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How to Protect Your Mailbox From a Plow

By Suzie Faloon ; Updated September 21, 2017
Hang a mailbox from free swinging chains to help protect it.

It is aggravating to go out to get the mail after a snowstorm only to find your mailbox has been smashed. Snowplow drivers are known to occasionally hit a mailbox when plowing rural roads. The plow and mailbox collisions generally take place when vision is impaired by blinding snow. A rural mail route homeowner has the duty of setting up a mailbox according to postal regulations. A free-swinging pole or chain allows the mailbox to swing back and forth if the plow happens to hit it. Protect your residential mailbox from a plow during setup and maintenance.

Purchase a wooden mailbox stand with chains or a swinging mailbox kit.

Assemble the kit according to product directions.

Mark a spot that is six to eight inches in from the front of the curb or pavement edge on the right side of the road. You may be able to request special permission from the postmaster to set up the box on the left side of the road near your driveway.

Dig a hole to sink the mailbox pole or stand into the ground with a shovel or post-hole digger. Set the mailbox stand in place.

Secure the mailbox to the post according to product directions. The mailbox should be 41 to 45 inches from the ground, which enables the mail carrier to reach inside the container.

Secure adhesive-backed reflectors or tape to the mailbox on each side.

Shovel the mailbox out as soon as possible after a storm to keep the area clear.


Things You Will Need

  • Mailbox kit
  • Shovel or post-hole digger
  • Reflectors


  • Mailboxes must be approved by the United States Postal Service. The rural carrier may refuse to deliver mail to you if the box is not up to standards.

About the Author


Suzie Faloon is a freelance writer who has written online content for various websites. As a professional crafter and floral designer, Faloon owned a florist business for nearly 25 years. She completed the Institute of Children's Literature course in 1988.