Just like there are (apparently) many ways to skin a cat, there are also many ways snow plow a road. And, while we've seen plenty of incredible snow removal machines and souped-up snowplow trucks over the years, it's pretty hard to top, from a pure efficiency standpoint, the absolute MONSTER of a machine known as the TowPlow.
Back in 2005, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MDOT) officially deployed the TowPlow, and you can check out the truck in action in the below video. At first glance, it looks like this the TowPlow is on a jack-knife collision course of deadly proportions, but you'll soon see that this thing is actually a stone-cold snow plowing machine.
As you can see from the below specs, the TowPlow makes it a lot easier for snowplow drivers to clear snow after crazy winter weather and even the deadliest of winter storms.
The TowPlow is a steerable trailer-mounted plow pulled behind a 350HP tandem axle snow truck. It can swing out to one side and is equipped with a 26-foot moldboard, 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 plows require. According the company, this reduces fuel consumption by nearly 30 percent, doubles the effectiveness of a single truck, and speeds road clearings to reduce traffic tie-ups after storms.
This thing definitely ain't your standard plow, that's for sure. With each trailer costing $100,000 a pop, the TowPlow, which is used in several other states as well as Canada, definitely isn't cheap.
That being said, it's pretty hard to put a price on keeping other motorists safe after a snowstorm.
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This post was originally published on October 25, 2019.