Those who live in areas that get a lot of snow recognize and appreciate the plow truck. The plow truck is important to the infrastructure of areas that get hit hard by Old Man Winter.
In inclement snowy weather, a plow truck clears the highways, airstrips and parking lots of snow and ice, making the roads safely passable and parking lots usable. Plow trucks are an alternative to snow blowers and hand shoveling.
A plow truck generally comes in two forms: tractor or pickup. The tractor snowplow is a dump truck outfitted with large blade on the front to push, displace and remove snow. Also called winter service vehicles, a tractor snow plow might also have salt broadcasting attachments on the back, so that salt can be laid down as the snow is removed, in a single pass. City and county road crews will have access to tractor plows to clean off streets and highways.
A pickup truck snow plow is a light- to medium-duty pickup truck, preferably a truck with a four-wheel-drive transmission and a stiff suspension system. The truck is fitted with a plow blade on the front. Plow blades can either be straight or V-shaped, with a pivot point in the center to help the driver direct the snow. County and city officials may have pickup plows, as will private individuals and small contractors hired to clean off driveways and parking lots.
The snow plow blade, normally made of steel or polyethylene, works by pushing snow straight ahead or to the side, clearing a pathway on the road or lot. Blades range from six to 10 feet wide and weigh anywhere from 200 to over 1,000 pounds.
Some snowplows come equipped with custom equipment to maximize snow removal, such as global positioning systems, rotating sweeper brooms, blowers and underbody scrapers.