It’s snowing and you’re worried about how you’re going to make it to work, school, and your children’s daycare, anywhere. You immediately dread driving on the treacherous roads because it has been snowing quite persistently for a few hours now. You notice the side roads are almost untouched, and the main roads are only decent at best.
“Why can’t the roads just be clear?!” you hear yourself saying out loud, even with no one in the car. The frustration for your safety, your car and your limited time to make the trek to your destination come to a head. You get so mad that you have to forgo sleep just to make it there in a decent amount of time.
So who is really at fault? Do you really think about it, or just get mad in general? Do you think about how long those drivers have been out there? Do you think that the area’s budget affects the quality of blades they run? Do you also think about how the budget might affect how many drivers are out there trying to scoop up all of the snow?
Snowplow drivers are very rarely thanked for what they do. It’s a tedious and stressful job. The hours are unpredictable, the conditions are brutal and they don’t get a break—especially during those blizzards.
And the fatigue. Doing a job so monotonous causes drivers to get extremely tired. Most plows are designed to be quiet, at most a hum. Drivers actually prefer the louder plows to help keep them awake, as long as the noises aren’t super distracting. Imagine driving with a constant soft hum and working for 10 hours straight, possibly with no sleep…just thinking about it makes you want to take a nap.
Drivers usually have quite a few jobs throughout each of the seasons. In the warmer months, they concentrate on construction and road repairs. They are trained in multiple areas of expertise and plowing is known to be the most difficult. We all hate those orange cones during the summer, but it seems we hate snow covered roads even more.
It also doesn’t help the situation that salt prices have skyrocketed lately. Municipalities’ budgets just aren’t what they used to be. This means they rely even heavier on the plows rather than pre-treating and salting because of the cost.
Safety is the key point to all of these drivers. They go through excessive training to become the safest car on the road during these conditions. They pride themselves on this, and always try to get the word out to be cautious of them while they’re plowing. It’s one of the most important aspects to help them to get good results.
So, when you’re out driving on these roads that may not be taken care of to perfection—remember that these guys (and gals!) have been doing their very best with what they have been given. Holidays, middle of the night calls to come in, 10+ hour shifts—nothing stops them from trying to keep you safe.
Winter Equipment Company engineers our cutting edge systems to protect drivers from these hazards like fatigue. For example, our Joma System is an articulated blade system with guards, hardware and instructions to make installs easier and decrease driver fatigue by minimizing vibrations. PennDOT is a huge advocate of this system and a lot of locations continue to use it every time they plow.
One of the most common issues with snowplowing is the breaking of hardware. Most people immediately think quality of the product or driver error, but 9 out of 10 times it’s because the blades and hardware weren’t installed properly from the start.
The likely reason bolts break is that they were sheared in two during use due to the blades moving. This could be that the wrong bolt or nut was used and/or the proper torque wasn’t applied during installation.
If you’re in the snowplow business, you know that torque is a term used quite often and it’s actually pretty important for good results. Torque is the tendency of a force to rotate an object about an axis, fulcrum, or pivot. Just as a force is a push or a pull, a torque can be thought of as a twist to an object. Torque is what’s important when you’re installing those cutting edges. You have to have the proper tightness for good results.
Even though quality probably isn’t the reason things are breaking, you should always be using Grade 8 bolts—a lock nut doesn’t hurt either. The reasoning behind quality not being the problem is that the standards for quality of nuts and bolts have been put in effect now for years.
Some tips –
Installing snow plow blades can be a tedious project. Make sure you’re prepared and have help if you need it. Winter Equipment Company managers are always out on the road and ready to help with any installations of Winter’s products.
Every year Winter Equipment works with The Salvation Army to provide bicycles and donations to children and families around Lake County, Ohio. “Santa’s Bikes for Kids” is a fundraiser that was organized by Winter Equipment Owner Kent Winter. He is heavily involved in charities around the area and this one continues to be a great success. 2014 marks the 7th annual campaign to help those struggling during the holiday season.
Donations started being accepted at the beginning of October and within this timeframe, has already collected 109 bikes and $5,000 in donations. This number is growing every day towards the goal of $8,000! These donations go directly to The Salvation Army in Lake County and will be distributed by the Painesville location.
There were (and still are!) multiple ways to donate, whether it be directly through Winter Equipment, The Salvation Army, or with the Chinese Raffles.
