PIERRE, S.D. — Darth Blader. Mt. Plowmore. Blizzard Wizard. Frosty the Snowplow. These are just a few of the monikers assigned to the snowplows of South Dakota.
Back in January, the South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) rolled out the agency’s first-ever “Name the Snowplow” contest. When the contest ended Jan. 31, more than 800 entries had been submitted by individuals, families, elementary classrooms, senior living centers and businesses throughout the state.
“The contest was designed to engage people across the state with the SDDOT in a fun and unique way,” said Joel Jundt, South Dakota’s interim secretary of transportation. “Safety on our roadways is our number one priority, and winter driving and snowplow safety awareness is vital to keeping people safe each and every day.
Voting was conducted by the SDDOT staff, and 12 winners were selected. The winners will soon officially meet and take photos with their locally named snowplows.
While most of the snowplow names will inspire chuckles, the snowplow assigned to the state’s Belle Fourche Area honors the late Art DeKnikker, a former DDOT snowplow operator.
“The name ‘Art’ was submitted by several people in the Belle Fourche Area in memory of 43-year SDDOT veteran snowplow operator, Art DeKnikker,” said Todd Seaman, Rapid City Region engineer. “The opportunity to honor Art’s dedicated public service is a true testament to all our plow operators who work hard every day to keep citizens safe.”
The newly named plows include:
- Aberdeen Area: Darth Blader, submitted by Dave Bacon;
- Belle Fourche Area: Art, submitted by family and friends of Art DeKnikker;
- Custer Area: Mt. Plowmore, submitted by Landon Harrod;
- Huron Area: Snow Mater, submitted by Jim Bruce;
- Mitchell Area: Blizzard Wizard, submitted by Cordell Davis;
- Mobridge Area: Winter Warrior, submitted by Marion Goehring;
- Pierre Area: Lewis & Clark, submitted by Jackie Heier;
- Rapid City Area: Polar Patroller, submitted by Tiffany Hoff;
- Sioux Falls Area: SnowBeGone Kenobi, submitted by Shawn Hanson;
- Watertown Area: Thaw Enforcement, submitted by Robert Innes;
- Winner Area: Walter the Salter, submitted by the Dairy Queen of Winner staff; and
- Yankton Area: Frosty the Snowplow, submitted by Lilly Kroger.
Once SDDOT has photographed the winners and their snowplows, photos and local stories will be shared on the agency’s website.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.