DOT beefs up snowplow fleet

PIERRE, S.D. (KEVN) - The South Dakota Department of Transportation has expanded its snowplow fleet by adding three new tow-plows for the 2017-2018 winter season.

The new plows will be used to clear roadways in Yankton, Rapid City and Hot Springs. The first tow-plow was deployed last year in Sioux Falls with great success, according to SDDOT Secretary Darin Bergquist.

A tow-plow is pulled by a snowplow truck and, along with the front plow on the truck, can clear widths up to 25 feet by allowing the operator to remove snow from one lane and the shoulder in one pass.

“The tow plow has been proven to save wear and tear on equipment, and save on fuel and labor costs. It also allows crews to get the roadway cleared more quickly and efficiently,” Bergquist said.

When the driver deploys the bi-directional tow plow, the wheels turn as much as 30 degrees in either direction, which causes the tow-plow to steer to the right or left of the truck. The tow plow works similarly to a wing plow but with a much greater reach to clear more surface area.

The department’s tow plows will have different set-ups for material that can be used to more effectively treat road surfaces. The two different set-ups the SDDOT will be using can apply a direct liquid spray or a pre-wetting salt application.

To see the tow-plow in action and get more information from an interview with the Sioux Falls tow-plow driver, visit the SDDOT YouTube channel.