Tow Plow Operators Training

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2018-11-10 2K 2 0 0


Tow Plow. Trailer snow plow designed to be towed with a truck and standard plow configuration. 25’ clearing path with a 12’ front plow . Improve services by:. Providing faster results. Reducing cost for equipment, fuel and labor. ID: 725769 Download Presentation

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Tow Plow Operators Training

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Tow Plow Operators Training


Tow Plow

Trailer snow plow designed to be towed with a truck and standard plow configuration25’ clearing path with a 12’ front plow

Improve services by:Providing faster resultsReducing cost for equipment, fuel and labor


Contact Time

12 total contact hours (required)8 hours

Classroom, hands-on and closed driving course4 hours Dry-run (pre-winter) Experienced operator will drive to demonstrate proper procedures

New operator will drive and be evaluated by experienced operatorChecklist to be completedDuring storm check ride (optional)

No set amount of contact time

As required by supervisor

Experienced operator will drive to demonstrate proper procedures

New operator will drive and be evaluated by experienced operator

Release to operate the Tow Plow on decision of experienced operator

Checklist to be completed during check ride


Course Objectives

Identify Tow Plow key componentsIdentify all safety hazards, terms and labels

Perform a pre and post-trip inspection Describe preventative maintenanceIdentify and become familiar with all in-cab operator controlsDemonstrate on a closed course the safe and proper Tow Plow operating procedures



This training will focus on standard configuration

There are many different configurations based on district specific ordersTow Plows may be outfitted with on or more of the following:1000 gallon liquid chemical tank8 cubic yard spreader

Become familiar with your Tow PlowTrain with equipment to be used Train in area that the operator “typically” will be assigned to



Become familiar with all operating characteristics prior to operation during a winter event

Be aware of your surroundingsMust be able to see the Tow PlowClean windowsClean mirrors

In-cab adjustable mirrorsSupplemental night lighting


Safety and Warning Labels

Become familiar with all safety warnings and labelsReplace labels when:

Damaged Not legibleIn addition, become familiar with additional equipment on the Tow Plow including:Spreader

Liquid chemical tank(s)


Lockout / Tagout

All employees shall follow MoDOT’s lockout/tagout procedures prior to

performing any work on the Tow PlowControl of hazardous energy shall be complied with under Section 2.7 The Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout / Tagout)

Follow manufacturer’s proceduresTow PlowAccessory equipment installed on the Tow Plow



Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the inspection and maintenance schedules

Hydraulic fluid level on tow vehicleInspect tires for damage, proper inflation and that all lug nuts are in place and have not become loose“STAY BACK 100 FEET” sign installed on rear of Tow PlowAll safety and warning labels are in place and legible


Inspections Continued

Visually inspect all hydraulic hoses and connectors for wear, damage, and leaks

Check all cables, chains, and sheaves for excessive wear and damageVisually inspect all plow and wing unitsInspect cutting edge and shoes for excessive wear

Do not allow cutting edge to wear down into the mounting angle on the mold board


Inspections Continued

Inspect mounting arms for excessive rust, damage, cracks in welds or bent and broken sectionsInspect mounting holes on the arms and lugs for excessive wear

Mounting holes greater than 3/16” clearance are to be repairedDump air from the brake storage tanks on tow vehicle and the Tow Plow to remove excessive moisture and ensure that the system air pressure returns and does not leakAdd air brake drier to brake system to prevent air brake freezing during extremely cold weather



Grease all required componentsAll plow harness sheave nipples

All hydraulic pump drive shaft nipplesFront and rear tower sheaves and swivel blocksWing extension arm nipplesFront and rear tower guide tracks

All front harness pivot pointsCheck for loose or missing fasteners (nuts, bolts, cotter pins, lock rings, etc.)Follow lubrication procedures for the Tow Plow and accessory equipment, such as spreaders

Refer to the owner’s manual for specific intervals


Hydraulic Set-up

Check hydraulic set-up prior to useSystem pressure should be 2300 psi

Set hydraulic trims/flow for steering and mold board operationEnsure that Tow Plow response is:ConsistentSmooth

Not too slow (may reduce reaction time for obstacles)Not too fast (could cause handling issues and damage)Include operator to ensure response is adequate to the operators preference and needs



Standard ConfigurationConnection of hydraulics and liquid chemicals for spreaders and liquid tanks may vary

Refer to your experienced Tow Plow operator or District General Services for additional requirementsAttach Tow Plow to tow vehicle pintle hitchPintle receiver locked

Raise landing gear into full up position and handle stored in tow positionAir brake lines/glad hands connected (no leaks)Connect Tow Plow safety chainsConnect plow lift hydraulic circuit

Connect steering hydraulic circuit

7 wire trailer plug installed and all Tow Plow lights operational

6 wire plug installed and all operator lights are operational

Inspect all lighting for damage and proper operation


Operational Preparation

Ensure brakes are released and not frozenGently pull against the Tow Plow with brakes released to ensure brakes are not frozen

