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First time plowing tomorrow. Help needed.

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by Snowball271, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. Snowball271

    Snowball271 Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    So I got a decent used 7.5 boss for my 1/2 ton truck. Gonna do my driveways and dad tomorrow. Two questions. My driveway has got a fairly steep angle, but not long maybe 15 feet. Do I plow up or down? Assuming up because down would be into road. Wondering if I should angle blade or go straight. Nervous about this spot because it is right on a sharp turn that vehicles come flying around. Someone told me do it in dark to see headlights coming. Also fathers driveway is like 500 feet and maybe 1 1/2 car width wide. Do I angle blade all the way down to house from road, come back and do the same angling other way? Any help or advice (even the most basic) would be appreciated. Thank you.
  2. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    The Basics; compliments of your Boss owner's manual.

    Straight Blade Snowplowing Preparations
    1. Before operating or servicing your BOSS Snowplow, you should become thoroughly familiar with the
    owner’s manual.

    2. You should carry the following safety equipment for emergencies: a fire extinguisher, tool kit, tow strap,
    flashlight, flares, first aid kit, fuses for your vehicle, jumper cables, an ice scraper, lock deicer, extra
    washer fluid, a shovel, and a bag of sand or salt. Also, make sure you have warm clothes that include
    insulated boots, insulated underwear, a warm jacket, hat, gloves, and sunglasses.

    Note: In case of an emergency, it is always a good idea to carry a cellular phone or two-way radio with
    you when plowing.

    3. You should also carry a snowplow emergency parts kit that includes extra hydraulic fluid, hydraulic
    hoses, a pump solenoid, extra cutting-edge bolts, and a trip spring.

    4. You should check your vehicle’s tire pressure; engine belts for cracks and tightness; hoses for leaks;
    and vehicle fluid levels including the engine oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid, battery, radiator coolant,
    and windshield washer fluid. Examine the battery terminals for corrosion, and make sure the
    connections are tight. Make sure the vehicle windshield wipers and defrosters are in good shape and
    working properly. Check the vehicle headlights, brake lights, and turn signals to be sure they are in
    good working order, and make sure your strobe light is working if you have one. Also, look under the
    vehicle for obvious signs of leaking fluid.

    Note: You should never run out of fuel, so make sure your fuel tank is full before going out to plow.

    Straight Blade Snowplowing Preparations
    5. If you do not have a strobe light or backup lights, you should consider adding them to your vehicle to
    increase your own visibility, as well as making yourself more visible to others while plowing.

    6. To comply with the federal requirements for front and rear weight distribution – and for good traction
    while plowing – make sure your vehicle has the proper amount of ballast. Ballast should be placed
    rearward of the back axle towards the tailgate of the bed. And it should be properly secured in place.

    7. Check your snowplow to make sure all bolts are tight. Look for cracked welds and hydraulic fluid leaks.
    Make sure the plow lights and turn signals are aligned properly and are in good working order.

    8. Check your snowplow cutting edge. An over-worn cutting edge can result in costly repairs to the blade

    Straight Blade Basic Plowing Practices
     When transporting a straight snowplow, place the plow in the straight position. This will reduce the
    chance of catching a curb or a snow bank that could pull your vehicle into it.

     Never operate a plow while transporting it to or from a job site. It’s a good idea to keep the plow control
    turned off in order to prevent accidental operation.

     When transporting a plow, position the blade so as not to block the plow headlights or your vision.

     Do not exceed 40 mph when transporting a plow. Do not exceed 14 mph when plowing.

     When transporting a plow or while plowing, check the temperature gauge often. Overheating the
    engine can be costly. If the vehicle overheats, stop and correct the problem. If overheating occurs while
    transporting, stop and adjust the blade position to allow more airflow to the radiator.

     Before it snows, walk around the area you will be plowing to check for obstacles that will become
    hidden when snow is on the ground. Look for things such as bumper stops and speed bumps, curbs,
    sidewalk edges, shrubs, water drains, fire hydrants, fences, and pipes sticking up from the ground. To
    prevent damage to the area being plowed, as well as to your snowplow and truck, mark any
    obstructions that will be hard to see when there’s snow on the ground.

     Always wear a seat belt when plowing, and never plow with your head out the window. Hidden
    obstacles could cause the vehicle to stop suddenly, resulting in personal injury.

     When moving in reverse don’t rely only on the vehicle mirrors. Turn around and look where you’re

    Straight Blade Basic Plowing Practices
     When plowing on dirt or gravel, lower the plow shoes. This will raise the blade so you don’t scrape the
    surface away. When plowing on asphalt or concrete, raise or remove the plow shoes so that you
    scrape as close to the surface as possible.

     When you’re finished plowing, lower the blade to the ground, and turn the plow control off for safety.
    This will also take stress off the hydraulic components.

    Protecting Your Transmission

     One of the most common vehicle problems encountered while plowing is damage to the transmission.
    Overheating the transmission fluid, as well as improper use, can contribute to the problem.

     Most vehicle manufacturers do not recommend plowing in overdrive. Consult your vehicle owner’s
    manual to find out if plowing in overdrive is recommended – and, if so, when and how.

     Plan your plowing pattern so that you are drive forward as much as possible.

