Conduct Preventive Maintenance and Fleet Inventories for Snow Removal

By Brian Birch and Ellen Kobach  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Snow and Ice Management: Consider Safety and the EnvironmentPt. 2: This PagePt. 3: Snow and Ice Removal: Trucks, Plows and SpreadersPt. 4: Snow and Ice Removal: Deicing vs. Anti-icingPt. 5: Steps to Build Training Programs for Snow and Ice Removal

As winter approaches, grounds managers begin to assess their snow and ice removal equipment, discussing actions that worked the previous year and ways their departments can improve. During these evaluations, managers also must consider ways to make their grounds operations more environmentally friendly.

Conducting a fleet inventory can help set goals for reducing energy use and air pollutants. Consider the number of vehicles and amount of fuel they use. Make sure crews use the most efficient vehicle for each job, and eliminate unnecessary equipment.

Managers also should consider fuel efficiency and alternative fuels, such as bio-diesel, when purchasing new vehicles. Regular maintenance is a simple way to reduce emissions because it helps ensure each piece of equipment runs as efficiently as possible. This process includes regularly changing oil and filters, consistently checking tire pressure, and making sure engines are operating at correct temperatures.

Managers also can reduce the use of sodium chloride (NaCl), also known as rock salt. Calibrating spreaders can help monitor salt use and ensure it is not being wasted. Pre-wetting salt can decrease the amount needed.

Training workers on the correct use of salt and application rates also is an important step toward using the minimum amount of salt to achieve maximum results.

Training on fuel efficiency also is essential. Make sure drivers understand the proper way to operate vehicles to conserve fuel. Route planning using a global positioning system or other software can help reduce mileage and emissions and save on gas, and instituting a strict no-idling plan helps decrease fuel use and unnecessary emissions.

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  posted on 11/1/2008   Article Use Policy

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