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South Dakota Department of Transportation
Project Synopsis
SD1994-11


Title: Evaluation of Flexible Snow Plow Blades
Project Researcher: Jon Becker, South Dakota Department of Transportation
Project Manager: Hal Rumpca
Research Period: -
Status:
Cost: $0.00

Problem Statement:SDDOT has experienced numerous accidents involving snow plows. The most prevalent appear to be the "rear-end" accidents on the Interstate system. The major contributor to the accidents involving snow plows seems to be the cloud of snow that is thrown up by the blade and caught by the wind. By using a blade that curls the snow, rather than throwing it to the wind, the snow cloud may be reduced.

SD91-06, Snow Plow Safety Study, called for the installation and evaluation of variable curvature snow plows. Initial observations from the snow plow operators were positive concerning reduction of the snow cloud. However, due to the mild winters which occurred during the research period, a thorough evaluation of the snow plows was not possible. Therefore, this research project is necessary to complete the evaluation of the variable curvature snow plow blades for future use.

Findings:
Title: Evaluation of Flexible Snow Plow Blades
Project Researcher: Jon Becker, DOT
Project Manager: Hal Rumpca
Research Period: -
Status:
Cost: $0.00

Problem Statement:SDDOT has experienced numerous accidents involving snow plows. The most prevalent appear to be the "rear-end" accidents on the Interstate system. The major contributor to the accidents involving snow plows seems to be the cloud of snow that is thrown up by the blade and caught by the wind. By using a blade that curls the snow, rather than throwing it to the wind, the snow cloud may be reduced.

SD91-06, Snow Plow Safety Study, called for the installation and evaluation of variable curvature snow plows. Initial observations from the snow plow operators were positive concerning reduction of the snow cloud. However, due to the mild winters which occurred during the research period, a thorough evaluation of the snow plows was not possible. Therefore, this research project is necessary to complete the evaluation of the variable curvature snow plow blades for future use.

Findings:

Research Objectives:
1  Determine curvature and plow angle configurations to minimize the snow cloud and improve plowing efficiency.
2  Evaluate other methods which may be used separately or in conjunction with variable curvature snow plow blades to improve snow plowing safety and/or efficiency.

Research Tasks:
1  Prepare a work plan for this research project.
2  Review and summarize relevant literature to determine previous work, policies, and/or procedures from other sources.
3  Determine methods for observing and evaluating the equipment in operation.
4  Observe the equipment in field conditions and determine the following for given snow conditions: (a.) Blade Height (b.) Blade Curvature (c.) Blade angle with respect to roadway centerline
5  Determine if the blade configuration would adversely affect the operator or motorists.
6  Prepare an interim report summarizing progress of research and findings by May 1, 1995.
7  Submit a final report which should include an executive summary, literature summary, research methodology, findings, and conclusions, and recommendations concerning implementation of variable curvature snow plow blades.
8  Observe the equipment in field conditions and determine the following for given snow conditions: (a.) Blade Height (b.) Blade Curvature (c.) Blade angle with respect to roadway centerline.

Documents Available:

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