With winter closing in, several Massachusetts towns that are struggling to find snow plow drivers are now offering hourly pay of up to $200 an hour for contract drivers in hopes of keeping the roads clear in the coming months.

Last winter, some Massachusetts roads went unplowed due to a lack of available plow drivers, according to CBS’s Boston affiliate.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is offering $31.25 per hour for drivers operating state-owned plows, but driver who own their own vehicle or have a CDL stand to earn significantly higher hourly rates.

Sandwich, Massachusetts is currently offering $95 to $135 an hour for contract plow drivers who provide their own equipment.

Hourly contractor rates for plow drivers in Worcester range from $75 to $180. Lowell is offering contract plow drivers hourly pay ranging from $85 to $155.

In Watertown, some hourly plow driver rates are $200 or more for CDL holders.

While the hourly rates seem high, plow drivers face dangerous road conditions, odd hours, and vehicle maintenance costs.

The Massachusetts towns hope that the high hourly pay will attract immediate applicants to fill plow driver vacancies.

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