State facing snowplow driver shortage as winter nears

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Already facing higher fuel and salt prices, the state of Connecticut is looking for snowplow drivers to fill a shortage as winter approaches.

The state department of transportation is seeking to hire nearly 140 more drivers to address a 13% driver shortage, The Day reported. DOT spokesperson Kafi Rouse told the newspaper the shortage is due to a recent spate of retirements and a shortage of applicants who have commercial driver’s licenses.

It can be difficult to recruit snowplow drivers because of unpredictable scheduling, Rouse said.

Kurt Hayes, owner of Hayes Services, a snow removal service in East Lyme, told The Day he has reduced his customer list due to supply shortages for snowplow parts.

Fuel prices have doubled and salt prices are up about 30%, said Rick Whittle, owner of Allied Snow Plowing Removal in Mystic. Whittle told the newspaper he has had to raise his prices by up to 15%.

“Sometimes it can snow three times in a week, so it’s unpredictable to everyone involved, from the salt guy to the plow guy to everyone,” Whittle said. “That’s what makes it hard.”

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