Wood County snowplow drivers brave the cold PDF Print E-mail
Written by PETER KUEBECK Sentinel Staff Writer   
Tuesday, 07 January 2014 10:09
John Ziegler is a snow plow driver based at the Wood County Highway Garage in Bowling Green, Ohio. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
John Ziegler knows first-hand the perils of wintry weather: when others are safe at home watching the snow fall and drift, he's out in it.
Ziegler is one of more than 20 truck operators at the Wood County Highway Garage, and has been plowing the area's highways and byways for 17 winters.
"Of course, I always compare everything to the Blizzard (of '78)," he said of the wintry conditions he's experienced over the years.
For the past 15 years of his tenure, Ziegler has plowed Liberty Hi Road, Bishop Road, Poe Road and Bowling Green Road West.
A North Baltimore resident, Ziegler noted that Monday's conditions made it difficult to keep roads clear. He said that no sooner had one road been cleared than it was "plugged shut" by the blowing and drifting snow.
On Monday, the drivers had at times been plowing in tandem in an effort to keep the roads navigable.
"It's nasty out there," he said, "but it wasn't as bad nearly as what I was expecting," noting that he was prepared for full white-out conditions.
Indeed, Ziegler said that the biggest challenge in driving one of the imposing county plow trucks is visibility.
"Just being able to see, most of the time, or (keeping) the windshield clear" he said.
However, it's not the conditions that Ziegler has to worry about the most on the road, but the other drivers.
"Mainly other people," he said, "whether them pulling out in front of me, or me pulling out in front of them because of visibility."
Ironically, it was an enjoyment of winter weather that brought Ziegler - who also farms corn, beans and wheat outside of North Baltimore - to drive a plow.
"I just always liked the snow, for the most part," he said, noting he was an avid snowmobiler in past years.
And, Ziegler said, he enjoys the autonomy of driving the plow.
"As far as plowing snow, you're kind of like your own boss when you're" alone in the truck.

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