CLEVELAND (WJW)– With the first winter storm passing through, the FOX 8 I-Team found the city of Cleveland already struggling to keep enough crews on your streets to clear snow and ice.
We found some Cleveland plow truck drivers hired for the winter are not on the job yet and a number of trucks already out of service due to mechanical issues.
This week, an I-Team camera took a peek inside a city maintenance garage. We saw several trucks with plows.
Cleveland Public Works Director Michael Cox confirmed a few trucks were already out of service before the storm, and Monday, more went down. Three of those had major problems.
Mechanics have been scrambling to fix trucks and get replacements rolling. Cox pointed out those already out of service are used for other city work during the summer and fall, and sometimes they break down while being used for that other work.
Cox said most repairs needed are minor, but not all.
“Could be a hydraulic line that breaks. Could be a major issue, could be transmission goes out. Again, we’re running these trucks 24-hour a day,” Cox said.
We’re also investigating the number of plow drivers.
This week, we found the city of Cleveland employment website showed openings for plow truck drivers. The city is still taking applications from people who want a job driving a snow plow. When we called, a woman in the human resources department told us there’s still time to apply for a full-time job for the winter.
We asked the public works director why those people didn’t get hired earlier?
“I don’t know what the website says, but we hired 93 seasonal drivers,” he said.
Cox said all plow drivers have been hired. But, 16 don’t start until Sunday. He said plow drivers working overtime are making sure all streets get covered including your block.
Cox said the city started getting ready for winter early. Started bringing on groups of plow truck drivers in waves. But this week’s bad weather hit before they all started on the job.