Crews at the Trail Airport are ready to tackle snow removal in style and grace since an $188,000 Airport Capital Assistance Program grant has covered the purchase of a new plow truck.
Volunteers were on site Wednesday awaiting the arrival of the truck and later connecting and testing its parts to ensure staff is ready to roll in time for the next snowfall.
The 2012 International truck, with a 10-foot underbelly plow, that hooks up to a 19-foot angling blade replaces a small 1987 International truck that has had its share of break downs.
“As far as snow removal goes, we’re covered now with all of our equipment,” said airport volunteer Don Nutini.
“The new equipment is all hydraulically driven so we don’t have any mechanical equipment that can break down on us.”
Nutini’s equipment wish list has been met with the new addition, which will pull a 16-foot runway sweeper that was purchased last year thanks to a $216,000 federal grant.
“It feels great, I can’t wait to see it in motion,” he said.
“I guess they recognize it’s equipment that we need to keep the operation going.”
Rather than plowing first and then sweeping, the new equipment will increase efficiency by completing the job all at once.
Rick Hermans of Waypoint Truck Equipment Inc., which supplied some parts and assembled the truck in shop, was at the airport grounds with Steve McVeigh of Cookson Motors Ltd., which provided the truck.
“This truck is going to last you 20 years,” said McVeigh, boasting about the vehicle’s 300 horsepower. “You don’t want to go with something that will just work at the moment, otherwise in five years time you’ll say, ‘I need a bigger truck.’”