all snowplow truck drivers, if you’d like to be personally recognized or your business recognized send us a pic or video of you and your truck in action to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading.