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1960s-era small town engineering project

Proves there's more than one way to remove snow from Main Street

This snow blower-conveyor-Ford assemble line collected snow and no doubt dumped in along the Riley Creek bank on Harmon Road, hoping it would be eventually melt and flood Columbus Grove and Ottawa.
There’s more than one way to plow snow. And this proves it.

One winter day – probably in 1961 or ’62 – the Village of Bluffton used this unusual equipment combination to clean Main Street following an extra heavy snowfall.

 

Due to the unusual assortment of equipment involved, Paul Diller walked out of his residence on South Main and took this photograph of the work in progress.

 

Our staff of vehicle experts believe the red vehicle is a 1961 Ford F500 Straight dump truck, owned by the village.

 

The contraption to the right is a bit more difficult to explain. But, we’ll give it a shot.

 

It appears to have a elevator conveyor that lifts snow – collected by the front end loader in the background – up to a hopper that empties onto a conveyor belt that dumps the snow into the dump truck bed. 

 

It’s possibly a product of some barnyard engineering, or based on some military surplus truck, perhaps a company once existed that manufactured such things. Or, it’s some type of a WWII army surplus vehicle.

 

Apparently, because of this heavy snow we believe the village crews first plowed the snow into the center of the street. From there the snow blower-conveyor-Ford assemble line collected the snow and no doubt dumped in along the Riley Creek bank on Harmon Road, hoping it would be eventually melt and flood Columbus Grove and Ottawa.

 

Question: How do we know it’s a 1961 Ford? Our vehicle experts say this: The telling features are the clear (not amber) front parking/turn signal lenses and the "spear" emblem above the front wheel.


T]he difference between a '61 and a '62 is that the '61 "FORD" is in the center of the grill, and in '62 it's at the bottom edge of the hood.


As a post script, added one day later, comes this thought from Dan Groman: Okay, with a second look, there are two vehicles behind the Ford truck.  The easier one is the red (1947-1953) Chevy truck, which is behind the snow machine.  


The snow conveyor appears to be a home-built machine that is perhaps a tractor with added front fenders. I wish I could tell a few more details on that to see if it was an actual purchased snow conveyor or if it was a modified tractor/truck for this purpose.   

 

Thanks for Tom Suter of Bowling Green, Tim Schumacher and Dan Groman of Bluffton, for the truck ID and educated guess on the conveyor vehicle. We have yet to hear from Dennis Morrison, but we’ll keep you updated.

 




 

 

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