Why It’s So Hard To Plow Wyoming Roads
If you have ever had to go outside and shovel snow, you know it's hard work.
It's nice when the snow is dryer.
That makes it light and fluffy.
Wet snow is harder to lift.
So how hard is it to keep the roads clear when we have good snow coming down?
There are parts of Wyoming that have steep hills and even mountains with tight turns.
Here in Wyoming, it's no longer snowing, but now here comes the wind and the drifts.
Snow plows will always begin with the most crucial routes like the main arteries and roads that lead to hospitals and fire stations.
Most of the time a snow plow can't reach the blacktop on the first pass.
Trying to do so is running the risk of breaking the shovel on uneven pavement or potholes, plus who knows what else is under there.
Most snow plows can only travel up to 45 miles per hour, top speed. Though here in Wyoming they do go a bit faster on the interstates.
Snow will melt some during the day, under direct sunlight, or if the temperature gets above freezing.
That means the snow is turning to ice and settling at the bottom of the snowpack.
So now the plows have to push snow off the top, and then start scraping ice at the bottom.
Scraping that ice can also damage the plow, so the driver won't put much effort into getting rid of the ice. He'll just drop some dirt from the truck behind him to provide some traction.
Also, as snow sits, it starts to compact. That makes it harder to push. Once again this means more passes from the plows to get it all off to the side of the road.
It's hard for plow drivers to see, way up in that truck, with all that snow flying off their shovels. That's why they hate it when people pass them.
They don't know you're there. Passing a snow plow is dangerous.
It's much safer to just relax and ride behind them, enjoying the freshly plowed road with a nice layer of dirt for traction.
Be patient with them, and stay home if you can, until they have had time to do their job.
Wyoming has a shortage of plow drivers right now.
They are doing their best with what they have to work with.