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A snowplow (also snow plow, snowplough or snow plough) is a device intended for mounting on a vehicle, used for
removing snow and ice
removing snow and ice
from outdoor surfaces, typically those serving
transport Transport (in British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a language variety that has undergone substantial codification of grammar and ...

transport
ation purposes. Although this term is often used to refer to vehicles mounting such devices, more accurately they are known as
winter service vehicle A winter service vehicle (WSV), or snow removal vehicle, is a vehicle specially designed or adapted to Snow removal, clear thoroughfares of ice and snow. Winter service vehicles are usually based on a dump truck chassis, with adaptations allowing ...
s, especially in areas that regularly receive large amounts of snow every year, or in specific environments such as airfields. In other cases,
pickup truck A pickup truck or pickup is a light-duty truck Light truck or light-duty truck is a US classification for truck mining truck A truck or lorry is a motor vehicle designed to transport cargo. Trucks vary greatly in size, power, and con ...

pickup truck
s and
front end loader Front End Loader are an Australian rock band which formed in December 1991 with founding mainstays, Bowden Campbell on guitar and vocals; Davis Claymore on lead vocals and guitar; Richard Corey on bass guitar; and Peter Kostic on drums. Front E ...
s are outfitted with attachments to fulfill this purpose. Some regions that do not frequently see snow may use
grader A grader, also commonly referred to as a road grader, motor grader, or simply a blade, is a form of heavy equipment Heavy equipment or heavy machinery refers to heavy-duty vehicles, specially designed for executing construction tasks, mo ...

grader
s to remove compacted snow and ice off the streets. Snowplows can also be mounted on rail cars or locomotives to clear railway tracks.


Usage

A snowplow works by using a blade to push snow to the side to clear it from a surface. Modern plows may include technology to make it easier to perform the work and stay on the road. These include
Global Positioning System The Global Positioning System (GPS), originally Navstar GPS, is a satellite-based radionavigation system owned by the United States government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government or U.S. governme ...
receivers,
head-up display A head-up display, or heads-up display, also known as a HUD (), is any transparent displayA see-through display or ''transparent display'' is an electronic display that allows the user to see what is shown on the screen while still being able to ...
s and
infrared Infrared (IR), sometimes called infrared light, is electromagnetic radiation In physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior ...

infrared
cameras. Large custom snowplows are commonly used at major airports in
North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continen ...

North America
. These plows have oversized blades and additional equipment like a rotating sweeper broom (sometimes called jetblade) and blowers at the rear of the plow. For sidewalks and narrow lanes small tractor plows (tracked or wheeled) are often used within Canada and the United States. When snowfall accumulates above a certain height, snowplow operators may be seen clearing the main arteries first (designated as ''snow routes''), in some cases for the exclusive use of emergency vehicles. Underbody scrapers are sometimes mounted on vehicles in residential and urban settings, operating on principles similar to a road grader, but allowing greater weights and speed along with the carriage of a road treatment applicator. Newer technology has allowed the use of
articulated An articulated vehicle is a vehicle which has a permanent or semi-permanent pivot joint in its construction, allowing the vehicle to turn more sharply. There are many kinds of articulated vehicles, from heavy equipment to Articulated bus, bus ...
plow systems which can clear multiple
divided highway A dual carriageway (British English) or divided highway (American English) is a class of highway with carriageways for traffic travelling in opposite directions separated by a central reservation (BrE) or median (AmE). Roads with two or more ...
lanes simultaneously; jurisdictions adopting this technology include the provinces of
Alberta ("Strong and free") , image_map = Alberta in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = English , capital = Edmonton Edmonton ( ) is the capital ...

Alberta
,
British Columbia ( en, Splendour without diminishment) , image_map = British Columbia in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = None , Slogan = Beautiful British C ...

British Columbia
,
New Brunswick ("Hope restored") , image_map = New Brunswick in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , capital = Fredericton Fredericton (; ) is the capital city of the Canadian provinc ...

New Brunswick
,
Ontario ("Loyal she began, loyal she remains") , Label_map = yes , image_map = Ontario in Canada 2.svg , map_alt = Map showing Ontario's location east/central of Canada. , coordinates = , cap ...

Ontario
and
Quebec ) , image_shield=Armoiries du Québec.svg , image_flag=Flag of Quebec.svg , coordinates= , AdmittanceDate=July 1, 1867 , AdmittanceOrder=1st, with New Brunswick ("Hope restored") , image_map = New Brunswick in Canada 2.svg , ...

