- Massachusetts towns are offering snowplow drivers up to $310 an hour, government records show.
- Contractors are competing for workers with commercial driver’s licenses amid the trucker shortage.
- A snowplow driver shortage could cause school delays come winter, an official told The Boston Globe.
Massachusetts towns are offering snowplow drivers up to $310 an hour as officials worry that the national driver shortage could cause school delays and road closures this winter.
“Considering that you have to bring your truck and have to stay up all night and have to be prepared, and the truck has to be running, I think it’s pretty reasonable,” Chelmsford resident Mike Ruby told NBC Boston.
Snowplow drivers licensed to operate commercial vehicles such as construction loaders will make the most come storm season. Contractors and construction companies that have supplied snowplow drivers and equipment to towns in the past are competing for workers with CDLs amid the truck driver shortage, The Boston Globe reported.
Watertown, a suburb 20 minutes outside of Boston, is offering hourly wages ranging from $86 to $310, depending on the type of equipment used, government documents show. The town’s hourly salary for a “snow melter” is listed at a whopping $5,500 — but the required machine can cost up to $3 million.
Lowell is offering $85 an hour for pick-up truck drivers with snowplows and up to $155 an hour for wheel loader drivers with a 12-foot plow, per the city’s website.
In central Massachusetts, Worcester’s snowplow application offers “extended season rates” that pay an additional $10 an hour for drivers who plow before December 1 or after April 1, bringing its highest-paid position to $190 an hour.
On Cape Cod, Sandwich lists hourly rates as high as $135 an hour.
The wage increases are an attempt to prevent last year’s snowplow driver shortage, which closed major roads across the state. While many schools were still virtual last winter, a shortage this year could force school delays and risk additional interruptions to in-person instruction.
Jim Stanford, North Andover’s director of public works, told The Globe that school disruptions are “the biggest fear” motivating the hiring push.