Vermont Local Roads kicked off its fall classes last week with Winter Road Maintenance workshops in Dover and Montpelier. Paul Brown, Director of Snow and Ice Operations in Massachusetts, taught the six hour classes and addressed a number of important areas for maintaining roadways during the Winter Season.
Preparation before the snow flies is essential, Brown stressed. It’s useful for every garage to set a date for all the prep work to be completed, he suggested. This involves making sure the equipment is ready, mapping out plow routes, marking hazard, material inventory, reviewing the snow policy and calibrating equipment.
Brown shared with the class a calibration video for a salt spreader he produced in Massachusetts. By taking the time in the summer months to calibrate a truck the cost benefits for saving material can be huge.
The workshop also discussed anti-icing and de-icing. It’s application, and factors to consider in application like pavement temperature, choice of chemical application, and rate of application. To illustrate the differences in the chemical make-up of a brine, Brown shared a phase chart that compared each of the five brines concentration to the temperature.
Brown stressed the three T’s of Winter Road Maintenance: Timing, be prepared. Trust Technology, new gadgets work. Training, for operators and consumers, is essential at all levels. Overall, he communicated that being open to new ideas, technologies and methodologies will enable an operator to do his or her job better.
In closing, Brown reminded the classes that health and safety are critical during the long hours in the winter months. Proper diet and adequate sleep are required to be sharp on the job, not to mention for personal well-being.