Have You Seen The “TowPlow” in Action in Montana? Genius…
You know about the snowplow...but have you seen "the towplow" in action in Montana?
Now that the snow has stopped bombarding the state for a few days after the pre-Christmas arctic plunge, I wanted to take some time to look back at a cool conversation I had with Montana Department of Transportation (DOT) Director Mack Long.
We talked everything from the historic flooding of 2022 to the integration of the "towplows" into the MT DOT.
What is a towplow?
Mack Long: It is basically a trailer that goes behind our plow, and the front wheels crab over, and so it goes to the side and you can put another blade down. So when you're out plowing, you can plow the main main road in the shoulder, and get all that snow completely off. And it's really an interesting technology. The wonderful part about America is we always think, we always try, we always experiment. And this tow plow has been wonderful for us. We've tried to order and put more into our fleet...our guys are good. They know what they're doing. It takes a pretty experienced driver because you have to be plowing, push this tow plow over to the side, get the blade down, and it's plowing- so you're out there almost 40 feet, but you clear all that in one fell swoop.
Mack also told us about the new green lights on Montana snowplows this winter:
Mack Long: We now have green lights on our snowplow and we were able to put those on the back of our snowplows so we are a little more visible, so it's not quite as dangerous for our guys. We usually, our plows get hit 20 to 30 times a year because people couldn't always see em when we're working. It's a big cloud of snow, and so having those new green lights that were LED, they're strobing, it makes it a lot more visible.
As far as driver shortages, Mack said that they are short on drivers by about 50% this year.
Here's our chat with MT DOT Director Mack Long from back in early December: