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SNOW PLOWING TIPS FOR BEGINNERS
If you have a long driveway, or if you’re looking for a side-hustle for the winter season, a snowplow might come in handy. Snowplows can be easily installed on most trucks and ATVs, and it doesn’t take long to learn the basics. Here are a few tips for the beginner snow plow operator.
Get your truck ready
If you’re using your snow plow anywhere other than on your property, consider adding extra lights (and ideally a strobe light) to be more visible to other drivers and pedestrians.
Make a plan
Survey the area you’re going to plow before you get started. Familiarize yourself with the layout of the area, note any obstacles and plan out your route. Take into account where you will be depositing the snow. Choose a logical place, away from building entrances, mailboxes, dumpsters, electrical boxes and fire hydrants. Depositing snow near a drain is ideal; however, never cover the drain itself.
Mark out the area
Before plowing, use reflective markers to indicate hazards, including curbs, speed bumps, fire hydrants, signs and fences — anything that might be difficult to see once the snow falls. Make sure the markers are tall enough so that they don’t get buried in snow.
Know your owner’s manual
Crashing your blade into an obstacle can lead to property damage and necessitate expensive repairs. It’s essential that you know how to properly operate your plow (note that models differ in features and operation) and that you understand plowing techniques. You’ll find this information in your owner’s manual.
Plow at the right time
Ideally, you’ll want to start plowing as soon as there’s an inch or so of snow on the ground. This not only makes your job a lot easier, it’s also more productive. This means that you’ll often be plowing while snow is still falling and visibility is minimized. This is why it’s so important to be familiar with the area your plowing and have it well marked out.
However, if the snowfall is light or if you’re plowing a high-traffic area, you may choose to plow at a time when there will be the fewest people and cars around.
Finally, it’s important to note that some municipalities require that snow plow contractors have a licence. Search the Government of Canada’s permits and licences database or contact your local municipality before doing any commercial plowing.