All 3 refurbished Morgan City garbage trucks have had issues
Tue, 2013-10-15 15:05 Harlan Kirgan
Wiring harness torn off one truck in mud
Morgan City, La.
Since then we’ve talked to the parish about having to back up so far on wet days. And they’ve agreed to accommodate us because it wasn’t just our truck out that day. SWIDI and Progressive (other parish garbage collectors) both had similar problems.
By ZACHARY FITZGERALD
One of the city’s 2004 refurbished garbage trucks is out of commission right now as its wiring harness has to be repaired after an incident at the parish landfill last week, Morgan City Mayor Frank “Boo” Grizzaffi said Monday.
The garbage truck backed up too far in muddy conditions at the landfill where the bed of the truck pressed against the garbage ripping the wiring harness out, Grizzaffi said.
Mayor Pro-tem and City Councilman Louis Tamporello said the wiring harness is going to be “a pretty expensive fix.” The wiring harness is not covered under the truck’s warranty. The city’s three refurbished trucks do have warranties that cover some issues, Tamporello said.
“I know we have talked to Alliance to find out what we can be doing to avoid that (issue in muddy conditions),” Tamporello said. The truck cost $90,000, which is one of three refurbished trucks the city purchased from Alliance Refuse Trucks in Phoenix, Ariz. The truck had more than 22,000 miles on it when the city bought it.
Though the “circumstance” caused the failure in the truck, that is “one of those liabilities you assume when you’re in the garbage business,” Grizzaffi said.
“Since then we’ve talked to the parish about having to back up so far on wet days. And they’ve agreed to accommodate us because it wasn’t just our truck out that day. SWIDI and Progressive (other parish garbage collectors) both had similar problems,” he said.
“We’ve had issues with all three trucks since we’ve got them,” Grizzaffi said. Right now, the 2004 truck that went down last week with the wiring harness problem is the city’s only truck out of commission, he said.
In July, the City Council voted to keep the city’s residential garbage city-run. Grizzaffi voiced his opposition to the decision as he wanted to privatize the city’s residential garbage collection. The council voted to get rid of the city’s commercial dumpster collection.
Also in July, the council approved raising the city’s residential garbage rates from $12 to $18 per month.
In June, the council approved up to $400,000 to be spent on garbage trucks.
The refurbished garbage trucks have been in use since mid-September and also include a 2013 truck that cost $195,000 and another 2004 truck that cost $95,000.
The 2013 truck had 100 miles on it, and the $95,000 2004 truck had almost 68,000 miles on it when the city bought the trucks.
The 2004 truck that went out of commission last week was sent to a mechanic shop and should be back in use in less than a week, Grizzaffi said.
The city’s 2013 garbage truck had to be repaired a few weeks ago because of an ignition problem. However, city officials knew the truck had the problem when it was purchased, Grizzaffi said. The truck was repaired and has not had problems since then. The other 2004 truck had an issue with its hydraulic arm not working properly but is functioning now, Grizzaffi said.
The city has two of its old trucks to use as backup side-loading garbage trucks.
“We’d like to get them redone and have a real good backup, but right now we need them to back up these because they’re going in too often,” Grizzaffi said.
Tamporello said the city has also had problems with one of the refurbished trucks being able to maneuver down the alleyways. “What we’re looking at doing is taking one of our better rear-loading trucks and putting a device on it that we can pick up garbage cans by using that,” he said.
Tamporello said the council has stressed the importance of doing maintenance on the trucks since the city purchased the trucks.
City officials would like to keep one of the “better” old trucks because there will always be the chance that a truck could go out of service, Tamporello said.
“Once we figure out which one is the better one to keep, that’s how we’re going to go. And then we’ll look at what we’re going to do as far as surplusing the other ones,” he said.