Department of Transportation increases sign-on bonuses for snow plow drivers by 5%

WARWICK, R.I. (WLNE) — It may only be October, but the recruitment process for snow plow drivers and contractors has started in Rhode Island.

The recruitment comes after many cities and towns in the state experienced a plow driver shortage last year.

Joe Bucci, with the Department of Transportation, said this year, the state has upped the sign-on bonuses for plow drivers for the state and independent contractors with their own equipment from 10% to 15%.

Bucci said they have also extended the time that drivers can get that early bonus- through Dec. 30. That’s not all the state has done to incentivize people.

“This is something new for this year. We have a per storm bonus. So, if a vendor signs up with us, for every winter storm that they plow for us, they’ll make a bonus depending on the equipment that they have. The biggest trucks get the most,” Bucci said.

According to RIDOT, the state has a fleet of about 180 plow trucks as well as about 150 private vendors.

Bucci said Rhode Island is not the only state that has experienced a shortage in the past. “It’s not even just a New England problem, it’s a national problem… it’s just fewer CDL drivers available,” added Bucci.

To have a CDL in Rhode Island you must have a valid driver’s license with no disqualifying suspensions. You also must pass a written exam and get a CDL permit.

To sign up to become a plow driver in Rhode Island and to learn more about the incentives please click here.

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