Behind the wheel of a snow plow
Fri, 22 Feb 2013 16:39:15 GMT —
While you were snug in your bed at home, area crews were working round the clock to keep roads open.
It's a fight against the flurries for snow plow operators like Scott Wasson. He has to stay alert because his surroundings are always changing.
"We have to watch for pedestrians and cars off the road," Wasson said.
When snow storms like this hit, drivers work 12-hour shifts, 24 hours a day until the roads are cleared. Plows need a lot of room to do their jobs. They plow from the center lines out going 25- to 30-miles per hour. That means drivers of nearby cars need to watch out.
Click here to go behind the wheel in a snow plow with Melissa Shriver.
What's your advice to drivers you may encounter?
Be careful and leave extra early. Also give our drivers room to work," Wasson said.
A lot of product is needed to keep these roads drivable. 100 pounds of a sand/salt/cinder mix is applied to each lane-mile. Thursday night crews doubled that to 200 pounds..in hopes of melting the snow off highways faster. And as you can see it worked...but it's a secret ingredient that makes this mix go further. It's beet juice.
Why beet juice?
"Beet juice actually helps make the salt last longer...which reduces the need to add more salt to melt the ice. The beet juice is sticky, which holds onto the salt....which makes salt last longer," Wasson said.
In fact beet juice actually helps the salt last 80 percent longer, which may equal out to the need for less salt in the future.
Click here to see where trucks fill up on their salt and cinders.