NORFOLK, Neb. -- With winter weather striking much of Nebraska throughout Wednesday into Thursday morning, the Nebraska Department of Transportation is using all of its resources to keep conditions on the roads as safe as possible.

But there’s a problem that is making life difficult for the department; limited trucks and unhappy employees.

Maintenance Superintendent Chris Tuttle said the department hasn’t received any new trucks since 2020. He added it's becoming an alarming issue.

“Our equipment is becoming older and older as we go,” Tuttle said. “We’re having a lot more breakdowns.”

Currently, Tuttle said out of the 14 trucks that operate in the Norfolk yard, three are broken down

Tuttle blamed supply chain issues over the past couple of years for the lack of updated equipment for the division to use.

He said there’s a real possibility even more trucks will go down in the coming weeks.

“I always try to figure, three or four trucks are going to go down,” Tuttle said..

NDOT’s truck issues have carried over to the employees and Tuttle added their patience is wearing thin.

In the last two weeks, he said two now-former employees recently left over the issues and went to work for the City of Norfolk.

“They both found a better job where they don’t have to be out 18, 20 hours a day in the snow,” Tuttle said. “I can’t really blame them for going.”

If the state continues to get blasted by winter weather, Tuttle said more people could leave.

“The state of Nebraska just doesn’t pay as high as the city does,” Tuttle said. “Most of the counties around pay at least a couple of dollars more an hour than what the state does. Just about every yard is short of employees."

Tuttle though is remaining optimistic that things could get better.

“There’s some pay increases supposedly coming down the pipe with the state of Nebraska and I just hope that helps our issues,” Tuttle said.