Reporting Mike Schuh
HANOVER, Md. (WJZ)– With a light snow expected in far Western Maryland Thursday, the time is right for the state to show us its newest weapons to battle this winter’s weather.
Mike Schuh got the tour from Hanover.
“This is closer than you think.”
So the people who battle to clear these roads remind us.
“Everybody is ready, the mechanics supply, the drivers, supply clerks, everybody from top to the bottom, is ready for snow,” said Valerie Burnette Edgar, communications director of the State Highway Administration (SHA).
Ready to bring out the big guns.
If Dave Nichols ever drives near you, we’re in snow emergency. From the front, his is a normal snow plow. But out back, a serious transformer.
At the flip of a switch, the plow blade on wheels pivots, taking over the whole slow lane. The blade lowers so one truck is able to plow two lanes, and it will plow along at highway speeds.
“Couple of years ago, one of the plow drivers in another state invented this out in farm country, and said, ‘Hey, we tow things on the farm, let’s tow a plow,’” Burnette Edgar said.
A bit over half the price of a regular snow plow, the “tow plow” is supposed to clear more miles with just one driver, and save money.
“I think it’s going to work well,” Nichols, an SHA tow plow driver, said. “It’s going to save a lot of time.”
They bought two of them and they’re stationed in Western Maryland. But if a big blizzard hits, they’re going to move them closer to Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
You’re never supposed to pass a plow, and the state is particularly concerned about steering clear
of this goliath.
If those tow plows prove to be a success, the state could buy more next year.