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Ride along with Cass County snowplow driver

CASS COUNTY, Mich. -- As he worked to clear the 12+ inches of snow falling in Cass County on Friday, Keith Hershberger explained how we can help snowplow drivers like him clear the roads in the safest and most effective way.

“We try to treat everybody fairly,” said Hershberger, who has worked for the Cass County Road Commission for the last six years. “And everybody counts.”

On snowy days like Friday, Hershberger climbs into his truck and doesn’t stop driving.

He’s been plowing snow in Cass County for as long as he’s worked for the commission.

“Everybody tries their hardest,” Hershberger said. “Everybody takes pride in what they do out here. It’s our families too that travel the roads.”

The job is repetitive, calls for constant focus, and requires quick reflexes to juggle the equipment.

Hershberger’s truck is equipped with three plows – the large one on the front of the truck, a smaller one on the side that acts as a wing and helps plow more snow, and the all-important underbelly plow that really helps keep the roads clear.

During our ride along, Hershberger explained that snowplow drivers need us to cooperate as much as we need them to.

He said it really helps to always drive with your headlights on if snow is falling.

If you’re clearing your driveway, Hershberger said it’s best to put the snow on your lawn, instead of in the road.

And be sure to pull your garbage can in, so it doesn’t get swept away in the cloud of snow the plow creates.

Storms like Friday’s mean constant rounds for plow drivers to just keep up. Hershberger worked a 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. shift.

He said staying far behind every plow you see is important because it will keep everyone safe and moving.

“A lot of people are in a hurry and I understand that, but if they could give us a little more room behind us, so if we got to stop or correct something, we got time to make that happen,” Hershberger said.

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