After being awarded the contract for winter maintenance in the Williams Lake area, Dawson Road Maintenance Ltd. had to acquire new equipment, said Robert Koopmans, media spokesperson for the company.
For the Central Cariboo new pieces purchased by the company included two graders, three loaders, 19 pickup trucks and seven International plow trucks.
“We had to make sure the fleet was upgraded to do maintenance in all of our areas,” he told the Tribune.
Graders and plow trucks were needed the most, Koopmans said as he explained there are two different types of plow trucks — Tri-Drives or tandem.
Tri-Drives have three axles and the tandems have two axles. Tri-Drives are slightly bigger and can carry more sand and aggregate to put down on winter roads.
“Both plow trucks have front mounts and have what they call wings on the side which allow them to plow a slightly wider path as they go along the roads,” he said. “We use the Tri-Drives on the more central routes and major highways.”
Roads are divided into three classes.
Class A roads are main highways, such as Highway 97.
Class B include roads that can be major but don’t have the same amount of traffic while Class C roads tend to be residential or more back country and rural and may even be gravel.
Graders are used for clearing snow but are also used in summer months to maintain gravel roads that gets washboards on them.
“They are used very heavily all year around, whereas the plow trucks are mostly used obviously in the winter. Grading is a very key activity in the summer time and are very busy.”
Koopmans said the more graders the crews have, the better they are able to keep on top of the work.
With winter season beginning, crews have been training and preparing, he added.
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— Dawson Road Maintenance – Cariboo (@DawsonRoadMaint) October 1, 2019
“Hopefully we have a good winter, knock on wood,” he said. “Some winters are easier than others.”