What it Takes to Be One of Colorado’s Awesome Snowplow Drivers
Here's a big shout out to the snowplow drivers across the state of Colorado. Thank you for the work you do. What does it take to become a snowplow driver in Colorado?
Welcome to the great state of Colorado. Just 24 hours ago the state was setting new records for snowfall. Today, in Grand Junction, its sunny, not a cloud in the sky, and as of 3:05 p.m., nearly 60 degrees.
Weather can change in an instant around here.
That's how we roll in Colorado. Sunny one minute, a snow storm the next. Thankfully, we have an amazing crew of snowplow drivers located around the state.
How many snowplow drivers are out there?
As we geared up for the weekend's storm, I visited COtrip.org and counted the number of snowplows standing ready. I counted 196 plows and their drivers ready to roll into action.
So, what does it take to become a snowplow operator?
When it comes to those behind the wheel of a snowplow, what qualifications do they possess? To my mind, that would be a scary job. A person would have to be very skilled in order to work their way through fresh snow at these elevations.
According to CDOT's official webpage, qualifications include:
- Class A or B commercial driver's license (CDL) for Colorado
- heavy equipment operator
- heavy labor experience
- May be required to pass a controlled substance test (i.e. drug test), and DOT physical through our medical provider.
- Must be willing to respond to emergencies outside regular work hours and work overtime including weekends and holidays.
- May be required to live within thirty (30) minutes’ driving time, under normal weather conditions, of where the work station and/or equipment is located.
Do snowplow drivers get rich?
Not really. These jobs, all of which are categorized as "seasonal," pay at the rate of $23 per hour.
I conducted a quick search and did not see any current listings for available jobs as a snowplow driver with CDOT.
Thank you for what you do.
Here's a big shout-out to you, Colorado snowplow driver. Plowing the 5th Street Bridge in Grand Junction seems dangerous enough. Plowing I-70 over the passes? Forget it. A person could fly the Space Shuttle easier than plowing those passes. Thanks again for the incredible work.