Farm Horizons, June 2013

Keeping township roads in good condition is an unconditional passion for Randy Klugow

By Danny Evans

Maintaining the roads of a township is done year-round with various types of tools and ways of taking care of them. Middleville Township near Howard Lake is no different. The township’s maintenance man Randy Klugow works on the roads during every season of the year, no matter the weather.

Despite the extra weeks of winter Minnesota experienced this year, the road conditions of Middleville Township turned out reasonably well, according to Klugow.

“The dry fall made sure that frost did not penetrate so deeply. Because it didn’t stay 20 below for a long period of time, the roads were fine,” Klugow said.

He explained the amount of moisture that enters the road is a huge factor in determining how well the roads will be in spring.

Normally, after a long winter in which temperatures stay at low levels for long periods of time, frost boils cause water and frost to come up, which leads to the ground not firming up so well, Klugow elaborated. He mentioned that he uses plastic tubing in a process called tiling, and places it underneath the road, which helps prevent moisture from getting into the road. When a tile is broken, this can cause a hole in the road, which can lead to rodents, such as gophers, entering those holes.

Klugow discussed how the roads are maintained in the fall leading into winter and then in spring.

“In the fall, we try to get the roads in shape. If there are many bumps, it is hard on the snow equipment. If we have just gone through a moist fall, we blade the gravel, and get it packed down, smoothing it out.”

According, to Klugow, spring is the season when the roads receive the most attention. Because of the winter weather, some of the roads may be combating soft spots and frost boils. So, Klugow has to reclaim the gravel before the summer rains come.

“Every year is different. It just depends on the winter and how much rain we get. This leads to how much we will blade the gravel,” he said.

When the weather is dry, the gravel may not stay in place. This makes it hard for Klugow to maintain the roads.

“The trick to having a good solid road is having good gravel,” he said.

Klugow drives a truck that he uses to haul the gravel stored in a stockpile. His responsibility is hauling gravel with one truck for 53 miles of road.

Klugow has a passion for his work and keeping the roads of Middleville Township in good condition. He credits his career to his mentor, Eddie Reinmuth, the first full-time maintenance man in Middleville Township. “Reinmuth taught me how to maintain roads,” Klugow said.

While roads of any township have to be maintained at all times, Klugow has the roads of Middleville Township taken care of.

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