Christmas in July

The City of Auburn Hills has a new weapon in the fleet division. I know it’s July and most of us are not even thinking about winter, but here in the Fleet Department winter prep has begun. We recently took delivery of our newest snow removal apparatus, a 2021 freightliner SD 108 tandem axle swap loader dump truck. The swap loader allows the operator the ability of installing or removing three different hydraulic powered pieces of utility equipment.

This truck is also equipped with a wing plow adding 9 feet of snow removal on top of already being able to clear a 12-foot path under the truck using the underbody blade. That’s a massive 21 feet of snow cleared from the road in a single pass! But before the snow even starts, the operator can apply liquid brine to the road (coming from its massive 2,350-gallon tank) using a hydraulic pump to pretreat. For heavy snow removal, the new funnel plow with a staggering 14’ 8” width can also be installed.

After the snow has been cleared, the operator will begin to apply salt on the road surface using the salt spreader box. With the ability to hold up to 18,480 lbs of salt, the driver will activate the spinner system and start spreading 400 lbs of salt per lane mile. When conditions are really bad the driver may have to increase the output of salt using a state of the art RexRoth CS 550 computerized controller. Lastly in this truck’s arsenal, it is also able to make use of a traditional dump box body, making this unit versed in all aspects of DPW field work.

You might be wondering what kind of power it takes to make such a colossal rig roll down the road, well it takes a lot! Outfitted with a Cummins Turbo Diesel this truck is capable of producing 370 horsepower and 1,250-foot pounds of torque. To put that into perspective the average American mainstream car produces between 180 and 200 horsepower and 200 to 300-foot pounds of torque.

So next time you see our newest truck pretreating before a storm, plowing a road covered in snow, or simply hauling a load of dirt to the job site, you might just think to yourself, “Wow that’s a very cool truck!”

Jimmy Hanson, Master Mechanic

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