Touch-A-Truck touches hearts          

Dansereau is pictured at right. TAMS = Transportation Asset Management System

Saturday, Sept. 9, was the annual Touch- A-Truck event put on by the Junior League of Boise. This event gives kids and adults a chance to get up close to the equipment used to keep our communities running.

There were over 6,000 visitors, according to the last count I heard. There were displays from the Idaho State Police, Idaho Transportation Department, Ada County Highway District, Idaho Materials & Construction, Rock Placing, Western States Cat, and more.

It was interesting to see the response of the children: for one day, they had a chance to touch things they are typically told to stay away from. The most interest from the younger children seemed to be in turning the steering wheel and honking the horn. After eight hours of listening to horns, the only thing that kept my sanity was the smile from a child who had just honked a horn, an action that usually results in some kind of reprimand from their parents - on this day, it was ok.

In a world that promotes higher education, which is a good thing, it was nice to see kids take an interest in the machines that keep our world turning. Maybe this event sparks one of these children to be the next truck driver, grader operator, loader operator or ISP Trooper.

Randy Gehrke and Cory Kelly from the Banks maintenance shed proudly displayed our new snow blower, answering questions about what it is and what it does. Kyle Wright, a veteran of the Touch-A-Truck program, displayed one of the Incident Response trucks. True to form, Kyle helped one gentleman free his bicycle from a fence after the lock he had placed on it wouldn’t open. Another gentleman walked up with a flat tire on his bicycle and Kyle gladly filled the tire.

When the event was over and participants started to leave, Kyle was approached with one more request - apparently, if you leave your blinking lights on all day, the battery will not have enough juice left to start the vehicle, a situation easily remedied by Incident Response.  

It was a long day in the heat, but the volunteers putting on the event made sure participants had plenty of water, and they supplied lunch. More than that, however, the smiles from the children made it all worthwhile.

Published 09-15-17