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Keweenaw County
Cutting snow mats off the roadway is effortless with the John Deere 772GP Motor Grader.

Keeping Clear - In Keweenaw County, keeping roads open during the winter is no small task.

The average snowfall per year in Keweenaw County, Michigan, is 245 inches. There was a record snowfall in 1978 that was 390 inches. And as of January 8, 2017, the Keweenaw County Road Commission contended with 136 inches of recorded snowfall.

That kind of snow takes some serious moving equipment and manpower. Good thing Gregg Patrick, engineer/ manager, and Chris Cronenworth, maintenance foreman, are out there doing battle.

The Keweenaw County Road Commission, based in Mohawk, Michigan, was founded in June 1913 and currently employs 15 full-time and 5 part-time workers. The Commission built the county road system and state highways throughout the county.

Logging is the largest industry in the county but tourism comes in at a close second. In the winter, tourists come to experience the area’s snowmobiling, ice fishing, cross country and downhill skiing. In the summer, they enjoy the ATV trails, charter fishing, boating and the Isle Royale National Park. And it’s Gregg and his crew that keep the county moving with their two John Deere 772GP Motor Graders and one 772G Motor Grader.

Chris said the crew likes the John Deere 772GP/G Motor Graders because of their power and traction, not to mention the weight to power ratio when either plowing snow or grading gravel roads. “Cutting snow mat off the roads is effortless,” Chris said. “With an average of 245 inches of annual snowfall a year, all three machines handle any snow conditions we encounter,” he explained. “Operators also like the visibility and mini joysticks in the GP Graders and the six-wheel drive option.”

As for McCoy Construction & Forestry, Gregg likes the ease of working with the dealership and said they have been quite responsive to the County’s needs. “It’s has been very easy to work with the McCoy
employees,” said Gregg. “The financing options that are provided through John Deere Finance are helpful.”

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