Ready for Winter? Snowplow Operators Already Taking Part in MnDOT Training

Ready for Winter? Snowplow Operators Already Taking Part in MnDOT Training Photo: Minnesota Department of Transportation

September 17, 2018 10:50 AM

It was an unseasonably hot weekend, complete with mid-September heat advisories. 

But, the calendar shows another Minnesota winter may not be all that far away, which is why more than 100 snowplow operators from around the state will spend the next two weeks training at Camp Ripley near Little Falls, learning how to most safely and effectively clear the white stuff when it falls on Minnesota roads.


A release from the Minnesota Department of Transportation said operators from MnDOT, Minneapolis, Rochester and Scott County will train primarily at Camp Ripley, but that snowplows may be seen nearby on Highway 10 as well.

The Snowplow Operator Training Program - known as SPOT - highlights a variety of safety measures, plowing techniques and best practices. It also provides operators with updates on new equipment, policies and procedures related to winter highway maintenance.

“We have more than 1,500 snowplow operators clearing 30,000 lane miles of state highway each winter to ensure that motorists can get to where they want to go,” said MnDOT Commissioner Charlie Zelle in a statement contained in the release. "Getting people safely to their destinations is a team effort and our employees who plow snow are on the front line.”

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This year, according to the release, operators will receive training on MnDOT's Maintenance Decision Support System and Automated Vehicle Location technology, meant to provide those doing the plowing with weather and road information in order to make decisions on what type of treatment (sand or salt) to use, and in what amount.

The release said the technology is currently installed in around 76 percent of MnDOT's 840 plow trucks.

A second SPOT session will be held from Oct. 15-19 and Oct. 22-26 in which 60 more MnDOT snowplow operators are expected to participate.


Frank Rajkowski

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