1st electric snow plow in Japan
Sasaki successfully motorized snow plows, which became hot-selling products, prior to the grass cutters (Fig. 2). The snow plow is one of the company's core products. It was the first snow plow to use a storage battery in Japan.
The machine became easier to handle for all users universally following replacement of the engine with a storage battery, and the range of snow removal workers expanded. It is difficult for some women to handle engine-driven machines. Following motorization, the machines can now be handled easily just like home appliances.
The development of the snow plows powered by storage batteries started before the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. The company is based in Towada City and was not affected by the earthquake or the tsunami, but it suffered from power failure and one of its employees was hit by the tsunami.
After the earthquake, the company decided to add two new functions to the snow plow powered by a storage battery under development. A removable light was added to the storage battery so that it can be used as a light and a power source in the event of an emergency.
It is known that this function was used effectively by victims of the large-scale earthquake that hit Hokkaido in autumn 2018. The lights were used as emergency lights and were covered with vinyl bags to illuminate wider areas. Models with an optional 100V outlet for charging smart phones and so forth are also available.
Following the success of the snow plows powered by storage batteries, the company began to change its direction and motorize some of the machines that it had been developing by using storage batteries even though the machines had been originally designed with engines mounted.