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Mild 2017 winter extends testing period for road sander

Posted on 11/03/2017
Mild 2017 winter extends testing period for road sanderA new, high tech slide-in sander will aid the Weld County Department of Public Works in caring for winter roads this season. The Xzalt Hi-Way Precision Applicator will make its debut this winter after field testing was postponed last year following a light snow season.

The Weld County Board of Commissioners approved the use of the sander in 2016, in hopes of providing safer roads for residents while also attempting to lower the cost of road maintenance for Weld County. Field tests this winter will confirm accurate results, but the Xzalt sander is expected to use 25-30% fewer deicing materials than standard deicing procedures.

“The way it’s built to distribute material is improved over some other sanders we believe,” Weld County Department of Public Works Director Jay McDonald said. “Also, the electronics that control the machine is supposedly improved over standard sanders.”

According to McDonald, the Xzalt will only be used for one route continuously this winter; the newly constructed Weld County Road 49 Corridor.

The technology of the Xzalt comes mainly from utilizing liquid tanks. Public works uses a combination of sand and a chemical called Ice Slayer to treat the roads. McDonald said that the chemical Ice Slayer is expensive and that the Xzalt’s sander’s ability to spray liquid chemical on the road should save Weld County money because less overall chemical will be used when compared to traditional sanders.

“You’re putting down less material to do a better job,” McDonald said.

The Xzalt sander is being provided free to the county during the testing period this winter. Results of its performance will be gathered from on board data as it is able to track how much material it uses. In addition, input from drivers using traditional sanders will provide valuable information on judging the Xzalt’s overall effectiveness.

“We are excited to see what this sander can do,” Weld County Commissioner Mike Freeman said. “This is a win-win as it not only can save money but continue making the roadways safe for everyone traveling through the county this winter.”

If pleased with the results, the Weld County Department of Public Works with approval from the commissioners, may choose to purchase the Xzalt Applicator using funds from its Equipment Replacement Fund.