Blog - Winter Safety

Springtime transition tests maintenance crews

Posted on March 23, 2020 by Megan Sausser

Everybody, even our most dedicated plow operators, look forward to the onset of spring, but with the next season comes new challenges.

Spring is a time of transition, and fluctuating temperatures can make it some of the busiest shifts for our workers.

Problems can pop up quickly, whether it be a series of deep, tire-damaging potholes in the fast lane to massive mudslides that block key routes in just minutes.

Responding to these situations can be challenging, given that most crews are slowly shifting from the winter schedule of nights and weekends and are not fully staffed most days.

Some repairs, like patching potholes, have to be done repeatedly since they’re not as effective in cold weather. Other repairs may need to wait until trucks currently outfitted with plows are converted so that they can haul other materials.

It can be a delicate balance of addressing maintenance issues while allowing our operators time away from work to compensate for overtime hours accrued during winter.

This transition applies to drivers, too. You still need to be prepared for winter conditions, especially when traveling over mountain passes, and in periods of heavy rain, keeping an eye for objects in the road can prevent a life-threatening collision.

As ITD crews switch to springtime tasks, make the switch too by planning for different road events.