Quebec
in Canada, along with 21 states (
Colorado Colorado (, other variants) is a state in the Mountain West The Mountain West Conference (MW) is one of the collegiate athletic conferences affiliated with the National Collegiate Athletic Association The National Collegiate Athletic ...

Colorado
,
Connecticut Connecticut () is the southernmost state in the New England region of the United States. As of the 2010 United States census, 2010 Census, it has the highest per-capita income, second-highest level of List of U.S. states and territories by H ...
,
Delaware Delaware ( ) is a state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Maryland to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and New Jersey and the Atlantic Ocean to its east. The state takes i ...
,
Indiana Indiana () is a U.S. state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern United States. It is the List of U.S. states and territories by area, 38th-largest by area and the List of U.S. states and territories by population, 17th-most populous o ...

Indiana
,
Kansas Kansas () is a U.S. state, state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern United States. Its Capital city, capital is Topeka and its largest city is Wichita, Kansas, Wichita. Kansas is a landlocked state bordered by Nebraska to the north; ...

Kansas
,
Maine Maine () is a U.S. state, state in the New England region of the United States, bordered by New Hampshire to the west; the Gulf of Maine to the southeast; and the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Qu ...

Maine
,
Maryland Maryland ( ) is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware ...

Maryland
,
Massachusetts Massachusetts (, ), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * ...

Massachusetts
,
Michigan Michigan () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Michigan
,
Minnesota Minnesota () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Minnesota
,
Missouri Missouri is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in ...

Missouri
,
Montana Montana () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Montana
,
New Hampshire New Hampshire ( ) is a U.S. state, state in the New England region of the United States. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Gulf of Maine to the east, and the Canadian province of Quebec to the nor ...

New Hampshire
,
New York New York most commonly refers to: * New York City, the most populous city in the United States, located in the state of New York * New York (state), a state in the northeastern United States New York may also refer to: Film and television * New ...
,
North Dakota North Dakota () is a U.S. state In the , a state is a , of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a , each state holds al jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory where it shares its with the . Due to th ...
,
Ohio Ohio () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Co ...

Ohio
,
Oregon Oregon () is a U.S. state, state in the Pacific Northwest region of the Western United States. The Columbia River delineates much of Oregon's northern boundary with Washington (state), Washington, while the Snake River delineates much of it ...

Oregon
,
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania ( , elsewhere ; pdc, Pennsilfaani), officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastlines lie on endorheic basi ...

Pennsylvania
,
Tennessee Tennessee (, ), officially the State of Tennessee, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The S ...

Tennessee
,
Utah Utah ( , ) is a U.S. state, state in the Mountain states, Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. Utah is a landlocked U.S. state bordered to its east by Colorado, to its northeast by Wyoming, to its north by Idaho, to its so ...

Utah
and
Wisconsin Wisconsin () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Wisconsin
) in the
US
US
.


History

The first snow plows were horse-drawn wedge-plows made of wood. The earliest reference found by the
Oxford English Dictionary The ''Oxford English Dictionary'' (''OED'') is the principal historical dictionary A historical dictionary or dictionary on historical principles is a dictionary which deals not only with the latterday meanings of words but also the historica ...
was written in 1792 in a description of
New Hampshire New Hampshire ( ) is a U.S. state, state in the New England region of the United States. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Gulf of Maine to the east, and the Canadian province of Quebec to the nor ...

New Hampshire
: With the advent of rail travel and later, the automobile, a number of inventors set about to improve existing snow plows. In the US, the "snow-clearer" is said to have been patented as early as the 1840s, for railways. The first snow plow ever built specifically for use with motor equipment was in 1913. It was manufactured by Good Roads Machinery in Kennett Square, PA. and was designed to meet the exacting requirements outlined by engineers of the New York City Street Cleaning Bureau. Good Roads is therefore unofficially credited as the originator of the modern snow plow, though their horse drawn steel blade road graders were used to clear roads of snow as early as the company's founding in 1878 under their original name American Road Machinery. Good Roads patented the first four-wheel grader in 1889 thus making it the first pull grading apparatus patented in the United States. Unlike most early snow plow manufacturers, Good Roads continues to manufacture snow removal equipment today under the name Good Roads Godwin, now located in Dunn, North Carolina. In the early 1920s Good Roads often advertised in The American City magazine that "...three out of every four snow plows in use throughout the whole United States are Good Roads Champions." By the mid-1920s Good Roads was manufacturing snow plows of various shapes and sizes for use on a wide variety of motorized equipment. Other snow plow manufactures began to follow suit as motorized plows were proven more efficient than other methods of snow removal. In 1923, the brothers Hans and Even Øveraasen of Norway constructed an early snowplow for use on cars. This proved to be the start of a tradition in snow-clearing equipment for roads, railways and airports, as well as the foundation of the company Øveraasen Snow Removal Systems. Carl Frink of
Clayton, New York Clayton is a Administrative divisions of New York#Town, town in Jefferson County, New York, Jefferson County, New York (state), New York, United States. The population was 5,153 at the 2010 census. The town is named after John M. Clayton, a federa ...
, USA was also an early manufacturer of automobile-mounted snowplows. His company, Frink Snowplows, now Frink-America, was founded by some accounts as early as 1920. Today snow plows are produced by numerous companies around the world and available for different kinds of vehicles such as service trucks, pickup trucks, SUVs and ATVs. They are installed using model specific or universal hardware and mount to the frame of the vehicle to ensure durable connection. There are manual, power and hydraulic operating snow plows. All necessary mounting hardware usually comes in set with a plow. Snow plow blades are available in various sizes depending on a vehicle type. Service trucks usually use a blade sized and more. Common blade size for pickup trucks and full size SUVs is . Smaller ATV snow plow blades are wide.


