Plow drivers train for winter weather


PennDOT plow drivers are getting a refresher course to make sure they’re ready for Thursday’s winter storm.

Drivers navigated plow trucks through an obstacle course in York on Wednesday as part of their mandatory pre-season training.

“Pretty much every one of our operators, from a 30-year guy down to the guy that just started yesterday, we put everyone through it every year,” assistant maintenance manager Gary Ishman said.

The course includes some of the most common obstacles that drivers encounter. A barrel could be a mailbox or a car. They lose a point if they knock one down, but it’s not about the score. 

“It’s about sharpening your skills, getting them in the trucks, getting them familiar with the equipment – the wing plows, the front plows, and their backing skills,” Ishman said. “It’s just an overall skills test.” 

Crews say a big part of the job is paying attention to detail, memorizing each route before the snow hits, inspecting their equipment, and keeping an eye on everything that’s going on around them. 

“They want to be out there and make sure that everyone gets home safely,” Ishman said.

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