The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022

Local ODOT snow equipment ready to roll

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

Like it or not, winter will be here soon enough and the Van Wert County Ohio Department of Transportation garage is ready for all it brings, including snow and ice and slippery roads.

Earlier this week, ODOT conducted its annual equipment inspections around District 1, which includes Allen, Defiance, Hancock, Hardin, Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert and Wyandot counties.

This dump truck and plow is just one of 13 that was inspected at the Van Wert County ODOT garage this week. The trucks and all other equipment will be ready to roll when snow hits the county this winter. Scott Truxell/Van Wert independent

“The district mechanics inspect the trucks – they crawl under the trucks, look under, over and through them,” Transportation Administrator Ron Leffel said. “They check everything out and make sure they’re mechanically okay, that the plows swing, lift and turn. If they don’t, we get them fixed.”

Many of the trucks carry two plows, a front and a belly, while some also have a wing plow to help clear multi-lane routes, shoulders and ramps. All ODOT trucks locally and throughout the state are equipped with GPS units to aid in storm management.

At the Van Wert County garage, the fleet of equipment includes 13 dump trucks, a loader, a backhoe, a semi-truck used to apply brine. The garage currently has 3,638 tons of road salt on hand.

“We like to pre-treat before a storm and we’re using brine and ‘beat heat’ here also,” Leffel explained. “We’re using that more after a storm (beat heat) to get things cleaned up a little faster. We also have brine on our trucks and we spray it on our salt before we hit the road and that helps it stick to the road and activates it quicker so it starts melting quicker.”

It’s usually not a matter of if, but when snow will fly, and Leffel said when it happens, the Van Wert garage will be ready.

“We’d like to have 13 drivers but most of the time will have 10-12,” Leffel said. “We also rely on winter seasonal help and we have four to five winter seasonals coming. We rely on them so we can go 10-11 all night long and all day long.”

POSTED: 11/05/21 at 11:17 pm. FILED UNDER: News