ADOT Kids Activity: Get to know snowplows!

ADOT Kids Activity: Get to know snowplows!

April 10, 2020


EDITOR'S NOTE: During this unprecedented time, ADOT is creating transportation activities for kids. Please visit or use the hashtag #ADOTKids on ADOT's Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts to see what we have going on.

By Ryan Harding / ADOT Communications

Did you know that one ADOT snowplow weighs as much as five elephants? That’s 30 tons!

Snowplows keep the highways in Arizona's mountain areas clear of snow and ice to help everyone stay safe. Operating these powerful machines are drivers who receive a lot of training, including spending time in a snowplow simulator machine. That training is important, since a new snowplow costs at least $250,000. 

Check out the video at right showing ADOT snowplows and snowplow drivers in action. It's from 2014. 

A snowplow driver’s job is very important in keeping roads safe for travel. The city of Flagstaff, which is about a two-hour drive north of Phoenix, can get 90 inches of snow in a year. If that all fell at once, it would be taller than Deandre Ayton of the Phoenix Suns!

There are two busy freeways near Flagstaff, Interstate 40 and Interstate 17, so that area has a lot of ADOT plows on the road when it snows. That helps keep everyone safe.  

Snowplow drivers work for 12 hours. That’s like starting when you first get up for school and finishing at dinnertime! Can you imagine sitting behind the wheel of one of these large vehicles in a snowstorm for that long?

If you think that these snowplows are big, check out the second video about the TowPlow. ADOT has two TowPlows. They attach to the back of a regular snowplow, and the driver steers it clear even more snow and ice.

TowPlows are HUGE! They allow one driver in a snowplow to do the work of TWO regular snowplows.

By now, I hope you love snowplows as much as I do. There's lots more to learn about them at a website we call Know Snow. You also can check out our Know Snow YouTube channel with videos about snow, snowplows and winter driving. Both links will take you to lots of safety tips. Most of these safety tips are for drivers, but here's one every kid should know: Never play in the snow next to a highway. One reason is that snowplows throw A LOT of snow and ice way off the roadway. You don't to be in the way when that's happening!

We also have activities for you:

COLOR A PICTURE AND SEND IT TO US: When you color one or both of the snowplow pictures below (click on them for a version you can print), have an adult scan or take a picture of your coloring and email it to [email protected]. We'll add every one we receive by 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 15, to a slideshow and put it right here on Friday, April 17, so you can see your masterpiece along with everyone else's. We've included spaces for you to include your first name (only your first name), your age and where you live. We can't post photos of you with your art, but we'd love to show just your art. UPDATE: We've added a slideshow with everyone's colorings below. 

SEND US QUESTIONS: When an adult emails your picture to [email protected], please send us questions you have about snowplows. We'll share the most popular questions with an ADOT engineer who knows A LOT about snowplows. UPDATE: We've shared this video below in which Jesse Gutierrez, our deputy state engineer for operations, answers your questions. 

I can't wait to see what you do with these drawings and to see what questions you have about ADOT snowplows!


Answers to your questions about snowplows!

Thanks for all of your great questions. Here is a video in which Jesse Gutierrez, ADOT's deputy state engineer for operations, answers them.

Here's a slideshow with your art!

ADOT Kids: Snowplows