County to buy $220,000 snow plow truck

For about $220,000 the county will become the owner of a new truck with which to plow snow.

County engineer Bruce Cochran made the request to county commissioners at their Feb. 19 meeting and approval was given.

Cochran told commissioners that plow trucks are generally purchased in two phases – one for the cab/chassis and the other for plow equipment.

He said the the bid for the cab/chassis expires at the end of the model year and the state bid contract for plow equipment would expire on Feb. 28.

“To take advantage of the current contract it is imperative to act before the end of the month,” Cochran said.

Commissioners then discussed the number of snow plow trucks the county owns (14, County Administrator Roxy Traxler said), and the goal to replace trucks before they become 20 years old.

Asked by a commissioner what the mileage was on the truck to be replaced, Cochran said he wasn’t sure.

“That really isn’t indicative of age,” Cochran replied, saying the typical depreciation cycle for such a truck is 12 years.

Cochran said he thought the county would be better off getting a new truck instead of repairing a truck that is 10 to 15 years old.

The tandem axle truck chassis and cab will cost about $113,509, and the box, plow equipment and controls about $95,813. With estimated sales tax and registration of $10,677, total cost will be about $220,000.

The truck will have an automatic transmission, making one less thing for a driver to think about when plowing snow, Cochran said.

Cochran said the purchase of a new plow truck will necessitate the retirement of one of the existing trucks, a decision that will be made at a later date. Factors considered will be age, condition, mileage, fuel consumption and ergonomics.