December 2016 Vol. 24, No. 4

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Local OPERA Project: Urban snow support vehicle

Image of snow plow truck

Project leader: Kevin Jaax

Agency: City of Golden Valley

Problem: The City of Golden Valley Street Maintenance Division responds to a variety of situations and requests during snow and ice control events. These requests range from clearing sidewalks and walkways to salting slippery areas to fueling equipment. Many of these requests require a different piece of equipment or tool. The division’s response time to these requests was hindered by the need to drive back to the shop to switch equipment or get a specific tool.

Solution: The city fabricated a flatbed hook body that uses the SwapLoader system to transport the necessary equipment and tools for a variety of snow and ice control tasks.

Procedure: Staff compiled a list of tools and equipment needed to complete the majority of winter maintenance tasks during a snow event. The city purchased a flatbed hook body that uses the SwapLoader system. Staff fabricated the hook body to include a salt/sand spreader, a 35-gallon diesel tank, tow straps, shovels, brooms, a small snow blower, a pick hammer, and type II flashers.

Results: Staff were able to respond to complaints more quickly because the necessary tools and equipment were already available on the vehicle. Using the SwapLoader system enabled the division to switch between a dump body, debris box, form box, and the urban snow support box, which saves mobilization time and allows the truck to have several uses. Fuel and labor costs have decreased now that staff do not have to go back to the shop between tasks.

Approximate cost: $8,700

OPERA funding: $1,500

Implementation: Before a snow event, staff hook up the flatbed hook body to a one-ton truck using the SwapLoader system. When a request comes in, staff are able to drive directly to the request location and use the necessary tools and equipment from the flatbed.

Status: Complete

Fact sheets and reports online

The Exchange regularly highlights projects completed under the LRRB’s Local Operational Research Assistance Program (Local OPERA). Project fact sheets, along with the full project reports, are posted on the OPERA website.