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UDOT Tow Plow Drivers Are "Best of the Best"

As winter weather nears, Utah Department of Transportation tow plow truck drivers are preparing to tackle snow when it falls.

A tow plow is a 30 ft long trailer that a regular plow truck pulls. It works by swinging out into another lane, effectively doubling the amount of snow a plow can move. It’s also one of the most difficult things to drive on the road.

“You know, you’ve got your front plow, your sanders, your spreaders, the tow plow, you’re shifting gears.”

That’s Curtis Sanchez. He’s the statewide safety equipment trainer. He says because of the added danger of pulling a tow plow, the 20 drivers assigned to the task are the best of the best.

“Our operators have the same skill set as a fighter jet pilot.”

The cab of a plow truck even looks like a cockpit. It’s covered with buttons, knobs, gear levers, and tv monitors.

John Norwood has been pulling a tow plow for a couple of years now.  He says as complex as it is to drive, the thing he’s most worried about is regular drivers.

“I’ve had people come up on the left of me and try to cut across or get behind me and try to go around on the right and there’s a big wreck,” he says.

Norwood says the best thing a person can do when they encounter him on the road is to drive slow and stay back. 

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