WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) -- This snowy season now has the West Lafayette Street Department pulling out its new multi-purpose plow machine. It's called the "Multihog" and it's the first of its kind here in the entire state of Indiana.
This machine is able to essentially shapeshift into whatever the street department needs. It has a total of at least 60 different functions and attachments that can be added or taken off the machine. It's been able to improve how road crews safely and easily complete road cleaning procedures.
What makes it special is that while it's more compact in size compared to other city snowplows, it has several more functions. It not only plows, but it also brines roads, sweeps streets, trims trees, mows grass, cleans ditches and it can mill asphalt. The other city snowplows only have two functions of plowing snow and hauling dirt.
The Multihog costs around $240,000. West Lafayette Street Department's Jesse Scroggins who is the machine operator said the time and resources it saves are worth the investment.
"This basically an all-season tractor so just the versatility and we're always trying to improve equipment and we're willing to try new things," said Scroggins.
Street Commissioner Ben Anderson agrees. He said if the street department can find ways to save time, that helps save resources, which then helps taxpayers save money. He said a road job that would take about seven-hours can now be done in at least two-hours with this new machine. He believes it's an investment that pays for itself.
"We are empowered to keep pursuing and keep looking and keep trying to find new and creative ways to do stuff that's been done for hundreds of years," said Anderson. "Improving service and reducing the amount of time that we're out there getting the job done all saves in the end.
Anderson said this machine is the same price as a regular snowplow.
A message to West Lafayette residents, as the snowfall continues, make sure you try parking in the driveway or off the streets. Road crews say it's been challenging getting the Multihog machine through certain neighborhoods when cars are in the way, especially cars on streets in a cul-de-sac.