VDOT begins to prepare trucks for this year's winter weather

By  | 

VERONA, Va. (WHSV) — On October 10, 1979, the Shenandoah Valley saw up to eight inches of snow as the area's earliest recorded snowfall.

Ken Slack, VDOT Spokesperson, said each inspection is done carefully as drivers go through operating different truck equipment, checking lights, mirrors,tires, batteries, and turn signals.

Forty years later, leaves may just be starting to fall in the Valley, but the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has already started inspecting and preparing their trucks for this winter's first snowfall.

Ken Slack, a spokesperson for VDOT, said crews are following a procedure almost like a state inspection on your car, but on every one of their trucks.

Their trucks are just a little more complicated than your standard Honda Civic; with snow removing equipment, crews have to check every tire, hydraulic, and rubber hose.

"You've got the plow in front that needs to move and there's a lot of hydraulics involved in that," Slack said. "You've also got the salt spreader on the back, some of those are motorized throughout the front, some of those are electric these days."

Slack said crews have been doing their biannual inspection since the end of September and plan to finish up in the next week or so.

VDOT does these inspections once after the winter season to repair anything and again right before just in case they may need to order parts.

"Winter operations are hard on our equipment – crews literally are working 24 hours a day during a significant storm," Slack said. " So it's a big job to keep all of these trucks on the road."

Crews are also prepping new drivers on their routes they will take when snowfall does happen — although Slack said many of their drivers have been driving the same route for years.

Slack said even though there's no way to yet know the earliest snowfall this season, soon every truck should be finished with their inspection and ready to cover all 11 districts from Interstate 81 to secondary roads.