|CHARLESTON, WV – The West Virginia Department of Transportation’s Division of Highways is saving taxpayers money with a new facility in Buckhannon that lets DOH paint its own heavy equipment.|
The state-of-the-art paint booth, located at the DOH Equipment Division headquarters in Buckhannon, is big enough to paint trailers up to 50 feet long and tall enough to accommodate most construction equipment. Paint crews were recently spraying a Ford L9000 tractor with familiar DOH gold.
Kevin Linger, in charge of the DOH body shop at the Equipment Division, said rust and corrosion are a vehicle’s worst enemies. It’s a fact Linger knows from spending 20 of his 32 years with DOH as a mechanic.
A good solid paint job is the first line of defense against such deterioration.
Repainting older equipment helps the vehicles last longer and retain more value if they’re later sold as surplus property. In the end, that saves DOH – and taxpayers – money.
The computer-controlled painting facility, with elaborate filtering systems and the ability to custom-match any color, cost about $200,000 to build and outfit. But that’s cheaper than constantly sending equipment out to contractors to paint.
“If you’ve got a big truck or a big piece of equipment, there’s almost nobody with the capacity to do that,” Linger said.