Afternoon storms are tricky for salt truck drivers - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Afternoon storms are tricky for salt truck drivers

DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- Salt trucks are working on roads all over eastern Iowa after Wednesday's ice storm. The problem with storms like the Wednesday's is they start in the afternoon, and that creates problems for city drivers.

With overnight snowstorms, trucks have the roads nearly to themselves, but on days like Wednesday, they've had to battle a lot more people.

When winter weather starts in the afternoon, many people leave work, and salt trucks hit the road. The problem is those two things are often at the same time.

Paul Davis has been driving Dubuque salt trucks through ice and snow for 24 years. Right now, he considers himself lucky to work nights.

"When I come in at midnight, there isn't anyone on the streets except for your tavern crowd usually. So you can get a lot of work done. You don't have to deal with the traffic and people getting in your way," Davis said.

Ice is particularly tricky to deal with.

"There's been times the ice gets so bad, the guys actually back up through their routes," Davis said.

With trucks having trouble already, drivers say the best thing you can do is stay back so everyone can get around..

"If you see a salt truck going up the street, don't think you're going to beat them and pull out in front of them because there's no way your car's going to go up one of these hills in Dubuque any faster than I can go up with these salt trucks," Davis said. "What'll happen, cars will get struck and then trucks will get stuck behind them and it sets everybody back."

Davis says other things you can do are park in your driveway and just avoid the roads if you can.

Drivers say trucks usually chain up for ice storms, but Davis says it's not always easy. He says for stopping, it can be like having a pair of ice skates on a 40,000 pound truck.

Online Reporter: Jamie Grey

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