Routt County ponies up for a new snowplow truck at $126,000

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— If you’ve ever found yourself wondering about the cost of one of those really big trucks that Routt County Road and Bridge uses to plow snow from rural roads, now you know.

The county commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to authorize the purchase of a 2015 Western Star 4900 SF truck chassis and cab for $125,969 from Transwest Truck Trailer RV, with dealerships on the Front Range and in Grand Junction.

Routt County purchasing agent Marti Hamilton received four bids for less expensive trucks, but they did not offer the specified 15-liter engine and the “set forward” front axle the Road and Bridge mechanics feel strongly is necessary.

Road and Bridge assistant director Mike Mordi confirmed Tuesday that the axle, one of three on the truck, will be positioned closer to the front bumper making it advantageous for shouldering the extra weight of a plow blade. All of the county’s existing plow trucks have that feature.

Transwest had offered a 2015 Freightliner for $109,571, but it had a smaller 12-liter engine, as did three other bids with truck prices ranging from $113,747 to $121,142.

According to a memo from the Road and Bridge Department, its mechanics prefer the larger engine because it is strong enough to do the plowing job while working at capacity. The 12-liter engine must work at maximum capacity and thus requires more maintenance time resulting in greater cost over time, they say.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1

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