Public Agencies Face Snowplow Driver Shortage

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As winter weather continues to sweep across many parts of the U.S., public agencies are seeing a significant shortage in snowplow truck drivers.

In Hartford, Vermont, the city is down two snowplow drivers from its normal 10, leaving them to borrow workers from other town departments, according to NBC5. While the temporary, fill-in drivers have proven helpful this season, the city said it has been a challenge explaining the unfamiliar equipment to the drivers. In addition to that, the city said it is currently operating with one mechanic to handle all equipment and vehicle repairs.

Meanwhile, the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) is seeing a shortage of about 60 snowplow drivers this winter, according to the Montana Free Press.

MDT employs a total of 570 staff members, and to supplement that workforce, the state hires an additional 200 temporary plow truck drivers to work from about Thanksgiving to March. This year, however, the state was only able to hire about 140 temporary drivers. Walt Kerttula, an equipment bureau chief for the MDT, told the Montana Free Press that he attributes the lack of drivers this year to a nationwide labor shortage and the need for applicants to obtain commercial driver’s licenses. 

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