What do Holladay snow removers do during the summer?
Feb 05, 2020 11:31AM
● By Sona Schmidt-Harris
Snow Removers Sharon Casias and Troy Oveson plow through Holladay. (Sharon Casias/Holladay)
By Sona Schmidt-Harris | [email protected]
You have seen them in seemingly armored trucks plowing snow off Holladay streets. They appear to be faceless, powerful and nameless. However, very real people help keep Holladay safe and movin’ in the winter. Meet snow removers Sharon Casias and Troy Oveson.
Both Casias and Oveson work for Salt Lake County. As snow removal partners, Oveson is the lead truck and Casias the “chase truck” on main roads like Wasatch Boulevard, Murray-Holladay Road and Highland Drive.
“I love my job. I like being out at night when there’s no traffic. I just love doing it. I like seeing the results after it’s done,” Casias said.
While Oveson also likes his job, the middle of the night proves more difficult for him. “Getting up at 3:00 or 2:00 o’clock in the morning is the worst challenge,” he said.
Both Casias and Oveson enjoy the people with whom they work. “I like to be outside. I like to drive. I like doing different things every day. I like the people I work with. I like my bosses,” Casias said.
Casias has been with the County for 16 years and Oveson for five years. Previously, he worked for UDOT about three years and Saratoga for about a year.
While often rewarding, snow removal has its challenges. Something that would help Holladay snow removers is residents not attempting to pass the trucks while they are working to clear the streets.
Other challenges for snow removers include, “not letting us out or not slowing down. We need to do what we have to do, and sometimes they just won’t let us out on the street,” Casias said.
The biggest challenge for Oveson in the subdivisions is vehicles parked on the street. Additionally, Oveson finds it difficult when people are “yelling things at us,” he chuckled. “We covered their driveway after they have already shoveled it.”
“A piece of advice would be when you do shovel your driveways, if you put it to the right side of your driveway, and we come by and push it, we’ll push away from your driveway, so we won’t bury your driveway as bad,” he said.
Despite loving her job, Casias expressed some frustration, “The only thing that really bugs me is every time something comes on TV, it’s all about UDOT. There’s never anything said about Salt Lake County snow removal, Midvale, Sandy, any of the other entities. We don’t get any credit for what we do. You know, UDOT just goes straight down the road, and we have to go to subdivisions. We have trouble with the cars and parking. It’s harder for us,” she said.
Casias and Oveson are busy in the summer as well, mostly doing road repair.
“During the summer, we do a lot of things. We do milling and haul asphalt. We mill first, and then we go in and asphalt the roads,” Casias said.
They also do something called “chipping.” It’s kind of a Band-Aid for the roads. It gives them another five years,” Casias said.
Oveson described the chipping process. “They spray a little bit of oil on the road, then we bring in rocks that are like 3/8 of an inch or smaller, and then we go back and put another fresh layer of oil on top to seal it all in.”
Snow or shine, the County workers keep Holladay movin’. The next time you see one on the street, do them a favor, don’t try and pass them!