Harsh Winter Conditions Mean Long Hours For Road Employees - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Harsh Winter Conditions Mean Long Hours For Road Employees

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INGHAM COUNTY, Mich. (WLNS) - This season winter preparation has become a daily routine for workers at the Ingham County Road Commission.

"They've worked virtually everyday for 12 to 14 hours, a lot of weekends. They've really demonstrated their commitment to keeping the roads safe," said Bill Conklin, Managing Director, Ingham County Road Commission.

While it's been a brutal winter for these workers, it's also been tough on the trucks they drive.

Combine the snow, harsh winds and sub-zero temperatures and this equipment doesn't stand a chance.

"With the cold weather and how much snow we're getting, it's just, it's just the way it is," said Matt Westrate, Mechanic, Ingham County Road Commission.

When road crews get called in mechanics do too, because something is bound to break.

"There's never a bay in here that's open. Sometimes I'll work on 7 or 8 trucks a day, just to keep them on the road. Same with everybody else here. It's a revolving door," said Westrate.

All the up-keep on these trucks keeps mechanics from routine maintenance.

Managing Director Bill Conklin says some of these trucks are two decades old.

If they could, they'd replace half the fleet.

"On average our frontline plow trucks are about 14 years old and are approaching 200,000 miles," said Conklin.

One of these trucks costs more than $150,000 and this winter already stretched the county's budget thin.

In the meantime these mechanics will keep working long hours to repair these worn-out trucks.

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