SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Clearing the city streets of snow takes a lot of people. We often see plow drivers out on city streets, but some behind-the-scenes people make their job possible.
Trucks, graders, plows, and giant snow blowers. It takes all sorts of equipment to keep the city streets clear of snow. A team of mechanics is working 24 hours a day to keep the city’s fleet of snow removal equipment up and running.
“We are 10 p.m. to 10 a.m., and the next shift comes in, and they work 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.,” said Tanner Corbin.
As you can imagine clearing the streets of snow and ice is hard on equipment. Things break.
Corbin is the Lead Mechanic for the City of Sioux Falls. So how busy is he right now?
A phone rings, “Fleet, this is Tanner.”
A phone call interrupts our interview, but when you are trying to get equipment back on the roads for cleanup, you do what you must.
I’ll send somebody to the part shop to come to pick that thing up,” Corbin told the person on the other end of the phone call.
A lot of the work they are doing right now includes changing plow blades and replacing parts broken when metal meets concrete. Corbin says like the plow drivers, the mechanics know what they are doing is essential.
“We’ve got a lot of snow and a lot of long hours, but that’s kind of the hard part about it is, you know, we know we do this for a purpose, and it just kind of drives us, but keeping all the equipment up that’s quite a challenge,” said Corbin.
Two dozen mechanics and technicians maintain more than 400 vehicles and pieces of equipment.
“They love their job, and they love what they do. It’s great to see that you know how much they take pride in their work,” said Street Operations Manager Dustin Hansen.
The city has 55 sander trucks with plows and 40 road graders. They also hire about a dozen graders from contractors during clean-up.