Overland Park’s snow crews are preparing for the upcoming winter.
Plow drivers are practicing this month on an obstacle course near the old Metcalf South Mall site at 97th and Metcalf. The course is meant to help drivers prepare for the agility and maneuvering required to drive a plow truck, and for the technical skills required to operate front and wing plows on residential streets.
“It just kind of gets you mentally prepared and used to running the plows,” said Tim Murdock, equipment operator for the Public Works Department. “Just getting comfortable with it is half the battle, for sure. The more you do it the more comfortable you’re going to get.”
Murdock works in the maintenance division, meaning he and his co-workers drive trucks the size of City snow plows throughout the year. That’s not true for other City staff, from the Public Works, Planning and Development Services, Parks, Police, Fire, and Information Technology Departments, who help out when winter weather hits.
For many from these departments, annual training in the fall is a chance to refresh their skills behind the wheel of a plow truck. Those who have driven before complete at least one day of training. Newer drivers spend even more time practicing.
Training has started for the winter season, but the City continues to hire maintenance workers to drive snow plows during winter storm operations. There are still several maintenance worker positions available.
Maintenance workers repair public property during the summer, respond to emergencies, and are the first line of defense to keep Overland Park safe during winter weather. Learn more about the requirements for maintenance worker positions.
For those interested in applying and serving during winter weather in the City, Murdock offers a bit of advice to get the job done safely.
“Take your time. Always take your time and if you think the truck is not gonna fit down next to a parked car, don’t try it.”
Learn more about snow operations on the Snow + Ice Removal page.