Custom-built snowplows save Caltrans 33% in equipment costs

Updated Jan 3, 2017


The California Department of Transportation’s (Caltrans) Division of Equipment has designed and custom built 14 snowplows, which it says has saved them 33 percent compared to purchasing commercial versions.

To these trucks, the division added infrared pavement thermometers, backup cameras, high-speed attenuators, high-visibility striping and larger plows. Division employees also did all wiring and welding on the machines.

“We build it stronger than most of the stuff you see out there, so it lasts longer,” says Paul Hellwig, Caltrans heavy equipment mechanic fabricator.

“We not only buy the trucks, we assemble them. But we use them throughout their lives and we maintain them and take care of them throughout their lives,” says Kris Teague, supervising engineer. “We try to build in quality into our vehicles so that it’s less maintenance for us in the long run.”

See the video below on Caltrans snowplow truck efforts.