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Footwear / Clothing For Plowing

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Chuck Smith, Jun 23, 2003.

  1. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    This may seem like an odd question, but it has come up before when I step out of a plow truck.... I have been laughed at many times...

    I often wear sneakers, or even 'boat shoes' when plowing. This is when I know I am not going to have to get out of the truck to load salt, or shovel anything. I always have my insulated Gore Tex boots right there in the cab with me if I need them. When I was younger, I lived in boots year round, but now they hurt my feet when I wear them for hours on end, even laced loosely. With sneakers or comfortable light shoes, my feet don't hurt, and being a size 13 EEE they are easier to control the pedals with than bigger boots. In my Dodge Stratus I can press the brake and the gas pedal at the same time with boots on. In fact, that is how I learned to drive a manual trans vehicle when I was younger. Hold the brake, feather the gas with my right foot, let out the clutch with my left, LOL.

    So, what shoes do you wear when you are out plowing?

    I guess I can take it a step further and ask what kind of coat you wear when you are in the truck. Again, I have an insulated waterproof army field coat, with a flannel stuck in it, if I need it. I wear another flannel, insulated, with just a T shirt under it when I am plowing. If I have to get out, I put on the heavy coat, and button as many layers as I need. I also carry another spare flannel, in case any of them get wet. I also carry spare socks, and a T shirt just in case. Nothing will make you colder, faster than a damp shirt against your skin.

    Like most of you, I also end up plowing with the windows down as far as possible most of the time.

    I could never understand how guys plow with Carharts on, espacially the coveralls. I would roast to death like that.

    I may as well touch all the bases here and say I just wear my Levis, and no long johns. I also carry a spare pair just in case....

    ~Chuck
     
  2. Got Grass?

    Got Grass? Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    As far as boots go I have a pair of "Lehigh Safety Shoes". I've had them for years. They are kind of bulky as any winter boots will be. The pair I have are steel towed. Great for when the plow, bags of salt, snow blower, etc fall on your foot. Or for doing storm damage cleanups. They are winter insulated so your feet stay warm & dry, when your out fixing the plow at 3am or treading through the snow. My feet stay nice & toasty in the truck with a normal pair of socks. They make tons of different kinds from fire boots down to normal shoes. I got mine from my fathers catalog from where he used to work. I have wide feet & my father is worse at size 10, EEE's hardly are wide enough for him. You can order them any size or with you want. I think they have a web site.

    If it's warm out I will sometimes wear my normal hiking type boots out but they are not nearly as waterproof & usually leave my feet cold & wet.

    Depending on how cold it is out I usually just wear a normal shirt w/ my fleece lined Car-hart. When it's really cold I'll put on thermals. I usually have the window open as well, unless it's flying in my face. I hate when they get you right in the eye.

    Normal jeans, except when it's really cold I'll put on some thermals, it's usually not that cold out, but when it's -40 below windchill, ya gotta stay warm any way you can. On an extremely rare occasion I'll put on a ski mask when I gotta get out.

    I do carry spare socks, pants, t shirt & fleece shirt along with a fleece blanket. Just in case something really bad happened, I got stranded or gridlocked in for a while.
    I also carry a Thermos of hot chocolate & a couple bottles of Gatorade.

    oh yeah, as far as gloves go. I have a pair of cheep knittted gloves for driving untill my hands warm up. If they get to wet or I'm fixing something I'll switch to mechanics gloves. If all else fails, I keep a pair of waterproof winter gloves, like the kind you wore as a kid.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2003
  3. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Chuck, I definitely understand where you're coming from. I wear an old beatup pair of New Balance sneakers, lined long-sleeved shirts and jeans. I keep getting told by one customer that I have the wrong shoes on. I just can't get her to understand that it's way more comfortable. I do carry a pair of insulated boots, coat and coveralls in the truck, though. I, too, plow with the window open and have gotten a few facefuls of snow.

    It seems no matter how cold it is outside, the inside of both trucks stays pretty warm. I don't get out of the truck much and when I do, it's usually to talk to the customer after I've plowed so there's no snow to walk in. The heavy stuff usually just goes for a ride.
     
  4. BWhite

    BWhite Senior Member
    Messages: 496

    plowing fashion

    I need to be as comfortable as possible, I think I can concentrate better with lightweight clothing and shoes and have a better feel with my feet . I have the proper clothing in the Cab ready to go actually carry 2 sets for those rainy storms . The only thing I need to get is one of those hats Fred Pickering had on in a pic he posted last winter
     
  5. snowjoker

    snowjoker Senior Member
    Messages: 283

    Work boots here, and sometimes sneakers. For coat i have a Carhart look-a like w/ a hood i keep on the seat next to me, and a just a t-shirt underneath or sometimes a hooded sweatshirt.
     
