NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Tennessee Department of Transportation is often tasked with multiple duties when winter weather strikes, from clearing storm debris from the roads to battling snow and ice.
Recently, they received 53 new trucks that are multi-purpose.
Shay Deason, TDOT Region 3 Operations Engineer explained: “One of the new things that we have are the high lift tailgates that we have on these trucks. That easily lets us move from one operation to another. So, if we’re fighting storms for wind damage and trees, we can slide our v-bottoms and our salt apparatuses out, and get real quick on to working on the storm damage. And getting it out. And then quickly, if the temperature changes, we can easily slip it back in and go on to fighting snow and ice”.
The above pictures demonstrate how the tank that carries salt or brine can be inserted or removed to allow the trucks to be utilized for multiple duties.
These trucks can also be snowplows with both a front plow and the recently added “under body” plow that can utilize the weight of the truck to break up ice.
And there is a new technique for applying salt to the roads to clear snow and ice.
“Our ‘wet capability’, as we call it. It sprays it, and it’s sort of like a wet paper wad, explained Deason. “When it hits the ground, it sort of sticks and stays. Where it was a dry paper wad before, just regular salt, it would just roll off the road or get blown away. So the wet application helps stick it to the road. We can do it right as the storm is moving in, and not something we have to do in advance that has the potential to get washed away”.
It’s always a tough job for TDOT to perform during the winter, but hopefully, this new equipment and techniques can make it quicker and more efficient.
The News 2 StormTracker team is taking a closer look at new plans and upgraded tools for winter weather preparedness. See special reports all day Wednesday, Nov. 13th in every newscast.