What Plow Drivers Should Keep in Their Trucks

Image of a snow removal plow stocked with safety equipment

It’s that time of year again for many parts of the country. Despite whatever winter weather forecasts you’ve heard, there will likely come a time when you’ll need to clear snow from the roads, parking lots, and walkways of your assets. 

If your agency does snow removal in-house, drivers will face some hazardous conditions. Routine vehicle inspections and staying stocked with emergency equipment like fire extinguishers, reflective warning devices, and road flairs are good starting points for preparing your plows. 

But you'll want to go that extra mile...

Ensuring the truck is appropriately stocked with winter safety gear and emergency replacement parts prepares your drivers for whatever issues arise. Here are some things to make sure each plow has before starting its route:

First Aid Kit

A first aid kit should already be a mainstay in all your vehicles. The change of season is an excellent time to check them and replenish stock. Also, add extra hand/toe warmers and emergency blankets for cold weather emergencies. 

Hopefully, drivers will make it through the season intact. Even if there are no work-related injuries, the drivers may encounter an emergency situation while removing snow. Given their first aid training, they may provide the initial care before help arrives.

Towrope and Jumper Cables

If your plow driver encounters a stranded vehicle, a towrope or jumper cables can turn a plow driver into an everyday hero. 

That said, your drivers aren’t tow truck drivers. They should exercise caution and good judgment if rescuing a stranded vehicle. But a little pull or electricity can be a big help for someone stuck in the snow. Anything more, and encourage your driver to call emergency services.

Lock De-Icer

Freezing rain or melting snow can get into the locks. Then cold weather freezes it. Now the doors won’t open. 

When your driver sprays a little de-icer into the lock, the formula bonds to the ice and melts it. Some de-icers have lubricants to help prevent damage to the locking mechanisms. 

Store the de-icer in coat pockets if the weather conditions are favorable for frozen locks--especially if your drivers have to get out of the vehicle several times. De-icer is much less effective when stuck in a truck with frozen locks.

Snow Shovels

The shovel will help clear off areas that the plow cannot reach. It can also be helpful to dig your driver or another vehicle out of a jam. 

Opt for shovels that are lightweight but sturdy. Shovels with fiberglass shafts/handles are often lighter and stronger than traditional wood shafts. Consider having a wider push shovel and one used for lifting and throwing snow on the trucks. 


It gets dark quickly in the winter. If something is wrong with the plow, you want to ensure your driver has adequate light to inspect the issue. 

Ice Scrapers

image of a driver scraping the windshield of a snow plow

To safely operate a plow, the driver needs to have a clear field of vision. An extendable ice scraper allows drivers to clear the entire windshield and windows so no snow or ice obstructs their view.

Extra Clothes

Drivers frequently getting in and out of vehicles will accumulate snow on their clothes. Once they get into the warm cab, the snow begins to melt. 

Wet clothes and cold weather don’t mix. Store extra jackets, hats, and gloves where they stay dry and relatively warm. 

Emergency Plow Parts

Drivers can handle minor damage or plow issues in the field with the correct supplies and tools.  

You can purchase emergency kits for some plow models to keep in the trucks. Or you can assemble kits for your exact plows. Emergency plow parts kits can include:

  • Hydraulic fluid
  • Cutting-edge bolt kits
  • Eyebolt kits
  • Power unit solenoid kit
  • Trip return spring
  • 12-volt relays
  • Ratchet strap

Consult your owner's manual or plow dealer about what should go into your emergency kits.

The Takeaway

Winter weather makes for some of the most dangerous driving conditions. Even vehicles meant to clear snow encounter emergencies. 

Drivers can be prepared for most winter emergencies if they stock their snow removal vehicles with the items mentioned in this article.