A snowplow (also spelled snow plow, snowplough or snow plough, see miscellaneous spelling differences) is a vehicle, or a device intended for mounting on a vehicle, for removing snow and sometimes ice from outdoor surfaces, typically those serving transportation purposes. In many cases, pickup trucks and tractors are outfitted with plows to fulfill this purpose. In areas that regularly receive large amounts of snow every year, and also in specific environments such as airfield, specifically snowplowing winter service vehicles are used. Some regions that do not frequently see snow may use graders and other equipment to fulfill this task, but graders are nonetheless the best equipment to remove compacted snow and ice off the streets. Snowplows can also be mounted on rail cars to clear railway tracks.

A snowplow works by using a blade to push snow to the side or straight ahead, clearing it from a surface. Modern plows may include a great deal of technology to make the job—and staying on the road—easier, such as Global Positioning System receivers, heads-up displays and infrared cameras.

When snowfalls accumulate above a certain height, snowplow operators may be seen clearing primarily designated "snow routes", often for the exclusive use of emergency vehicles such as fire trucks.


The first snowplows were horsedrawn wedge-plows made of wood. With the advent of the automobile, a number of inventors set about to improve existing snowplows. In the US, patents were issued for snowplow improvements at least as early as 1920.

In 1923, the brothers Hans and Even Øveraasen of Norway constructed an early snowplow for use on cars. This proved to be the start of a tradition in snow-clearing equipment for roads, railwayscite web
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title = Canadian Railway Hall of Fame -
work = Rotary snow plow (2002)
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] cite web
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coauthors = Aitken
title = Snow ploughs
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] and airports, as well as the foundation of the company Øveraasen Snow Removal Systems. Carl Frink of Clayton, New York, USA was also an early manufacturer of automobile-mounted snowplows. His company, Frink Snowplows, now Frink-America, was founded by some accounts as early as 1920. [] Modern day you will find a number of manufacturers supplying many different types of snowplows, a few mainstream include [ The Boss Snowplow] , [ Fisher Snowplow] , Hiniker, [ Meyer Products] , and [ Western Snowplows] . Building and [ distributing] of Snowplow equipment has grown exponentially since the first plows made their appearance.

Tow Plow

The TowPlow is an advanced snow plow first implemented by the Missouri Department of Transportation as a better tool to clear snow from highways. [ [ Tow Plow] ]

The tow plow consists of a truck with a regular plow blade in front and a secondary 26 foot blade attached to a trailer. When the vehicle is in motion, the rear trailer is set at an angle and the rear and front blade forms a straight line. The design was inspired by farm equipment and allows 1 plow truck to do the work of two plows.

Besides Missouri, Ontario 407 ETR is the other North American user of this technology. The Tow Plow is currently produced and distributed through Viking-Cives of Mount Forest,Ont.

The TowPLow was first used in Kansas City, Missouri in January, 2002. Missouri was the first state, with Minnesota being the second state to adopt. Eastern Canada contractors also use them, with over a couple dozen now in the field to operate in Winter 2008. The TowPLow allows one truck and one operator to more than double the performance of each snow plow truck. Each TowPLow truck combination clears two lanes of pavement, over 24' wide with one truck.

ee also

*Snow blower
*Rotary snowplow
*Winter service vehicle
*"Mr. Plow", an episode of "The Simpsons" about snow removal.



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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Snowplow — Snow plow , Snowplough Snow plough , n. An implement operating like a plow, but on a larger scale, for clearing away the snow from roads, railways, etc. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • snowplow — 1792, first mentioned in a New Hampshire context, from SNOW (Cf. snow) + PLOW (Cf. plow) …   Etymology dictionary

  • snowplow — ☆ snowplow [snō′plou΄ ] n. 1. any bulldozerlike device or machine used to clear snow off a road, railroad, etc. 2. Skiing a stemming of both skis, as for stopping, with the inside ski edges dug into the snow, and the tips of the skis pointed at… …   English World dictionary

  • snowplow — /snoh plow /, n. 1. an implement or machine for clearing away snow from highways, railroad tracks, etc. 2. Skiing. a maneuver in which a skier pushes the heels of both skis outward so that they are far apart, as for turning, decreasing speed, or… …   Universalium

  • snowplow — 1. noun a) A vehicle that is used to push snow off surfaces such as roads. b) A device attached to a vehicle to enable it to be used as a snowplow. 2. verb a) To clear (roads, etc) using a snowplow. b) To perform a snowplow in skiing …   Wiktionary

  • snowplow — snow•plow [[t]ˈsnoʊˌplaʊ[/t]] n. 1) an implement or machine for clearing away snow from highways, railroad tracks, etc 2) spo a maneuver in which a skier pushes the heels of both skis outward, as for turning, decelerating, or stopping 3) to clear …   From formal English to slang

  • snowplow — I. noun Date: 1792 1. any of various devices used for clearing away snow 2. a stemming with both skis used for coming to a stop, slowing down, or descending slowly II. intransitive verb Date: 1904 to execute a snowplow < snowplowed to a stop > …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • snowplow — snow|plow1 [ snou,plau ] noun count a large vehicle that pushes snow off the road snowplow snow|plow 2 [ snou,plau ] verb intransitive in SKIING, to slow down or stop by pointing the front of your skis toward each other …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • snowplow — n. vehicle or device for clearing snow …   English contemporary dictionary

  • snowplow — [ˈsnəʊˌplaʊ] the American spelling of snowplough …   Dictionary for writing and speaking English

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