The mean streets of Wausau

Tara VanTimmeren / October 23, 2008

Located in north central Wisconsin, Wausau offers the convenience of city living with the beauty and recreation of the north woods just minutes away from any doorstep in town.

Keeping traffic on the city streets moving, especially during the winter months, is the job of the Wausau Department of Public Works. Don Skure, street superintendent for the department, operates a fleet of six Case wheel loaders used in a wide range of projects.

Loading salt, plowing snow

The city operates a 5,000-cu-ton salt dome. “It’s about enough to get us through the winter,” said Skure.

The department’s 621E Case wheel loader (Circle 900) is a key piece of equipment when loading salt into trucks during the winter. The selected machine pulls up to the salt dome and retrieves as many bucket loads of road salt as are needed to load the truck. In addition to using salt to keep winter roads clear, the department will utilize the 621E wheel loader to occasionally spread salt over the city’s sand pile to keep it from freezing during the coldest winter months.

After loading the salt trucks, the department uses the Case 621E wheel loader’s hydraulic quick coupler to switch over to a snow bucket or snow blower. All six of the department’s wheel loaders help with snow removal.

“The Case 621E wheel loaders are good for going up and down hills that trucks have trouble with,” said Skure. “We have steep hills in our area.”

A wealth of applications

Skure uses the Case 621E wheel loaders for special projects whenever possible. One recent example involved the demolition of a one-block section of Third Street between Washington and Jefferson. Skure’s crew used a combination of wheel loaders and a rented skid steer to load out the street materials.

Another typical demolition project involves using the city’s Case 621E wheel loaders in street work involving plumber holes. City workers cut away a section of concrete or asphalt and then use the wheel loaders to scrape away the material and load it onto a truck. They also use the wheel loaders for hauling away asphalt from road projects for recycling.

Working outdoors in all seasons and conditions can occasionally lead to city vehicles and machines becoming stuck in floods, mud, snow or ice. When this happens, the department sends out one of its Case 621E wheel loaders to pull or push the stuck vehicle to safety.

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