Wexford Co. Road Commission Preps for Winter Season
Northern Michigan is no stranger to harsh winters, and that includes snowfall.
The Wexford County Road Commission has spent the last several weeks preparing for the winter season.
“We have 40 trucks that are capable of going out on the road,” Cooper said. “We run 23 with 5 spares and, if we have an emergency, we can bring some others up if we need to.”
Every year, they have maintenance to do on their trucks that run on both county and state roads.
“We have to calibrate them so we put the right amount of sand/salt material down or just straight salt,” Cooper said.
Cooper said their drivers have to learn their routes, as well.
“It’s just a matter of making sure the equipment’s all ready and that the guys have had a chance to get out on their routes,” he said. “They make sure there’s no trees leaning out where they’re going to hit the trucks.”
The road commission also has to order salt for the year.
“On the county system we probably go through about 3,500 tons a year,” Cooper said. “On the state system, it can be anywhere from 9,000 to 15,000 tons.”
The Coronavirus pandemic has presented some challenges, including getting parts.
“We’re having a tough time getting some parts,” Cooper said. “We have a pretty good supply for our trucks, there are some few things that seem to be on delay.”
Cooper wants all drivers to be safe on the roads, especially when they see one of their vehicles.
“Do not tailgate on our trucks. If you can’t see his mirrors on the side, he can’t see you,” Cooper said. “Do not pass on the right. We have wings that come down and you could run right into that wing or the snow coming off the blades could push you off the road, so never pass on the right side of a plow truck—especially on a freeway.”
“People do get impatient but they need to remember we’re out there to keep them safe,” Cooper said.