Plow Drivers Gear Up for Winter Season

It's annual plow training time for street maintenance workers in Duluth featuring both classroom work and hands-on training.

DULUTH, Minn. — The winter season is getting closer.

That’s why a group of maintenance operations workers in Duluth spent Tuesday getting some special training to help make sure they are ready for action when the first snowfall hits.

It’s annual plow training time for street maintenance workers in Duluth featuring both classroom work and hands-on training.

“Once we do that classroom section we move back out here into the parking lot and we have what’s deemed a rodeo if you will,” Street Maintenance Operations Coordinator, Geoff Vukelich says.

A refresher for those workers who have plowed for years and an introduction for new employees.

“What we do is all these folks go through a tight set of cones that mirror objects they may see out in the real world,” Vukelich says.

Along with talking about the environmental concerns of using salt to try to mitigate any pollution the plows could cause.

With chloride with the road salt. This is a lot of impairments when that road salt is spread and we want to make sure everyone knows there is a consequence and regulations we have to adhere to,” Vukelich says.

First-year employees like Joel Majchrzak are looking forward to learning the ins and outs of driving a plow.

“Basically just maneuvering it through how tough traffic can be when cars are parked where they aren’t supposed to. Ya know you get cars stalled out,” Street Maintenance, Joel Majchrzak says.

And the long-time Duluth resident knows full well what the drop in temperatures can bring to the area.

“The winters can be fun. They haven’t been too bad up until last year. I’m hoping for a mild winter since it’s my first time out,” Majchrzak says.

Regardless, these plow drivers will be ready for whatever comes their way this winter. Feeling confident as they wrap up the final day of their three-day snowplow training course.

“We’ve grown over the years to make this as informative as we can,” Vukelich says.

“We try to strive to make sure the course is tight enough so people remember what it’s like to drive down alleys with tightly parked cars.”

 

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