Winter Equipment

  • Road Salt

    Salt is expensive and can be really hard to find. During the 2014/2015 season, the average went from $38.30 to $46.80, causing municipalities to really use their budget on de-icing. Last year’s winter was brutal, and this one is expected to be even worse.

    Winter road maintenance accounts for 20% of state department of transportation budgets nationally. These prices are skyrocketing because of supply being much lower than usual. Salt production was a 2.2 billion dollar in 2014 in which almost half (43%) of sales went to de-icing.

    salt truck

    If you want to stock up on salt, you have to pay for 80% of the order in early fall, even if it isn't needed until late in the season. With salt producers being secretive about how supply and demand affects their prices, it raises cause for concern; no one knows exactly how it works.

    While on the topic of concerns about salt, a lot of people ask if road salt harms the environment since we can see what it does to our cars…

    Road Salt Effects
    • On groundwater. Salt seeps into groundwater where it can reside for long periods of time, in turn affecting human, animal, and vegetation health. Contaminated wells have to be abandoned.
    • On vegetation. Leaf damage and dieback is commonly observed along roads, but these effects can extend some distance away.
    • On aquatic life. Salt in ponds and lakes create a salt water layer at the bottom, imprisoning nutrients away from aquatic plants and animals. In addition, elevated concentrations of salt in freshwater has detrimental effects on the growth, reproduction, and survival of a large range of invertebrates, fish, and amphibians.
    • On mammals and birds. Drinking of salt water can lead to salt toxicity. Small birds confuse salt crystals with grit, and the ingestion of small amounts leads to acute toxicity and death.


    Ultimately, human lives are saved by the use of road salt in winter. Research into safe alternatives to road salt is important: active research is ongoing with beet juice, cheese brine, and other agricultural byproducts.

    Advice to municipalities using excessive amounts of salt is to invest early if you can afford it and have a backup plan or two, such as innovative plow blades; there are blades out there that have the same technology as tires or finding different products to use as an alternative. The up side of salt problems (if there ever could be one) is that everyone has to deal with these issues too, not just you.

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  • 2015 Trade Shows (Part 2)

    Upcoming Trade Shows

    July 16th – American Roads Show
    Canton, Ohio

    July 19th-23rd – AASHTO Maintenance Meeting
    Des Moines, Iowa

    July 21st-22nd – KYTC Equipment Conference
    Location TBD

    August 2nd-3rd –Township Highway Commissioners of Illinois Summer Seminar
    Peoria, Illinois

    August 25th-27th – Indiana Street Commissioners Association
    Indianapolis, Indiana

    September 9th – Annual Snowplow Roadeo & Equipment Show
    Green Bay, Wisconsin

    September 10th-11th – West Slope APWA Snow & Ice Conference
    Gunnison, Colorado

    September 15th-17th – Oregon Skills Demo & Safety Conference
    Albany, Oregon

    September 15th –18th – Association of Town Superintendents of Highways Conference
    Saratoga, New York

    September 22nd-24th – WCHA-LDG Annual Road School
    Oconomoc, Wisconsin

    September 23rd- 25th – New England Public Works Expo
    Boxborough, Massachusetts

    September 23rd-25th – Winter Maintenance Peer Exchange
    Bloomington, Minnesota

    September 24th – PA 811
    Monroeville, Pennsylvania

    September 29th – Snow & Ice Conference
    Sharonville, Ohio

    We’re always looking to attend more trade shows! If you know of any that you think Winter Equipment would like to go to, let us know! Or if you would like more information on where Winter's booth is located at a show email or for more information.

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  • A Day of Caring

    As always, Winter Equipment Company prides itself on its charity work. While every year during the holidays, Winter participates in Santa’s Bikes for Kids, come summertime, it’s good ‘ol fashioned outdoor labor.

    This year, Winter volunteered at the Mentor, Ohio Senior Care Center for The United Way Day of Caring. The day started at 7:30am with a welcome breakfast for the sponsors consisting of both Winter Equipment and Chase Bank. During the breakfast, a representative from each company spoke about the importance of giving back and how proud they are of the group of volunteers that came out to help.

