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11/30/2015 4:15:00 AM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

Carriers Utilize Specialized Equipment to Remove Snow, Ice From Trailer Tops

A. Duie Pyle

This story appears in the Nov. 30 print edition of Transport Topics.

Heavy snow and ice buildup on trucks and trailers can sap fuel economy, add weight, damage the equipment and even create a safety hazard if it breaks loose on the road.

To avoid these risks, trucking companies are using a variety of specialized snow-removal systems to clear the tops of their vehicles.

A. Duie Pyle Inc., a regional less-than-truckload carrier based in West Chester, Pennsylvania, has equipped each of its terminals with plow-like devices from Scraper Systems to remove snow and ice from its trailers.

“Snow and ice are a detriment. The additional weight affects fuel mileage, and trailer roofs can collapse because of it,” said Dan Carrano, director of fleet maintenance for the company, adding that A. Duie Pyle also invests in large plows and bucket loaders to clear snow on the ground.

“We understand we’re in the Northeast,” he said. “If we can’t get our trucks out of the terminals, we can’t deliver our customers’ freight.”

Several states have enacted specific laws addressing snow and ice removal from both commercial and passenger vehicles.

New Jersey and Connecticut require drivers to clear their vehicles of dangerous accumulation and can issue $75 fines for failing to do so.

Drivers can face fines of up to $1,000 in Pennsylvania, up to $1,250 in Connecticut and up to $1,500 in New Jersey if snow or ice falls from their truck and strikes another vehicle or pedestrian, causing injury or property damage.

Even some states that don’t specifically mandate snow removal still use existing transportation legislation to fine and detain vehicles whose snow accumulation is deemed unsafe, said Debora Katz, vice president of TrucBrush Corp., a manufacturer of snow-removal devices.

“It is often at the discretion of the officer on duty,” she said, explaining that enforcement sometimes will issue a citation based on “loose load” or height and weight restrictions.

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By Mindy Long
Special to Transport Topics

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