For the past couple of weeks, Teamsters Local 700 members that work for the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) have been preparing for their annual winter inspection. An equipment team from IDOT comes in to each yard to inspect the trucks to make sure they are winterized and ready to go for the upcoming snow season.
The IDOT Hillside yard is responsible for 22 trucks and 20 routes during the snow season. Joe Cozzi has been a steward Hillside for 14 years and says getting ready for inspection takes around two weeks to complete.
“We install all of the plows on the trucks and make sure the old plows are still in good, working order,” said Joe. “We fix old hoses, clean the beds in the trucks, install spreaders, install hoppers and tighten the chains. We come here to work and now we are ready to go for winter.”
The equipment team uses the following scoring measures:
91 – 100% = “exceeds” inspection standards
81 – 90% = “meets” inspection standards
80% and below = “unsatisfactory” inspection standards
The inspection team expects that all equipment should be clean and working properly. Points are deducted in each category of the inspection checklist that reflect otherwise. For example, any spreader control system that is not completely working properly will reduce the truck’s mechanical score by 50%.
The Hillside yard scored in the 90s across the board.
“The work that our IDOT members do is critical to public safety and they have proven their expertise every snow season,” said Teamsters Local 700 President Michael G. Melone. “When it comes to winter operations, they work really hard to prepare for the bad weather and they truly go the extra mile to be there for the people of Illinois.”