Snowplow Stalking 2015 Season

Usually walking around in freezing temperatures with precipitation falling from the sky places me in a foul mood but add the prospect of seeing some snow plow action and suddenly I gain the ability to stay outside for hours. Funny how that works. Anyway, some foolishly named weather system passed through the area yesterday dropping a decent amount of snow right in the middle of the day. At lunch I took to the streets hoping to catch the action. Right out of the gate I was greeted with an International Paystar5000 4×4. As usual a econobox Honda (always a Honda!) conspired to force my hand and tried to block my shot. My back up shot turned out okay but it wasn’t what I wanted.

International Paystar Snowplow

I began to wander the nearby blocks in a grid pattern hoping to cross paths with the numerous plows I kept seeing in the distance. I figured they would take a similar approach to plowing. No such luck. It appears each driver does their own thing. Picking and choosing what streets to plow completely at random. I’m sure there is a process but I haven’t deciphered the code….yet.

Up next was this International WorkStar. Unlike the rest of the trucks I would see later in the day this one provided me with ample time for a decent shot.

International WorkStar Snow Plow

Do you remember my white whale from last season in the form of an International 2574 Marmon-Herrington 4×4? It showed up again yesterday and yet again it escaped without providing a decent footage. My camera behaves like I’m trying to shoot Bigfoot or a UFO around this truck. The photos always come out fuzzy. Truthfully I didn’t have enough time to focus correctly due to the falling snow. If you really want to get nit picky I believe the city has two of these truck so I’m not even sure which one I haven’t been able to grab these past two years. Either way this was the end result. Look at the beautiful snowflakes with a defocused plow. So artistic!

DSC07818 (1024x613)

Later, I saw the newer single axle 4×4 International WorkStar and new tandem axle WorkStar with Henderson body blasting through nearby intersections. I was starting to get frustrated with being in the wrong place at the wrong time when my original truck, the Paystar, returned. This time a sure footed Dodge Dakota blasted into the frame at the last second. *rage face*

International Paystar5000 Snow Plow

Fumbling around I switched to video and was able to pull out a decent save.

I declare the 2015 snowplow stalking season to be open!

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2 Responses to Snowplow Stalking 2015 Season

  1. Dave Gofstein says:

    Your comment about patterns brought back many memories; as a street superintendent and public works director for 35 years this was one of the more complex problems I ever worked on. In the early 90’s I had worked with a fledgling company that was looking at developing computer program models for agencies based on routes; they broke it all down into nodes, figured capacity, travel time, etc. Never quite worked out. But I learned a lot from companies like UPS that had heavily invested in routing and time study in house. It always came down to the drivers, back then. Now, with satellite, GPS, recording sensors, you can track what drivers do, I was lucky enough to have great staff who didn’t need big brother to always follow up. Just as sweepers work best always making right turns, traffic, storm, intersections, and other agencies where you overlap affect plowing operations. These days, with the world running non stop, keeping streets open until the middle of the night until drivers could work with minimal disturbance is the name of the game, at least in urban and suburban operation.

    • Eric says:

      Well said. The streets were getting plowed and with the sheer number of routes in the downtown area I suppose it doesn’t matter which ones are plowed first outside of emergency and hospital streets.

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