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Evaluation of alternative snow plow cutting edges.
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    With approximately 450 snow plow trucks, the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) uses in excess of 10,000 linear feet of plow cutting edges each winter season. Using the 2008-2009 cost per linear foot of $48.32, the Departments total cost for cutting edges for the winter of 2008-2009 is estimated to exceed $500,000. Considering this significant annual expenditure, MaineDOT is continually looking for alternatives to its existing carbide-insert cutting edges. During the winter of 2007-2008, MaineDOT’s maintenance crew in Baileyville found themselves running low on carbide cutting edges. As an alternative, the crew installed carbide-insert underbody scraper blades. The underbody blade is approximately 1/8 inch thicker than the conventional plow blade (see Photo 1). The crew quickly noticed the underbody blades appeared to last longer than their conventional blades. These promising preliminary results made a more formal evaluation warranted for the winter of 2008-2009.
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