(11-4-22) Mercer County Engineer employees participated in a Snow Plow Rodeo on Nov. 1st, held at the Mercer County Fairgrounds.

Every other year Mercer County Engineer snow and ice control crews participate with their counterparts from Allen and Auglaize counties in competitions testing their skills against others in their profession.

The activity allows the crews to network with others in the region about snow and ice control, safety and other county engineer work efforts.  The three counties (Allen, Auglaize and Mercer) involved take turns hosting the event.

Mercer County Team – 1st Palce

This year, the Mercer County Team A came in first place, with Allen County Team A coming in second.  In the individual snow plow competition, Mercer County’s Tony Knapke, Derrick Harter and Todd Freeman placed 1st ,2nd and 3rd, respectively.

Equipment rodeo results are as follows:  1st Place Backhoe Basketball: Jeff Steinke (Auglaize County), 1st Place Backhoe Bowling: Dusty Messner (Mercer County), and 1st Place Skid Loader: Joel Etgen (Auglaize County).

Mercer County Engineer Jim Wiechart

“Part of the day involves competition and displaying individual skills in snow and ice control, as well as other equipment operation. Another part of the day involves a training and safety program.  I think the most important part of the day for the guys is the ability to communicate and share what is working and what is not working in their operations with others in the region.”

We want to thank Adam & Firas, with Howard T. Moriarty for their safety presentation and David, with OHIO811 for his presentation on the OUPS call in process.  Thank you also, to Joe and Brandon, with Southeastern Equipment for the use of your equipment to use in our competition.  And, thank you to all the vendors & sponsors who participated in this event.

            Wiechart offers the following guidelines for motorists to follow as they travel this winter season:

            ·If you have to travel during hazardous conditions, use common sense and adjust your speed to surrounding road conditions and slow down.

            ·When following a snowplow, be vigilant and stay back far enough so you can be seen in the snowplow driver’s mirrors.  All snowplows have starting and stopping points on their routes and at times unexpected backing by the truck may be necessary.

            ·Many of the township and county road pavements are one-lane or narrower.  Never attempt to pass from behind in these circumstances.

            ·When approaching a snowplow coming toward you on a typical two-lane road, give some room to those large trucks and pull over as far as you safely can.  The tip of the blade usually is at or around the centerline of the pavement.

            ·Be vigilant at intersections and provide plenty of room.  Plows may have to clear the edges of the radius of the intersection of snow and ice, which require many forward and reverse operations at the intersection area.

            ·Keep track of the road conditions and advisories issued by the Mercer County Sheriff.