(WHTM) – No one can just jump behind the wheel of a gigantic snowplow and expect to handle it flawlessly, so PennDOT is putting drivers through their paces before we get our first snowflakes of the season.

Driving on snowy roads is tricky, not just for you, but for those who have to clear those roads, too. That’s why PennDOT is taking its plow drivers to the “Snow Academy.”

“There is so much that can go wrong out there plowing snow there could be an emergency vehicle trying to get through trying to take care of a fire or somebody here slipping on ice and we have to be there to make sure those roads are open we get calls all the time,” said Tim Kincer, Plow Operator and Instructor.

The academy gives drivers both veterans and new hires a chance to be ready to handle the massive vehicles when the time comes. That includes making sharp turns, avoiding mailboxes, and driving over railroads the kinds of things you might take for granted but could cause huge problems.

“There’s a lot of new people that we’re starting to get and they have never driven a truck with a wing on it and justice to show them that you can go around corners and plow a corner out without backing in and going all over the place,” said Kincer.

For several years PennDOT has struggled to find new plow drivers, and with two straight winters without a ton of snow, even the existing ones can use a refresher.

“As far as this course is concerned, it’s a good refresher course for the older people but the new people are an all-new ball game is something that they can get used to without tearing up a mailbox,” said Kincer.

PennDOT is still looking to hire plow drivers for the upcoming winter, we have a link to apply at Commonwealth of PA – Opportunities for All Job Seekers | Departments: Department of Transportation | Sorted by Job Title ascending | Find Your Passion for Public Service! (governmentjobs.com)