Snow plows prepare for early snow

RAPID CITY, S.D. — With snow expected to roll in this week, the city is getting ready.

The Public Works Department is preparing its trucks to clear the roads and sidewalks for the snowy season. The department’s street division has over 50 trucks that they use to remove snow and transport materials for road work.

Each truck has a different job – some have one wing attachment to push the snow forward while others have two wings to push forward and to the side. The bobcats are used for shoveling snow into a pile – and some trucks have saddle tanks that hold snow melting chemicals.

“We have 10-thousand tons of salt,” said Dale Pfeifle, a member of the Public Works street division. “We’ve got 15-thousand gallons of Apex which we spray on the salt.”

There are several domes full of salt and salt mixed with sand. Salt is a cutting agent and when apex is added to the salt it works faster and sticks to the ice better. Sand also melts ice but it is more gentle so it is used in areas that are a bit more sensitive to damage.

The city wants to remind drivers to drive slower on snow days, keep your distance from plows, and keep those snow remove parking spots open so crews can work.

“We’d much rather have you get there a few minutes late than have you get there not at all maybe or get in a wreck, or get hurt, or hurt someone else,” said Pfeifle.

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