    Soon thereafter, groups of 4-6 people began to spread out to weed out the flower beds and trim the trees, bushes and shrubs across the property. As time went on, it was very clear that the feeling of helping out was showing on the faces of the men and women.

    Shipping Manager Todd Davis said, “It was awesome! I really liked helping out the seniors and getting to spend some time out in the sun doing something good.”

    There were no complaints from anyone, who were under the impression it was going to rain that day. The smiles were ear to ear across the board of the twenty-two Winter Equipment employees who volunteered.

    Senior Engineer John Wahl said, “The ability to give back to the community I belong to is an enjoyable and rewarding experience.”

    Lunch was provided by the Senior Center and was a big hit. Nothing seems to compare to home-style cooking.

    Administrative assistant Lisa Sabol was excited about the day, “The MSC took such good care of us while we were there and the place looked awesome when we were done. And I think that helping others was a great team building experience.  The United Way Day of Caring has a huge impact on our community, and I encourage everyone to be a part of it next year!”

    Throughout the morning and afternoon, there was a lot of laughter and sunshine, all combined with 44 helping hands that won’t soon forget the experience.

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  • 2015 Trade Shows

    Every year Winter Equipment attends dozens of trade shows to showcase our company’s products to attendees and catch up with our current customers. With the warmer months arriving, trade shows are heating up too.


    Take a look at some of the shows we will be attending in the next few months and stop by our booth to say hi!


    Upcoming Shows:

    March 30th to April 2nd MT— MACRS

    April 1st to April 2nd NY – Hard Hats Expo

    April 7th WY— WYDOT Conference

    April 8th NY – Western New York Equipment Show

    April 12th to April 15th MI- APWA Snow Conference

    April 19th to April 22nd PA – PSATS

    April 21st to April 23rd ID—APWA Rocky Mountain

    April 22nd to April 24th CO—Spring Street Conference

    April 28th OH- Tuscarawas County Show

    May 6th to May 8th IL—APWA IL Chapter Conference

    May 7th PA – Somerset County Association of Township Officials

    May 13th VT— Snowplow Roadeo

    May 14th CT— CASHO

    May 15th OH—Solon Snow & Ice Conference

    May 19th to May 21st MI— Shanty Creek

    May 21st to May 23rd KS –MID America

    May 22nd NH—Road Agent Show

    Snow Show overhead - Copy

    These are only a handful of shows Winter Equipment will be at this year. Check back soon for us to update you on all of our summer and fall shows.

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  • The Thankless Job

    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.


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  • It's All About Torque

    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 –

    1. Use lock nuts because they are always hardened, Grade 8—this means they won’t mushroom during use.
    2. Always remember that the higher the hardness or grade, the higher the strength.
    3. More isn’t always better. Too much torque will cause the heads of the bolts to pop off.
    4. The moldboard acts as the support for the cutting edge. If the moldboard has been shortened from wear and tear, the backward blade torque will be increased, resulting in bolt and blade damage and/or breakage.
    5. Never weld the nut to the bolt. The heat of welding destroys the treated properties and causes the fasteners to fail during use.
    6. Lock washers are a no-go. It’s a hardened washer that acts as a cutting tool to the softer steel of the plow moldboard or blades.
    7. Always make sure everything is clean! No debris before any installation like sand, dust, rust etc. This debris will grind away in plow use, resulting in under torqued bolts which means bolt shear.
    8. Always calibrate your wrench several times during the winter season.
    9. The easiest way to put an old blade section in a vise is to tighten the bolt with an impact wrench and determine the torque. Be sure to adjust the impact wrench output up or down as needed.

    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.

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  • Santa's Bikes for Kids

    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
    Ballantine's Restaurant Walmart
    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
    Chick-Fil-A Starbucks Willoughby
    Molinari's Mario Fazio's
    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.

    Bob Mance, Amy Fatica and Major Robert Bender

    Brian Havrilla, Amy Fatica, Bob Mance, Margaret Zahler, Major Robert Bender, Tracey Novak, Adam Shea, Nate Kallay and Gene Mulligan


    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!....

