AMES, Iowa -- You may not be ready to think about winter just yet, but the Iowa Department of Transportation is.
"October 15th is, in our world, the first day of winter. According to our policy, we have to have a certain percentage of our equipment ready to go, and handle any type of winter weather that should occur at that time," says Iowa DOT Winter Operations Director Craig Bargfrede.
He says crews are busy getting blades and plows installed on trucks, and training people to remove snow and ice.
Bargfrede says preparations are being done as they deal with a worker shortage.
"We are experiencing some challenges just like you're seeing in other areas of transportation and other businesses. Looking for those workers, primarily those that carry commercial drivers licenses to augment our full-time staff," he says.
Bargfrede also says supply issues effecting businesses across the country is being felt by the Iowa DOT as it gets ready for winter.
"Some of our newer trucks coming into the fleet, that typically we see by now, we're probably going to be well into winter or close to the first of the year before we see them actually physically arrive," he says.
Bargfrede says they're also having a hard time getting parts for trucks and other equipment already in the DOT's fleet.
He says supply and transportation issues haven't effected the DOT's ability to get sand and salt for the season--that bins and other storage areas are full.