Railway snowplows

In many countries, railway locomotives have small snowplows permanently attached to their bogies, which also serve as Pilot (locomotive), pilots. With others, the snowplow forms part of the obstacle deflector below the bufferbeam. Bolt-on versions also exist, and these attach to the bufferbeam or front coupler. However, larger snowplows exist, which tend to be conversions rather than purpose-built vehicles. Steam locomotive tender (rail), tenders, large diesel locomotive bogies and various freight vehicles have been used, with the snowplow body mounted on the original frames. They are one-ended, with conventional Railway coupling, coupling equipment on the inner end. In Canada purpose built snowplow cars (based on a box car with caboose cab located above and behind the blade) are in use in areas where there is a significant snow fall during winter periods (especially in Western Canada, Newfoundland and Northern Ontario). These cars were influenced by the ''Russell Plow'' from the United States and used in Canada in the 1880s. Most of the Russell type plows have been retired for smaller custom built railplow or snow blades attached to hopper cars or locomotives. Conventional operation may see one or two locomotives running together with a snowplow at either end. This enables a snow clearance train to reverse direction quickly if it gets stuck. Alternatively, a single locomotive with bogie plows can act as a self-propelled snowplow by running light engine. VIA Rail, among other railways, has integrated plow blades with the front pilot (locomotive), pilots of their locomotive fleet to clear thinner accumulations of snow as trains run. Self-propelled on-track steel and rubber tired "Hy-Rail" equipment can also be employed to remove snow from railroad tracks. The Pettibone Speed Swing loader and similar machines, both with and without hyrail wheels can be fitted with a large capacity snow bucket or a wedge plow to clear the tracks. Ballast regulators, machines designed to shape the profile of the crushed stone ballast that anchors the track in place, can be used without modification or refitted with purpose built snow blades, blowers and wings to clear snow from the right of way. Locomotive propelled Jordan Ditcher/Spreader (railroad), Spreaders are still sometimes used to plow especially deep snow in the US on the former Wisconsin Central railroad. These machines carry large main plows and hydraulic or air powered articulating wings to push snow far away from the tracks, sometimes past the next adjacent track to facilitate clearing snow from yards and sidings. These machines can also used to create ditches and plow the tracks clear of loose material during maintenance operations. Russell Plows are still in service at some locations, with large front wedge plows and shorter hinged air powered wings only suitable for plowing snow.


Gallery

File:Tram Snowplow.jpg , Tram-snowplow in Sofia File:CPR-SnowPlough-SRM.jpg, Sask Railway museum File:CNR-Snow-Plough-SRM.jpg, Sask Railway museum File:Snow-Plough-Wing-SRM.jpg, Sask Railway museum File:Oshkosh Snowplow, Bangor, ME IMG 2506.JPG, Oshkosh Snowplow exhibited at Cole Land Transportation MuseumCole Land Transportation Museum
/ref> in Bangor, Maine, Bangor,
Maine Maine () is a U.S. state, state in the New England region of the United States, bordered by New Hampshire to the west; the Gulf of Maine to the southeast; and the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Qu ...

Maine


See also

*Grader *Plough (disambiguation), Plow (disambiguation) *Rotary snowplow *Snow blower *Snow emergency *Snow pusher *Wedge Plow *Winter service vehicle


References


External links

{{commons category-inline, Snowplows, lcfirst=yes * Digital Public Library of America
Items related to snowplows
various dates
Seven minute video about the history of snowplows in the U.S. state of Maine
Snow removal, Plow Snowplows, Commercial vehicles Articles containing video clips