Snow plow technology makes roads safer - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Snow plow technology makes roads safer

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ST. CHARLES, Minnesota (WXOW)-- When bad weather hits, Reggie Shones is one of the first out on I-90. Shones drives an 18 mile route, plowing, sanding and salting.

And now trucks are equipped with computers, called maintenance decision support systems, that tell a driver road temperatures and conditions.

"[It] tells us how much material to put down, whether to use salt or sand," Shones said. "Or 100 lbs of salt a mile or 200 lbs of salt a mile. That way we don't over use material and waste it."

The computer system also has weather radar and forecast updates.

"You have live radar so you know if you're coming out of a storm or if there's another storm coming right behind you," Shones said. "And what the temps are going to do, if they're going to be dropping. There are so many variables it's nice to know that we have this in the truck."

And all the information is also tracked on a computer in the office, so a driver can look up their truck to see how much salt or and they used during the last storm.

"From the studies they've done so far, it has saved money because someone might be putting down 300 lbs of material when they only need 100 lbs and that right there is saving money right from the start," Shones said.

Shones says the system takes a lot of the guess work out of the job helping plow drivers make roads safer for motorists.

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