Whether it's the middle of the day or the middle of the night, where there's snow to be plowed, you'll find Ron Curran.
??When you're a sander operator, you're on call 24 hours,?? said Curran.
It sounds like a non-stop schedule, but it's a job he enjoys, which is why he's been doing it for 42 years and said he doesn't mind being on call.
??I've been called out four different times in a day, like 3:00 in the morning and you work until 3:00 at night,?? Curran said. ??Then you go home for a half hour and you're called out again. I only get about five hours of sleep at night anyway. I enjoy the job, and that's why I??ve been here so long.??
Once he's called out, he hits the roads right away, starting with the highways and moving towards the back roads. But it isn't easy work, and he has to be very trusting with other drivers.
??It??s difficult because you can never tell what a driver's going to do,?? Curran said. ??They pass you on the right, they pass you on the left. I??ve had three major accidents; couple of head-on collisions and one hit the sander from behind. Nobody was hurt, though.??
And there's always the risk of something going wrong with the truck.
??We??ve had tires go flat, wiring, lights go out. When it's a really cold day, that's when the mechanics come out there and fix the truck outside; it's hard on them,?? Curran said.
The truck Ron uses is what's known as a quad-axle truck, which is the largest at the Dickinson County Road Commission, and can hold 20 tons of salt. While that seems extremely large, Ron said there have been times he??s had to use two truckloads full of salt and sand a day. Despite sometimes having to plow in the middle of the night, Ron said he wouldn't want to be anywhere else and that it's about more than just plowing snow.
??I just like helping the public. I love plowing snow, I love sanding, and I look at it as I??m saving lives every day I do this,?? Curran said.