Preparing for winter road conditions

Winter is coming, and MTO introduces new tow plough to help with harsh conditions

With harsh winter weather approaching, the Ministry of Transportation Ontario wants drivers to take appropriate precautions before heading out on the roads.

Last year’s conditions were particularly challenging for drivers and for winter maintenance contractors, especially on busy highways.

MTO spokesperson Bob Nichols says that the MTO and the OPP encourage drivers to slow down when facing weather conditions such as below-freezing temperatures and black ice.

Another important piece of advice to drivers is to make sure to use both sets of headlights throughout the winter months.

“Despite our best efforts, it’s not always possible in every instance to prevent highways from becoming slippery and snow-covered due to the weather, therefore we need to continue to be encouraging drivers to slow down and adjust to the appropriate conditions,” Nichols said.

The MTO has introduced a new tow plough truck, which has a standard plough mounted on the front of the truck with an additional plow behind that extends to the right when operated.

This will help clear two adjacent lanes at the same time, eliminating the need for another piece of equipment on the roads.

“Some of the tow ploughs also have the ability to spread salt and sand, while others can spread a direct liquid anti-ice application before the storms arrive, as a preemptive measure to reduce the ice and snow to the pavement surface,” Nichols said.