Private Plow Operators Rejoice At Snowfall Totals 2-21-2011 - WNEM TV 5

Private Plow Operators Rejoice At Snowfall Totals 2-21-2011

While this snowstorm is an inconvenience for most people, it's a Godsend for others.
Those private snowplow drivers who use the storm to supplement their income are very happy to see the inches pile up. WNEM TV5's Craig McMorris caught up with one of those business owners.
The sounds of plow blades scraping is music to the ears of Rob Garpiel and to the workers he employs.
"It’s putting 30 people to work, right now, that otherwise would be collecting unemployment," said Garpiel, president of Garpiel Landscaping.
Most of the year his company makes sure yards and lawns of homes and businesses are beautiful, but that's not possible when Old Man Winter lives in Mid-Michigan for long months at a time.
Garpiel made it back into town to help out his drivers. What a difference in locations for him in the past 24 hours.
"Yesterday at this time I was in sunny Tampa, Florida, with 75 degrees on my back and now I’m here in the snow,” said Garpiel.
As of Monday morning, his team of drivers had been hard at work plowing parking lots and driveways across the city.
"We deployed every truck, and our team of 30, at midnight,” said Garpiel. “With the wind kicking up, and with the blowing and the drifting, I suspect we'll be out quite a while."
Snowplow drivers like Garpiel hope we get a couple more storms like this one before spring officially gets here.
"We have the stockpile for the salt, and obviously, if we don't use it, we have to carry that inventory over to next year and so it would be nice to get rid of it," Garpiel said.
Snowplow operators said that with this type of snowstorm, folks have to be a little more patient than your everyday snowstorm.
"Be patient in these events when we get 6 to 8 inches of snow,” pleaded Garpiel. “It takes a lot longer to get it cleared and it seems like we have a decent ice pack underneath the snow. Just watch out for the guys driving the trucks."
If you're wondering how much snowplow drivers make, a check of the Internet shows positions across Michigan go from about $10 to $18 per hour.
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