Utah snow plow drivers prepare for winter, some want a calm year

Nov 16, 2023, 7:00 PM

FILE: Snow plows remove the snow in Big Cottonwood Canyon. Some snow plow drivers in Utah are looki...

FILE: Some snow plow drivers in Utah are looking forward to a new snow season, and hopeful it will be as good as the 2023-2024 season. Others are hoping for a calmer year. (Scott G. Winterton/Deseret News)

(Scott G. Winterton/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — It’s almost that time of year again — snow plow drivers are getting ready to hit the roads. And some said they wouldn’t mind another winter like last year.

From new drivers to 20-year veterans like Park City Shed Supervisor Morgan McCarthy, last year was like none other.

“I mean we’ve had good snow years in the past, but last year you never got a break,” McCarthy said.

There are pros and cons to both big and small winters. McCarthy said it’s more fun to plow a bunch of snow at once, but winters like last year can be a lot to handle. The record snowfall last year made McCarthy feel like he was working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with 13- to 14-hour shifts.

“You’re not home a lot,” he said. “You live at the shed. I mean you go home and sleep for a couple hours then you’re back to work.”

Still, McCarthy said he’s fine with however much snow falls this year.

“Keep Utah moving, that’s what it’s about.”

But last year was hard enough that some newer drivers quit. One driver who works in the Cottonwood canyons said he wants a little bit less snow, so they’re not literally digging themselves out like last year.

However, most seemed indifferent and said they’re ready for whatever comes this winter. Jake Brown is a roadway operations manager with the Utah Department of Transportation. Brown is one of several plow drivers who enjoy moving a lot of snow at once.

“Oh man we live for this stuff, bring it on,” he said. “Last winter when you get a good heavy snow and you’re plowing snow, that’s what these guys live for.”

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Utah snow plow drivers prepare for winter, some want a calm year