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INDOT prepares equipment for winter months

ELKHART, Ind. – The Indiana Department of Transportation prepares for the winter months all year long. In October, crews began annual pre-winter inspections.

Throughout the month, INDOT inspectors will make their way around Northeast Indiana to the 14 unit locations in the Fort Wayne District.

On Thursday, crews will inspect the snow and ice vehicles at the Elkhart unit.  

INDOT Spokesperson Nichole Hacha-Thomas explained the importance of pre-winter inspections for winter vehicles.

“We want to ensure that while they have been in storage over spring, summer, and fall months that they are in working order and ready to go when we have that first snow,” she said.

Inspectors fully examine INDOT’S yellow trucks. Examiners look for mechanical defects, especially in the trucks’ steering, brakes and engines.

As the equipment is being inspected, INDOT is preparing drivers for snow and ice driving. Drivers also familiarize themselves with their personal snow routes before winter weather hits.

“Our plow trucks and winter equipment take a beating over the winter months. They can be used 24 hours a day, 7 days a week depending on the weather pattern,” said Hacha-Thomas.

The Fort Wayne District is responsible for 140 snow routes in Northeast Indiana; that’s 4,800 lane miles of roadway, 525 lane miles of interstate and 742 state bridges.

INDOT’S winter preparation doesn’t start in October; the agency takes action immediately after a winter season ends.

Supplies are ordered and drivers are trained and hired all year for the winter months.

“We are working on that that all year long again so that as soon as soon as the first flurry makes its debut, we’re ready to jump in the trucks and go,” Hacha- Thomas explained.

In order to make roads safer, INDOT also wants to remind drivers to prepare their own vehicles ahead of the winter season.

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