UDOT plow driver: ‘I’m here for whatever Mother Nature brings my way’
Dec 2, 2023, 12:10 PM | Updated: 12:26 pm
SALT LAKE COUNTY — After record snowfall last year, Utah Department of Transportation snowplow drivers were gearing up Friday for snow over the weekend and whatever other storms were lining up for the month of December.
The snow so far this fall had been off to a slower start than last year’s torrid pace, and UDOT lead Weston Fischer seemed energized for whatever was in store.
“I know this is an unpopular opinion, but let’s break the record again this year,” Fischer said as he drove up Big Cottonwood Canyon Friday afternoon.
Plowing is never an easy go. During the winter, drivers are on-call constantly and end up working long hours to ensure roads in the canyons and in the valleys are as clear as possible during storms.
“There’s a term that’s used around UDOT,” Fischer said. “It’s called ‘sleep fast,’ because you go home, get some quick rest and you’re right back at it.”
Canyons in particular pose potentially treacherous conditions for plows and Fischer noted the challenge.
“It’s a winding, scary road,” Fischer said. “There are a lot of steep hills, a lot of edges to fall off.”
He said last year gave him perspective and underscored the importance of care and patience.
“I think there’s a few lessons learned from last year’s record season,” Fischer said. “When you hurry, that’s when things get broken or people get hurt.”
Fischer urged drivers to do their part this winter by heading up to canyon areas with good tires and 4-wheel drive or traction devices.
Failing to do so, he said, generally turns into problems for everyone with those cars getting stuck.
According to Fischer, every storm is different and affects the canyon areas differently, but he said he and other plow drivers were up to the challenge this year.
“I enjoy it thoroughly,” Fischer said. “I’m here for whatever Mother Nature brings my way.”UDOT plow driver: “I’m here for whatever Mother Nature brings my way”