The United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry (SD&G) wants to give unique names to its fleet of 16 snowplows, giving residents the chance to be creative and submit their own ideas.
Corporate communications coordinator for SD&G Todd Lihou said the idea came from overseas.
"We saw a social media post prior to the holidays with communities in Scotland that had this idea and we thought that’s just something great that we could roll out here in the United Counties," said Lihou.
"We just wanted to have some fun and the response we’ve got from the community has just been phenomenal, so we’re quite happy with that."
The survey opened on Jan. 4 on the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry website, with details about the program.
Sixteen options are available to choose from like "Black Ice Bandit" and "Licence to Chill", and people can submit their own ideas.
"So far, it’s really kind of funny people have kind of taken it to heart. My favourite so far is Tragically Slick, I really want to get that on a plow," Lihou said. "We’ve had some other ones; Sheila Dundela, Morewood Less Snow, so we’re having some fun with."
Benjamin de Haan, director of transportation and planning for SD&G Counties said even the plow operators are excited.
"It’s been great, I think there is a lot of enthusiasm for it," de Haan said
"Everybody’s got an investment because we assign drivers to certain plows, so they’re invested in their own piece of equipment. I think they are looking forward to seeing what the winner is for each of their own plows and probably have some personal favourites as well," de Haan added.
He said it would also make his job a little easier since the plows are all referred to by different numbers right now.
"Understanding and remembering the numbers and what shops they are at is a challenge, so having names is going to make it a little more easier for the work that I’m doing and a little more exciting for the guys," de Haan added.
It’s also a morale booster for the drivers as well.
"It’s a thankless job. You have got to remember these guys are out there - we plow 24 hours a day 7 days a week. They are getting up in the middle of the night, working all day long; working out on the roads in the worst conditions," said de Haan.
"it’s great to put a little positive spin on it because often when people call us they have a complaint or there’s an issue with the way the road has been plowed, so it’s a nice way to put a positive spin on what can sometimes be something that’s not so great."
The county has a total of 16 plows and 4 others on contract. They clear all of the roads after a snowfall in about three hours.
"Of course if the snow is coming down we’ll have to continue to go around and around, but we can get around in about three hours," de Haan added.
The county also accepted delivery of a new snowplow on Jan. 6.
"We get a new plow roughly once every year. We have 16 plows so our plows are in active use for approximately 16 years."
Asked if that will be the first one to receive a winning name, de Haan laughed and agreed that should be the case
Lihou said the SD&G website will be updated once names have been chosen and added to the trucks, and residents can follow along thanks to GPS.
"We’re in the process right now of transitioning to a new website and our goal is to include a GPS option on the website, so people will be able to go on and have a look at the plows and where they are," said Lihou.
"So they can see that the 'Tragically Slick' is four kilometres away and my road is about to be plowed."
The survey ends on Jan. 22. You can have your say on the plows names on the SD&G Counties website.