Waking up at 2:30 a.m. is not ideal. Knowing that you need to go out in freezing temperature, during a snowstorm, is even worse. The snow is falling rapidly along with the temperature. No one wants to be out in the this kind of weather, but that is the job of a snow-plow driver.
I hate the cold. I usually wear three layers of clothes before venturing out and this day was no different. The wind whipped me in the face as I left my house to go to school. My car moves slowly down the road. I know that I will be on the side of the road if I go anything higher than 10 under the speed limit. I drive past and notice cars that slid off the side of the road and won’t arrive at their destination. This forces me to drive even slower.
Approaching Lorain County Community College, I feel overwhelmed by looking at the snow that is coming down and how it affects those that have reached the campus. I tread carefully as finding a parking spot is ‘survival of the fittest’.
This cold must be weathered by the grounds crew so that everyone can get where they need to go. LCCC has a series of different parking lots and a road to connect them that wraps around the entire campus. The LCCC physical plant had a busy day ahead of them.
I hitched a ride with one of the college’s snow removal trucks. I watch in awe as the vehicle is maneuvered around the tight corner of the road and parking lot and how it is able to function during the chaos that is midday traffic at LCCC. All of the pavement must be cleared off so that the students and faculty can arrive to class.
The pickup rises higher above ground than most vehicle and is almost a struggle to get into for a novice like myself. The truck handles beautifully through the snow. The truck provides the safest place to be during such a snow storm. The vehicle was moving at a speed faster than I would have if I was driving my Ford Fiesta. There is certainly a feeling of invincibility as I circled the school in the snow plow. The vehicle is able to ‘stop on a dime’; I am awestruck by how this huge vehicle is able to move the best out of all other vehicles on this day. I also feel the weight of responsibility in the snow plow.
There are a ton of vehicles in the lot and the snow plow must not only clear the snow for them, but also avoid hitting the vehicles. This makes me feel uneasy and I get the feeling that I would not want to have this job. The vehicle is actually very comprehensive. The truck has great traction control and moved through the snow and ice with ease. The plow itself is also quite easy to use. A remote control allows for moving it up, down, or to the side. There is , however a downside to the job. Waking up as early as the grounds crew does is definitely a negative. There was also the issue of traffic. A good amount of dodging was necessary in order to avoid parked and moving cars. It takes a very good temperament to maneuver through the parking lot, but the snow continues to fall so the plow must be utilized throughout the day. The experience has taught me to appreciate the job the grounds crew does and they always do a great jobs preparing the parking lot for the day.