Inside the NTTA Snow Plow Simulator

NTTA says it's better to own plows and be prepared

By Catherine Ross
|  Thursday, Dec 8, 2011  |  Updated 4:21 PM CDT
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NTTA is using simulators to train drivers on brand new snow plows.

Catherine Ross, Plano Journalist

NTTA is using simulators to train drivers on brand new snow plows.

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For the first time, the North Texas Tollway Authority is investing in snow plows.

Nine plows, costing about $10,000 each, have been outfitted to existing NTTA trucks.

Officials say a major storm last February was a contributing factor in the decision.

However, with new equipment, comes new challenges.

“Most of the drivers around here have never operated snow plows before,” said Eric Hemphill, NTTA director of maintenance.

Drivers must go through simulated training, getting in practice before their skills are tested during the season’s first snow or ice storm.

“It’s not just an eye opener for you,” said Derek McCollum, NTTA driver. “It’s an eye opener for our customers who travel our roadways.”

After making the investment, the NTTA is confident the decision will pay off down the road.

“There’s one thing I can guarantee,” said Hemphill. “If it snows this year, they will be used.”

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