Road-clearing fleets play a crucial role in maintaining safe and passable roads during winter. Snow and ice can make roads slippery and dangerous, so it's essential to have a team dedicated to clearing them. There are a few critical considerations for road-clearing fleets in the winter, read on for these important winter reminders.

Equipment for improved traction on winter roads

Road-clearing fleets typically use specialized vehicles equipped with plows or salt spreaders to remove snow and ice from the roads. These vehicles may also be fitted with winter tires or chains to improve traction on slippery roads, but that's not all you can do to improve driving in winter conditions. 

Here are a few tips for road-clearing fleets during winter weather conditions:

  1. Use the right equipment: Ensure that the fleet has snow plows, salt spreaders, and other necessary equipment to clear the roads effectively.

  2. Prepare for winter weather: Keep the equipment in good condition and perform regular maintenance checks. Stock up on winter supplies such as salt, sand, and de-icing chemicals.

  3. Create a winter weather plan: Develop a plan of action for how to respond to different types of winter weather events, such as snowstorms and blizzards.

  4. Monitor the weather: Stay updated on weather conditions and make adjustments to the winter weather plan as needed.

  5. Stay safe: Encourage drivers to exercise caution and follow safe driving practices, such as slowing down and allowing for extra stopping distance in snowy conditions.

  6. Prioritize roads: Focus on clearing high-traffic roads and highways first, and then move on to residential areas and side streets.

  7. Communicate with the public: Keep the public informed of road conditions and any closures or detours. Provide regular updates on progress and estimated time of completion.

Training for winter driving

Drivers of road-clearing fleets should be trained in winter driving techniques, including safely navigating slippery roads and using their equipment.

Many organizations, such as automobile associations, driving schools, and government agencies, offer winter driving courses that teach drivers how to handle their vehicles in winter weather conditions. These courses often include a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on driving exercises, such as maneuvering through a simulated winter driving course.

The training covers topics such as adjusting driving techniques for slippery roads, how to handle skids, and properly using winter tires and other winter driving equipment. By taking a winter driving course, drivers can improve their knowledge and skills, reduce their risk of accidents, and drive more safely and confidently in winter weather.

Weather monitoring for dangerous conditions

Road-clearing fleets need to be prepared for winter storms and be ready to adjust their operations accordingly. This may involve delaying or canceling operations if conditions are too dangerous or increasing the frequency of plowing and salting to keep up with rapidly changing weather.

Road-clearing fleets play a vital role in keeping roads safe and passable during winter. By taking the necessary precautions and following best practices, they can help ensure the safety of their drivers and equipment, as well as the safety of other road users.

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