Ask a Snow Plow Driver

Watch our Ask a Snow Plow Driver video to get answers to some common questions people have for our snow plow drivers.

When you are out on the roads in bad weather, what questions do you have for the plow drivers?

Have you ever wondered why they do something, or how they do something? Let us know and we'll "Ask A Snow Plow Driver!"

Email your question.
Ask a Snow Plow Driver
Paul Serzynski

Paul Serzynski

What's the best thing about your job?

The work we do is important. We clear roads for motor vehicles and emergency vehicles during heavy storms. It’s about safety, public safety.

John Anderson

John Anderson

What’s the most difficult part about your job?

Probably just the long hours during a snow event. We work in 12-hour shifts, and we need to be available all winter - we’re always on call. That means no going out of town for the holidays, or going on vacation. I don’t think people realize how tough it is.

John Patterson

John Patterson

What's the most rewarding part of your job?

I know for me, and for a lot of the drivers, you take pride in having clean roads for people to get from A to B safely. 

This winter I’ll be a mechanic in the heavy-duty shop on call-outs. I’ll be there in case anything happens to our plows during the event, so we can service the truck and get it right back on the routes. But yeah, I’ll miss plowing.

Andy Machak

Andy Machak

What’s the most difficult part about your job?

The most difficult part of my job is not knowing when I’ll be called in, and the traffic out there when we’re plowing.

Kyle Schneider

Kyle Schneider

Is there anything that happened during a shift that you would never forget?

One night I was on my route and an oncoming car was headed straight at me, almost like he was like playing chicken with the truck. At the last second, I swerved, and he swerved the opposite way, but it was pretty scary. 

I think it’s a lot harder to drive this heavy machinery than people think. We don’t have the reaction times that a small car does, and we have limited visibility. We really need people to give us room to do our jobs so that we can all be safe.

Jim Pichelmann

Jim Pichelmann

Do you have any memorable moments from your job?

My first year was a trying year because we had a very memorable blizzard! We were very overwhelmed. We had nearly 30 inches of snow in one sitting with white-out conditions, it was terrible, and the drivers were having a hard time. 

As mechanics, we were having a hard time just keeping the trucks functioning through all of that, it was nuts. We even had one truck that went off the pavement, so we had to get it back and functional again in the midst of a blizzard. We couldn’t see anything out there, it was terrible.

Andy Wood

Andy Wood

What’s something that happened during a shift that you will never forget?

Someone tried to pass me, on the right. He spun out in front of me because the road wasn’t clear. Seeing the car spin out and lose control was bad enough, but he jumped the curb and nearly hit a pedestrian walking his dog. He hit a hydrant, which saved the pedestrian.

I wish I could say “Just stay back!” You see those lights flashing? Let me do my job. The road is nasty in front of me, and nice and clear behind me. So, stay behind me. I want to make it home safely to my family too.

Otis Linder

Otis Linder

What’s the most difficult part about your job?

When plowing snow, we have to deal with multiple weather conditions, like the freezing rain. 80% of our storms come in as rain first, then change over to ice and then snow. The ice on the plows, windshields, and hydraulic cylinders means you get slower reaction times on the plow.

No snow event is the same, and conditions vary across the county. Everything’s relayed through snow command, and that communication keeps us informed and safe.

Carol Winder

Carol Winder

Is there anything you have to watch out for while plowing?

Our plows are 60,000 pounds of iron and salt, and if I have to put a big iron wing down, I have to constantly watch for cars trying to pass me so I don’t hit anyone. I wish cars would stay back. They seem to stay right behind me, and I’m always worried they’re going to try and pass.

When they do decide to pass, it’s always at the wrong time. I may have to go into another turn lane or I’m coming out of a turn lane, and even though I have my turn signal on telling them, they think that’s a good time to pass. But it’s never a good idea to pass a plow.

Dennis Raupp

Dennis Raupp

What's the most rewarding part of your job?

I think the most rewarding part of my job is making sure everybody gets to where they’re going safely, that’s probably our biggest goal, my biggest goal. I know my family travels on these roads and I want them to get there safe, so I see everyone else like my family too.

Plus, I’m still a kid at heart, and I love the snow. Every year is a challenge, but I love getting up in my big truck and pushing snow around. Been doing this since I was 18 years old, and it never gets old.