This past summer, we successfully applied for a BC Gaming Capital Project Grant, which is aimed at purchasing capital assets for long-term use. The funds from this grant will be used to purchase Ford F350s, as our agreement with Toyota has ended. We have also purchased a new hybrid enclosed trailer, a snowmobile deck and the required accessories. This combination of trucks, trailers and snowmobile decks provides greater operational flexibility and other benefits to our staff and public programs.
Our trucks and hauling systems move our public-facing staff, including our field teams, forecasters, youth educator and snowmobile outreach coordinator. The new trucks will be conspicuously wrapped with high-impact graphics featuring our logo and safety messaging. This provides visibility and profile to our team as we do our work. We encourage backcountry users to look for our trucks at staging areas and approach our staff to inquire about avalanche conditions and safety training.
New trucks means less maintenance and increased fuel efficiency, which reduces our operational costs. Enclosed trailers are more secure and they protect our snowmobiles and gear from weather and road wear, which extends the life of our equipment and reduces our maintenance costs. They also save time by eliminating tasks such as clearing snow off the open trailers and cleaning road grime off our snowmobiles, which increases our efficiency in the field.
Snowmobile decks allow our teams to access backcountry areas in the early and late season, when roads are not navigable with trailers. Unloading and riding from staging areas with low snow cover causes damage to our snowmobiles. Decks allow our staff to drive up to higher elevations where there is more snow. Typically, early and late season is when we are in most need of snow and weather information for our forecasts, so it's important for our staff to be able to access the backcountry at these times. Additionally, by using both the deck and trailer, we can haul four snowmobiles with one truck (two in the enclosed trailer and two on the snowmobile deck). This enables us to put a team of four on a field trip when necessary, providing increased safety and flexibility for our programs.
The public safety information we collect and communicate is critical and time sensitive; there is no time for breakdowns or mechanical issues. We are grateful to BC Gaming for this grant, which increases our efficiency and ability to produce world-leading safety programs.