Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

Sept. 20, 2016

Orange barrels on a highway

MnDOT training program prepares snowplow operators for winter

ST. PAUL, Minn. - More than 120 snowplow operators from the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the city of Minneapolis are training the next two weeks at Camp Ripley near Little Falls, Minn., to learn how to handle the winter ahead.

MnDOT’s snowplow operator training program, known as SPOT, is a two-week session that highlights a variety of safety measures, plowing techniques and best practices. The session provides trainees with updates on new equipment, policies and procedures related to winter highway maintenance operations.

“We have more than 1,500 snowplow operators clearing 30,000 lane miles of state highway each winter to ensure that motorists can get to where they want to go,” said MnDOT Commissioner Charlie Zelle. “Getting people safely to their destinations is a team effort.”

As part of SPOT, MnDOT maintenance supervisors and other staff provide classroom and hands-on training and share their experience and insights with the trainees.

“Our snowplow operator training program offers unique and specialized training that makes our snowfighters ready for Minnesota winter,” said Steve Lund, state maintenance engineer.  

SPOT began in 2004. When the current session ends Sept. 30, MnDOT will have trained more than 1,500 snowplow operators.

MnDOT will conduct a second SPOT session Oct. 17-28 for an additional 105 snowplow operators from MnDOT, the city of St. Paul, and Mcleod and Anoka counties.


Editor’s note: A media day for SPOT will be Tuesday, Sept. 27, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Media are invited to come to Camp Ripley that day to see snowplow operators learning in action and to talk with them and MnDOT staff. Please contact Sue Roe, 651-366-4268, to reserve a time.