Over 100 custom-made snowplows added to state fleet

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WETHERSFIELD -- The pesky leaves will soon be a thing of the past and though that is a harsh thought, it is reality that crews at Connecticut's Department of Transportation said they are "turn-key" ready for on Friday.

At a news conference, Gov. Dan Malloy and DOT Commissioner James Redeker revealed the 114 new snowplows will battle winter storms this season.

The addition is said to be cheaper than in years past.

"For every fitth truck, we're getting a sixth one free," said Malloy, who said he couldn't recall the total cost of all the trucks.

The new equipment replaced older plows that were prone to breakdowns. Reducing the need for repairs will increase efficiency, said Redeker. He also pointed out the second, smaller plow on some of the new trucks.

"The efficiency comes from the use of wing plows so we can actually plow wider things with the use of a single truck or double wings, which is a huge width, so we can plow the highways, the interstate much faster," Redeker said.

The custom-made plows are also said to be safer for those tasked with maneuvering them.

"We really hadn't paid much attention to the comfort of the people using it and the safety of the people using it," said Malloy, who said feedback from drivers was integrated into the design of the new fleet.

Changes include heated windows, warmer lights and comfier seats.

"You know, you got somebody in one of these pieces of equipment for 20 to 24 hours, you should pay attention to him, what makes their job easier," said Malloy.

The hope is the fancy flake flickers won't need to be used to often this winter, but when they do, Malloy made a promise.

"We're ready, " he said. "We've invested. We have the best crews and now some of the best equipment that's available in America."