New equipment will aid in tribal road maintenance
The Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s Department of Tribal Planning Department recently acquired a brand new KX040 Kubota compact excavator. The excavator is the first of its kind for the Tribal Planning Road Maintenance Program.
The new excavator will be used primarily for regional road work, including vegetation removal, scarification, culvert excavation, bar ditch clearing, compaction failures, and subgrade rock hammering. Tribal Planning Heavy Equipment Operator, Matthew Box explained that the 4-ton, track driven Kubota is compatible with their heavy-duty mower/chipper head which can be attached to the machine, in addition to a versatile 6-way directional blade for fine-tuned grading projects.
Tribal Planning was able to purchase the new Kubota excavator using Coronavirus Relief and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act funding. In 2022, Tribal Planning also acquired a brand-new Caterpillar 120 AWD motor grader funded by the Tribal Transportation Program, that new equipment is being used to perform routine and preventative maintenance on eligible earthen and gravel roads throughout the Southern Ute Reservation.
While the department celebrates the acquisition of new equipment, they are also pleased to announce that they have a staging ground for their road maintenance projects, located just behind the BIA Fire, Southern Ute Agency, Tribal Planning now has a secure lot for heavy equipment and material storage.
“It is the new home base for all of our new equipment and supplies,” Acting Planning Director, Mary Evening Star Eagle said. “It was an undeveloped hay field. Matthew (Box) grubbed it from vegetation, leveled the sub grade and topped it with 12 inches of structural 3” road base — 525 tons in total.”
The Tribal Planning Department is currently made up of three employees, all Southern Ute tribal members — Acting Planning Director, Mary Evening Star Eagle, Heavy Equipment Operator, Matthew Box, and Tribal Planning Admin Support II, Roman Jay Box Seibel.