Photo courtesy of City of Loveland

Photo courtesy of City of Loveland

The City of Loveland, Colo., has added six hydraulic hybrid garbage trucks to its fleet. The trucks, with Parker Hannifin’s RunWise systems, debuted last week and promise to save more than $15,000 per truck annually.

The city’s garbage trucks make 900 to 1,000 stops and starts on their daily routes, using fuel at a rate of about 2.5 miles per gallon and wearing out brakes often, according to the city. The hydraulic system uses a mechanism that stores braking energy, then releases it to accelerate the vehicle to the next stop with much less reliance on the engine. City tests have shown the system can save 50% of fuel costs and cut maintenance on brakes to a tenth of what the city pays for annual brake system replacement.

The $99,500 price tag for each hydraulic hybrid drive system, discounted by the manufacturer, will be paid for in fuel and maintenance savings in 6.2 years. Thereafter, money saved during the trucks’ 10-year life cycles will contribute to the Solid Waste Division’s net cash flow.

The trucks also get raves from the Loveland Public Works employees who drive them, since their performance on a long stop-and-go collection route involves smoother, less frequent, and less jarring gear changes as the hydraulic mechanism does so much of the work, according to the city.

“It’s not as jerky, and it’s much, much faster in the launch,” said Steve Kibler, Loveland's fleet manager. “It’s a huge improvement to the way we’re operating right now. More comfortable, better visibility, and much more driver-friendly.”

The fuel savings from these trucks result in a carbon-dioxide reduction of 48 tons per truck annually, equivalent to taking 15 passenger cars off the road.

All costs of the vinyl wraps showing a photo of Lake Loveland were born by Hannifin Corp., as part of the promotion of its product in a new territory.

“These impressive vehicles are the result of the creativity of our employees who are committed to delivering cost savings and efficiencies in everything we do,” Loveland Public Works Director Leah Browder said.

Other agencies that have purchased hydraulic hybrid refuse trucks include Miami-Dade County, Fla., City of Oberlin, Ohio, and the City of Orlando.

By Thi Dao

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