Who would have thought that one day a fleet manager would be asked to search for “used” sanitation equipment. The Town of Jonesborough has recently purchased/traded/rebuilt their small but vital sanitation department. At the behest of our ever vigilant Mayor, Fleet management was given the awesome responsibility of reinventing the department through equipment purchases. 

We were faced with the imminent demise of our current automated side loader. At 11 years old the body had literally cost us 10s of thousands of dollars in repair over the last 2 years and the constant down time was a major inconvenience to the operation.  At a price tag of $225,000 to $275,000 a new automated side loader is a major concern in an air tight $500,000 per year budget. It is time to think outside the box, outside the box that  the box came in and outside the factory that made the box the box came in. It is time to make it happen.

An overview of the department reveals a tidy little operation, 1 automated side loader with about 2000 stops per week 1 rear end loader with 116 commercial dumpsters (most dumped multiple times per week) and a pickup truck for curbside recycling.  Everything including outsourcing was on the table and no sacred cows were spared the butchers red ink. In the end it was concluded that our identity as the oldest town in Tennessee, and our unique draw for seasonal tourists required a lot that outsourcing could not provide. We were in this for the long haul.

The solution is as follows (grab another cup of coffee and hang on): The Town of Jonesborough purchased a 2008 Peterbilt fitted with a refurbished automated side loader with only 400 miles (yes 400) from Alliance refuse trucks in Arizona for $165,000. Our current 2002 Peterbilt automated side loader only has 80,000 miles on it so we sent it to Alliance Refuse Trucks to be fitted with a Heil front end loader body. In exchanged for the front end loader body, installation and transportation we traded our current 2006 international 7900 with a Heil 5000 rear loader body (independently valued at $65,000.)  This move would now enable us to delete a vacant position in the sanitation department.

Uh oh! What about dumpsters!!! A fleet of 116 dumpsters will cost more than the truck…unless… oh yes we did. We found a place in Bristol Indiana that would take our rear loader bins in on a trade value and then sell us front loaders to match at a quantity discount rate; with a little creativity in freight we have more than $90,000 dollars in dumpsters for around $40,000.  

All that is left is a truck for our curbside recycle service. By any account Jonesborough is at once a close knit community and an inviting stop on your trip through the Southern Appalachians. Our customers were offered a great deal; the current rate for garbage collection is $11.50 so the rate was move to $13.50 unless the customer participates in the curbside recycling program then their bill would not change.

Guess what we are going to need a bigger recycle truck.

A 2004 Isuzu NPR fit the bill; it was already fitted with a landscape bed and we up-fitted with separate bins for the curb sort recycling. $6,600 not to bad.

If this fleet manager survives to see the end of it, it will serve as a showcase of how small fleets meet the big challenges.

Author

Gary Lykins
Gary Lykins

Fleet Manager

Gary Lykins serves as the fleet manager, shop supervisor, and lead mechanic for the Town of Jonesborough. Although he has 20 years of experience in various roles in the automotive and equipment industry, his tenure with the Town of Jonesborough has been the most challenging and fulfilling position of his career.

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Gary Lykins serves as the fleet manager, shop supervisor, and lead mechanic for the Town of Jonesborough. Although he has 20 years of experience in various roles in the automotive and equipment industry, his tenure with the Town of Jonesborough has been the most challenging and fulfilling position of his career.

View Bio
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