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South Dakota DOT snow plows receive new names after statewide contest

Published: Mar. 9, 2021 at 5:15 PM CST
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - It’s not everyday you get a chance at naming something many others will see, let alone a staple out on the roads during a South Dakota winter. So when Dave Bacon and his family of Aberdeen saw that the South Dakota Department of Transportation was having a contest to name a snow plow in the area, it got their attention.

“My wife told me about it, and so she sent me the link. And I threw out a name, and she threw out a name. I didn’t really think I was going to win.” Bacon said.

“Darth Blader: will be helping clear the roads between Aberdeen and Groton. But Bacon said it means more to him than just having a name, but by getting a chance to raise awareness for snow plow operators.

“You just got to make room for these guys. And they’re doing an important job. So it’s, without them there would be no travel.”

Aberdeen Area Engineer Bruce Schroeder said the contest was a way to call attention to the state’s revamped 511 website, as well as connect the DOT to communities across the state and to plow operators.

“I think it’s a great way to get them to kind of personalize a truck, so they can see them and kind of be happy that we’re out there. And not, that we’re not so much of a hindrance, but we try to help the public and it kind of makes it a better way to kind of get involved with us.” said Chaz Shuff, a DOT Highway Maintenance Worker based out of Aberdeen.

With snow in the forecast for northeastern South Dakota Wednesday, “Darth Blader” will see its first work under its new name soon. And both Bacon and Shuff are excited to see it out on the road.

“It’ll be nice to see our plow go down the road, whenever we see it. It’ll always give us a smile. We’ll remember the day for probably forever.” said Bacon.

“Yeah, it’ll be kind of fun to see now if people notice it. That’ll be a great way to get out there.” said Shuff.

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