Government Fleet Top News

Cities of Tampa, Miami, and Decatur Report Garbage Truck Fires

July 13, 2005

DECATUR, AL – Another report of a garbage truck surfaced on July 7, adding Tampa, Fla., to a list with Decatur and Miami, Fla., that had trucks made by one company go up in flames, according to the Decatur Daily newspaper. After learning of the 10 reported cases of Lodal Inc. garbage trucks that burned, one Decatur official said he would investigate the matter further, according to the Daily. Repeated messages left at the Lodal plant in Kingsford, Mich., by the Daily, were not returned, but Mark Wilfalk, residential services manager for Tampa, told the Daily that he has spoken with the company president. "Lodal said they've had problems with Caterpillar engines," Wilfalk said, as quoted by the Daily. "Some were caused by hydraulic leaks on the engine, and they said if someone had reported the leak earlier, they could have probably prevented it." Wilfalk said Tampa has 43 Lodal trucks but only places 33 to 35 in service daily. The truck that burned ignited from an electrical wire malfunction, Wilfalk said. The Tampa Fire Department investigated its garbage truck blaze and determined an electrical circuit behind the fuse box in the cab was the source. Joe Arriola, city manager of Miami, said the municipality lost seven of its 32 Lodal garbage trucks to fires. Two of those burned within the past week. Decatur lost two Lodal garbage trucks to fires, the latest in August. The 20-truck Decatur fleet has 10 Lodal trucks in service. Decatur firefighters said the 2004 fire started in the truck's engine and spread to the cab.

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