Area road crews getting ready to battle the snowBreckenridge, MN (WDAY TV) - With a major winter storm on the way, highway departments across the region are getting the plows ready to hit the roads. Besides the equipment, how do the drivers themselves gear up for the long hours awaiting them?
With a major winter storm on the way, highway departments across the region are getting the plows ready to hit the roads. Besides the equipment, how do the drivers themselves gear up for the long hours awaiting them?
Traffic is moving right along on I-94 east of Moorhead as we're still waiting for the storm to get started and the plow drivers in Wilkin County are doing the same today.
The fleet of 10 trucks are set to go in Wilkin County and after a quiet winter so are the drivers.
Dan Swedlund – Highway Supervisor Wilkin County: "Usually everybody get kind of psyched up"
These mean orange machines have 589 miles of road to clear.
Dan Swedlund: "It’s an adrenaline rush to get your job done. I got guys that love to plow snow. "
But even these road warriors have limits
Dan Swedlund: "You get in to a tough winter where it's day after day after day, the guys get wore down. "
Tom Miller is making sure the windows on his rig are clean for good visibility. He's been plowing for 13 years.
Tom Miller – Snowplow Driver: "I myself get a little bit excited, I love to plow snow"
He gets a certain satisfaction from his work.
Tom Miller: "I guess it's looking back behind you and seeing that the road is clear and traffic can start moving again."
There are fewer of these trucks out on the road in Wilkin County with tighter budgets but they are also plowing less.
Dan Swedlund: “We told all the township they had to hire contractors to do their work, so we cut back. We told all the small towns they had to hire contractors. We cut back. “
Despite the tight money, these warriors of white will do their best to keep the county open.
Dan Swedlund: “The guys to a heck of a job. I just got to tell them when to cut loose and they go and get it done.”
It used to take the county plows about an hour and a half to do a town like Foxhome or Campbell and they have eliminated about 300 mile of road.