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highway department stinks

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Detroitdan, Dec 9, 2005.

  1. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    Lived here for 7 years, every year they get more ridiculous. Seems like they usually wait to plow my cul-de-sac until the storm is over, then they use the wrong equipment altogether. First couple years was an old Chevy 3/4, they would come in and plow a foot or more all at once, take an hour and beat the truck like a rented mule. Then they started using a heavy 6 wheeler with a wing, way too big for the little circle. Two years in a row a sub did it with a 1-ton, perfect setup and he did a nice job. Then last couple years it was a ten wheeler with 11 foot hiway plow and a wing. What are these clowns thinking? Is this the proper use of resources? The little trucks are still out plowing bigger roads than mine, yet they send a huge truck down through my development and can't plow the road because the turn is so tight. So, today absolutely takes the cake. They plowed with a grader. A HUGE grader! Of course they waited until there was a foot of snow on the ground. I left for work at 6:30 am, was already snowing, I come home at 6:00 pm and I'm dragging my undercarriage all the way home! One year we had 18 inches standing in the road before they got there. So tonight I plowed my own street when I got home, I don't like to but man let them say something to me. I am so sick of worrying about it. I have two little babies, and if something were to happen there is no way an ambulance or firetruck could get to my house. This is not a big town, with the money spent on the winter highway budget, it obviously has to be mismanagement. Where I used to live, they had it down to a science, the highway dept handled it with 5 trucks, big trucks on main roads, little trucks in the developments and intersections, and we always had the best roads around.
    Thanks for letting me vent.
  2. mkwl

    mkwl 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,362

    We have the same thing here in Northern, NJ. Our town sub's out all the streets, which usually only get plowed once at the end of the storm. Today, they plowed at 3pm, when the snow ended at noon, with a huge dumptruck and a 13' plow. They only plowed wide enough to pass 1 1/2 cars. Now the road is mostly hard packed snow with ice, but I don't care, my driveways are all clear. It's kind of sad how lazy towns are getting in terms of snow removal on PUBLIC ROADS.
  3. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    Iam suprised considering its New Hampshire, they are usually great up there all around. I cant blame you for plowing your street, I would have done the same thing, I dont care weather I should or not, I hate looking at badly plowed roads especially when its my own street. My town usually does an excellent job getting on the snow right away, for this 8" storm, they showed up twice which was good, I live on a big circle and they clear almost curb to curb with 4-5 passes. Still if I dont like something, I touch it up myself, iam not going to drive by and look at it on my own street. Then the people that shovel/snowblow back into the plowed street/parking lot:realmad: Driveby at 20 MPH and drop the plow, hopefully they are still outside and get hit with all the snow.
  4. VAhighwayman

    VAhighwayman Senior Member
    Messages: 155

    Well..I can't speak for all the highway depts., but it sounds to me that there is a lil bit of a supervisor problem there delegating the right equipt. to do the right job..down here we primarly use either IH 4700, and GMC's 7500 single axles with power angle 12 ft road plows to do it all..primary and secondary roads. I myself operate a Volvo G720 motor grader with a 12ft angle plow mounted on the front scarfier and the 12ft belly blade with carbide cutting edges..we also have a Volvo tandem dump that is used only on the primary roads and on the wider secondarys, the only problem we come across is that we can't be everywhere at once..and you know how impatient people can be..we also hire contractors to help use push snow and the use their own equipt and get paid very well. and actually..it's not the operators fault when he's sent to an sub division with cul de sacs and he has a big piece of equipt. but he should have the common sense enough to radio his headquaters and have a smaller truck dispatched..and just take care of the roads that he's able
  5. Detroitdan

    Detroitdan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,937

    yeah, I understand the impatience aspect, and I know how much work they have to do, but if it can't get done every few inches, and they can't utilize their people and equipment better, then that's their fault. This happens whether it's a big storm like yesterday, or a regular 4-6 snowfall. Another thing they do that aggravates me is after it's all said and done, when they do get around to it, they will go through with a sander, back up a few times and just bury the road with sand! I mean, we really don't need hardly any here, it's completely flat, but at least just spread a little to melt it off to blacktop. Then when I hear them say how much they had to spend on mix, it drives me nuts! They must have to go refill the sander every few minutes. I've never called to complain, I wouldn't even know who to call. I think a big part of the problem is they get a new guy to be road agent amost every year, and they hire all new subs every year, and nobody ever knows what they are doing. If I was in a different position with work I would run for the job, I'm sure with a leased loader and a couple dumptrucks and a few subs, I could do a better job of it. My first thing to do would be to sit down with a map and make a timeline. You know what, if you have all summer to look at that map and make plans, drive the routes, then it shouldn't be a total C/F come winter. But I won't ever run for it, because they don't pay their subs enough, so I doubt the road agent makes enough either.
  6. VAhighwayman

    VAhighwayman Senior Member
    Messages: 155

    Dan..your right...like I said..I can't speak for others...I can only speak for how we do things here..granted..they do sound like they need some major overhauling in training and hiring...and alot of the guys have a I don't care..I don't live on this street attitude..we in turn can't have that because these people around here are real quick with the phone and b**ch..and then we're called on the red carpet..if I was you..i'd start by calling your hiway supervisor and have him come out and look at the CF himself...and if that don't work..go up the rank ladder...what they are doing is assinine.
  7. Winter Land Man

    Winter Land Man Senior Member
    Messages: 723

    As far as I can see, it's usually only the State Highway Dept that does a great job.
  8. djlouieboom

    djlouieboom Junior Member
    Messages: 19

    my town sucks too but i wait for them to come by if im home and push the snow right back into the street with the plow hahaha they hate whewn i do that,.. in kearny there horrible i was at my other house there today and all they did was salt wtf kind of snow removal is that ?
  9. derekbroerse

    derekbroerse 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,377

    We actually called the town and complained here once a few years ago.

    They were making habit of running one truck behind another... fine except one is a salter and the other a plow. Guess which was leading??? The SALTER! 15 seconds behind, here comes the plow truck! :rolleyes: Absolute stupidity here.

    They also like to run the fleet after the roads are cleared. Great thing to do, plow your own sparks... :rolleyes:
  10. Exciteable

    Exciteable Member
    Messages: 38

    It's Kwame's fault...
    No, but seriously, get your "wording" right.
    The city of Detroit contracts out a lot of its snow removal. As do other municipalities.
    So, it's not "The Highway Department", it's private contractors.
    It is definately a private contractor if all they are using is pickups and small trucks.
  11. grassmanvt

    grassmanvt Senior Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 153

    Our state and town depts do an excellent job overall. As far as I'm concerned, they could scale it back a bit and save some money. But, everybody is too spoiled for that.
  12. Bandit

    Bandit Senior Member
    Messages: 146

    I Stopped by My House at 2:30 AM Sat. ( after plowing from 6:30 AM Fri., before parking the Company truck ) to clear the end of the driveway and My 10 Ft. Plow was hitting both sides of the Snow Banking , the Town used a F-250 to Plow the Road , and only opened up the center ???
    Bob :gunsfiring:
  13. Winter Land Man

    Winter Land Man Senior Member
    Messages: 723

    In some states contractors due a lot of a town's snow removal, and some have split the snow removal between 50/50 (such as Concord, Mass I think) but from what I see in NH they don't really send out contracts for plowing town roads.