From 11am-1pm Monday through Wednesday next week, the auctions will be held at Winter Equipment, located at 1900 Joseph Lloyd Parkway in Willoughby. Ticket prices are 3 for $1. The drawing will be held at 9am on Thursday, December 18th.
Items include gift cards from restaurants and stores, beauty products and services, photo shoot sessions, autographed memorabilia and other great prizes.
Thank you to the following places that have donated towards the raffle prizes!....
|Max & Erma's||Winking Lizard of Mentor|
|Buffalo Wild Wings||Penn Station Subs|
|Bakers Square||Jersey Mikes|
|Capps Pizza||Ellie Vayo Photography|
|Guiseppe's Pizza & Subs||JT'S Diner|
|Giant Eagle||TGI Friday's|
|Panini's Willoughby||Cleveland Indians|
|Tommy's Sub Shop||Lake Metroparks|
|Firehouse Grille & Pub||Lowes|
|Mosack's Religious Gifts||Jennifer & Company|
|Quaker Steak & Lube||Crush Salon|
|Terry's Shoes Foot Care||Art Gallery|
|Beal's Pickles and Pints||Barnes & Noble|
|Pranzo Restaurant||Plant Magic|
|North Coast Photography||Avenue Beverage|
|G & G Tattoo||Wine 4 U|
|Michael Stefan Salon||Family Christian Store|
|Atlas Cinemas||Sweet Beginnings|
|Applebees||Starbucks Mentor Mall|
|Sweet Berry Fresh Market||Gales Garden Center|
|Ladies & Gentlemen's||Palm Beach Tan|
|Home Depot Mentor||Paisley Farm|
|M & L Trucking||Office Max|
On December 11th, employees from Winter Equipment, Salvation Army and Walmart spent the day loading trucks full of bikes bought at Walmart with the cash donations.
Nate helping move the bikes from the store to the truck
The lines of bikes waiting to be shipped to The Salvation Army was long!
All sizes of bikes were collected for families!
And another huge thank you to the following who have contributed cash donations!....
|Superior Flux||Gallagher & Co.|
|Ferrari Transfer||A & S Machine|
|Imperial Metal Solutions||USM Precision Products|
|Eagle Welding||Bordonaro Snowplowing|
|Snowplow Technologies||Willo True Value|
|Advanced Robotics||Search Masters|
|RGM Materials||Ridge Pointe Child Care|
|D & S Automotive||Ecometal|
|Powerline Engine||Accurate Metals|
|Heisler Tool||Reed Financial|
|Lost Nation Convenient Store||Ajax Tocco|
|Manning & Manning||Finestra Gallery|
|Kopachko Machining||China PacifiCarbide|
|Spinners||M H Containers & Equipment.|
Winter Equipment is still accepting donations through December 17th. If you would like to contribute to this cause, please call 440-946-8377 and ask for Tracey.
We all know our weather can change drastically in hours, if not minutes. There are many steps you can take in prepping for winter, whether you are in the hard-hitting snow states or surrounding…
From the Red Cross-
Winter Storm Outlook - Winter storm conditions are possible in the next 2 to 5 days.
Winter Weather Advisory - Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous. When caution is used, these situations should not be life threatening.
Winter Storm Watch - Winter storm conditions are possible within the next 36 to 48 hours. People in a watch area should review their winter storm plans and stay informed about weather conditions.
Winter Storm Warning - Life-threatening, severe winter conditions have begun or will begin within 24 hours. People in a warning area should take precautions immediately.
If you are from one of the snow-filled states come November, you have to ask yourself one question…
Are you prepared?
There is a very good chance the answer is no. Last year, the majority of cities ran out of the most important supply---salt! And what was available doubled in price. This was a huge setback to everyone around the country.
Meteorologist Joe Bastardi has predicted the weather for years. He has predicted that this year is going to be very similar to last year’s torturous one, possibly worse. Tons of snowfall, tons of frigid temperatures. The snowfall will be focused more on the eastern and southern parts of the United States like D.C and even parts of Louisiana. However, he is quick to add that it doesn’t mean states in other areas won’t see a good amount of snow. This will inevitably mean more salt is needed than available. Areas are going to have to start relying on bigger and better ways to keep the streets safe and clear.
There is always a sense of panic when it is predicted for a hard winter. We think about dozens of things, one of those is being ready. Are we? Is it too soon (it probably is!) Are my tires ready to handle it? Will I have to find a babysitter if schools close? Will I be able to make it to work? These questions are never-ending. And a lot of us are used to the harsh winters. We have our car scrapers and heavy coats ready by October.
