TowPlow Goes Double-Wide On Snowy Streets

No, this snow truck is not jack-knifing, the trailer is supposed to do that. It's the TowPlow and it clears snow-bound lanes in a flash. Are you listening Seattle?

The TowPlow is a steerable trailer-mounted plough pulled behind a 350HP tandem axle snow truck. It can swing out to one side and is equipped with an 8m mouldboard, which allows a single snow truck to clear up to two lanes at a time. The trailer is also outfitted with a spreader that distributes sand, road salt, or liquid de-icer in its wake. This allows the truck to clear a divided highway is two to three passes rather than four or five that conventional ploughs require. According to the company, this reduces fuel consumption by nearly 30 per cent, doubles the effectiveness of a single truck, and speeds road clearings to reduce traffic tie-ups after storms.

The TowPlow was first employed in Missouri in 2005 and has since been adopted by numerous other states as well as in Canada. The plough doesn't come cheap, however — each trailer costs a cool $US100,000. [AASHTO - TowPlow, AutoBlog, Ohio DoT (PDF)]

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