LINCOLN - The Alcona County Road Commission has received two bids from companies that make heavy duty lift hoists capable of lifting a 70,000 pound truck into the air, an official said Thursday.
Managing Director Jesse Campbell said he and other officials saw the lifts at the Montmorency County maintenance garage last year while touring facilities to get ideas for their new garage.
Alcona's facility in Lincoln was destroyed by fire in 2013, and the county is hoping to have a new garage completed by January 2015.
"They allow us to lift our trucks in the air so it is much easier to maintain and service our fleet," Campbell said.
The hoists also are safer for employees, reducing the need to roll around under trucks dripping with snow, he said.
"When they are changing blades on the spot or doing minor repairs, they can get in and out," Campbell said. "Otherwise the crews must use floor jacks and jack stands."
The hoist system, which is operated wirelessly, also speeds up maintenance, he said.
One bid was $36,623 from Gray Manufacturing of St. Joseph, Mo.; the other from CTT Equipment of Midland for $35,300. Both designs use four columns to lift a single truck.
The road commissioners also are considering the possibility of leasing a hoist system and will discuss the issue at their next meeting Jan. 22, Campbell said.
The road commission will spend $37,000 to have a 1994 International semitruck refurbished at Valley Truck Parts in Grand Rapids.
That plan calls for retrofitting the vehicle with a new cab, remanufactured engine, transmission and new air system for brakes and other equipment. The suspension system will also be improved.
"We looked at a lot of used semis and this one still has a lot of life left in it," Campbell said. The truck will be driven to the company's shop in the next two weeks.
Betsy Lehndorff can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5693. Follow Betsy on Twitter @bl_alpenanews.