Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

Oct. 6, 2016

Orange barrels on a highway

MnDOT’s SE Minnesota snowplow drivers gather for winter prep Oct. 10-13

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Close to 250 Minnesota Department of Transportation snowplow operators in southeast Minnesota will gather Oct. 10-13 for their annual winter preparedness meetings as MnDOT prepares to shift its seasonal focus from construction to snow and ice.

The meetings in Owatonna and Rochester are part of the training each operator receives in MnDOT’s 11-county District 6 in southeast Minnesota. They are provided with updates and new information about technology, equipment, procedures and safety.

“Our planning and preparing for snow and ice season often begins in spring, so this is a time for helpful reminders and updates with our operators before the pace quickens in winter,” said Tim Zierden, maintenance superintendent in District 6 east.

Snowplow operators will also hear from the State Patrol and its dispatchers, equipment mechanics and get a chance to ask questions about operations and procedures.

“It’s a good time for us as construction season is winding down to take a moment to learn, ask questions and understand anything new that might come up during the snow and ice season,” said Don Nosbisch, maintenance superintendent in District 6 west.

In MnDOT’s 11-county District 6 there are 101 snowplows on the roads for MnDOT. During heavy snow storms, the drivers are deployed in 12-hour shifts to give 24-hour coverage to maintain travel on the state highways.

Now is also a good time for motorists to begin their own preparation of their vehicles and get in the habit of checking www.511mn.org or calling 511 for real-time traffic and travel information in Minnesota. The free smartphone app is available at Google Play or the App Store.