A sidewalk plow is simply a snow plow used for sidewalks. They are sometimes separate machines marketed specifically as a sidewalk plow, but more often than not are simply a tractor small enough to drive on the sidewalk with a snow plow attached to the front. They are generally owned by municipalities with city workers driving them and clearing sidewalks, although some people may have their own, especially if they have a long path from their house to the road.
The brands of sidewalk plows vary depending on whether you are purchasing a tractor and a plow or one unit all together. For individual tractors, John Deere is one of the most popular brands, while Western Products offer a large variety of snow plows to choose from. For whole units, however, Ventrac is one of the best companies on the market. Whether it’s a light dusting or a heavy snowfall, Ventrac machines have what it takes to clear away snow efficiently without damaging the sidewalk or any nearby landscaping.
Before you purchase a sidewalk plow, you may want to check with your city to make sure you are legally allowed to plow the sidewalks. They are municipality owned and thus the responsibility of the city to ensure they are plowed. Make sure you keep an eye on the weather so you know when the snow is expected to fall. If they predict a big storm, try to get out there before all the snow has fallen. You may have to go out two or three times in total, but it is easier to plow a light dusting than struggle to get through three feet of snow. Make sure your machine has fresh gas and the plow is securely attached (if they are individual units). Lastly, always make sure the sidewalks are clear of people, animals, or any other obstacles before you begin, and constantly look out for them while you are driving the plow.
Safety Features & Guidelines
Snow plows can be dangerous, even if they are on small tractors designed to plow sidewalks. If you are driving the tractor, there are several safety steps you need to follow. For starters, make sure your tractor and the plow are in good working order. This includes making sure the plow is securely attached and the tractor has fresh gas and oil. Always know the area you intend to plow, and try to clear out any potential obstacles. This can be difficult in a snowstorm, so it is important to constantly keep an eye out for anything that could damage your plow or injure you or somebody else. Keep an eye out for cars backing out of driveways. If it’s a snowstorm, you may be difficult to see because of decreased visibility, so driving slowly and constantly checking your surroundings is essential.
Pros & Cons
There are several advantages and disadvantages to owning a sidewalk plow. They can be very expensive, with some models costing over $10,000.
This may seem like an unnecessary expense to some people, especially since the city is responsible to ensure the sidewalks are plowed. If you live in areas where there are frequent snowfalls and are somewhat isolated from the main city area, it may take workers a long time to plow your sidewalk, if they even get there at all. In this scenario, owning a sidewalk plow saves you from having to shovel the sidewalk, which can be extremely difficult.