St. Louis County Unveils New Snow Plows

PIKE LAKE, Minn.– When the snow falls, St. Louis County has up to 120 trucks out clearing the streets.  To ensure their trucks are in good shape, the county replaces about 10% of its fleet each year. This year 10 new trucks have all been delivered and the County is pleased to show them off.

A supervisor in the St. Lois County Public Works Department, Chad Skelton, says the county does a good job of plowing the roads.

Skelton said, “The public works department has committed to its taxpayers to be able to plow the roads in St Louis County in one eight hour shift”.

Skelton went on to explain the challenge of that commitment, “We have approximately 3,000 miles of road in St. Louis County. If you consider how a road is plowed, up one side and down the other, we’re actually plowing over 6,000 miles of road in eight hours. That’s very impressive.

Each of these vehicles cost approximately $330,000 dollars. There are many improvements that have been made to the trucks. The changes came about in large part because of input from the drivers.

The interior features a more ergonomical layout that is more comfortable for the drivers. The controls for all the plows and liquid containers of de-icer are at the driver’s fingertips.

Skelton went on to say, “A challenge with the old truck design where our operators had to come back to garage multiple times a day to keep refilling the side tank because there wasn’t enough capacity. These trucks have a removable 1,000 gallon tank that’s inside the box on the truck . This allows them to stay out on the road during the whole shift”.

Using more of the de-icer and less salt is also good for the environment.

These trucks have cameras that allow the driver to have a 360 degree view. New lights have also been installed to help drivers when there is blowing snow or blizzard conditions.

One completely new addition to the truck is an underbody plow. This can be placed down and the pressure on it can be increased which scrapes the road even cleaner.

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