Snow plow drivers keep roads clean - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Snow plow drivers keep roads clean

 By Anna Carrera - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) -- When snowflakes fall, plow drivers answer the call. And there's a lot more that goes into keeping the streets clear than you might think.

Over the years, the hours get longer and longer," said plow driver Dave Koehler. "People expect bare roads out there, 24 hours a day, so it's a lot of long hours out there."

While other drivers race around Highway 51, Koehler takes it nice and slow.

"Usually plowing anywhere from 25 to 35 miles an hour," said Koehler. "And if we're putting salt down, we're going 25 to 30 and people are coming 55, 65 and we're at a slower rate of speed and they're in a big hurry."

With more than 30 years of plow driving experience under his belt, Koehler's steady hands steer the bumpy roads like a pro. He said he takes his time, something he wishes other drivers did too.

"Think I've been run into, in all of the years, five or six times," said Koehler.

Semis and other cars whiz past him. Other drivers said they see it too.

"They shoot snow up in front of you," said Grant Leach. "And it's just kind of like -- slow down!"

But driving slow is better than the alternative: ending up in a ditch or on the side of the road.

"That'll slow you down more than speeding," said Moriah Prichard.

Plow drivers have to determine whether they need to salt the roads while they plow. If it's too cold, the salt creates even more of a hazard.

And plowing can get frustrating. After clearing one stretch of street, you can come back minutes later and see it covered in snow again.

But with Koehler at the wheel and some good country tunes on the radio the ride is not bad at all.

Online Reporter: Anna Carrera

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