Thursday, October 25, 2018

Transportation Transparency

by Robert "Bob" Lewandowski

Planning for the future includes updating equipment that has reached its useful life expectancy as well as replacing equipment that no longer functions. The District experienced both of these equipment dilemmas this fall with the replacement of a 28 year old food service van and with a 47 year old coal dump truck.

While the 1990 Ford Food Service Van continued to require increased maintenance and lacked the functionality of space and capacity to compliment newer food service equipment, the 1972 Coal Dump Truck had complete engine failure and no longer worked. Both the van and dump truck needed to be replaced.

The District was able to find viable solutions for both situations: 1) a van that provides ample room and capacity to load and unload meal carts and other equipment utilized in transporting prepared meals from the high school to the elementary and middle school; 2) a running dump truck to haul coal in order to heat the high school with a capacity to haul more coal than the 1972 truck reducing multiple trips from the mine to the upper parking lot of the high school.

A used 2017 Dodge Van was purchased for Food Service. It has 4.5 years and 20,000 miles of drive train warranty and the District installed a 4' Tommy Lift Gate to compliment the newer food service equipment as well as the head room to allow food service personnel to stand while moving serving carts in and out of the vehicle (saving back stress and possible workman's compensation claims, not to mention multiple bumps on the top of heads).

A used 2000 Dump Truck was also purchased to replace the 1972 Chevy Dump Truck that lost it's engine at the end of the 2018 winter.  Until the purchase of the newer truck, the District would have had to hire a third party vendor to haul coal at a premium price. The 2000 Dump Truck provides the District a larger bed and capacity to haul almost twice the amount of coal as the 1972 truck. This saves significant time and money in hauling coal reducing multiple trips. The 2000 Dump truck also provides versatility as it can be used to transport snow build-up out of District parking lots as well as other other landscape needs.

These types of purchases are necessary and made possible through the community's support. As you can see in the photos our hardworking staff are more than appreciative. Thank you Colstrip for your continued support on levys, activities and academics. You make a difference in the education of Colstrip Students.

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