With talks of our first significant snowfall for the state this winter season on the horizon, it seems appropriate to bring back this little trip that could save you a big hassle during your driveway cleanup efforts.

Close-up of shovel as man clears snow from path

Like many folks out there, snow removal is one of my least favorite parts of this time of year. And my driveway isn't even that big! There's just something about wet, heavy snow that makes my bones and muscles ache.

Now I know I'm not alone when I get frustrated about having to shovel my driveway multiple times because the plow keeps coming by. (Although I am very happy they are out there, clearing the roads!) So I'm always open to finding less strenuous ways of clearing the yard. That's why a recent post the Maine Department of Transportation put out on their MDOT Facebook Page on year, caught my attention!

man blowing snow

It was a simple picture with a caption that read: "How to Prevent the 'Second Shovel'!"

I'll admit, it took me a minute to figure out what they were getting at. But as I looked at the picture, and then read down through the comments, I was sold!

Second Shovel, Maine DOT
Second Shovel, Maine DOT

It does make sense; the snow has to go somewhere. If you shovel your driveway and then clear space to the left of your driveway, when the plow circles back around, it will fill it! Like magic! (It's sad that I'm just now learning this trick!)


Maine DOT Director of Creative Services, Meg Lane, says they try to give folks helpful tips throughout the year for things like snow removal and how to stay safe on the roads. Lane says that along with clearing that specific spot, there are some other useful tips people should be aware of during storms:

1.) If you can, stay off the roads during significant storms. It allows the plows to move more snow with greater ease, as they don't have as many obstacles to work around.

2.) If you do have to be on the roads, give the plows plenty of room!

3.) Keep in mind that there are some blind spots when drivers are operating those big plows and do your best to stay out of those!

4.) Don't use cruise control when it's snowing. Sounds like a no-brainer, but if you're using cruise control, you're giving the control of your car over to...your car!

5.) Slow down...like WAY down during a storm...even if you have snow tires!

Communal service worker in uniform with a shovel clears snow in winter

Lane says the month of December tends to be one of the worst when it comes to crashes and fatalities on the road because people have forgotten how to drive in the snowy conditions.

A man shown from the waist down, starting up his snow blower in the winter

She says the MDOT has a bunch of tips from plow drivers and even has a Maine DOT youtube channel of their own, where they feature videos about road safety, plow safety, and other transportation issues.

Lane mentioned that the MDOT helps keep plow truck drivers skill's sharp by hosting plow truck rodeos (see video below) to allow the drivers time to practice, even when it's not snowing!

to snowy rooms with a snowy shovel

So keep an eye out on the Maine DOT Facebook page for other helpful tips. I feel like I'm as ready as I can be now for it to snow!

Thanks, MDOT! Bring it on, Mother Nature!

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Gallery Credit: Jason Stewart

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