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Missouri Department of Transportation

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MoDOT News Release 

For more information contact Sally Oxenhandler at 573-751-7456 or Sandy Hentges at 573-526-4141.

October 22, 2007 12:00 AM
MoDOT Snowplow Drivers Complete Rigorous Winter Skills Training

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Department of Transportation employees responsible for keeping Missouri's roads clear and safe in the winter completed a statewide training competition last week to sharpen their skills for fighting snow and ice this winter.

"This training ensures our maintenance crews are better prepared than they've ever been to clear the roads in bad weather," said MoDOT Director Pete Rahn. "They have to work in extremely hazardous conditions, so it's important that they're trained to stay safe and keep others safe on the roads."

More than 2,500 MoDOT employees who operate equipment during winter storms participated in training exercises in their respective districts.

The competition tested both the mental and physical skills required to operate a snowplow truck and a loader. Operators had to complete a written exam, a pre-trip vehicle inspection and a hands-on driving skills course. They had to back into narrow spaces for loading, plow in a straight line and through obstacles, clear curbs and interchanges and meet other challenges.

MoDOT spends $30 million on average to remove snow and ice each winter. Last year, MoDOT maintenance crews spent more than 541,000 hours clearing roads at a cost of about $43 million.

"Our crews spend a lot of time and effort making Missouri's roads safe for travel during the winter," Rahn said. "That's why it's important for us to ensure they are properly trained and prepared for this critical responsibility."

Operators in each district competed against each other and were rated on a variety of skills. The two highest scorers from each district qualified for a statewide competition, which took place Oct. 18 at the Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia.

The winner of the Winter Skills Roadeo finals was Senior Maintenance Worker Kerry Grogan, a member of the Summersville Maintenance crew in the South Central District. Justin Anderson, a senior maintenance worker at the Sedalia maintenance building in the Central District, was runner up.

Editor's note: Here is the list of district winners:

District 1 Tony Lager

             William Luther

District 2 Eugene Oser

             Richard McClain

District 3 Mark Sprock

             David S. Thompson

District 4 Joey Edwards

             Eric Nold

District 5 Jason Lackman

             Justin Anderson

District 6 Kelly Hensen

             Brandon Anderson

District 7 Dennis R. Roethemeier

             Danny J. Bowling

District 8 Todd Richter

             Billie Torner

District 9 Don Cooper

             Kerry Grogan

District 10 Joe Hoehn

               Nick Elliott

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