MDOT’s New Plow Clears Multiple Lanes At Once

Posted at 10:22 AM, Feb 05, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-05 10:28:09-05

OSHTEMO, Mich. — Despite budget limitations, the Michigan Department of Transportation is looking to the future of road maintenance, and the latest in snow plow technology is the tow plow, now in use on stretches of highway in eastern Michigan.

The tow plow is the equivolent of several plows in tandem clearing highway lanes of snow and eliminates the need for one truck to make multiple passes. But there’s just one driver. The tow plow is hooked to the driver’s main truck and swings sideways to sweep up to two lanes at once or the traveling lane and the shoulder at the same time. (See videos below.)

The tow plow will be demonstrated Wednesday along I-94 near Oshtemo, and FOX 17’s Traffic Reporter Robb Westaby will take a look. The combo is being used in Livingston County on I-96 and US-23.

The tow plow is already in use in New England states, Pennsylvania, Utah, Minnesota, and Missouri. The unit costs $93,000 and has a service life of 30 years, MDOT says.

The videos below show how tow plows are being used in Missouri and Pennsylvania.