Could Idle Gravel Trucks Be Used to Plow Roads?

McHenry’s Ned Neumann offers the following commentary in a Northwest Herald letter to the editor. It is published with permission of its author.

Consider outsourcing township plowing

If there are great savings to be had in the operation of township government they will have to come from the road district.

This isn’t a township snow plow (it’s a county plow on Ackman Road in Crystal Lake, raising other questions), but the suggestion that Ned Neumann makes that idle gravel trucks and their drivers be used to plow roads is worth considering.

That’s where most of our township taxes go.

The problem with the talk of consolidating township government is that the savings opportunities that could come from delivering services now in a cost efficient way don’t even get looked at while there is a grand solution on the horizon.

We’re in a unique part of the state.

Because of the sand and gravel and trucking industries in our area, a tremendous number of assets that these industries possess sit idle throughout the winter.

Shouldn’t consideration be given to conducting a pilot program for the outsourcing of some of our township plowing services to these industries?

This past winter was easier than most for the plowing burden, but even in a typical winter most of the time the dozens of Township Road District employees have nothing really important to do while they wait for it to snow.

In McHenry Township, their equipment is of new showroom quality and clearly doesn’t need much maintenance.

They could paint the shop floor again, but how many times each winter?

I think it’s time we asked our Highway Commissioners to look at outsourcing some of their services and to begin disassembling their Chicago style army of patronage employees.

It’s not the employees fault.

They didn’t build the system and they’d be nuts to not seek these jobs for themselves and their kids.


Could Idle Gravel Trucks Be Used to Plow Roads? — 30 Comments

  1. You’re assuming the gravel industry would allow trucks to be used for this purpose.

    Salt is disastrous to brake lines and truck beds

    Also, all contractors would need to pay their drivers prevailing wage.

    I don’t see the savings.

    Show me the money!

  2. Why would it have to be only gravel trucks?

    Why not contact the plow guys who do parking lots too?

  3. Begin taking bids for contractors to clear the snow, or pray
    for Global Warming.

    Yeah, that’s the ticket !

  4. While there is time when the temp goes down towards zero, when it’s warmer work is still being done.

    Tree trimming is mostly done in the winter when the trees are dormant.

    Signs get knocked down and way to many mailboxs are other examples.

    Many gravel trucks are semi type so that would limit it to 6 wheels.

    Those trucks would have to be outfitted with plows, spreaders, and liquid calcium chloride.

    Plow frames add to the weigh of the truck and aren’t easy to take off or are welded on.

    That means the truck hauls less sand and gravel so they make less or go over weight and risk a ticket.

    Spreader and liquid applier take at least an hour to remove and usually take two and some type of device to hold the weight of both pieces of equipment.

    The hoses and controls aren’t cheap and permanently installed also adding to outfitting costs.

    Look at the costs of a gov plow truck, it’s way higher than non plow trucks.

    So owners may invest if they have a contract that has some type of guaranty.

    The owners would also have to guaranty like a 30 min response time at any time day or night.

    If Ned wants to run the numbers based on the facts, do that.

    Perhaps consulting some of the small municipalities that don’t have staff would help.

    The municipalities in Cuba twh, N Barr, Lake Barr, Tower Lakes, and even all of Barr Hills contract out with Cuba township.

    Response time, quality, and damage from plowing all has to be considered.

    The Cuba model saves $$$$ for the small municipalities as some summer work is also part of the deal.

    Go for it Ned and show your findings before leaping of the bridge so more imput can be considered.

  5. Gov buys off of state bid which a contractor can’t as a after thought.

  6. In my township, when it snows, they clear the snow. Simple. Efficient. Cost effective.

    Once again, this is a distracted narrative, ie, township government.

    Many bigger issues in this state that relate to taxes.

    Nice try with the misdirection.

  7. Now that there is a legal process to follow to eliminate Township Road Districts, simply lobby your Board of Trustees to have a referendum on the ballot next spring to eliminate your Road District and have the Board of Trustees oversee Road maintenance.

    Point of information: Most townships use part time employees for snow plowing and purchase used trucks for this job.

  8. IDOT use to turn over trucks every 10 years.

    After that maintenance and damage to frames gets to be a problem.

    Most other gov agencies follow this pattern as down time is a big issue.

    Smaller gov plow trucks may last 6 to 8 years if you buy the heavier frame and bigger horse power engines that meet EPA guide lines.

    There are some that trade sooner to eliminate down time and more expensive maintenance costs.

    Second hand buying is a roll of the dice on reliability, down time for plow trucks is a big saftey issue, that’s why most buy new.

  9. Elected officals, like Road Commissioners are more responsive than appointed employees and the pay would be much different if not more for the appointed dude.

    Pete males more tha Jack as an example. Lol

    Giving the town board more oversite would be a wonderful thingy.

