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I could handle this dream job.

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by grandview, Dec 23, 2011.

  1. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Hang out on the beach before going to work.

    In Hawaii, Snowplow Maintains Clear View
    Published: December 08, 1996

    Hawaii's only snowplow has come to life for the season, removing drifts from the road up the state's highest mountain, more than two and a half miles above tropical beaches.

    Snow falls regularly on the 13,796-foot summit of Mauna Kea, home to 10 telescopes, including Keck I and Keck II, the largest in the world. Astronomers, who live in dormitories at the 9,300-foot level, require access to the observatories.

    Five plow drivers born or reared in Hawaii commute from 80-degree temperatures at sea level to help maintain the mountain area all year. They bundle up in fur-lined jackets and hoods, boots and gloves and start the plow, whose heavy-duty chains add to the incongruity of the scene.

    ''Snow on the mountain has to be plowed immediately,'' said Tom Krieger, who has plowed for seven years. ''We can have a 30-degree change of temperature from day to night. So the sun melts the top layer of snow, and freezing temperatures turn it to ice.''
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    Sometimes the first snow falls in July. This year, it arrived on Nov. 22. But timing made clearing the road urgent. A 50-ton item for a new telescope, the largest load transported up Mauna Kea, was scheduled to be trucked to the summit on Nov. 23.

    With the plow clearing drifts of up to a foot, a trailer with 48 wheels was pulled by two trucks and pushed by a third for 16 miles. The trip took eight hours.

    Mauna Kea, Hawaiian for White Mountain, is such an anomaly that when the first snowplow was ordered, the manufacturer on the mainland thought that the order was a joke and did not fill it.

    But it does snow on the dormant volcano, enough to attract ski club members when the snow is deep enough and the summit road is open.

    Last year, it snowed there in August, and snow has fallen several times on the Fourth of July.

    ''In 1990, we had 14 feet of snow, and we had to close the road to the mountain for two weeks,'' Mr. Krieger said.

    ''We get storms from the north and storms from the south. So sometimes we plow in 16-hour shifts, sleep at the dormitories at the 9,300-foot level and then plow another 16 hours. I got on-the-job training, as there are no snowplow classes in Hawaii.''

    Winter weather on the mountain can be as extreme as on the mainland, a fact that surprises visitors accustomed to sunbathing on beaches and gazing up at the snow-capped mountain. But temperatures on the mountain can dip to 20 below, and winds can top 100 miles an hour.
  2. BORIS

    BORIS Senior Member
    Messages: 167

    Sounds good to me it feels like we are in Hawaii around here as warm as it has been.
  3. all ferris

    all ferris Senior Member
    Messages: 118

    I have been there and there is definitely snow at the top. I would love to live there. The last time I was there the thought of not returning to the "mainland" was very tempting. I had a plan that if I sold my house and got a single wide I might be able to swing winters in Hawaii. I would have live on Ramon Noodles but it would be worth it. The Islands are beautiful.
  4. newhere

    newhere PlowSite.com Addict
    from Fenton
    Messages: 1,288

    pictures of the view would be nice. This is almost unbelievable.
  5. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

  6. newhere

    newhere PlowSite.com Addict
    from Fenton
    Messages: 1,288

    wow, i need to get out and see the world more.
  7. icudoucme

    icudoucme Senior Member
    Messages: 349

    I don't know what'll I like more the plowing or the coconut boobies....
  8. Banksy

    Banksy PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,113

    I would have been bet big money that there is no such this as snow in Hawaii. I had no clue. I'd like to see their equipment.
  9. getsum

    getsum Senior Member
    from USA
    Messages: 220

    AMEN :drinkup:
  10. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    Man, it would be so nice to plow for 16 hours, freezing your butt off, and then going to the bottom and passing out on the beach.

    Last edited: Dec 23, 2011
  11. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,248

    I was just in Maui for 2 weeks for my honeymoon in October and it is a whole different world over there. The weather is perfect every day and people fish, surf and swim all day and then head to there serving job about 3 minutes before there shift and change in there run down toyota 4 runner with board attached in the parking lot before work. I saw this happen every night from our room. We are going back every 5 years we decided since it was the best vacation we ever been on.
  12. G.Landscape

    G.Landscape Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 834

    wow, sign me up, I would probably work for free all winter if they provide me a place to stay and eat!!
  13. StuveCorp

    StuveCorp Senior Member
    Messages: 341

    That kinda sounds fun. Put me on the list too. Thumbs Up
  14. pohouse

    pohouse Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    You all know what I think.Thumbs Up

  15. Buster F

    Buster F Senior Member
    Messages: 208

    While i was in the Army i was stationed at Schofield Barracks on Oahu for several years. On a couple of occasions we would head over to Pohakaloa Training Area on the big island for a month or so to do a bit of training. The elevation there is around 8000' or so and we would occasionally see some snow during our time there. One event in particular resulted in few inches of accumulation and being a Heavy Equipment operator and being from New England i was chosen to clean up the roads around the base with one of the Michigan 175's that we had brought with us. You would be surprised how many people don't believe me when i tell them that i've plowed snow in Hawaii. Also for what it's worth - living on an island get's old real fast, after the first couple of months living on a rock half the size of Rhode Island gets a little boring.