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Snow plow drivers reacquaint themselves with roads

Friday - 10/25/2013, 12:43pm  ET

snow plow (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)
Prince George's County snow plows made a dry run on Friday. (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)
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FORESTVILLE, Md. - Sure, it felt like like winter Friday as morning temperatures dipped into in the 30s and people bundled up in coats, gloves and scarves.

But snow plows on the roads?

Fear not, this is only a test.

Hundreds of workers in trucks and tech centers are doing a snow and ice dry run in Prince George's County.

"What we're doing is making sure that our equipment is operational, that our drivers are familiar with the routes, and we're also testing our computer equipment," said Darrell Mobley, the acting director of the county's Department of Public Works and Transportation.

The test involves more than 300 pieces of equipment on 1,800 miles of roadway.

"The dry run allows us to go out and get reacquainted with the vehicles and the routes," said Dave Howard, who drives a double crew cab dump truck.

"I look for steel plates in the roadways, any raised manholes or other utilities, you could have low-hanging lines or branches," he said.

"A lot of things change in a year."

Any trouble spots can be relayed back to headquarters via the new Automated Vehicle Location system.

The GPS device in trucks is particularly useful during an actual blizzard.

"It tells us if a driver has cleared a roadway. We're able to communicate that to our citizens," Mobley said.

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