Have you ever wondered what is would be live to drive a big snowplow or sweep sweeper? I interviewed a Scotia Department of Public Words (DPW) employee, Andy Boniewski, about the jobs they do every day and about the equipment they use in Scotia. Andy has worked for Scotia DPW for 21 years. The trucks the workers use there are International diesel trucks. They have a street sweeper, a snow blower to mount on a front loader, snow plows and other trucks.
The village trains the public works drivers. Andy likes working outside in nice weather and enjoys doing a variety of different things. He does not like working in the rain or cold. His everyday jobs including checking streets for downed trees and checking for water leaks, sinkholes, and potholes.
To keep our streets clean, snow plow drivers sometimes work for 16-hour shifts and are on call 24 hours a day. A hard thing about driving a snowplow is staying alert to watch for parked cars, curbs and pedestrians. The older snowplow trucks have controls that are hard to move so the snowplow operators will sometimes have sore arms.
It takes about 10 minutes to mount the plows on the trucks. It takes about one hour to put on salt and sand spreader. The large snow blower can fill a dump truck with wet, heavy snow in less than a minute. It is so strong is can chew up a muffler. When a truck is full, workers take it to Collins Park and dump it at least 500 feet away from the lake so that the lake stays clean.
When asked how people can help snowplow drivers, Andy said they should not shovel or plow into the road. Placing snow in the road is illegal and dangerous. Public works drivers work hard for our communities. We can help them by not putting snow in the road.
Ben Kimble is a fifth-grader at Schenectady Christian School