A lot of snow has been plowed off of the roads and parking lots over the past few weeks. This winter appears to be hanging on just a bit. Summer, however, will soon be upon us and we won’t think about snow until we see those white flakes in the air next fall. As we prepare for warmer days we should reflect on the season and whether there have been complaints of damage by the plows to lawns, mail boxes, or if there has been damage to the trucks themselves from hitting curbs, posts etc. Once preparations and budgeting for the next season begins, possible equipment improvements should be considered. As we all know the outer trailing edge of the road plow wings are often out of sight and depend on the use of mirrors, the driver’s experience and his familiarity with the equipment to gage where the path of the outer edge will be in relation to objects ahead. Gone are the good old days of having a wingman in the truck to keep an eye on the blade and right side of the truck. The use of a laser sight that shows the path of the plows outer edge can reduce plow damage by up to a claimed 85%. A laser sight such as the one produced by Laser Line Manufacturing Inc. LaserLine Mfg. can be used both in the winter for snow plowing as well as in the summer for striping operations. The model the GL3000PMC sits on the cab of the truck and places a laser light spot on the road in front of the truck marking the path that the plows outer edge will travel. The system at under $3,000 can be an affordable addition to the plows that would save the city from losses due to plow damage. There are other aids such as in cab closed circuit cameras to watch the trailing edge which can also be utilized to keep track of the plow location. The laser seems to have the advantage of keeping the drivers eyes on the road reducing the driver from looking away from the path of travel ahead. In any event all potential aids should be considered to find the one that most serves the cities needs and operator’s preference.
By Paul Gladen