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Top speed for plowing snow

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Big Nate's Plowing, Feb 3, 2001.

  1. Big Nate's Plowing

    Big Nate's Plowing PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    Hey guys,

    I was wondering how fast you guys go while plowing.
    I do the roads for a small trailer park(100 trailers)
    and i cruse down them at about 15-20 mph and i was wondering if that was too fast? I have seen people plow axcess roads at 35+ mph :eek:, what do you guys feel is a safe speed? :cool:
  2. nsmilligan

    nsmilligan PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 704

    Here our DOT guys are supposed to plow at 70 Km/hr (42MPH)
    on the highways MAX. You really have to judge your speed on private lots, or drives. More important how fast can you back up doing most lots.
  3. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    We top out around 25 MPH. 25 MPH is our max.

  4. nsmilligan

    nsmilligan PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 704

    Geoff is that backing up, the new spedo's read in reverse,
    I'm usually around 24 mph on my big lot backing up. Forward around 20.

  5. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    about 15-20 forward 15 revrse-any faster the snow blows all over the windsheild even with the snow foil
  6. SlimJim Z71

    SlimJim Z71 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,031

    Lots of variables in this one. I personally don't really look at the speedometer while plowing. My eyes are usually a little busy looking for the things I'm about to hit. I think depending on how well you know the pavement, you can plow at pretty much any speed you feel comfortable with. If the pavement is smooth, and you're in the middle of the lot with no curbs, you could move as fast as your equipment allows.

  7. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    We tell my guys never go over 15 in reverse. Two reasons,

    1 The trans doesn't like backing up fast.

    2. It is a lot easier to go out of controll backing up fast.

  8. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    The lot I do where I can get a good run going, also has a limo service at the complex so I need to watch out for the cars coming and going. Maybe 10mph tops.

    Look at it this way; if a dog or kid on a sled gets in the road can you stop going 25 mph?
  9. Big Nate's Plowing

    Big Nate's Plowing PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    most likely, i dont have anti-stop brakes


    could i stop stop the truck from 15, yea...
    most likely,

    but i am thinking about joe-blow in his f-450 going like a bat out of hell like the guys in the dunkin doughnuts commercial thru the trailer park, he got fired.

    nobodys bitched at me yet about my speed but if they did i would slow down
  10. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Time of day and surface conditions also play a part in our speed. At night we plow faster, however if surface conditions are ice covered we slow down.

  11. Plowboy

    Plowboy Member
    Messages: 34

    I do one industrial wharehouse that I have plowed several times, I know where every thing is at, and once I get snow away from the loading docks it must be pushed to the far side of the lot, 250 ft. If I plow much slower that about 25 mph the snow gets deep really quick because it pushes it off to the side instead of that beautifl 25ft rooster tail. I have seen the far side of thirty in this lot, but no where else would I ever plow this fast. WHen plowing subdivisions, 15-20 absolute max, much slower when plowing next to curbs, or any place I don't know the pavement. all it takes is one little bump a high speed to rack, you, the plow, and the truck. you have to make up a lot of time to make an extra 30k to replace a truck and plow. Slow, and steady will always win this race.
  12. plowjockey

    plowjockey PlowSite.com Sponsor
    Messages: 622

    I plow a private plat and anything over 15mph is out there. But then there are those darn speed bumps every couple of hundred feet. Trust me you forget about one of them and it is a REAL eye opener.
    Riding with a friend one night in a 1 ton ford dump with 7.5' plow, he was working for the guy that used to do this place...well to make a long story short he remembered one just a tad too late; I hate the feel and tase of a ford dash and windshield.

    Happy Plowing

    [Edited by plowjockey on 02-03-2001 at 11:27 PM]
  13. MusGuy

    MusGuy Member
    Messages: 65

    I am a bad boy (speed demon)

    When I am using my 5 ton truck with the 12 ft. mod speed blade.... I am usually doing 45-55 MPH in good conditions...I tell my guys, do not get in front of me and let me do the most of it , with them doing clean up... These are Huge Lots though... In my f250 with the 8 footer.... I do no more then 20, I have gotten up to 40 but on a long run and soft snow banks....
  14. Mike Nelson

    Mike Nelson Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    Our DOT here in N.Y. are suppose to go 40-45mph,Yeah right,I seen the Thruway guys coming down the interstate at least 60mph or maybe faster.Sparks are just flying off the blades!Cool visual at night:D
    I also agree with the other guys.So many variables,demand different speeds.
  15. guido

    guido PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 261

    A plus to plowing airfields!

    I go between 45 and 60 MPH with an oshkosh w/ 16 foot blade. We use rubber blades on the runway so it takes a lot of the bumping and rough ride out of it. The only bad thing is when we're finished with the airfield and start picking up the slack after the street crews, you forget your not on a wide open airfield anymore and forget how fast your going until you hit that first set of train tracks (all over this base) and thats your que to slow down some!
  16. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,222

    It's nice to be able to go fast but remember you never know what will be in the road and if you hit it you will feel it and mayby damage your truck.But i try to stay around 15-20mph tranporting around 40-50mph. You never know what's under the snow unless it's a airport that is maintained very well.
  17. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    Plowing speeds

    Good information in all the posts - I agree that there are a lot of variables to this question, in my case the few lots I do are small and somewhat cluttered so I never get my speed up too high. A lot depends on how well you know your lot too - even then the snow can conceal surprises! (Yes, I've found a few "surprises"!)
  18. steveair

    steveair Senior Member
    Messages: 176


    I'm on the same grounds as guido, and say that speeds can go from 30 to 60 on open airfield (can clear the 150ft by 6400ft runway in under 15mins now with 6 trucks) but dam if it isn't hard to adjust from a osh kosh with a 14 ft. to a pickup with a 8 ft and not want to plow a parking lot doing 50.

    One concern I have about high speeds is overspray though. Way too many times, when you start hitting that 30 plus range, you can start getting some serious white out conditions on the windshield. I still don't know how some of these DOT guys don't end up off the side of road. It's real common, especially with less experienced drivers, to end up 20 ft of your line when your windshield gets all smeared up from a sudden 'blast' of overspray.

    On the same lines, you never know what may be in front of you. Hitting only a 2 ft tall wind row at a taxiway intersection, even in a osh kosh, can send the truck's rear end off into never never land when you start pushing high speeds.


    [Edited by steveair on 02-04-2001 at 05:45 PM]
  19. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    Plowing speeds

    Steveair: Read your post with interest - with regard to DOT trucks ending up off the side of the road, sometimes that's exactly what happens! I am employed by a welding company and we get lots of work in the winter doing minor running repairs to the highway plows. (They belong to a large construction company, plows and sander bodies go on in the fall and the dump boxes go back on in spring. Any major plow repairs go to their own shop) Last season a couple of us put in some overtime one evening after three of their trucks got tangled up and "bent" a few things! (They needed them back on the road that night)

    UNCLE BOB Member
    Messages: 76

    Plowing speed

    I went to plow with a friend of a friend's company once doing shopping center lots"Big one's",I got to the site and these guy's were going 45-50mph.Sparks flying off their plows and snow shooting 20ft. off them. I told the "boss",I WAS'NT GOING THAT FAST IN MY TRUCK. He said nice meeting you,so i went home.The next morning my friend told me one of the guys in a big blazer HIT a parking curb. He totaled his truck+plow and went for ambo. ride. Lost all of his teeth leg broke head busted and more very very serious.In hospital for week's. I have 456 gears so i get 20mph max in 2nd gear on private roads only.1st gear on lot's to much backing up to get out of 1st. But thats just me!