THE 5-TON TRUCK SNOWPLOW
For more than 30 years, the U.S. Army has not shown much command
interest in snow removal. This has been a general course rather than a specific
policy. This has been especially true at established military facilities where
Directorates of Public Works (DPWs) are well organized. Many installations
have a variety of equipment that is reasonably up to date, is well maintained, and
is used effectively to manage snow and ice control (SNIC) throughout the winter
season. Some installations have a mixture of equipment that fits the particular
requirements for their specific location. Snowplows and spreaders have a reason-
ably long life of twenty years or more, with the spreaders requiring more main-
tenance because of the corrosive nature of snow melters.
In the field, as well as at some installations, both domestic and overseas, it
must be noted that front-end loaders, bulldozers (including the M9 ACE), and
motor graders were not designed for snow removal and they are poor substitutes
at best. Commanders in the field are generally opposed to using this equipment
for SNIC purposes when such equipment has direct mission obligations.
Given current events in the Balkans since 1995 and recent developments
there, including a severe winter storm in Kosovo in 1999, HQ USAREUR has
taken a primary interest in supporting deployed units with up-to-date quality
SNIC equipment. They have ensured that SNIC equipment needs be identified
and provided in adequate numbers to meet requirements. This special interest to
ensure training and direct support to ensure operational status has proven to be
It may be of interest to some to know that the U.S. Army Cold Regions
Research and Engineering Laboratory (USCRREL) did not recommend the pur-
chase of snowplows for the 5-ton truck. However, the 5-ton truck is extremely
capable on MSRs and is large enough to easily handle heavy snow. Its problem is
small, narrow roads with sharp curves or turns. The U.S. Army Corps of Engi-
neers is, however, the proponent for snowplowing operations within the U.S.
Army, and stands ready to offer assistance whenever and wherever needed.