The Phelps County Road Department will soon be the owners of a new, 2000 gal. oil distributor truck. Working with Roads Superintendent Walter Snelson, the county commissioners gave the green light for the purchase at Thursday's open meeting.

The Phelps County Road Department will soon be the owners of a new, 2000 gal. oil distributor truck. Working with Roads Superintendent Walter Snelson, the county commissioners gave the green light for the purchase.

This sophisticated sprayer applies oil at a specified rate and particle size to ensure the asphalt and chipped rock materials bond in a “chip and seal” surfaced road. Most people know chip and seal roads as “blacktop” roads.

The tank and spray rig was purchased from Springfield-based, G.W. Van Keppel Company, an E.D. Etnyre Company distributor, for a cost of $179,088.00, minus the trade-in value on two old distributor trucks whose value is yet to be determined. The new International 7500 single-axle truck is being fitted with the tank and spray rig at Etnyre’s company headquarters in Oregon, Ill., and is expected to be delivered in early spring.

Superintendent Snelson said the new oil distributor will replace the two older trucks. The county spent a lot of money on one of them this year,” he said. “It either puts out too much [oil], or not enough.”
“If it’s wrong (calibration), you either waste oil or rock and you’ve got a bad laydown,” said Presiding Commissioner Randy Verkamp. “We’ve got a lot of catching up to do (chipping and sealing roads) because of the two floods.”

“We shot $720,000 in oil just last year,” said Snelson.
If we can save 15 percent on our oil costs, it will pay for this new distributor in about three years,” said Commissioner Gary Hicks. “It should reap benefits for the next 15 years, or so.”

Superintendent Snelson says this should be a twenty year truck.