MINNEAPOLIS - Minnesotans know there is nothing nice about commuting in snow and ice, but MnDOT plow driver Tim Mygren hopes you also know something else.
"I know it gets frustrating but we get frustrated just like you guys do," Nygren said.
Except he knows those frustrations are often competing. When KARE 11 rode along in Nygren's plow on Tuesday afternoon, there were plenty of examples of drivers who followed too close and then narrowly sped past. Nygren knows they were likely frustrated by his slow speed, but he was frustrated because they didn't seem to care that his 68,000 pound vehicle can't operate very safely at speeds exceeding 30 miles per hour.
"Yep, they're in a hurry," Nygren said as a semi driver came a bit close as he sped by. "They have no clue what's going on in here and a lot of those people I'd love to tell, 'Hey, come for a ride some time. See exactly what we're doing. What we see.'"
He showed how drivers need to have eyes on traffic along with their plow blades and salt. Often, he has to do that while communicating with a plow next to him.
"If you see right now, I've got a little bit of a snow cloud coming up," Nygren said. "If a car is in the right spot, I can't see it."
And if that leads to an accident, it's a sight he can't forget.
"Seeing a car that obviously wasn't paying attention stuffed underneath the rear end of one of the plow trucks," he said. "All the way up to the windshield. It's not pretty."
It's why he repeats the words we all know, and should never forget.
"Just give us room," he said. "Let us work and it will make things a whole lot easier for everybody."