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Catamount Safety Zone: Snow Plow Safety Tips

With the recent temperatures, it’s hard to believe that we will soon be dealing with cold and snow. With snow comes the need to move snow. Snow removal can be dangerous and there are precautions that should be taken in order to reduce the risk of accidents or injury while plowing snow.

  • Use an inspection checklist to help identify the safety and operational readiness of the snowplow you will be operating. Check items such as the windshield wipers, defroster, lights, breaks, safety beacons and other safety equipment before you begin plowing. Snowplows add a lot of weight to the front of your vehicle, it is important to make sure you balance this weight out.
  • Before beginning to plow, check and make sure your gas tank is full.
  • Make sure you are well rested before you begin plowing. Driving while tired is extremely dangerous and may lead to an accident that could result in injuries or fatalities.
  • Before plowing is needed, drive your route so that you are familiar with the route and also objects that could be damaged or cause damage to the plow such as mailboxes, fences or other objects. Keep an eye out for items that may have been buried in the snow.
  • Know where you are going to pile the snow before you begin plowing.
  • Follow all traffic laws, including wearing your seatbelt!
  • Be aware of the weather conditions. Driving too fast for the weather conditions can have tragic consequences.
  • Dress appropriately for the weather. The cab of your truck may be nice and warm, but you never know when you may need to get out of the truck to look at or repair something.
  • Go slow and take breaks as needed.
  • Stay alert! Keep your eyes moving; don’t look at any one thing for too long, the white landscaping and falling snow can have a hypnotizing effect on the eyes.
  • Always turn and look before backing up, don’t rely on just the mirrors.

Drivers on the road should also be cautious of snowplows on the road. Give snowplows plenty of room on the road and keep in mind they may have a hard time seeing you if you try to pass them, so passing a snowplow is not a good idea. When driving behind a snow plow it is important to follow at a safe distance; snow plows are usually going slow and often cannot see cars that are following close behind them and they may be spreading salt or sand which can damage a car’s paint.

Taking the time to understand the risks and follow safety guidelines can help you have a safe and productive season.

Like with any physical or vehicular task, there are risks involved. It is our hope here at Catamount Consulting that being better prepared and more knowledgeable in what could transpire helps deter and prevent accidents, injuries or tragedies.

For additional information on this topic or to view our current raining schedule, contact Catamount Consulting at 518-623-2352 or visit


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