Remove mold board lock pinsStand behind mold boardStart at center pins working out

Installing mold board lock pinsInstall for transport or when deployment is not required for extended durationStand behind mold board

Start with outside pins and work to center


Operational Check

Perform operational check prior to leaving maintenance facility

Steering (deployment and retraction)Steering wheels move freely through full stroke of activating cylinder while moving forwardMold board (up and down)Determine that the mold board moves freely from full up to full down


Deployment / Retraction

Visually check to ensure that the Tow Plow is clear of traffic

USE YOUR MIRRORSDo not deploy or retract while stopped to prevent damage to the Tow Plow’s tiresFull deployment is not required to operate

Deploy to any desired positionAlways deploy to a position that will clear all obstaclesDeployment (steering) and mold board functions (up and down) can be performed at the same time if desired




Low Visibility

Always retract the Tow Plow in low visibility conditionsAlways have plenty of sight distance

Give yourself time to react and retract the Tow Plow for:Stalled/stopped vehiclesPedestriansRoadway hazards

ObstaclesGuard rails, bridge ends and signsWhen in doubt, pull in the Tow Plow



Use Tow Plow deployment to “steer” while negotiating tight turnsLeft turns with right hand Tow Plows

Right turns with left hand Tow PlowsAvoid turns that require you to stop and back upIf retracted to tow position during turns, raise the mold board

Can be left in deployed position with mold board down and adjusted for obstacles to clear larger intersections


Steering Through Tight Turns


Pre-trip Inspection

Before each use:

Make sure that all nuts and bolts are in place and properly tightenedMake sure that all other fasteners are in place and are performing their specified functionMake sure all safety signs are in place, clean, and legible

Replace any damaged parts or excessively worn partsInspect for damage to any part of the plow mold board or push frameExamples include broken or worn bolts or pins, cracked welds, bent sections, and/or excessive rusting

Inspect for damage to trip mechanisms, such as broken springs, cracked welds, and worn or broken bolts

Check all hoses for cuts, cracks, and leaks

Dump air from air brake reservoir to remove any moisture


Plowing Operations

Always try to position the Tow Plow in lanes that keep the plow farthest away from obstacles, such as guardrails, signs, etc.

Position the Tow Plow based on type of operation and configuration of the plowsSingle operationPlow two lanes as best as possible

Plow center turn lanesGang operationHave enough plows to cover shoulder to shoulder

Utilize single plow trucks for clearing shoulders and ramps

Have single plow run shoulders next to guard rails


Gang Plowing

Try to position the crown of the road between the tow vehicle and the Tow Plow

For clearing first priority (high volume) routes, operational speeds should be within the following:Safe for conditions presentSafe for traffic volume and conditionsReduce spacing appropriately for limited visibility

Paced so that multiple gang trucks do not become separatedSpaced so that traffic may not pass between the gang plows


Starting Operations with a Gang

Communication is keyEnsure all operators know the procedures to be used

Ensure that all operators know their position in the gangEnter traffic at speeds that are safe and allow the gang to stay together


Plowing Operations

Plowing heavy snow loads may require adjusting plow / truck positionSnow loads may suddenly decrease and allow the plow to skew back to it original position, such as clearing snow under bridges and overpasses

Tow may strike guardrail and other roadside devices when it returns to its normal position after the heavy snow load is releasedPlowing aggregate shouldersRaise mold board 2” to 4” above ground


Emergency Stopping

Maintain a safe distance from traffic in front of youThe Tow Plow is equipped with ABS braking system

Brake as you normally wouldThe procedure for stopping a trailer skid is:Recognize the trailer skid by seeing it in your mirrorsCheck mirrors anytime you brake hard to make sure the trailer is staying where it should be

Once the trailer swings out of your lane it is hard to prevent a jackknifeStop using the brakes to get traction backDo not use the hand brake (this will cause the trailer to continue to skid)

Once the wheels start to grip the road again, the trailer will start to straighten out and follow the tow vehicle

If the Tow Plow is deployed during a skid, leave in the deployed position



There are two groups of lighting on the Tow Plow:Work/warning

Operational (DOT)Tow Plow lighting is connected to the truck via two separate trailer plugs:7 wire large plug for DOT vehicle lights6 wire plug for work and warning lights


Laser Guidance

Lasers can be used to determine Tow Plow position in relation to roadside obstacles Can be helpful to determine Tow Plow position when fully extended

Mounted to the truckOnly represents full Tow Plow extension


Tow Plow Inspection

Used to assist operator in Tow Plow inspectionsUse to pre-trip

Can be used for pre-storm inspections


Dry-Run Check List

Performed pre-seasonDry-Run

Allows operator to become familiar with the Tow PlowIdentify hazardsIdentify turnaround pointsDiscuss and plan plowing procedures


Closed Driving Maneuvers

Provides several plowing scenarios including but not limited toRamps

Stalled vehiclesBarriersCurvesInclude additional maneuvers as needed




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