A Snowy Day in the Life of a Plow Truck Driver | NECN

A Snowy Day in the Life of a Plow Truck Driver



    Snow plows have been on the road a lot this winter, but what do you know about their drivers? (Published Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014)

    (NECN: Mike Cronin) – “This is the glamorous life of a plow truck driver,” said Rick Ramstrom.

    He has lived that life for about 30 years - staying up overnight or waking up early - working the plow.

    Tuesday morning, he worked Route 146 in Millbury, which was a sloppy mess.

    “This winter, these storms, they've been pretty brutal storms,” said Ramstrom. “That last one we had was probably the worst one I've ever seen.”

    He and others began treating roads around 9 p.m. Monday.

    Ramstrom says while this storm isn't as difficult to deal with as the last one, plowing is still a long process.

    “You know we get the roads good,” said Ramstrom. “They're black and white, everything looks good and then we get half an inch of sleet and snow on the ground again.”

    Ramstrom says the snow was heavy early Tuesday morning, but plowers had Route 146 clear by rush hour. People gassing up said the commute was pretty good.

    His truck holds about 10 tons of salt. Ramstrom uses a computer to control how much salt is being put down.

    “The faster I go, the faster it goes. The slower I go, the slower it goes. It's called ground speed, so there's no wasting salt,” said Ramstrom.

    He is ready for the spring, but if it does snow again, he is asking people to be careful around plows. He says plows frequently drive in formation and block highway lanes. He says other drivers sometimes get impatient.

    “They're late for work. They want to break through. They can't,” said Ramstrom. They have to stay in line behind us. Just let us go. It might be 15, 20 minutes, but we all have set routes where we're only gonna go 5,6,7 miles.”