BIG ORANGE NEEDS A NAME
A contest has been launched this week to name Steele County’s new snowplow, which will be on display near the Steele Saloon throughout this week’s fair. Submitted photo
Big orange is in need of a name.
To add a little excitement to this week’s Steele County Free Fair, a contest has been launched to name the county’s new snowplow, which just arrived last week.
Maintenance Supervisor Kevin Lindquist said this is the first time the county has ever had a naming contest for a plow. He noted how MnDOT started such contests in recent years.
“Let the public have input,” Lindquist said of naming the plow. “They are paying for it as taxpayers.”
Lindquist said Fair Manager Scott Kozelka actually approached the county highway department about having the naming contest after seeing it done at the Anoka County Fair.
Fairgoers will have the opportunity to see the plow near the Steele Saloon throughout the fair and name it on their smart phones. The 2022 Mac GR67F is equipped with plow blades and ready to rumble to take on a Minnesota winter.
When asked the price of the new plow, Maintenance Supervisor Kevin Lindquist asked, “Are you sitting down?” He went on to say it came in at $268,000. He recalls when new plows cost about $90,000 in the early 1980s.
Lindquist said the soon-to-be-named plow will replace an existing plow of 20 years with 195,000 miles. “They are hard miles pushing snow and salt around,” he said, adding they get “pretty rusted out” at the end of their plowing life.
The average life expectancy of a plow is 15 to 18 years, Lindquist said.
Existing plows, Lindquist said, are usually sold at public auctions. The last one, which he considered to be in “good condition” brought $52,000.
Ten snowplows plus two motor grades are used to plow 648 miles throughout Steele County, according to Lindquist. Each route is 27 miles one way, and the plows usually go that distance before circling back on the same path, he said.
There will be a sign on display at the fair where people can click on the QR code, which will take them to the fair’s website to enter their chosen name for the plow. The QR code is also shown with this story.
The winner, who will be announced shortly after the fair ends next week, is rumored to get a prize of a year’s supply of blizzards from the Dairy Queen.
So get your creative juices flowing and who knows you may end up enjoying blizzards to eat while big orange digs you out.