Last year, the Denver International Airport (DIA) was looking for replacement snow plow trucks because the vehicles they had were aging out of their lifecycle. These trucks are important in keeping airport operations functioning smoothly, and keeping runways clear and safe. They looked to quality vendor OJ Watson and their strategic relationships with Monroe Truck Equipment, Crysteel, Oshkosh and Force America to collaborate on the new fleet.
OJ Watson has been a Monroe Truck Equipment Snow & Ice Dealer since the mid 1990’s. Monroe offers OJ Watson the direct support required to gain and maintain a strong market share of the snow and ice equipment sold in Colorado. When the DIA approached OJ with a need for 10 new trucks, they spearheaded the collaborative custom fleet solution that would address all the concerns the Airport team was facing. The DIA purchased the chassis through McCandless Truck Center, the International Truck Dealer for Colorado and Wyoming.
Monroe Truck Equipment provided and installed I-Grip joystick controls to operate the Force America hydraulic valve and other features on the truck. The technology in the I-Grip allowed for integrating some of the Diamond Logic switches of the International chassis. The joystick operated the hoist, plow, tarp, vibrator, and hi-lift tailgate function.
This technology allowed for added safety features like ensuring the tailgate latch was released before the function could be operated. It also automatically disables plow functions when attaching/detaching the plow moldboard and disables the ability to attach/detach during plowing operations.
The Monroe team was able to incorporate indicators for when the tag and lift axles were deployed or the tarp was deployed.
Three cameras were integrated: the first for plow hook up visibility from the cab, the second for viewing the bed for tarp functions and visual of load, and the third for a backup feature.
With the weight of the large snow plow, a weight transfer system was incorporated into the joystick to reduce the wear on the cutting and transfer weight for the front steer axle to gain better control.
A custom built cab shield, hydraulic reservoir, and valve enclosure were installed to maximize the limited frame rail space, reduce wiring, incorporate special airport lighting and keep valves and controls elevated from corrosive road spray chemicals and debris.
With so many custom features integrated, this truck fleet can clear snow and ice off runways and the pickup/drop off points at the airport quickly, efficiently and most importantly, safely. When not in use during the winter season, these large bodies can be utilized for asphalt work for the Airport.
COVID reduced air traffic to 10% of normal air traffic so the Denver International Airport fast tracked their construction projects, completing projects and making improvements while there was reduced traffic.
Monroe Truck Equipment is proud to have worked on such an important fleet project, providing the tools necessary to make sure the runway is clear and safe for passengers and staff for years to come.