Joe Bastardi doesn’t try to scare us. He wants to prepare us! And that is exactly what our mission is at Winter Equipment. We all know the snow is coming. Thinking ahead is great when ordering systems or parts for your company. There is a reason W.E.C is working year-round for all of your needs. We want you to be ready for when that first snowflake hits the ground. And if the salt supply runs out and prices are sky-high, everyone has to turn to plowing roads at a fast and efficient pace. We pride ourselves on being equipped at a moment’s notice for your orders.
The fact is, winter is coming whether we are ready or not. And this is where we come in. Winter Equipment is always ready for your needs. We work with many Departments of Transportation, Counties, Municipalities and Contractors. Our cutting edge blades, shoes, markers and guards help drivers tackle the snow in the most effective ways. We are always developing products that make us one of the best in the business. We believe in what we make and sell, will you?
Call us for a quote today! 800-294-6837
Visit our website at www.WinterEquipment.com/snow !
Where can you find Winter Equipment Territory Managers when they aren't traveling from garage to garage? Trade shows of course! As road departments gear up for the winter season, our calendar has become flooded with events from Colorado to the New England states.
Trade shows are a great way to get in front of the purchasing agents, superintendents, and maintenance crews at once. It's a rare opportunity that provides us the chance to educate an entire operation on the features and benefits of our products.
Snowplow roadeos are increasing in popularity. Operators have the chance to compete against fellow crew members, as well as pros from neighboring municipalities. The competition consists of an obstacle course designed to mimic their routes during the winter months. Tight turns and obstructions are strategically placed throughout the course causing the driver to sweat. The one who can handle the pressure is awarded the trophy, and may go on to compete in the next level.
Where can you find us next? Throughout the next couple of months, we will be exhibiting at several events involving snow and ice removal. Attendees can get hands on, technical advice to decide what blade system is best for their unique fleet. Check out the list below and mark your calendar for the show nearest you.
APWA Michigan Snowplow Roadeo & Equipment Show
Norton Shores, MI
2014 Minnesota Fall Expo
St. Cloud, MN
KPPA's 29th Annual Forum & Products Expo
N.Y.S Highway & Public Works Expo
Potter County Association of Township Officials
67th Annual Convention of Wisconsin Towns Association
Stevens Point, WI
2014 VAGP/CAPA/ Reverse Trade Show
29th Annual Regional Local Road Conference
2014 Superintendents and Mechanics Conference and Trade Show
Erie County Association of Township Officials Annual Convention
2014 Winter Operations Conference
Township Officials of Illinois 107th Annual Educational Conference
99th Annual New Jersey State League of Municipalities Conference
Atlantic City, NJ
Do you know of a show that's not on our list? Give us a call and let us know! We're always looking for new exhibit opportunities.
We're always looking for ways to improve our ability to solve your problems and we realized the Winter® Equipment website needed some re-engineering. Our new website is easier to navigate, provides information on our DOT, County, City, and Municipal snow and construction wear parts expertise, and features an easy way to shop for our light-duty truck snowplow parts.
One of our main goals was to make it easier for contractors and private companies who use light-duty trucks to access the same technology and collaborative service approach that we've used to revolutionize the government snow removal industry.
That's why you can find and buy our Winter® Xtendor® Cutting Edge Blade Systems that fit your Fisher, Meyer, Western, or SnowDogg snowplows. These heavy-duty steel blade systems come with our Xtendor® PlowGuards that are treated with Winter® Carbide Matrix™ to protect your blade and plow ends to save you time and money by reducing blade changes.
Well, enough about what you can buy, we're just excited to offer you these proven solutions on our new site.
Our business is about you, our customers, and we would love your feedback on what we can do to improve. Whether it's feedback on the new website, things you love (or don't) about our existing solutions, or an idea for a new solution that would help your business, you can easily send us an email here.
Stay tuned for blog posts sharing our expertise on welding techniques, installation tips, wear part innovation, and more as we grow into our new website. Follow us on Instagram to get a look behind the scenes at Winter® Equipment.
" Inexpensive product lasting 5 years on a contractor's plow. Not only saving our curbs, but saving thousands of dollars on our blades. "
" Easy to maintain and adjust—we don't have to move boxes back to the garage. The longevity of the rubber is absolutely incredible. "