Road commissions in Metro Detroit scramble for snow plow drivers due to shortage

Oakland, Macomb Counties share how they plan to keep roads clear despite staffing challenges

There are job openings for plow drivers in Metro Detroit.

Like it or not, the snow is going to fall sooner rather than later and it has county road commissions in Metro Detroit scrambling. They need plow drivers and lots of them.

In Macomb County they have the salt and equipment -- they just need the drivers.

On a scale of 1 to 10 Leo Ciavatta, maintenance superintendent Macomb County Department of Roads said the need for drivers is about 8.5, but it could be worse.

“If you were going to tell me that we’re going to have 12 inches of snow every day it’d be a 12. At this point, we’re going to address the issues that are going to rise this quarter with what we have,” Ciavatta said.

The same goes for the Road Commission of Oakland County. It’s the largest county road system in the state with 2,700 miles of road to cover.

“We do have the majority of our staff and we have contingency plans. We have plans for people who work in offices for example, that have CDL, commercial driver’s license to go into trucks if needed,” Craig Bryson, senior communications manager for the road commission, said.

It isn’t ideal, but it’s what’s going to help them keep roads clear? Typically, they would have a waiting list to pull new drivers from, but Bryson said the market is just different now.

“There’s a lot of private companies. There are a lot more truck drivers with Amazon, everybody else delivering things. There’s a lot greater need and a lot of those companies are able to pay huge signing bonuses. It’s very competitive,” Bryson said.

Macomb County was able to increase its entry-level pay from $15 an hour to $17 an hour. To apply, click here.

“If we could have another 20 to 25 drivers on the road it makes our life a lot easier during prolonged snowstorms,” Ciavatta said.

Oakland County is looking to fill 10 more full-time and 20 part-time positions. For more information, click here.

About the Author:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.