     Come to a complete stop before shifting from forward to reverse.

     Wait until the transmission engages before accelerating.

     Accelerate slowly, allowing the wheels to grip the road surface for better traction. Avoid spinning the

    Straight Blade Basic Plowing Practices
     To start a pass, start the vehicle in motion. Then drop the blade.

     Whenever possible, back into a cleared area.

     If you have a manual transmission, avoid riding the clutch while plowing.

     After plowing, let the vehicle idle for ten minutes or more to allow the transmission cooler some time to
    cool the transmission fluid.

     If you are plowing, change your transmission fluid before and during the season. A good rule of thumb
    is to pull your transmission dipstick periodically and smell the fluid. If the fluid has a burnt smell, you
    should change the fluid as soon as possible.

     To monitor the heat in your transmission, you can install an inline transmission gauge. Once the
    temperature reaches 250 degrees, you should let the vehicle idle until the transmission fluid cools to a
    lower temperature.

    Things Not To Do

     Never pile snow on someone else’s property.

     Never pile snow on a street or on sidewalks.

     Never pile snow on top of any structure.

    Straight Blade Basic Plowing Practices
     Never pile snow by mailboxes, dumpsters, water drains, catch basins, electrical boxes, or fire hydrants.

     Never push snow across a road without first checking the local regulations. In many areas it is illegal to
    push snow across a road.

    Plowing Parking Lots

     Make sure you know where the customer wants you to pile the snow.

     Use extra caution when plowing next to curbs.

     If a significant amount of snow is expected, plow with the storm rather than letting snow accumulate.

     Keep water drains and catch basins clear at all times.

     Do not stack snow by the road so as not to block the visibility of vehicles coming or leaving the parking

     Use caution when plowing next to parked cars – as the snow can push you into the car.

     When plowing snow that is next to a building, push snow away from the building.

     If you are responsible for sidewalks, they should be shoveled first before you start plowing so that the
    snow can be plowed away.

    Straight Blade Basic Plowing Practices
     To start a pass, start the vehicle in motion. Then drop the blade.

     As you come to the end of a pass, lift off from the accelerator while starting to use the brake. At the
    same time, start to raise the blade to help stack the snow – and to make it easier on your electrical

     Plow areas in front of buildings and overhead doors first. With the blade raised and in the Straight-
    Position, drive up to the building; drop the blade; and pull the snow away from the building. Then turn
    your vehicle around, back into the cleared area and push the snow to the outer edges of the lot.

     Push the banks back far enough to accommodate future snowfalls.

     After back dragging snow away from building, it’s time to start plowing the lot. Start by making a pass
    down the center of the lot, and then push snow in windrows to the outer edges. If there has been a
    significant amount of snowfall, push as much bulk off the lot as possible. Then go over it again. In large
    lots it may be best to break your plowing down into smaller areas.

     Do not pile snow in the middle of the lot. It will be difficult to remove later.

     Do not pile snow near handicapped parking areas.

     Plow in straight lines whenever possible, and push snow to the outer edges of the lot. Keep the wind
    direction in mind – and pile snow downwind to minimize drifting later.

     Plow snow during low-traffic hours, and always be cautious of cars and people in the lot.

    Straight Blade Basic Plowing Practices
     Once the majority of snow is removed from the lot, it’s time to do the cleanup work. Start by plowing
    next to curbs. Be sure to square off corners where possible, and don’t leave trails of snow behind.

    Plowing Driveways

     Make sure you know where your customer wants you to pile the snow.

     Drive up to the garage; drop the blade; then back up – pulling the snow approximately two truck
    lengths back. Turn the vehicle around and back into the cleaned area. With the blade angled to the
    center of the driveway, push the snow to the end of the driveway. Finish by pushing the snow into the
    corners at the end of the driveway. Be careful to not leave snow on the road or on sidewalks.


     Plowing snow across a road is illegal in many areas, although some rural areas will allow it. Check your
    local regulations first. If it is allowed, push the snow far enough back to allow for upcoming snowfalls –
    being sure to not leave snow on the road.
  3. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870

    Best thing for you to be doing right now is watch YouTube plowing videos.

    You can learn a lot about a lot from YouTube.
  4. Wilnip

    Wilnip Senior Member
    Messages: 592

    How lond did it take you to type all that, Basher? Lol
  5. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870

    I'm guessing copy and paste.
  6. leolkfrm

    leolkfrm PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,980

    push to where you will have the piles.....use a yellow light...DO NOT BE IN A RUSH....pause and shift the truck. have windows clean...you will learn that traffic varies as the time of day...counter balance the weight of the plow(put the weight between the tailgate and wheel wells) and secure it...

    500 feet is a long way to back up so being able to turn around is helpful....I would angle halfway to see how the plow works
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
  7. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    Dam straight, why reinvent the wheel? Thousands of posts, youtube videos out the wazoo, SIMA and snowfighter classes and instructional videos and every manufacturer has basics in their owner's manual and he asks, "how do I plow snow." :dizzy:

    Why waste the effort when there's SO MUCH available to him with a little research effort without me typing a dissertation?
  8. SnowGuy73

    SnowGuy73 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 24,870

    Well said...