  6. JCurtis

    JCurtis Banned
    Messages: 862

    Jacket's... we dont need no stinkin' jackets

    Timberland work boots, and jeans, and usually a long sleeve henly shirt and a zip up sweater shirt. a coat in the truckjust in case.

    Insulated wrecker driver gloves ( just in case iI need to work on anythingoutside in the snow)


    I drive with the window open too most times, but I really hate when I am doing residential and I get too close to the evergreens that line the drive.... not only a Face ... but usually a lap full of snow as weel... But thats what you get for not remembering to close the window.:nono:
     
  7. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    No matter what,I always wear some sort of steel toe footwear,just in case.I've seen way to may accidents happen,never can be to safe.

    Because I'm usually in and out of the truck (and many other pieces of equipment) all night.I usually dress for the cold.I wear Carhart insulated cotton duck overalls,and a flannel work shirt.The cotton duck jacket stays in the truck beside me.Steel toe lineman boots (feltpacs) on really cold days,or insulated work boots when it's warmer.I'll wear the cheap green rubber insulated boots when salting,as they aren't affected by it.I keep the windows open and just enough defrost heat to keep the windows clear.

    I also have a few of the hats like Fred wears.Might get laughed at a bit,but I'm never cold.I have a set of snowmobile mitts for working outside.I will sometimes wear a pair of motorcross gloves,or mechanix wear gloves while driving,as 40+ hours plowing can wear through some skin pretty quick.

    One other thing we carry in all the trucks,are latex surgical gloves.If you need to do some quick repairs,or open a frozen gate,you can put them on,with a thin pair of cotton gloves,or mechanix wear gloves over top.They will keep your hands incredibly warm,yet give you the ability to work with small things like keys,nut and bolts,tools,etc.They also keep your hands clean,real nice if you have to change a blown hose or something dirty.
     
  8. snowjoker

    snowjoker Senior Member
    Messages: 283

    I also wear a hat (one of those helmet liners) i get rubbernecked but never been cold wearing one of those:D i beleve they are some of the warmest hats made
     
  9. wxmn6

    wxmn6 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,037

    Re: Jacket's... we dont need no stinkin' jackets

    Wow, I thought that I was the only one who is thinking about posting something like this. I thought that everyone would think I am nut. :blush2:

    When plowing, I would wear flannel shirt with job shirt over it. I carry my Carhartt on side of seat so when I have to get out to shovel or something like that, I have it to stay warm. I also wear either leather insulated work gloves and Gore Tex snow gloves, when I am outside. I don't always wear my hat because sometime after shoveling or getting worked up for a period of time, you tend to get sweaty pretty quickly.

    As far as footwear, that is what I was going to ask about. I was not sure if you guys wear snow boots, sneakers, work boots, etc. Because with snow boots, it seems to be impossible to be able to control your vehicle for a long period of time without getting uncomfortable. I also think that it would be a safety hazard. Those boots can easily touch two pedals at once. For me, last winter I would wear a wool socks with a pair of work boots. When my work boots get wet, I put on the other pair so I can stay dry but it did not work out that great. Both boots would get wet and it is not really a good thing. I do carry snow boots with me but sometime I don't switch with them during the route because it is very time consuming to switch between them, and heck there is a little room in the Toyota. :rolleyes:

    This year I am looking into getting Red Wing waterproof boots. I think it should work out good for me. I would not consider getting one with steel toe. I bought a pair of work boots a few years ago with steel toe and it is not comfortable. It bothers me alot. I am not sure, maybe it is just the brand I bought at Ames. But if most of you are pretty happen with steel toe (probably different and better brands), I probably would reconsider. But I feel that it would be more comfortable without steel toes.
     
  10. wxmn6

    wxmn6 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,037

    Pretty familar to me. Early in snowplowing season, we usually would forget about those evergreen waiting to throw snow in our face and lap, but you learned quickly pretty much after a few plowing events. Soon afterward no more problem. :D I think that those powered windows on my Chevy will come in pretty handy. :nod:
     
  11. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Stephen

    Good point regarding big boots getting in the way with small pedals.Even in my Dodge,the big boots are a problem.I usually use my left foot for braking anyways when plowing,so it isn't as much of a problem.

    If you want the protection of a steel toe boot,without the discomfort and coldness of one,Terra makes boots using the Thermatoe,which is some sort of fiberglass or kevlar reinforced plastic.Same protection,but more comfort,and not as cold as a steel toe.They are not cheap,but well worth it in comfort,fit and protection.

    There are so many things when plowing,that could injure your feet.I will put up with a little bit of foot discomfort,to keep my feet intact.
     
  12. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Ahh,

    Size 16 EEE red wing boots

    Usually my uniform pants and shirt, if called in on the weekends it is usually Carrhartt Jeans and shirt.

