Fleets Prepare for Snow with Vehicle Upgrades

November 23, 2016

Photo via Flickr/Oregon Department of Transportation
Photo via Flickr/Oregon Department of Transportation

As winter approaches, government fleets all over the country are preparing with increased staff, larger vehicles, and more preventive measures to minimize snow's impact this season.

The City of Louisville, Ky., has spent about $1.8 million on its plow fleet this year, including 17 new plowing vehicles, 160 pieces of equipment, and 32,500 tons of salt with a contract to order more if necessary, reports WLKY

Door County, Wis., approved more than $500,000 for trucks and equipment next year, including snow plow attachments and a paving spreader. These new purchases will replace vehicles that are 10 or more years old, reports the Green Bay Press-Gazette

The City of Cleveland, Ohio, has upgraded its snow removal fleet for its airport. The new vehicles can plow, de-ice, and brush the tarmac at the Cleveland Hopkins Airport. Airport Director Fred Szabo told Fox 8 that airport staff can now clear the 11,000 foot runway in 20 minutes, as opposed to 45 minutes. The airport is also making efforts to improve safety conditions after a plow driver crossed in front of a plane on take-off in January. The plow driver narrowly missed the plane, but the city was fined $700,000 for unsafe runway conditions and insufficient snow removal.

The City of Tulsa, Okla., only saw a few days of snow last year, and decided to invest in more preventive work this year. The city is spraying a saltwater brine solution on its bridges to keep ice and snow off the bridge, rather than waiting until snow falls to begin salting. The city spent about $200,000 for a salt water mixer and two tanks, reports News on 6

The City of Omaha, Neb., will hire 16 new employees this year and next year and purchase new trucks to replace its aging fleet. City Council approved 21 contractors to plow residential streets, up from 17 contractors the year prior. The city has also installed a 90,000-gallon brine tank, and will begin pretreating streets with brine 72 hours before a storm is forecast to begin, reports the Omaha World-Herald

The City of Detroit has added 29 new trucks to its fleet, each equipped with front and under-body plows and salt spreaders. They will be used to spread salt, pre-treat roads, and clear 674 miles of roads of snow, reports WXYZ. In addition, the Department of Public Works is hiring an additional 41 drivers to operate these plows, bringing the number of drivers up to 156. 

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