South Dakota beefs up snow plow fleet

MITCHELL, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota is increasing its arsenal of snow-removal tow plows to manage winter weather conditions.

The state Transportation Department expanded its fleet before the start of this winter by adding three tow plows, and officials are planning to buy three more before next winter.

The Daily Republic reports that the anticipated purchases would be used in Sioux Falls, Rapid City and Chamberlain. Each tow plow costs about $140,000.

Transportation Department Engineer Jason Humphrey says tow plows save money. A traditional snow plow truck costs $3 per mile to operate. A tow plow costs about $1.37 per mile and uses fewer operators.

Tow plows are pulled behind a typical snow plow truck like a trailer. They allow operators to remove snow from one lane and the shoulder in one pass.