V-Plows Used In Minnehaha County To Plow Drifts

Local News

UPDATED 6:24 p.m.

Snow plows have to travel through tough conditions to clear the roads of snow. KELOLAND’s Whitney Fowkes caught up with the Minnehaha County Highway Department to see what it takes to make the roads safe.

Crews bring out V-plows when heavy drifting covers up the roads.

“Those drifts, they get really hard and they can hurt our snow plows, and they’re not very easy to take care of with the snow plows. So, we take out the v-plows which bust through those a lot easier,” DJ Buthe said.

“Like our other plows they’re just made for getting the whole lane at one time. This is made to get the road open so people can pass,” Mike Mayer said.

Mayer says these plows don’t come out too often.

“It hasn’t been out of the shop for, haven’t had to use it for the last couple years because we haven’t had a lot of really really deep snow, but lately with the wind blowing the way it’s been blowing we’ve got a lot of bad drifting,” Mike Mayer said. 

The Minnehaha County Highway Department also uses front end loaders with snow blowers attached.

“After every snow event we try to get a blower out to go blow the deep spots back out because they’re going to eventually blow back in and get even deeper,” Mike Mayer said.

These snow blowers throw snow up to 200 feet away from the road. That way if the wind picks up, it takes longer for the snow to end up back on the road. 


“We can cut through those drifts, we can cut down into the ditch a little bit better, and just try to clear the snow away from the roadway so it doesn’t continue to drift as bad,” DJ Buthe said.

The roads can be a bit slick after the plows go through so make sure to slow down and if you don’t want to follow the plow take a different route. And as always, don’t crowd the plows.


UPDATED 4:00 p.m.

It takes special equipment to clear snow drifts from rural roads.

V-Plows help to cut into the snow for large drifts. This makes it easier to remove larger amounts of snow from county roads. At about 35 miles an hour, the V-plows do move slower than regular snow plows, but something that moves even slower is the snow blower.

The Minnehaha County Highway Department uses huge snow blowers to push snow further away from the road. They do this so when snow is being blown around, it takes a far greater distance for it to reach the road.

We’ll show you both pieces of equipment in action NEW on KELOLAND News at 6. 

Watch drone video of the equipment provided by the Minnehaha County Highway Department.


UPDATED 12:37 p.m. 

The Minnehaha County Highway Department is using a variety of snow plows to clear roads that have been covered with deep snow drifts. 

KELOLAND’s Whitney Fowkes road along in a V-plow Monday morning and will the details on how crews are battling the snow and wind on KELOLAND News. 


6:58 a.m. 

The Minnehaha County Highway Department is showing what it takes to plow roads with strong snow drifts. 

On Facebook, the department posted a video of one V-plow plowing through snow drifts. You can see the video below. 

The Minnehaha County Highway Department joked “no mailboxes were harmed in the making of the video.” If someone’s mailbox did get hit, they said to call 367-4316. 

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