JOPLIN, Mo.–We haven’t had any significant winter precipitation yet, but it’s only a matter of time before that happens. But, a local department of transportation isn’t waiting for that day to test it’s equipment.
Richard Starchman has worked for the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) for nearly 20 years and has spent a lot of time behind the wheel of trucks during sleet, snow and ice storms.
He and other MoDOT workers across the state spent Thursday making sure all their plowing and spreading equipment is assembled and functional and in working order. The next step is to take the trucks out and drive the routes they’ll be working when a real winter storm hits.
“We have several new people,” Starchman explained. “We’re kind of showing them the roads, showing them what route they’ll be on and stuff to look for when driving around in the trucks, so we don’t want them to hit stuff they’re not supposed to–curbs, railroad tracks, stuff like that.”
How much of the salt mixture MODOT will use in part of the state depends upon how much winter precipitation we get and what form it takes
Starchman says it takes more of the salt and calcium chloride mixture to make roads passable with ice as opposed to snow. This is one of 18 plow trucks that travel the Joplin area. And, drivers work a 12 hours on, 12 hours off shift.
He also says there is something you can do to help them do their job better.
“When we’re out there, we appreciate people to watch out for us,” said Starchman. “We’re out there trying to clean the roads for them. If they don’t have to get out, please don’t. Stay at home and let us get the roads cleaned up first before you attempt to come out.”