"It's a collaboration." County road crews say they are prepped and ready for the winter storm

Posted at 9:01 AM, Feb 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-02 09:01:37-05

(WXYZ) — While the plow drivers are the ones out on the roads, the mechanics in the garages are the ones that keep the wheels spinning and the salt spreading.

From sharpening the blades to fixing welds and topping off fluids and checking the brakes and lights, these trucks are going to be going through the ultimate stress test—plowing 2700 miles of county road and 230 miles of state highway.

"This is brutal on the trucks," Road Commission for Oakland County said. "They're running for 24 hours a day and in this case probably multiple days in a row. Probably 3 to 4 days to get everything cleaned up so it's very tough on the trucks."

Oakland County will have just over 100 plows working during the peak of the storm with drivers pulling 16-hour shifts with 5 hours of rest. They'll also have graders out on dirt roads and heavy-duty pickup trucks plowing the subdivisions as well.

"Please give the big orange trucks plenty of room to do their job. Don't try to pass them on the right-hand side. Don't tailgate. There's salt coming out of the back of the trucks at a pretty good rate," Bryson said.

Over in Wayne County, they're prepping the same way Oakland County is, making sure the trucks are ready to roll.

Oakland County is responsible for 1,500 miles including the freeways. They're also responsible for subdivisions when the snow exceeds 6 inches.

"It's a collaboration," Wayne County Director of Public Services Beverly Watts said. "The mechanics are very key and vital to this entire operation our mechanics have really been working overtime since last Monday."

At the height of the storm, they'll have about 90 trucks out.

Just like other garages, they're making sure the hydraulic lines, salt spreaders, and everything down to the windshield wiper blades are ready to perform at peak performance.

"It's going to be a very long time period for the drivers and for the trucks."

Macomb County will have about 70 trucks out on the roads and will split that number down to about 35 when drivers start pulling those 16-hour shifts.