Snowplow Rodeo

How did we get to November already? For some, the year passed slower than normal but for the Department of Public Works it seems like Father Time has sprinted his way through the year. Our fleet department just finished their spring maintenance on all our winter equipment a couple of months ago and are now just wrapping up our fall preparation and recalibration of all our plow trucks.  Indeed, winter is closer than some accept and as such we need our trucks to be ready to roll. 

In a similar manner, our roads department has been preparing for winter as well.  They partnered with Great Lakes Crossings Outlets and set up a course on their auxiliary parking lot on Monday, October 25th.  Then all the drivers from across all the divisions at the DPW came together to train and shake the dust off their skills on Tuesday and Wednesday.  On Thursday, all our drivers competed against each other in what our industry labels a “Snowplow Rodeo.” The drivers must drive the course while avoiding the obstacles placed within it.  For every obstacle hit, there is a deduction and the shortest time acts as the tie breaker.  Check out the video of our serpentine skill as drivers go forward through the section and then in reverse.  With the conclusion of this week, we know that we will have a very effective and safe workforce this winter.

Since all the difficult jobs are being handled, the manager and office staff end up with the easiest part of the whole operation.  We prepare the plow maps and operations manual for all the drivers to use and present them at our annual winter operations meeting (which was held on October 28th this year).  The logging of the material used, labor costs, and maintenance costs for each winter is done by us so that we can better budget and plan for future years.  We also get to remind you of winter tips that can be found on our website and are listed below for your convenience:

  • Shovel snow at the end of your driveway and avoid pushing snow onto the road/sidewalk.
  • Move parked vehicles off all roadways.
  • Keep fire hydrants in front of your property clear of snow and ice.
  • Give snowplows and salt trucks extra room on the roads. Avoid driving in blinds spots of all snow removal vehicles.
  • Allow for extra driving time in inclement weather.
  • Be a good neighbor and lend a hand to those in need.

Jason Hefner, Manager of Fleet & Roads

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