It won’t be long before we see snowflakes in the air. The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) has started the annual inspection of nearly 1,800 plow trucks across the state to ensure they’re ready for battling snow and ice.

“Snow and ice control is a responsibility we take very seriously,” said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks.

Nearly 300 mechanics are doing 150-point checks on everything from the plow to the salt spinner. These checks are done now so that any repairs that are needed can be made before the trucks hit the road.

ODOT has more than 3,300 drivers - including 475 temporary seasonal employees - ready for winter weather. These employees often work 12-hour shifts during snow events.

ODOT’s goal is to have primary routes back up to speed within two hours of the end of a snow event. Crews hit that goal 98 percent of the time last winter.

“Our men and women take great pride in ensuring you have the safest conditions possible to get where you need to go,” Marchbanks said.

In addition to trucks and manpower, ODOT is ready with more than 817,000 tons of salt on hand.

Last winter crews drove 5.8 million miles, using 424,024 tons of salt and 10.7 million gallons of liquid deicers. Eight snow plows were struck, underscoring the importance of drivers giving plow trucks plenty of room to work.