Milw. Co. transportation employees put to the test in truck “roadeo”

MILWAUKEE — Whether they’re plowing snow or working on road construction projects, there’s always a level of risk for transportation employees. That’s why they always take some time to practice their skills.

“We’re out there on the freeway with like, 12 and eight foot plows, plus a wing hanging off your side doing 40 miles per hour trying to plow the roads,” highway maintenance worker Ian Badzinski said.

To provide ongoing safety training, the Milwaukee County Department of Transportation held its 6th Annual Truck Rodeo.

“We are concerned with safety. It’s really an important part of what we do,” Department of Transportation Secretary Frank Busalacchi said.

The event had a roll-over simulator to demonstrate the importance of wearing a seat belt, educational sessions and a vehicle inspection.

“One thing that drivers have to be able to do as a profession is to do a pre-trip inspection. We have a truck that’s set up with five things that are wrong that on a pre-trip inspection they are supposed to be able to identify,” Vice President of Risk Management for Aegis Corporation Vance Forrest said.

Plow drivers were also put to the test. They had nine obstacles they had to drive through and each one simulated a different real-world situation they may encounter.

“As they plow in the city there will be parked cars and they have to be able to swoop in and clean a spot where the cars aren’t. The barrels represent the cars, so you’re going to miss them, but you want to get in deep enough to hit those targets,” Forrest said.

It was a busy day of training to keep Wisconsin’s roads and runways safe, and keep Wisconsin moving. The Truck Rodeo training sessions continue through Thursday afternoon, May 17th.

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