MnDOT plow operators rely on training during winter

February 12, 2019 07:05 PM

Plow drivers have been out in full force over the last few weeks, and MnDOT says their training helps them stay sharp. 

MnDOT plows more than 30,000 miles across the state every year, and no matter how much experience drivers have they're always finding ways to get better. 


"To me, it was a typical snowstorm," said James Melson, a plow operator with MnDOT. 

Melson has 14 years of experience plowing. Over the years, he's only gained confidence while plow driving in tough conditions.

More from KSTP:

New technology gives truck drivers safe places to park in Minnesota

MnDOT testing out added light on snow plows to improve safety for drivers, operators

MnDOT: New research could improve efficiency during snow events

"I think the comfort comes with seasons under your belt," Melson said. 

"This is kind of our bread and butter, we look forward to this every year," said Rick Shomion, Maintenance Training Coordinator with MnDOT. 

Shomion says all new operators have a two-week training period in the fall. But year-round, they work to stay refreshed on everything including snow and ice, when to put chemicals down and knowing every detail of your plow route.

"We train hard for it, we get prepared and once it comes we just got to hit the ground running to keep the roads safe," Shomion said. 

MnDOT's expertise has also been used in national training curriculum. 

"We've been doing training for a very long time and to be a contributer to the rest of the country which is great but we don't want to rest on our laurels either, we want to keep continuing to improve," Shomion said. 

No matter how much you dislike adverse driving conditions, there are people out there who embrace it to keep you safe. 

"Some people do dread winter, some people complain about winter-- I'm not that guy," Melson said."Your confidence goes up with every storm, things become more intuitive." 

Connect with KSTP

Join the conversation on our social media platforms. Share your comments on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages.


Brett Hoffland

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


One male dead after Minneapolis homicide

Disaster declared in Polk County after severe storm

Arrest made in connection with Friday night homicide in St. Paul

Challenger Learning Center of Minnesota Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Moon Landing

Nation celebrates 50th anniversary of 1st lunar footsteps

Heat, Rain should hold off until late into the week