Dubuque snowplow drivers training ahead of first snowfall

Published: Nov. 1, 2022 at 11:01 PM CDT
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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - The city of Dubuque put its snowplow drivers to the test with a snowplow simulator on Tuesday.

Drivers navigated obstacles like people walking across the street, emergency vehicles responding to accidents, and the challenges of maintaining control of a snow-covered road.

“I’m learning all the risks right now and getting to know what to look for,” said Willie Campbell, a City of Dubuque Public Works employee.

It’s Campbell’s first-time plowing streets for the city of Dubuque this winter. City leaders hoped this simulation wouldn’t just give him the training he needed, but also put the city in a position to cut down on accidents.

“A lot of damage claims that I see are about $5 to $6 thousand per car,” said Public Works Director John Klostermann.

According to the city, accidents don’t happen all that often. Over the past 12 months, a plow hit a trailer causing $125 in damage. Another plow damaged a piece of property. The cost of that accident hasn’t yet been determined. We reported in 2019 that the city paid more than $25,000 in damages for accidents involving 8-cars and a fence.

“We want to provide our employees with the best training, so when they face these conditions, they will have the skills to handle the situation,” said Klostermann.

The drivers will continue going through simulation training Wednesday. On Friday, Klostermann said the employees will learn route changes, and staffing information, and conduct dry runs of each route.