    Individuals include:

    Drake Rittenhouse
    Bill Heil
    Jim Rode
    Francis Suszynski

    Companies include:

    Superior Flux Gallagher & Co.
    Ferrari Transfer A & S Machine
    Kleifields Victor Metals
    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.

    SalvationArmyLogo               WINTER logo (2)

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  • Tips for Winter

    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…


      • Be alert of present and future weather conditions and forecasts.
      • Have a full gas tank. It helps with unexpected delays and weighs the car down for better driving ability.
      • Inform friends or relatives of your travel and expected time of arrival.
      • Check the tread on tires to know they will have a good grip on the road.
      • Service your car-check the systems like your radiator, antifreeze levels and windshield wiper fluid in case it gets gloomy.
      • Start packing those “just in case” items; blankets, bottled water, non-perishable snacks, maps in case your phone. or GPS dies. Flashlights, batteries, a first-aid kit and of course spare tires, jumper cables, and cat litter for better traction in case you get stuck.
      • Make sure your cell phone is fully charged.
      • If you do get stuck, only keep your heater on for 10 minutes out of the hour to conserve energy and system-- stay in your car unless a safe place is 100 yards away--call for help. (911)--stay visible!
      • Don’t pass the snow plows, it’s dangerous.


    • Check your heating system. Is it running properly? Have a professional double check.
    • Stock wood for fireplaces or have an alternate heating source readily available.
    • Batteries in all of your detectors; smoke and carbon monoxide.
    • Prevent pipes from freezing by sporadically running water for 4-5 minutes.
    • Check on neighbors, especially elderly during these conditions to ensure their safety.
    • Check your fireplaces and chimneys, you want them clear of any debris.
    • Check your gutters and repair any leaks, especially outdoors.
    • Winterize! (Insulation, storm windows, draft stoppers)
    • Have a backup generator and make sure it’s ready.


    • Be aware of the temperature and wind chill.
    • Dress appropriately in layers, hats, scarves, gloves.
    • Work slowly if you’re working or doing chores outside.
    • Always take a friend for outdoor recreation and let others know where you will be.
    • Use common sense, if you are too cold, go inside!


    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.

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  • Winter is Coming.

    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 Prediction Video

    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 !

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  • Get the show on the road


    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.

    2014  Green Bay Roadeo Winners 2014 Green Bay Roadeo Winners

    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.

    Winter Equipment Sponsored the Roadeo in Green Bay, WI Winter Equipment Sponsored the Roadeo in Green Bay, WI

    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.

    October 8th
    APWA Michigan Snowplow Roadeo & Equipment Show
    Norton Shores, MI

    October 8th-9th
    2014 Minnesota Fall Expo
    St. Cloud, MN

    October 15th-17th
    KPPA's 29th Annual Forum & Products Expo
    Louisville, KY

    October 15th
    N.Y.S Highway & Public Works Expo
    Syracuse, NY

    October 18th
    Potter County Association of Township Officials
    Coudersport, PA

    October 26th-28th
    67th Annual Convention of Wisconsin Towns Association
    Stevens Point, WI

    October 15th
    2014 VAGP/CAPA/ Reverse Trade Show
    Chester, VA

    October 22nd-23rd
    29th Annual Regional Local Road Conference
    Brookings, SD

    October 22nd-23rd
    2014 Superintendents and Mechanics Conference and Trade Show
    Mohican, OH

    October 23rd
    Erie County Association of Township Officials Annual Convention
    Edinboro, PA

    October 28th
    2014 Winter Operations Conference
    Gaylord, MI

    November 9th-11th
    Township Officials of Illinois 107th Annual Educational Conference
    Springfield, IL

    November 17th-20th
    99th Annual New Jersey State League of Municipalities Conference
    Atlantic City, NJ

    Bill and Brian working the booth at the New England Public Works Expo  Bill and Brian working the booth at the New England Public Works Expo
    2014 Western Snow & Ice Conference in Loveland Colorado. Winter Equipment was a major sponsor of the event. 2014 Western Snow & Ice Conference in Loveland Colorado. Winter Equipment was a major sponsor of the event.
    2014 APWA International in Toronto, Canada 2014 APWA International in Toronto, Canada

    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.





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