  10. When was the article published because I can’t find it in the northworst

    also do you want some yahoo plowing your road that doesn’t exactly know where the edge of the road is and he will spend more time getting pulled out of ditches by tow trucks than doing the job he would be tasked with

    where is the cost savings and Public Safety is number one

    your wife your son’s your daughters your mother’s your father’s all need to drive on safe roads put it in perspective like this what happens when you get loss of life because somebody wants to save money

    without doing their due diligence are you going to sue the township or Ned how about the fact that your plow driver has been trained to plow roads because that is his number one job in the winter season that plow drivers job Priority One Is to make the roads safe

  11. I urge you to talk to your local snowplow driver

    asked him how much of a thankless job it is

    ask him how many times he has sacrificed spending time with his family on the holidays to make roads safe for you to drive on so you can have holidays with your families

  12. A few points.

    The trucks.

    You need larger single axle trucks.

    In a lot of cases tandems become so heavy they would destroy certain local roads.

    Next, it isn’t cost effective to outsource, otherwise it would be getting done.

    You have much more control on your level of service with your staff and your equipment.

    Your contractor will only care if they are getting paid to.

    Plus point made too, not many are willing to equip their trucks with equipment that destroys it and the throw corrosive products.

    Also, I’d love to see an actual name of someone who is turning out trucks in 6, 8 or 10 years.

    Not happening folks!!

    But the keyboard warriors will have you believe they are all brand new with gold plated pedals.

    Good distraction to the real issues in life.

  13. Last time I checked the townships aren’t out to make money

    they are there to do the job that has been given to them in the most effective and cost efficient way.

    The amount they pay for salt trucks labor etc is way less the what you would end up getting putting it out to bids.

    McHenry Township has about 100 miles of road that they plow how could you possibly over see that many contractors to make sure they are doing what they get paid for?

    Are Bob and Ned going to drive around at all hours making sure they are doing the job up to snuff?

    Where was the MAG 7 when all of the flooding was occurring?

    You think with them always preaching cost savings they would of been helping with the flood response as much as they could right.

    Nope they did not fill one sandbag ask anyone for help they could care less about the taxpayer.

    So you think they will be around when a blizzard hits or snuggled up in their lakefront homes sipping hot cocoa being mad about the few hundred they pay in taxes if that to the township.

  14. If you like how your roads get plowed in the winter time the help with all of the flooding those new shiny street signs and being able to see at intersections I highly suggest you educate yourself and go to some meetings.

    These supposed tax fighters are going to get rid of all of that and ruin the good thing the people of mchenry township have going for them.

    Do some research and name one thing Bob anderson or Ned Nuemann has ever done to help the average joe taxpayer.

    The only reason ned is involved is because he owns numerous properties on the river and doesn’t like paying the high taxes on them the same goes for Bob.

    He took his tiny house rebuilt it to a mansion and didn’t pull any permits when he got caught and they adjusted his taxes this whole thing started.

  15. If this is such a great idea why not start where the real money is, the state.

    Or maybe the County or Municilities.

    Why, because that does fit with Neumann’s plan to attack what they call the low hanging fruit, efficient township government.

    Why are the so called tax revolt phonies addressing where the real money is funding, and state pensions.

    No not IRMF pensions because they have been funded properly by agencies like the townships.

    Another slinging of mud against the wall and see what sticks.

    Put out fake to for political gain and personal vendettas.

  16. Bravo machone I do believe Bob has his panties in a bunch because he couldn’t get elected supervisor as well seeing as though he’s such a people person his main objective is to destroy the township the very Township he was elected to protect not only to be an auditor of accounts but to be a steward of the people

    I think he only cares about himself

    get back in touch with reality Bob or did that go out the window when barbershops went extinct

  17. Lol thankless job. What a weird language we have developed.

    Isn’t “thankless” the whole reason behind why we get paid to do things – thus creating a “job”?

    Nevertheless, notwithstanding the weird language, I love everything you two are saying.

  18. I personally would suggest those who hide behind their keyboards, grow a set and show up at a meeting and ask the questions.

    You know what happens when you ASSume things.

    But…..some will be butthurt when they find out they are wrong.

  19. I also noticed the NWH didn’t have it on line when it was in the Sunday paper.

    If you pay for the subscription take the time to email or call them and complain.

    What’s in the paper every day should be on line that same day.

  20. Who would supply the fuel?

    Would Privates get to fill up at the gov pump which costs less because of taxation?

    If they don’t use it all, would they have to pump out the extra now dirtier fuel?

    Insurance, private need insurance to cover their damage and the damage they do to us?

    What about all the other gov agencies that plow?

    While this sounds like a new PROGRESSIVE idea it’s not, they’ve look at this years ago with many other things to contract out also.

    The vast majority of public works type jobs that are overall cheaper to do in house, even with slack time for the employees.

  21. This is another example of the distraction of the real issues with this state, so they pick pick pick at the township level, which is the one form of Illinois government that actually does things & earns their pay.

    I’d love to see Ned & Bob driving a plow truck.

  22. Holy butthurt swordfish, way to keep it on the meaningless point that was started.

    I know second grade was about it for you but I was wondering if you ever heard the term defamation of character??

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