Indianapolis’ long-time salt supplier, Cargill, has selected the city as a pilot location for the company’s Safe and Smart Program. As part of the program, Wayzata, Minn.-based Cargill will donate 125 tons of salt and five Ford F-250 trucks equipped with snowplows and salt spreaders over the next five years. The donated vehicles and supplies are worth an estimated $250,000. Signs on the donated trucks will say: Indy Snow Force Powered by Cargill.


“Our dedicated fleet of 73 snow trucks will be augmented by Cargill’s commitment,” said Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. “Indianapolis is making a name for itself as a leader among large cities during challenging economic times. Resources may be scarce, but the more we are challenged, the stronger we respond, and partnerships are playing a key role in our city’s success.”


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Charter Schools

Unlike the larger plow trucks in the city’s fleet that are suited for clearing main thoroughfares, the F-250s can be used to clear walkways and parking lot areas at charter schools and libraries during severe weather conditions. In warmer months, the trucks will support transit needs for Indy Parks’ Summer Servings program, which provides lunches to low-income children at 233 sites in Indianapolis.

“A key element to the selection of Indianapolis for this partnership is our shared vision of a commitment to the best practices that allow for financially and environmentally responsible snow and ice removal,” said Sean Riley, sales and marketing manager for Cargill Deicing. “With a snowplow fleet that is best in class and a willingness to use new and innovative products that help control costs and the impact to the environment, the choice was a simple one.”

Indianapolis’ snow truck fleet has been upgraded over the past four years with newer, better equipment. A total of 57 new trucks were added in 2009 and 2010, six more in 2011, and 10 in 2012. The investment has resulted in faster response times after snowfalls and reduced maintenance costs.

Cargill designed the Safe and Smart Program with input from Indianapolis. Cargill has a large grain elevator in Indianapolis, on the city’s near west side.