HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – With the winter season not too far ahead, plowing companies are already taking action by increasing their staffing.
“We’re just under 50 people, in a snow storm we roll about 25 vehicles in different directions, taking care of snow-related stuff,” said Bill Golaski, General Manager of G&H Landscaping.
22News found out about the preparations being made by G&H landscaping and what steps are being taken to ensure their readiness. “One of the big things we try to do is put our equipment away in the spring so that it’s in good shape before we put it out for the season. Last several years we have had a lot of early storms, so if you prepare your stuff just before the season, you may not be ready for that early storm,” explained Golaski.
Those hired and continue to be either by commercialized companies or MassDOT will require a Commercial Driver’s License or CDL to drive a vehicle that’s more than 26,000 pounds. They will also need to pass both a medical exam and a road test. Golaski says that when they sign on, they offer bonuses and pay rates between $25 to $30 an hour to attract more drivers.
“MassDOT runs this message every year in hopes of garnering interest from vendors. We do not have a target number that if we reach, we’ll stop accepting applications. We take all qualified vendors and use them as needed depending on the snow event,” said Kristen Pennucci, MassDOT Communications Director.
Springfield DPW Director Chris Cignoli told 22News he’s added some financial sweeteners to attract the number of snow plow drivers he’ll need to get the job done, “”Our goal is about 150 this year. That’s over the past three, four, five years. The goal might be a little out of sight this year. We’re trying to get well over 100. Last year we were able to get 110-115.”
The Springfield DPW Director hopes to have all the plowing slots filled by the time the first storm hits the Pioneer Valley.
This winter, residents can rest assured that their roads will be maintained as the amount of plow drivers increases.