TEAMWORK IS KEY TO MAINTAINING 850 MILES OF ROAD
Lincoln County, located in southern Middle Tennessee, is a very diversified county. Agriculture is the county’s largest industry, but it is also home to manufacturers of bimetallic wire, automotive parts, snack foods, stainless steel kitchen equipment, fiberglass swimming pools, wood pallets and even two distilleries.
Headquartered in Fayetteville – the largest city and the county seat – the Lincoln County Highway Department oversees the maintenance of 850 miles of road in an area covering 750 square miles.
Road Superintendent Tim Gill, elected in 2010, was born and raised in Fayetteville. “Right out of high school, I went to work for a local equipment dealer,” he recalls. “Then I worked for ten years for Anheuser Bush Eagle Snacks – they had a sod farm in the area which used the wastewater from their local operations.”
Gill later worked for more than a decade as a supervisor for a paving contractor before being elected to his current position. He and his wife, who have two children and four grandchildren, still live in the Fayetteville area, where he also maintains a farm with 50 head of cattle.
ONE OF ONLY A FEW TENNESSEE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENTS WITH ITS OWN ROCK CRUSHER
The Lincoln County Highway Department, which has 23 employees, has been at its current location since the mid-1960s; at that time a rock crusher was installed on the property. “Lincoln County is one of the few highway departments in the state who have their own rock crusher,” Gill points out.
“It’s conveniently located right on our yard, so we can get rock as needed 24 hours a day, and it provides us good cost savings.”
The department is responsible for the maintenance of all county roads and bridges, and any drainage issues that occur. “We’ve also been involved in the construction of a couple of bridges,” Gill says. “Paving work is typically contracted out; probably 20 miles of road were resurfaced last year. There are still 150 miles of gravel road in Lincoln County, so there’s a concentrated effort to tackle the surfacing.”
He adds that one challenge that his department often faces is trying to schedule all the needed work, then have the schedule affected when a significant storm comes through the area. “A tornado that went through in 2014 set our regular work back by three months,” Gill reports. “That tornado stayed on the ground for over 20 miles in the county.”
A DIVERSE FLEET OF EQUIPMENT IS KEPT BUSY
The highway department’s equipment fleet includes 11 Class A trucks; 3 Cat 140H motor graders; Cat 924G, 966G and 972M wheel loaders; three backhoe loaders, including a Cat 420F2; a Cat CW15 pneumatic roller; 3 brush trucks; 3 recently-purchased dump trucks; and a water truck. Most of the department’s fleet is used daily, Gill says.
Commenting on his Cat machines, Gill states, “With Cat, you get what you pay for. That means durability, reliable product support, and good parts availability. These are the reasons why I’ve bought Cat.
“Joseph Fisher, our Thompson representative, is very good about getting us specs and comparisons when we’re looking at equipment. He gives us great support and checks in on us regularly.” The Lincoln County Highway Department does much of its own service work, but Gill says they also use Thompson Machinery shop and field service, especially with their newer machines.
Reflecting on his busy department, he comments, “We have a good staff here, everybody works together. That helps us get a lot done.”
To learn more about Lincoln County, visit www.lincolncountytngov.com