Jamey Gillenwater, left, directs Chris Mains through the Kingsport Public Works Department’s Streets and Sanitation Division annual inspection of snow removal equipment on Friday at the Public Works Complex on Industry Drive. David Grace photo.
KINGSPORT — Even if you’re not ready for the upcoming winter season, Kingsport’s Streets and Sanitation Department is. Or at least its fleet of snow-removal equipment is ready to be put to good use.
The department held its annual snow equipment inspection event Friday afternoon at the city garage, where crews make sure every piece of equipment is in good working condition for the upcoming winter season.
“Today is our annual inspection where we take a few days to ensure all of the vehicles, plows and salt spreaders are in running order, make sure the lights are working on the trucks and what our supply of salt looks like,” said Ronnie Hammonds, manager of the streets and sanitation department. “It’s to get our guys ready to start the new winter season.”
Typically, the equipment is inspected in late October/early November with any necessary repairs or maintenance being performed prior to Friday’s event. Crews inspect each piece of equipment in the snow removal fleet, making sure the plows raise and lower, the salt spreaders are functioning and chains are available in case of an ice event.
Kingsport has 28 pieces of equipment it uses for snow removal during the winter season, including four-wheel drive pickup trucks with snow plows and spreaders, dump trucks with snow plows and spreaders, trucks with liquid (salt brine) pre-treatment equipment and a backhoe and road grader for deep snowfalls. Also, two pickup trucks and two snow plows are on order to assist with newly annexed areas.
“All is ready to go right now,” Hammonds said. “Any time during a snow event you can expect roughly 30 percent of your equipment will be down. It’s the harsh environment, and a lot of electrical components could fail.”
For an expanded version of this article, please see Friday’s print edition or our expanded electronic edition.