Plow drivers show off skills in ‘Roadeo’

Connecticut

WALLINGFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Some of the best municipal plow drivers from around the state showed off their skills in Wallingford Thursday morning.

The skills they developed for the competition should help keep you – and your mailbox – safe this winter.

Each part of the timed course is designed to simulate the challenges of plowing snow on a town or city street. Some cones you’re supposed to knock over. Some cones you’re not supposed to knock over. If you think parallel parking your car is tough, try this.

“It is a lot tougher,” said Connecticut Association of Street & Highways Officials vice-president and event organizer Jeff Schambach. “You have blind spots, you have spots that you can’t see. The object of this is for the drivers to know their vehicles.”

We’re talking about all kinds of vehicles, from jeeps and pickups all the way up to the big ten-wheelers. DPW crews from all over the state come here to show off their skills. It serves a good purpose.

“Well, the benefit to all the municipalities is to know that your municipality, your particular town or city, is interested in safety,” explained CASHO’s Bruce Kolwicz, who ran the competition for years.

CASHO, along with Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management Agency, has run the Roadeo for at least 35 years. It is a real competition, with trophies in every category. I asked if they’ve ever had a scandal with PEDs – plow enhancing devices. Or maybe shaving an inch or two off their plows for an advantage.

“No, I don’t think so,” Kolwicz said. “Many of our drivers are big men and I don’t think they’re shaving anything off.”

The best drivers from this competition have gone on to compete at the national level, but mostly, the Roadeo is about local bragging rights.

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