Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Over 300 Minnesota Department of Transportation snowplow operators in southeast Minnesota are meeting in Rochester and remotely during the next two weeks for their winter preparations meetings.

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During the meetings, operators will learn about safety updates, weather forecasting, snow and ice equipment, and working with the State Patrol during the winter.

The getting ready for winter meetings signals MnDOT’s preparations to transition into snow and ice season and be ready for the first winter events in MnDOT District 6, which is an 11-county region in southeast Minnesota.

“We hold these meetings to serve as the kickoff as we fine-tune things and prepare for their duties of keeping our state’s roads clear and safe through winter,” said Drew Fischbach, District 6 maintenance superintendent for the district’s east side. “We know winter is on the way. It’s just a question of when it arrives.”

Minnesota Department of Transportation (Instagram)
Minnesota Department of Transportation (Instagram)

During the meetings, snowplow operators from MnDOT District 6 will hear from the National Weather Service about weather forecasting and challenges; material usage and a salt scatter study will be discussed. Updates on equipment and the mechanic shop will be shared; proper radio etiquette with State Patrol dispatch; and safety messages will be reviewed.

New snowplow operators will be traveling to Camp Ripley this month for MnDOT’s Snowplow Operating Training sessions. Operators will get a chance to learn more about the snowplows while working on their driving and operation of the machines as they prepare for winter.

MnDOT also continues to seek new snowplow operators in southeast Minnesota. MnDOT has openings for temporary, fill-in, and full-time snowplow operators. To learn more and apply, visit MnDOT’s website.

MnDOT District 6’s southeast Minnesota snowplow operations include:

  • 102 snowplows
  • 39 miles, average snowplow route
  • 24 average snow events per season
  • 74 average snowfall
  • 34,415 tons, average rock salt usage
  • 757,726 gallons, average liquid salt brine usage

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