WARREN - It's a ''heavy, heavy duty'' truck, but it drives just as good as his wife's sport-utility vehicle, said Vic Glover, who operates one of the new trucks at the Trumbull County Engineer's Office.
''It's just a pleasure to drive this truck,'' Glover said while driving the colossal dump truck / snowplow Monday along North River Road.
His is one of three trucks the office has purchased and put into service, replacing three trucks from 1988 that have reached their useful life and have become a ''maintenance nightmare for us," said Gregg A. Alberini Sr., highway superintendent.
Tribune Chronicle / Ron Selak Jr.
Vic Glover, a truck driver with the Trumbull County Engineer’s Office, shows off a new dump truck.
The trucks, on Freightliner chassis, come with design features that are new to vehicles run by the engineer's office, including a removable eight-yard salt hopper. The hopper, which holds about 10 tons of salt, has an internal auger that pushes the salt toward the spreader.
On the office's older vehicles, to move the salt toward the spreader, operators raised the bed, putting it at risk of hitting wires or bridges, Alberini said.
The hopper is covered by a metal grate to skim out large chunks of salt or debris that may have found its way into the snow and ice control material. Removing the bin ''is a 15-minute process," Alberini said. "Then you're ready to haul dirt, haul rock."
Inside the cabins, there are computers that regulate the amount of salt spread per mile. There's also a ''blast'' function button to lay down a large amount of salt in a small space, like in an intersection or along a curve, and the computer recognizes when the vehicle slows toward a stop and ceases spreading salt, Glover said.
''Everything is hooked up to the transmission,'' Glover said.
The three trucks are among eight the office has dedicated to specific high-traffic routes where salt, rather than a salt mixed with other material, is used. Salt alone, Alberini said, works faster and less material is used.
The trucks cost about $160,000 each and are being financed over five years. The old vehicles will be put into an auction.