New and Improved Snow Fighting Equipment Featured at Annual Inspection

November 16, 2011 Updated Nov 16, 2011 at 1:33 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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New and Improved Snow Fighting Equipment Featured at Annual Inspection

November 16, 2011 Updated Nov 16, 2011 at 1:33 PM EDT

Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, joined by Department of Public Works Commissioner Steven Stepniak, Street Cleaning and Snow Removal Director Henry Jackson, and Paul Sullivan, Director of Sanitation, conducted the annual inspection of Buffalo’s snow fighting fleet Wednesday at the Department of Public Works Broadway Garage.

“We have more, and improved equipment this year, as well as a continued high-tech approach to implementation,” Brown said in a news release. “We are ready for the snow!”

At a combined cost of $300,000, the City purchased two new wing plow vehicles, an addition to the fleet that will help trucks clear more efficiently on the main roadways, and maneuver down some narrow side-streets. The City also revamped and improved nine smaller plows at a cost of $500,000.

“Every year it’s important to take a close look at our snow fighting equipment and be certain that we’re prepared for the coming winter season; Buffalo’s snow fighters are among the most talented and dedicated professionals,  prepared to meet the coming challenges of the winter,” Brown said.  “The equipment will be ready.  Our residents and businesses can be assured that the combination of these skilled professionals and the Department’s specialized equipment will provide the best snow fighting capability for any municipality in our region.

The city’s snow brigade will consist of 64 drivers and equipment operators. The city snow fighting equipment includes the following 69 pieces of equipment: 50 truck plows; 14 hi-lifts/plows; five tractor trailers for hauling snow.

This will be the third winter every vehicle in the snow fighting fleet will be equipped with a Global Positioning Tracking Device.  The GPS units transmit key information to the Operation Center, located at the City’s Broadway Garage, and the Command Center at City Hall. Supervisors can pinpoint the location of all the trucks, and determine whether the plows are being used, and how much salt is being released.

“The implementation of GPS has drastically improved our routing, and planning; after each storm we analyze how workers used resources and then make adjustments for the next storm,” said Commissioner Stepniak. “Combining old school snow fighting tools with technology of today has earned us the reputation as ‘hard work-high tech’ Buffalo.”

The City also has 2,000 tons of salt in stock at the Broadway Garage, and approximately 7,000 tons at the Department’s Fuhrmann Boulevard Site.