Monday, February 07, 2011

An unexpected windfall...

With the talk of the nation being about how "unprepared"* Dallas was for the bad weather on the weekend of the Doritos Bowl, Indianapolis, Home of Super Bowl XLVI©®™ and also something where they drive cars in circles, couldn't leave my street un-plowed.

So yesterday, for the first time this winter, the city called on its army of subcontractors to clear the side streets and byways of Hoosieropolis. Somewhere about four in the afternoon, Cletus came roaring down the street in his Dodge Ram, followed closely by Jasper in a jacked-up early-80s Chevy K1500. About twenty minutes later, they came flying by in the opposite direction. It was like watching a monster truck race crossed with a speed-plowing competition.

*It just doesn't make fiscal sense for a city like Dallas or Atlanta to buy and maintain a massive fleet of plows and salt trucks that will only see use once or twice a year and rust away to nothing between uses.


warlocketx said...

There is, however, an army of people with backhoes, tractors with box blades, front-end loaders, bobcats with earthmoving blades, and similar gear. None of the equipment is optimal for snow removal, but it'd make short work of the 2-3" that's typical from this sort of storm, and the overlap between its owners and NFL fans is nearly 100%.

For something like the Super Bowl, offer $50 and some decent souvenir for them to stand by, and standard rate (usually something like $200 drop, $150/hr) if they have to swing into action, and your only problem would be replacing the Botts dots on the road afterward.

Miguel said...

NFL Bosses got this email in their IPhones/Androids/Blackberies:

February 6, 2011
Location Miami

High Low Pcpn Snow
82°F 65°F 0.00 in 0.0 in

You guys dissed us because we don't have a stadium with a roof in a town that has no rain or has any other form of precipitation in December? And next year Chicago?

Oh well!

We will be watching the game outside in our patios in shorts, t-shirts and flip flops. Give us a call when you are done defrosting the fans and recovering from the losses.

Dolphin Stadium

Tam said...


"And next year Chicago?"

Boy, are they gonna be surprised!

Jim said...

I still think we need a good test of evacuating cities when the missles fly. Indianapolis could be a fine trial city. Just move the Super Bowl to Memorial Day. Or maybe run the 500 on Super Sunday.

ViolentIndifference said...

Cartoon for you here:

Eric said...

Sounds like your plowers are Mr. Plow and the Plow King from The Simpsons!

Montie said...

I've been listening to people from the Tulsa area bitch on local talk radio for the last week about how the City hasn't gotten to their local neighborhood streets yet, but instead did the logical thing of clearing major arterial streets. As you say it doesn't make sense for a city that rarely gets a snow event like we just experienced to buy a huge amount of snow removal equipment that sits around most years.

They are starting to get some private contractors in on the job now and I can't wait until the calls change to bitching about their cars that are parked on the street (because they don't own a snowshovel to clear the driveway since we rarely get snow like this), being buried by the snowplow that just cleared their residential street.

Actually the sheer logistics of clearing every residential street in this city means most will never be cleared until the melt.

Robin said...

A few years ago we had a very large snowfall locally, and the city contracted out snow removal after a couple of days. In our neighborhood there was a good eight inches or more of packed on the residential streets.

Since the local CAT/Wagner dealership is a couple of blocks away, they did our neighborhood. It was something to see a full size grader doing a small residential street. Quite a show of skilled operator.

Anonymous said...

Since I grew up in the frozen north, I'm astonished.

That's how snow cleaning is done, you basically hire every peice of earth moving gear known to man and you Move the snow.

A 5-10 ton truck with a plow makes a DANDY snow clearer, at 50 mph on the highway, and in summer you take the plow off, a grader is lovely too (and with a wing plow can carve the canyons back), front end loaders get brought in to load the semi trailors that haul the stuff off to snow dumps - huge piles somewhere near drainage that last into august, where bulldozers move it around.

Now in the frozen north the contracters all have specialized snow blades they swap in in early November through mid april, but that's a NICETY.

That and every lawn contractor has to do something all winter - that something is snow removal. I swear every pickup I knew grewing up had a plow attachment lurking somewhere.

Snow clearing gear does not have to specialzied EXCEPT for snow blowers, and like plows, they can be mounted as PTO gear to your basic excavation tractor. Picey though at not usuaully necessary unless you get LOTS of snow.

So basically we are talking about spare blades for existing trucks and stuff. I know you wouldn;t stockpile them like notherners do, but still they take decades to rust away with minimal maintenance.

The basic issue is that no one wants to make anything robust and stock anything anymore. Power systems, inventory, .... It's all the same.

We'll save $ up front but everyone freaks when you lose $$$ later when your city has to shut down.