How To Train a Snow & Ice Removal Rookie

With such a relentless, record breaking winter we experienced last season, you may have added or are considering adding a few new members to your snow removal team. Some may be experienced, snow and ice removal professionals, with many winters under their belt. However, if you’ve hired someone new to the industry, you will want to train your new team member on snow plowing best practices. This will not only help them when the first storm hits but will also help to establish your performance expectations levels and safety standards.

The Accredited Snow Contractors Association’s 2014 American National Standard highlights snow plowing basics that could be beneficial for your new hire to know*. Share these tips and help them put the best plow forward.

Safety Considerations During Operation

- Always adhere to local vehicular operational laws and ordinances;

- Adhere to safe plowing speeds to maintain control of the vehicle’s operation;

- Avoid pedestrians and give them the “right of way” at all times;

- Do not pile the snow in a manner that impedes the view down any street.

Plowing Practices

- Endeavor to always be aware of surroundings;

- Endeavor not to hit obstructions (light poles, parking bumpers, etc.);

- In many cases, pushing snow across streets is against local laws. It is advised to avoid this when possible;

- When plowing past a vehicle(s), endeavor to angle the plow blade away from the vehicle(s);

- When clearing snow away from curbs where sidewalks abut said curbs, the snow plow blade should angle away from curbs;

- When clearing sidewalks, if possible, push snow onto grass areas and not into paved areas, unless using a secondary support truck to clear snow pushed from the sidewalk into the designated area immediately;

- Do not leave a ridge of snow where the sidewalk meets the parking area/aisle;

- Endeavor not to plow snow into loading docks, only out from the dock area itself;

- When plowing onto grass areas, raise the plow slightly to avoid potential grass damage;

- Know that parking decks require special attention depending upon deck coating material and weight restrictions.

You may also want to consider training your new snow plow operator on different blade positions and their best uses, preseason procedures, identifying hazardous conditions and safety preparedness. Whether you’re training a new employee or refreshing your team on plowing best practices, you can use this guide to remind and inform your crews about the best snow removal practices.

*This information was republished with the permission of the ASCA.

The Accredited Snow Contractors Association, ASCA, is a trade association with the purpose of advancing the snow and ice management industry. ANSI/ASCA A1000-2014: System Requirements for Snow and Ice Management Services, is intended to be implemented and applied (on a voluntary basis) in conjunction with ISO 9001 with respect to the processes of providing snow and ice management services.  For information on purchasing a copy of the ANSI/ASCA A1000-2014 standards visit:  http://www.ascaonline.org/ansi-standards.aspx

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