The BC Governments Experiment with a Snowplow and Jet Propulsion

2021-02-17

The year is 1965 and British Columbia’s Ministry of Transports is conducting an experiment in the Kootenay Mountains. This experiment took place roughly 700 kilometers from Vancouver, BC, between Creston and Salmo, BC.

Snowfall in the Kootenays is far greater than what we experience in the Lower Mainland. An average of 40cm falls in just January alone, compared to Metro Vancouver, where the ten-year average for the entire winter is 24cm. With that, you have to step up your snow removal game. You take your average 1960’s snow plow and strap a jet-engine to it. Yes, you read that right. British Columbia’s MOT experimented with fitting a Pratt & Whitney turbine turboprop engine onto a snow plow.

A Fleet that gets the job done.

At Snow Queen we may not use jet-propelled snowplows, but our snow removal fleet of 1 to 2-ton trucks equipped with V-Blade & Straight-Blade plows, front-end loaders & ATV’s, combined with our 5 service yards located in Vancouver, North Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey and Port Coquitlam Snow Queen is capable of serving any size property from mission-critical freight hubs to small residential strata.

Check out our snow removal services and discover why we are the right choice for your property’s winter services.

The Truck.

The truck itself weighed in at 14,106 kilograms, without loaded with salt. The actual engine only weighed 130 kgs, and had an output of 320 horsepower. Compare that to your average diesel engine used in a snow plow of this class weighs 907 kilograms and produces 250 horsepower. With a 0-50km/h in 10 seconds and able to climb a 6% grade at a constant speed of 65 km/h, it was a very effective engine.

This raises the question if it was such an effective engine, why did the Ministry of Transportation stop using it? Fuel Efficiency. Even though the engine was able to run on multiple different fuel types, from furnace oil to diesel. It burned through a lot more than your typical diesel engine would, the plow truck would not be able to make it very far without needing to be refueled. The truck was superb on long, straight stretches; however, Highway 3 is anything but straight.