Driver gives up close look at plowing

MERCER, Pa. (WKBN) – PennDOT crews in Mercer County took WKBN 27 First News Reporter Julie Bercik on a ride in one of their plow trucks.

The trucks, now equipped with the latest technology, are ready to tackle whatever Mother Nature has planned.

John McGhee is a veteran PennDot worker with 22 years on the job. The trucks and the technology they are equipped with have changed over the years and now there are a lot of buttons and switches on his truck. He even plugs in how much mix will go onto the roads.

“Just depends on the condition of the road. What I want to set that at,” said McGhee.

While the mix is coating the road, McGhee turns on the wing plow to help move the snow farther back off the road.

The technology in the PennDOT trucks makes the driver’s jobs a bit easier, but they still have control of what’s going on.

“We still have control of like how much material we want to put down for the condition of the road, but yet we would not be overdoing it,” said McGhee.

PennDOT Mercer County Maintenance Manager Jeff Dunlap said the faster they go, the faster the auger and spinner go to compensate for the speed.

“The operator doesn’t have to adjust that at all,” said Dunlap.

McGhee said hitting the curves and hills of the district’s 34 snow routes takes a lot of practice before it becomes second nature. One of the biggest challenges are the other drivers on the road. When the snow is blowing, visibility in the truck isn’t the best.

“Watch out and don’t follow too close to us,” said McGhee.

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