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Ice, rain, & refreezing leads to long hours for salt crews around metro

Salt truck
Posted at 9:41 PM, Feb 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-06 23:27:49-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Rainy and icy conditions in the metro on Wednesday brought long hours and plenty of work for salt truck drivers around the region.

Many roads had slick conditions as crashes and accidents were reported throughout the day.

For drivers like Miles Jumps, getting a jump on the bad weather required pre-treating roads and parking lots.

“So far, it’s been kind of hectic,” he said. “Last night, we went out and did one round. Early this morning, we did another round.”

Jumps, who drives for Brummel Lawn & Landscape, said he filled up his truck with around 1,000 pounds of salt multiple times on Wednesday afternoon.

This time of year, he said the job often involved grueling hours working in cold conditions.

“If I can make it to 6 or 7 a.m. when the sun starts to come up, I’m okay,” he said. “When you get that 12-15 straight hours, that takes a toll on you.”

Drivers who spoke to 41 Action News noted that patches of rain throughout the day presented challenges with refreezing.

Some of the companies even needed to re-salt areas they had been to earlier this week.

“That’s the tough thing about this storm. It seems like it’s been real patchy,” said Brett Heath of Tree Trimming Plus. “It’s not like you can really predict it. You have to anticipate and plan ahead.”

Despite having to work long hours this time of year, he said his crews kept others in mind.

“It motivates you to make sure you take care of everybody the best you can,” Heath said. “You hate to see some of these accidents that you see on the highways. You don’t want to see anyone get hurt.”

With more bad winter weather expected to hit the metro this week, the salt truck drivers said they would continue to be ready to take on the ice and cold.

“We just kind of hang around and wait for the ice to start up again,” Jumps said. “We just watch our treatment. As soon as it washes off, we’re out again and going again.”