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Big storm, Big plow: DOT says you’ll be seeing more of plow with “jackknife” maneuver

The rear section of a tow plow swings over a second lane, allowing DOT crews to clear snow from more than one lane at a time.

CAPITAL REGION -- For a big storm, DOT is using its big plow.

Bryan Viggiani is the spokesman for NYS Dept. of Transportation.

“It really is about efficiency,” Viggiani said.

The tow plow is new to the Capital Region -- known for a maneuver that can be shocking to drivers who've never seen it.

“It does look tricky, some people describe it as jackknifing,”

The tow plow swings out in live traffic, and in winter storms like today's, it's common to see it riding next to a regular snow plow. That way, DOT can clear three lanes of traffic at one time. We captured video on the plow on I-90 between exits 9 and 12.

Anne: “Is the system safe?”

Bryan: “Yes, the drivers go through extensive training”

DOT has eight tow plows for the Capital Region. They were purchased two years ago, but you'll be seeing a lot more.

“You may see them more often because we're training drivers to use them more frequently,” Viggiani said.

DOT tweeted videos of the plow at 5 am with the hashtag #dontcrowdtheplow. We saw one car following the plow too closely, a move that can be dangerous for you and the plow driver.

“Just like with anyone of our plows give us plenty of room, don’t try to get around them,” Viggiani said.

These tow plows also drop salt and brine, another reason you shouldn't crowd the plow.

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