Preparations, Logistics Needed When Taking Care of Winter Conditions

The Fond du Lac County Highway Department got a bit of work over the weekend, and they’re continuing to gear up for the winter season. 

Highway Commissioner Tom Jahnke tells us for him, there are
only a few major things to prepare for every year. 

He says “we’ve got two seasons in Wisconsin
and that either road-building or winter. And that’s very much what we do.”

When it comes to working and maintaining the highways around the county during those times, Jahnke says “winter maintenance is definitely
different than summer maintenance. Obviously we have the plows, the equipment
takes a little more abuse. First of all, you’ve got to get set up – many of our
trucks have wings and plows that go on, some of them have multiple wings. Brine
tanks and salt spreaders and all of that type of stuff has to go on and get
those trucks fitted and ready to go.”

We have seen a small amount of winter weather so far this season, but there will be a lot more to come. 

Jahnke adds that operators will likely spend a lot of time on the roads. 

He says “24/7
coverage, so our guys who are assigned to those routes get called in when the
event happens. So if it starts at 4:00am, they’ll work from 4:00am until
usually eight or nine at night. Then we’ll call in a night shift, if you will,
which could be mechanics, it could be our other operators.”

Jahnke tells us that drivers could be on the road for up to 16 hours in a day, depending on how bad the conditions get – and that the department will even set up cots in the highway garage facility for them to get some rest before heading out again.