Plowing Through: We ride with the crews

LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. - Crews all over Kansas City have been on the roads for hours trying to keep drivers safe from a slick and wintry mess. Kenny Davis of Lee's Summit let us ride along in his plow Thursday afternoon.

"It's not gonna be a smooth ride!" Kenny laughed.

His plow pushed a lot of slushy mess off of the street in a post-snow sunny afternoon, but that bottom layer wouldn't budge.

"The part that has been driven on and packed down, my plow can't cut that." he said. "That's where we depend on the salt to come in and do its job behind us."

At a push of a button, the salt spreader went to work, spreading more salt the faster he drove. Davis said his truck is set to drop anywhere from 200 to 500 pounds of salt per mile. In Lee's Summit, a few dozen crews take care of 1,200 lane miles. For Davis, technology has certainly changed his job.

"We used to swing by every 30 minutes and say where we've been," he said. "Or we would radio back. Now it is down to a science."

That science can be seen bottled up in a tiny tube attached to his plow. A sensor sends back a signal not only telling city officials where their drivers are and when, but iit can even show whether or not the plows are down and the salt is falling.

"It helps us and it haunts us," Davis laughed.

The bonus comes when someone has a question about the care of their street. If drivers have been there, the proof is on the plow, recorded down to the minute.

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