Photo via Flickr/Dannel Malloy

Photo via Flickr/Dannel Malloy

The State of Connecticut debuted three tow-behind plows capable of clearing snow and ice from two full highway lanes in a single pass. Towed in the rear of a truck, the plows measure 26 feet in length, doubling the width of a single plow truck when in operation. The plows are expected to boost the state’s overall handling of winter maintenance and snow-clearing operations on state roads, according to a state release.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation tested one of the tow plows under a pilot program during the 2015-2016 winter season. This year, the agency purchased two additional units that will be put into operation during the upcoming season. The supersized tow plows will help the agency improve cycle times and reduce overall fuel consumption associated with snow clearing operations.

When in operation, the steerable trailer-mounted tow plows swing out to one side of the truck and are equipped with a granular spreader for dispensing liquids for snow and ice control.

The tow plows have safety benefits, such as rear- and side-mounted cameras, lights that both illuminate the plow area and provide a warning to nearby motorists, and a mounted laser to guide and determine the position of the tow plow when fully extended in relation to roadside obstacles and other vehicles. The tow plows also have a longer service life than traditional plow trucks.

CTDOT’s winter maintenance and snow-clearing operations cover a roadway network of more than 10,800 highway lane-miles. CTDOT’s current Severe Service Snow and Ice Fleet consists of 634 plow trucks that are stationed at roughly 50 garages around the state.