City OKs purchase of new $129,695 garbage truck
Saturday, February 23, 2013 4:00 AM
A new garbage truck should be in the city's fleet of vehicles by March 4.
The 2012 Freightliner truck costs $129,695 and will be delivered to Indianapolis on March 1 where city officials will take possession.
The truck was obtained on a 42-month lease-purchase agreement with the dealership.
Mechanical problems with the city's oldest garbage truck, a 1997 Ford, surfaced 10 days ago. The Board of Public Works called a special meeting Friday to discuss the issue.
The 16-year-old truck had been losing power and making a loud noise. After further inspection, it was discovered that the truck was operating without one of its cylinders. City mechanics determined that a total rebuild of the engine would be required to keep the truck working.
Street superintendent Doug Vest said that the average life expectancy of a garbage truck is between eight and 10 years. Vest told the board that the cost of an engine rebuild is around $16,000 and renting a truck while the engine is being repaired could cost up to $6,500 a month.
"Due to the fact that this truck has already doubled its life expectancy, we feel like this would not be a cost effective option in the best interest of our customers," Vest said.
Ken Washer, sanitation supervisor, said that the new truck fits the city's needs and can be purchased at a "year-end closeout rate."
Since there is no backup garbage truck, the city can't afford to go without a new one, Washer said.
"If our garbage trucks go down, the guys are going to be out there using a flatbed truck," Washer said.
Because the city has no reserve trucks, the 1997 truck will be kept. A $4,000 engine repair should make the truck serviceable as a backup and allow the regular trucks to be taken in for longer service jobs, Washer said.
The Freightliner gets 5 miles-per-gallon, almost 50 percent more mpg than the 1997 Ford.
A quote for a $134,000 Peterbuilt truck was also considered. Because only two quotes were presented to the board and a special meeting was called to make the purchase, the board had to find that not buying the truck would significantly impair the function of the city to collect garbage and that being impaired would be damaging to the welfare of citizens.
Both the finding and the purchase of the garbage truck were unanimous decisions by the board.