For nearly half a century, the American Public Works Association (APWA) has been providing a venue for public agencies to network with the top snow and ice experts from across the continent, making the North American Snow Conference the place to be for those seeking new ideas to improve winter maintenance programs. This year, the conference celebrates its 50th anniversary April 18 – 21 at the Qwest Center in Omaha, Neb.

Through educational sessions and technical tours, attendees have the opportunity to learn about the latest snow equipment and technology, new methods of interpreting weather forecasts, ways to improve community relations, and how to plan for effective snow and ice removal. Plus, more than 120 companies are exhibiting at the 2010 Snow Conference, showcasing groundbreaking products and services.

Last year, our favorite product from the show floor was the Ossian LS Liquid Sprayer for de-icing sidewalks and steps (see image at right). It features a retractable spray boom operated by simple controls, a 48-in.-wide boom spray pattern that covers standard sidewalk widths in a single pass, and a spray wand with hose for treating steps and other difficult-to-reach areas. A quick-change tank system has the capacity to cover 5,000-sq.-ft. of application per tank. It is designed for use with the company's liquid de-icers, including Winter Green vegetation-safe ice melter. Ossian Inc.

For more information about the snow conference, visit For more snow and ice control products, read below.

Save fuel, drivetrain wear

The company offers a “Poly” version of its Power-V XT Snowplow, now featuring a super-slick poly surface that lets snow easily slide off the blade, saving on fuel costs and minimizing wear and tear on the vehicle drivetrain. The multiposition snowplow has a 37-in.-tall flared blade wing with enhanced curl and maneuvers easily in tough snow conditions. It's available in two models: 8 ft. 2 in. XT and 9 ft. 2 in. XT. The Boss Snowplow.

Keep salt/sand flowing

Available in a variety of sizes, the SandBuster Spreader Hopper Vibrator suits any mobile snow equipment application, including V-box spreaders, tailgate spreaders, side dump bodies, and dump bodies. The vibrator breaks the friction between the material and the sides of the bin so the ice control mix flows feely through the spreader and onto the road. VIBCO Vibrators.

Aggressive snow throwing

The Super-V2 has a 70-degree attack angle and a blade that tapers from 38 to 30.5 in. to provide snow rolling and throwing action similar to that of a highway plow. Available in 8.5- to 9.5-in. lengths, it features dual-acting cylinders and a pistol-grip controller with one-button functionality for straight or V-blade configurations. The plow's bottom-trip design allows it to hold most of its load if an obstruction trips the plow, and to trip regardless of how the wings are configured. Meyer Products.

Treated road salt stays put

Thawrox contains rock salt, magnesium chloride, and a viscosity modifier that keeps salt from bouncing off the road or blowing away in the wind. The result is longer-lasting, more targeted treatments that help stretch resources. The product won't leach when stored properly. Sifto Canada Corp. and North American Salt Co., subsidiaries of Compass Minerals.

Front-mounted snowblowers

By mounting on the front of compact tractors, the company's snowblower implements — for Bobcat models CT120 to CT235 and CT225 to CT450 — make snow removal easier, and more comfortable for operators. The discharge chute rotates hydraulically, so the operator can redirect snow as needed. Three models are available to accommodate 49-in., 62-in., and 72-in. cutting widths; they are ideal for driveways, sidewalks, and parking lots. The tractor must be equipped with a mid-PTO, loader joystick, and control valve. Bobcat Co.

Keeps salt, sand covered and dry

Hercules Truss Arch Road-Salt Storage Structures are available in 20- to 200- ft. widths, in any length. There are no internal columns to interfere with vehicle movement inside the shed. Natural ventilation and abundant sunlight eliminate moisture, keeping sand and salt dry. The 12.5-oz. covers are waterproof and come with a 15-year warranty. Custom colors are available. ClearSpan.

High-volume salt mixing system

Featuring a 170-hp John Deere engine, the CM2000 Salt Mixing System mixes up to 240 tons/hour. It mixes de-icing liquid-based agents with bulk salt or sand solutions to use as pretreatment before snow storms. Features include a feed hopper, a primary mixing chamber, and an automated continuous-flow additive injection metering system. An optional stainless-steel body is also available. Fecon Inc.

Spreader sized just right for fleets

Compatible with 1-ton dump and flatbed trucks, the V-Maxx 9300 V-box-style spreader offers more capacity (3 cu. yds.) than the company's 8500 model, but without the large, commercial-duty vehicle requirements of the 4-cu.-yd. 9500 model. The unit spreads 100% sand, 100% salt, or any combination in between. The heavy-duty polyethylene hopper eliminates corrosion and maintenance concerns associated with steel V-box versions, and weighs up to 40% less. SnowEx, a division of TrynEx Corp. 15.

High-clearance V-plows

The 9000 Series V-plows feature a high-clearance, trip-edge design for enhanced protection— the pinch-free pivot point is 9 in. above ground level, for improved protection from higher obstacles such as curbs and parking barriers. Each side of the plow tips independently, so tripping action is smoother than with most V-plows. Hiniker Co.

Real-time pavement monitoring

The Surface Patrol HD detects pavement temperature, air temperature, relative humidity, and dew point, providing real-time data so users can monitor for frost and black ice formation. It includes an infrared pavement temperature sensor and atmospheric sensor that can be attached to a fleet or management vehicle. The data is displayed on a dash-mounted display. The product can be integrated into an automatic vehicle location system. Quixote Corp.

Zero-turn maneuverability

The zero-turn FrontMount power units serve as the heart of a complete snow removal system that includes snowthrowers, dozer blades, rotary brooms, and V-plows. The company's QuickConverter implement system lets users install and remove implements in minutes, without tools. Also available is an optional winter enclosure (for 700 and 900 series) and a 16,000-BTU/hour heater (for liquid-cooled models). The Grasshopper Co.

Stop hydraulic leaks fast

Bar's Leaks Jack Oil with Stop Leak (p/n HJ12) is a one-step solution to revitalize snowplow hydraulic systems, prevent seepage, and seal leaks — without the downtime associated with having to mechanically repair the hydraulic system. It's compatible with all snowplow manufacturer-approved hydraulic fluids; just use it to top off a plow's hydraulic fluid as needed, and keep a bottle in the truck as part of an emergency parts kit. Bar's Products.