JOPLIN, MO.--- Skip Bailey has traveled down Southwest Missouri roads for years, but now he's preparing for something new.
"It's the first time I have been on that route, like I told you, and I've noticed some islands out there that I really need to pay attention to when a storm does come in," states Bailey.
He's one of more than 200 Missouri Department of Transportation workers completing an important run through of their assigned snow clearing routes for the winter.
"To make sure all of the equipment is ready to go before the storm hits, we want to make sure that the sanders work, the plows work, and everything good there," states Bailey.
Skip says an added benefit of today's drill is becoming more familiar with medians like the one you can see behind me, bridges, and other road structures along his snow plow route.
"We have Islands around the stop signs and around the stoplights and that's pretty hard to see when you have 6 inches of snow laying on top so the other reason of doing it is, so we can become familiar with those objects to make sure we don't tear them up or tear up our equipment from hitting them," states Bailey.
At the MoDot Southwest District Headquarters in Joplin, there's 21 plow trucks, 4,000 tons of salt, and 42 drivers, training to plow more than 6,000 miles of road this winter.
"When the time does come when we need to be out there pushing, now we will be ready," states Bailey.
MoDot maintenance workers will also complete a mandatory winter skills training that serves as a refresher course for snow plowing techniques.