A Guide on Snow Plowing Techniques

The Kensington, MD area gets around 15 inches of snow each year. It’s essential to keep your property clear of snow and ice. Driving on snow-covered roads can be dangerous for you and those around you. 

Snow plowing is an efficient way to clear your property’s driveway and the road of accumulated snow. It’s important to use the right method and equipment when snow plowing a commercial property. You’ll want to get the job done as quickly as possible so you can go back inside where it’s warm. 

This guide will discuss our favorite plowing techniques you can use instead of spending hours shoveling snow. 

Plan Ahead

Planning for an upcoming snowstorm will help you be ready for when it hits. You should stake your driveway so you have a roadmap for where you need to plow. Staking your driveway helps you avoid plowing other parts of your property that don’t need to get cleared. 

Place a stake on either side of your driveway’s entrance. Put in more stakes along both sides every 10 to 15 feet. You’ll want to include more stakes if your driveway has lots of turns. 

You’ll have no problem seeing where your driveway is, even if the snowstorm produces a lot of snow. You can also add reflectors to your stakes. The reflectors boost your visibility, whether you’re driving or plowing at night. 

Don’t Wait Until the Storm Is Over

You might be tempted to start plowing once it’s stopped snowing. Snowfall will be harder to plow the more it accumulates. Heavy snow cover might harden as well, making it more challenging to plow. 

Decrease your workload by plowing during the storm. It might seem unappealing to head out during a snowstorm to plow, but you’ll be thanking yourself later. 

Account for Other Plows

There’s a high chance that you’ll find a pile of snow waiting for you at the end of your driveway. Another snowplow might’ve gone along your road, creating berms along the side. These berms can get very hard to remove as snow accumulates and hardens on top of them. 

You can prevent that from happening. Plow a large chunk of snow from your driveway’s right side. When a plowing service goes down your road, the snow will go somewhere else besides your driveway. 

Back Drag if You Have a Short Driveway

Back dragging is a great option if you have a short, straight driveway. Follow these steps to back drag:

  • Drive up to your building as far as you can
  • Lower your plow
  • Back up toward the street

As you back to the street, you’ll pull the snow with you. Keep in mind that while your vehicle might come with a backup camera, you’ll want to use your eyes during this method. You need to pay close attention to any people or animals that might get in your path. 

Choose a specific spot where you’ll deposit the snow after each pass. You don’t want the snow to get in the way of other cars on your road or your neighbors. You’ll want to find a big enough spot since you might have to plow a few times during a snowstorm. 

When back dragging, be careful to avoid hitting drains, fire hydrants, electrical boxes, and mailboxes. You’ll also want to back drag the snow to a place where it can easily drain once it melts. 

How to Get Started Plowing

Back dragging might not be an option that works for you. Let’s discuss some basic snowplowing techniques that work for most driveways. 

Plow in Right Angles 

As you start driving forward, lower your plow. Drive slowly and plow in a straight line. Start by clearing the snow at the outer edges of your driveway. 

Slow down your vehicle, lifting the plow to stack the snow better as you get to the end of a push. Move systematically as you drive your plow. Plow cleanly and slowly as you make your way to the other side of your driveway.

Back In

Another technique for those with longer driveways is to back into your driveway. You can plow the snow out onto your road. Once the snow is on the road or at the end of your driveway, you can plow it to another location that’s out of the way. 

Fluffy, light snow might be able to get plowed all at once. Wet and heavier snow might take multiple passes with your snow plow. As you plow, lower your plow each time to reduce wear and tear on your car. 

How to Keep Yourself Safe When Plowing

Some snow plows attach to the front of your truck or SUV. With those options, you can stay warm and cozy inside your vehicle while you plow. In other scenarios, you might be plowing atop a quad or four-wheeler, exposed to the elements. 

Get prepared with the following safety equipment whenever you go plowing:

  • A helmet equipped with a no-fog shield
  • Warm clothes including insulated underwear
  • Water-resistant and insulated boots
  • Sunglasses (if needed)
  • Gloves that enable you to operate plow and vehicle functions 

You mustn’t drive over 10 MPH when plowing snow. You should always have your seatbelt on, even if you’re driving at a slow speed. Try to plow during times when there’s low traffic. 

Exercise the following three things while plowing:

  • Common sense
  • Courtesy
  • Safety

Odds are if you’re out plowing, you won’t be the only one. Keep an eye out for other snow plows to avoid unfortunate accidents. 

Contact Bam’s Landscaping for Commercial Snow Plowing

You can quickly become a master at snow plowing when dealing with small driveways and roads. However, it can be challenging to stay on top of large commercial properties. You don’t want to have to shovel snow yourself in those types of situations. 

That’s where Bam’s Landscaping comes in. We’ll keep your parking lot and driveways plowed during Maryland snowstorms. Contact us today to get a free snow removal quote.