Kelowna’s new snowblower needs a name. Watch it in action.

The machine promises to save money and clear roads faster

Normally in November, city crews are paving roads, not plowing them.

So it was a bit serendipitous for Kelowna’s roadways operations manager Andrew Schwerdtfeger, who was eager to test out the city’s newest snowblower.

“I’m a glutton for punishment. I was praying it would snow early,” he told Kelowna10 with a laugh.

The more than 10,000-pound beast is replacing a 30-year-old snow removing machine and promises to both save money and clear roadways at a much quicker pace.

The 'Superman of snow blowers' can move 2,700 tonnes of snow in an hour, the equivalent of about 500 trucks. It can launch snow about 150 feet, well beyond anything in the city’s arsenal.

Last year, Schwerdtfeger said the city undertook hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of snow removal.

Now, he said, thanks to the sheer size and efficiency of the machine, roads will be cleared faster, saving money to pay for the new piece of equipment.

“We previously weren’t able to pick up and throw snow efficiently, now we have the ability to move snow into now areas … and open [more roads] up fully,” he said.

And after what was the fourth coldest November on record for the city, and a month that brought an unusually high amount of snow, Schwerdtfeger said he and his department were lucky to have the new equipment.

To welcome the machine to Kelowna, the city is enlisting residents to name it.

People can submit their name suggestions online until midnight on Dec. 23. The Top 10 names will be selected by city hall and put to public vote in January.

The winner will get a deluxe snow blower experience, including a photo shoot and demonstration with the machine, along with a Snow Angels prize pack.

Published 2022-12-02 by David Hasnon

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