New E. Wash. snow plow clears two lanes at once



Posted on December 9, 2013 at 7:07 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 10 at 2:04 PM

SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash.--The State Department of Transportation has a new plow in its arsenal to clear more snow off the Interstate and area highways. It is called a “tow plow.”

Eastern Washington is the first region in the state to get a tow plow. It allows one driver to do about twice as much work in the same amount of time.

The plow sat in the parking lot of the Department of Transportation Eastern Region Headquarters on Monday.

The tow plow has a steerable plow trailer that attaches to a heavy-duty plow truck.

"The blade itself comes down and sets on the road and the trailer crabs to the side and brings the blade out at an angle," said WSDOT Eastern Region Spokesperson Al Gilson.

"This trailer can swing out into another lane or unto the shoulder and actually plow another lane and a half if it's all the way out. So this helps us clear twice as much in the same amount of  time as one plow," said Gilson.

He said the state purchased the $120,000 unit after seeing it effectively used in other states like Utah and Missouri.

"This can do what two trucks can do. We have one operator," said Gilson.

The trailer unit has a hopper to drop sand and a tank to spray deicer while the 24-foot blade does the dirty work.

"This is going to be really handy for us," said Gilson.

He said the Department of Transportation will use the tow plow around the Spokane area this winter on roads like Interstate 90 and Highways 195 and 395.