With Calgary’s first major snowfall of the winter forecasted for last night, city crews and Calgarians prepared to face the cold.

Taking a new approach to snow removal, the city will be practising echelon plowing this winter on major thoroughfares, said transportation spokesperson Sean Somers.

“Echelon plowing is the use of several plows staggered across all lanes of a roadway,” said Somers.

“So what that allows us to do, in essence, is clear the road in one path.”

He said drivers may initially be slowed by plows covering all lanes of traffic at once, but it will save time in the long haul.

“Obviously those trucks aren’t going to be travelling at 70 or 80 km/h, like traffic typically is — they may only be going 40 or 50 km/h, but the tradeoff there is after one pass, that roadway will be clean.”

Somers said crews were working quickly yesterday to prepare trucks, stockpiling sand and salt and mixing up pickle — a combination of gravel and salt.

Mechanics at Kal Tire in the northeast were also working feverishly to prepare a lineup of Calgarians for winter driving.

“We had about 10 people waiting outside the doors for when we opened at 7:30 a.m. today,” said manager Steve Vany.

“We’ve been running about 25 to 30 work orders constantly all day. As fast as we clear out five or six, there’s five or six more.”

Vany said he’s expecting today to be at least twice as busy.

“It will probably be two to three weeks of craziness.”