How Do You Use Plow Markers and Parking Lot Stakes?

If you’ve ever driven a snow plow, then you have an appreciation for the number of considerations you must make when maneuvering it through a commercial or residential neighborhood. The plow blade, no matter what kind of vehicle it’s attached to, is a hazardous and unwieldy appendage during snow-removal.

You might think intuition and special awareness is all it takes to safely plow an area. However, one wrong move is all it takes to be on the hook for mailbox, curb, or driveway damage. Ultimately, it’s your responsibility to plow safely—don’t take it lightly. Let’s take a look at snowplow markers, parking lot stakes, and how to use them for clearing snowfall with peace-of-mind.

What Are Plow Markers? What Are Parking Lot Stakes?

Plow markers are flexible reflective rods, often made of fiberglass, that affix to the outer edges of both sides of your plow blade. Since the markers are fiberglass they are both flexible and durable to withstand wind, snow, and ice. Many drivers use modern LED plow markers for even more visibility.

Parking lot stakes have similar functionality but vary more in their design. Also, reflective, parking lot stakes show plow drivers exactly where a driveway starts and can also be used to designate the positioning of a sidewalk curb or other piece of property positioned close to the road. 

How do Plow Markers Help?

mailbox at the end of a driveway

A correctly placed plow marker will show the vehicle operator exactly where the end of their plow blade is on either side of the vehicle. Due to the decreased visibility at night and due to snow and ice, plow markers are often the only way for a driver to see where the edge of their plow blade is going.

The edge of a plow blade will make quick work of any obstacle in its path. Rather than be responsible for property damage, or even damage to your vehicle, it’s better to simply invest in some high-quality plow markers. They’ll go a long way toward helping you maneuver your plow in even the harshest conditions. Bear in mind that your plow takes a beating in the snow and ice, so invest in plow markers that can withstand those conditions. We recommend high-end fiberglass markers—they are as flexible as they are durable.

How do Parking Lot Stakes Help?

Just as a lighthouse will tell a ship that land is on the horizon, a parking lot stake tells you that you’re nearing a curb or another piece of property that is positioned close to the boundary of the parking lot. Because parking lot stakes use reflective tape, they show up brilliantly in the headlights of your vehicle. They say to the operator, “slow down, be mindful; there’s an obstacle approaching”.

They’re also the best way for a plow driver to see where to plow. Marking a driveway’s edges with parking lot stakes tell a plow where to go; this can be exceedingly difficult to discern after a big blizzard.

Where Should You Position Parking Lot Stakes?

road and fence in covered in snow in a blizzard

Parking lot stakes are sometimes the only way to know where a parking lot begins in the middle of winter due to excess snow. We recommend positioning parking lot stakes along the curb (to save them from plow damage) as well as at the opening of your driveway.

From there, position driveway markers every-so-often along the boundaries of your driveway. When snow is deep, your markers will be the only thing a plow driver can use to know the direction of your driveway. Without proper markings, you could end up with significant lawn damage due to a plow running off the boundaries of a parking lot.

How to Position Parking Lot Stakes

We suggest you talk to your clients before plowing to set up a time to install parking lot stakes. As the plow drivers, it’s typically your responsibility to position stakes along a client’s parking lot.

With permission, set out to denote all obstacles close to the entrance of a parking lot and its boundaries. Mark the curb, any nearby mailboxes, and even any signage that is near the parking lot—anything you could see yourself hitting if it’s obscured by snow.

Typically, parking lot stakes can be screwed or hammered into the ground. Twist or pound them in until the threaded section is completely embedded into the ground. As a plow driver, you’re mostly looking for a solution that is relatively fast and temporary. If your client wants to embed them into something like concrete, then you may want to leave the installation to them.

It’s suggested that you position the stakes 1 foot away from the intended boundary. If positioned closer, you run the risk of hitting the stake itself.

Markers Give You More Control

It’s perfectly fine to admit that a plow blade can make your maneuverability a challenge. It brings an entirely different dynamic to your driving. Durable, correctly placed plow markers will go a long way toward ensuring safe driving. Working with your clients to install parking lot stakes will also show them that you care about their property, which builds credibility and trust. Most of all, the more markers you have, the better you’re going to drive.

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