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Spring 2011

Utility Vehicle Helps Keep Kids in School

3400XL helps patrol new high school and takes on other jobs, too.


3400XL utility vehicle helps patrol Westminster High School.

More than 2,000 students walked into the new Westminster High School on the north side of the Denver metro last fall. The 40-acre complex includes a 375,000-square-foot building where the cutting-edge curriculum is divided into five career academies.

What wasn't new was the old habit of some students choosing to skip class and wander around and off the campus. To help solve that problem, Adams County School District No. 50 added one more item to the $92 million price tag for the new school — a Bobcat® 3400XL 4x4 utility vehicle, part of the New Breed of UTVs introduced in 2010.

"We knew our security staff had to cover a lot of property — that's why there are 140 security cameras — on the campus to get kids and transport them safely back to school," says Pat Sanchez, principal. "The 3400XL is perfect for that job, but as the school year moves along we are finding more uses for the vehicle."

The machine has made life easier for Steve Dehn and other members of the security staff.

"Previously students would see me on foot and decide to run," Dehn says. "Now they see me on the vehicle and they know they can't outrun me, so they usually give up quickly. Since we got the 3400XL, nobody has gone anywhere. It's a great preventive tool that keeps them in class."

Painted in the school colors of teal, black and white and with the wolf mascot, the utility vehicle is used throughout the day by the security staff. They drive it through the parking lots to check parking permits; to the stadium and sports fields, including an off-campus softball field; and even around the neighborhood.

"It has worked out real well," Dehn says. "The most often heard comment from the students is, ‘That is a cool machine.'"

Why a Bobcat UTV?

Principal Sanchez was a mechanic for five years before he became an automotive and diesel teacher. With his experience and knowledge, he researched the different brands of utility vehicles himself.

"The 3400XL met all of the specifications we had," he says. "I really liked the engine and the drivetrain. Those two items alone sold me. The machine has good power, good torque and handles very well."

The 3400XL has an electronic fuel injection system, a 32-horsepower gas engine and a top traveling speed of 30 mph. With an extra row of seating, the 3400XL can carry up to six occupants depending on the seat configuration. It was purchased from Bobcat of the Rockies.

The staff at Westminster High School continues to find additional after-hour jobs for the utility vehicle. Among other things, it is used to haul items to events (such as soda to concession stands), and bring athletic supplies and players to the various sporting venues.

"As the school with the largest campus in the state, we have a lot of ground to cover," Sanchez says. "The 3400XL is just what we need to stay on top of things around the school and the surrounding neighborhood."