July 12th, 2024

Students give City snow plows wintry monikers


By Lethbridge Herald on January 14, 2023.

Herald photo by Al Beeber City employee Quinn Sproule points to the newly named Darth Blader snow plow at Lethbridge Christian School Friday morning. That was one of 12 winning entries in a contest to name City snow plows.

Al Beeber – LETHBRIDGE HERALD – abeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

You won’t see any City trucks bearing the name ‘Plowy McPlowface’ but 12 other names chosen by city students did make the cut in a contest.

The contest for students up to Grade 4 in the Lethbridge School and Holy Spirit Catholic School divisions as well as those being home schooled, attracted more than 100 entries.

And on Friday, the winners were unveiled at a pair of schools.

The creative names will remain on the City trucks year-round, students at Lethbridge Christian School were told by City employee Quinn Sproule, who engaged a group of youngsters outdoors with information about the plows.

When winter plowing season is over, those same City trucks will be used for other seasonal work which means the winning names be visible on the passenger side of the vehicles 12 months a year.

Among the winning entries was “Snowzilla” by Benjamin Reed who proudly stood by a City banner pointing at his winning entry as his mom snapped photos with her phone.

Other winners included Darth Blader, the name on the truck brought to the school for students to see and learn about. That name was submitted by a Lethbridge Christian School student.

Other winning entries included Mr. Plow, Mean Jean the Snow Plow Machine, Snow White, Wow The Plow, Captain Flurry, Snow King, Avalanche, SuperKoonsKoyi – which is the Blackfoot word for snow – Frosty The Snow Plow and Tina the Snow Shuffler.

When operators are on the City radio they will be using their plow name for communication purposes.

Sproule told students they had “wicked entries. You guys all did good and made it hard for us to choose which ones we wanted to put on the trucks.”

He told the students a group of trucks are utilized together to clear main roads in the city, asking them what they think are “big roads.”

“We get five or six of these trucks together and we do what’s called a gang plow,” said Sproule.

He told the students crews use mixtures of salt and sand on roads. He showed them the different plows on the truck, including the front and the wing plow which is extended from the right side of the trucks.

On three of the trucks, a belly plow is also utilized on traffic circles or places where ruts develop because it gets good down pressure and can help clear out some of the ice, Sproule told his attentive audience.

The wing plow, he said, can carry more snow than the front, he said.

Mayor Blaine Hyggen, who spoke at the school, said afterwards that “it is such an exciting thing. Kids love to get involved.”

He said for students to have an understanding what plow operators do is great for them.

“Their questions are amazing.”

He said engaging with youth is one of his favourite things to do, be it on tours at City Hall or when he visits schools.

“Kids are our future, they truly are,” said the mayor. “Listening to them is extremely important for sure.”

He said he was impressed with the names, one that stood out being Darth Blader.

“The names are all great names. What a fantastic contest. Kids were so engaged through this.”

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