    Always take my Carrhartt jacket with me, and a pare of gloves, and sun glasses.

    Never seam to remember to grab a pair of sun glasses from the garage towards the end of the storm so i take them with me.

    Geoff
     
  13. BRL

    BRL PlowSite.com - Veteran
    Messages: 1,277

    I wear shorts year round & will often wear them for plowing, if it's going to be a warmer storm. If it's going to be cold, jeans. I just bring my snowbaording jackets (one is for warm, one for cold days) for waterproofing to wear for times I have to get out while it's still precipitating. If I'm doing something dirty like a repair, I have an old waterproof, winter type jacket that I'll put on in case of stains, or just wear a regular rain jacket to stay dry. I have a pair of Car Hart coveralls also for those repair times, and for when I'm doing a salting shift where I'll be in & out of the truck often & getting dirty. Soon as the salting or repair is done the coveralls come off before I die of sweat! I just wear my regular Timberland work boots (or last time I bought a couple of pairs of Smith's & they have held up just as well). I spray them every few weeks during the winter season with the waterproofing & my feet never get wet. The other trick is to have 2 pairs rotating, so you can let one pair dry completely before putting them back on. I'll bring an extra pair & change them 12-15 hours into a storm & then change them back if the shift goes that many more hours. My feet stay dry, warm & comfortable. I used to bring sneakers for plowing & winter boots for shoveling, salting, repairs, etc. until I figured out following the directions on the waterproof spray can works & you can keep regular work boots dry. The key is to not get wet in the first place, that's what can make a long shift miserable.
     
  14. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    I got a boot dryer and three pairs of boots. Never have a problem with cold feet. Gloves get tossed on low heat in the dryer. Having multiple pairs is the key, whether it be socks, boots, gloves etc.
     
  15. Arc Burn

    Arc Burn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,138

    Gotta love the boot dryer aye CT!My boots go on the dryer every night in the winter,even if you don't get wet,you still sweat and your boots are miserable the next day.
    I wear insulated work/hunting boots,jeans,no jacket usually sweat shirt but i do carry Carhart bibs at all times,you just never know:(
     
  16. Mike 97 SS

    Mike 97 SS Banned
    from U.S.A.
    Messages: 1,106

    Ok, what I wear is gonna sound like nothing compared to what you guys do, but then again, Im not out there for hours and hours like some of you guys. I wear work boots, the ones that are tan, 1 pair of socks only cause 2 pairs seems to make your feet sweat and then they get cold faster, thermal underwear with a pair of somewhat heavy sweatpants. On top I wear thermal underwear, t-shirt, and a sweatshirt. No jacket, unless its rediculously cold outside. I wear those cheap gloves that are like $2 bucks a pair from like 7-11. Hat, I wear a baseball cap usually or a cupilini type if its extremely cold out. Thats it. Nothing too crazy. If its really really cold out, Ill put a second pair of sweatpants on top of the first pair, making 3 layers total. Oh another thing I do, maybe you guys do it too, when my gloves get wet, I throw them up on top of the dash where the heat comes out for the windshield to let them dry while Im driving to the next place or wherever. Usually by the time I reach for them again, they are dry and warm, hehe. Mike
     
  17. snowplowjay

    snowplowjay Banned
    Messages: 890

    When out working I wear a pair of workboots, a pair of old jeans or lined khakis, a lightweight long sleeve t-shirt, a Lined flannel shirt as a jacket, a baseball cap or a bandana, and always carry a pair of gloves. When I am going to be snow blowing during a storm i sometimes carry my big ol' Helly Hanson HD Rain gear too.


    Jay
     
  18. szorno

    szorno Senior Member
    Messages: 308

    I never get to stay in the truck all storm. I have to get out and do a little shoveling or talk to a sub or walk into the coffee place.
    I wear waterproof gortex hiking boots, Jeans, an insulated flannel or wool shirt, corduroy ball cap, and carry a down parka and carhart-type overalls with me. Also 2 pair of gloves. Feet rarely get wet, and I pull the parka on if I am out of the truck for a length of time.:)
     
  19. Mike 97 SS

    Mike 97 SS Banned
    from U.S.A.
    Messages: 1,106

    Hmm, seems like Im the only one that wears sweatpants to go in the cold, everyone seems to wear jeans. :confused: Damn it, I hate being the oddball, lol. :D Mike
     
  20. meyer22288

    meyer22288 Senior Member
    Messages: 999

    I wear sneakers plowing when i know i wont be getting out of the truck. when i do get out of the truck i have a pair of snowboots that i keep behind the seat. i try to keep a extra sweat shirt in the cab just in case as well. when i shovel and its snowing i get wet and i can just chang into the extra sweatshirt. ;)