You see them steering 18-wheelers through cities, sagebrush flatlands, and mountain passes: those gritty semitruck drivers.
Rough-and-tumble guys who, like the Ice Road Truckers on the History channel, bare their beards to the icy elements and chain up to climb Stevens, Siskiyou, Deadman, or any number of Northwest passes.
That’s the stereotype, right?
It turns out not all truckers are adept, or willing, at chaining up. That’s where Department of Transportation-certified snow-chain installers step forward.
Yes, there is such a thing – hearty men approved by the state to install chains at $50-$60 per rig, usually in about 20 minutes. They’re private entrepreneurs, not state employees.
Some truckers are new to snow, and chains. Some simply prefer having their chains installed while they lounge in T-shirts inside their heated cabs.
And some drive for companies that order all rigs off the road while chains are required.
Read the East Oregonian article that chronicles the exploits of two chain-installers working snowy I-84 east of Pendleton.