Ottawa County residents reminded to shake their mailbox this October

While we’re all waiting for the leaves to drop this fall, it’s still not too early to think about the winter snow removal season.

Before the snow begins to fly, the Ottawa County Road Commission is reminding residents to prepare for the winter months by shaking their mailboxes this month.

Over time, mailbox posts can rot or become wobbly, which can lead to snapped mailbox posts and mailboxes thrown from their pedestals.

“Shaking your mailbox is an important way to tell if your mailbox and post are secure and to avoid damage from the impact of flying snow this winter,” said Alex Doty, Communications Administrator with Ottawa County Road Commission. “If your mailbox and post is in good condition, there is a good chance that it can withstand the force of plowed snow.

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.

DOWNLOAD: “Shake Your Mailbox” Flyer

If you shake your mailbox and it’s loose, the box may need to be repaired or replaced before winter.

Either replace the old mailbox and post with a new sturdier one, or tighten screws and ensure the post and box are secure enough to endure the large amounts of snow that thrown from the plow blade.

“By checking now, you can ensure that your mailbox and post are stable and are able to survive all winter,” Doty said.

If a mailbox is damaged by snow that’s been thrown from Road Commission equipment during winter maintenance operations, or if it’s been damaged by OCRC equipment, property owners may receive a new standard mailbox and/or a single 4”x4” wood post at one our four garage locations.

The property owner is responsible to remove the damaged mailbox/post and to install the replacement mailbox/post.

We ask that people contact our main office at (616) 842-5400 to schedule an appointment prior to coming in to pick up a new mailbox.

For more information about our mailbox replacement policy and other winter maintenance FAQs, visit