Before the snow begins to fly, the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) asks residents who have mailboxes on a post adjacent to the road to prepare for the season by shaking their mailboxes this month.
Over time, mailbox posts can rot or become loose or wobbly. Shaking a mailbox allows residents to know if it is secure. Snow from snowplows has a surprising force that can topple an unstable mailbox, so it’s important to make sure it’s placed solidly in the ground.
Residents should prepare mailboxes for winter by tightening screws and ensuring the post and box are secure enough to endure the large amounts of snow that can be thrown. If the mailbox moves when shaken, the box may need to be repaired or replaced before winter.
“Shaking your mailbox is an important way to avoid damage from the impact of flying snow this winter,” RCOC Managing Director Dennis Kolar said. “But, mailboxes and posts in good condition can withstand the force of plowed snow. By preparing beforehand, residents can ensure that their mailboxes are stable and safe this winter.”
County road agencies are not liable for damage done while fulfilling their regular duties and/or maintaining the roadway, except in limited situations like a direct hit. “Our number-one job is to maintain a safe and efficient road and right of way system,” Kolar said. “It is a resident’s responsibility to ensure his or her mailbox is secure. Damage to posts and receptacles can often be prevented by proper routine maintenance.”
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Editor’s Note: An informational video about checking a mailbox, created by the County Road Association of Michigan, is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KeytQkQY8Y&t=28s.