COOPERSVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — The annual APWA Midwest Michigan Snowplow Roadeo was held Thursday, with teams of professional and guest drivers weaving through a course of cones in Coopersville.
“We want people to know that we’re committed, we’re here for them. We care about the work that we do and we are prepared for the upcoming winter because our families drive on the roads, too,” Kentwood Public Works Director John Gorney said.
A total of 28 teams participated. There were also several guests — including Storm Team 8 meteorologist Sara Flynn, who got behind the wheel after a brief training seminar.
“Once they get in the truck, they realize what the drivers really see, and it’s difficult to see,” said Gorney.
The course consisted of seven segments aimed at replicating real-world plow routs, with cones set up for drivers to dodge and weave between.
One goal was to show how hard it is to operate snowplows. Gorney said keeping an eye out for mailboxes, pedestrians and cars is no simple task but the public can help make the grueling task a bit easier.
“Give us room. We’re trying to make the roads safe for you to travel, so give us some room. Stay back. Don’t try to pass the trucks when they’re plowing snow and just slow down,” he said.
Gorney said the city of Grand Rapids is well-prepared and well-staffed for the winter months.
“I know that some of the other communities are struggling, struggling to look for people. There are a couple opportunities for staffing,” Gorney said.