You’re going to be out in the elements plowing snow this winter even if the rest of us are staying at home and working remotely. Your job might be tough but the freedom working outdoors brings you is incomparable, provided you have winter clothes that allow you to stay warm.
Extreme cold weather gear is an important aspect of your business. It keeps you and your employees happy and healthy while making your job a little easier. Let’s explore some must-have winter work gear to get you through the season.
Moisture wicking, base layers, outer layers; it’s all important to remain dry and warm through a blizzard. In the dead of a Midwest winter, it’s important to keep your skin from being exposed even for just a moment.
- Start with long underwear as your base layer. Long underwear will keep you warm while wicking moisture away from your skin; both are important during inclement weather.
- Then add on an insulated sweatshirt as a sub-outer layer. A sweatshirt will give you even more warmth and, depending on the weather, be the last layer you need while giving you the flexibility that a jacket wouldn’t.
- Make sure drivers see you with a high-vis, insulated jacket as your outer layer. In the dead of winter, we always recommend a jacket even if it makes it hard to move. It’s also important to wear at least one piece of high-vis gear even if you intend to stay in your truck.
- Choose a rugged pair of lined work pants as the final piece of your layering system. Insulated pants will keep your legs warm. Just be sure to pick something that lets you bend and move.
- Work gloves that insulate yet provide enough dexterity and grip power to operate your plow are also important. PVC gloves are heavy duty and offer tremendous gripping ability. However, any glove that keeps your hands dry and warm will do.
- Lastly, pick a hat that keeps your ears and head warm. Ear flaps are a great way to keep your ears warm without constant readjustment. Beanies are great, too, but they tend to slip off your ears with constant movement.
Your feet are highly susceptible to frostbite and it can happen before you know it. It’s important to wear the proper footwear to ensure that your feet stay warm and dry.
- Moisture-wicking, insulated socks are a must. You don’t want damp conditions getting your feet wet. Make sure your socks will in fact wick moisture. Finding yourself with wet feet in the middle of winter can be catastrophic.
- A sturdy pair of waterproof boots that have good traction are just as important. Many work boots might seem sturdy but aren’t waterproof; make sure you pay attention to that distinction.
- However, if you’re plowing on foot, we suggest a boot that is nearly impervious to the elements. These are the kind of boots that might make maneuverability a little harder but will keep you warm, upright, and completely dry no matter how many hours you’re out.
Your truck is the most important tool in your arsenal. Outfitting it with accessories that will make it as versatile, safe, and efficient as possible will make your job that much easier.
- Install a curb guard to help protect property from plow-blade damage. Curb guards act as barriers between your plow blade and someone’s personal property. Damaging a curb can come with a fine or even a lawsuit—it’s best to avoid it entirely!
- Make your truck easier to maneuver with a backup camera kit. Backing your truck up even in clear conditions can be a hassle due to its size. A back up camera can take a lot of the guesswork out of it, especially at night with its night vision function.
- Plow like it’s a party with LED-powered plow markers. Reflective markers are great but LED markers are foolproof. They’re also kinda fun.
- Invest in a heavy-duty snow brush; you’ll need it. As a plow driver, it’s easy to forget that you’re susceptible to the snow and ice, too. Worse yet, your truck is often taller than your reach and can be continually covered when plowing in the middle of a blizzard. Choose a brush that won’t break when you need it most.
Your Gear Can Make or Break You
Nothing will put you out of commission faster than frostbite. It’s important for you to dress warm, utilize layers, and ensure you stay dry even in the middle of a blizzard. Don’t just go to Walmart and grab the first sweatshirt or jacket you see from the shelf; ensure what you buy will last you, withstand the harsh conditions you work in, and keep you warm and dry all night.
Beyond that, make sure your truck isn’t overloaded with gear but has a few extra accessories to make your life easier. You don’t need to be Inspector Gadget out on the roads but, when push comes to shove, it’s nice to have a few things to get the job done a little faster and a little safer.