(l-r) Lucas Groening, engineering services team coordinator; Thusar Thuraisamy, acquisition...

(l-r) Lucas Groening, engineering services team coordinator; Thusar Thuraisamy, acquisition specialist; and Majid Asefi, fleet operations manager, pose in front of a city dump truck.

Photo courtesy of City of Calgary

The City of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, is increasing the power of its fleet by making trucks more versatile. Staff developed a design that turns the fleet’s single-purpose seasonal vehicles into multi-purpose trucks that can be used all year, resulting in $4.5 million in capital and operating cost savings.

The initiative was born out of a goal to reduce the number of single-purpose vehicles in the city fleet; staff came up with multi-purpose vehicle components, which were manufactured in house. City staff also redesigned the chassis on its standard dump trucks and can now switch a spring/summer asphalt carrier or dust suppression carrier to a winter sand spreader or anti-icer in 20 minutes.

“With all the roads maintenance we’re doing year-round, we were noticing an increased need for more single-purpose sanders, anti-icers, street cleaners and asphalt carriers. The question became: how could the city reduce its fleet size and still accommodate road maintenance needs?” said Sharon Fleming, director of fleet services, in a statement.

In June, the city received a patent for a slip-in asphalt carrier capable of turning used asphalt into new overnight. City crews scrape up old material off the streets, plug the component in overnight, and reuse the same asphalt to fill potholes the next morning. In doing so, the city diverts more than 8,500 tons of waste from landfills each summer.

“Not only is this unique product saving the city in operating and efficiency costs, it is an example of how the city is becoming an innovative leader in municipal fleet management,” said Fleming.

The city plans to begin sales and marketing of the multi-purpose vehicle design and asphalt carrier this fall. It has already made its first sale to the nearby City of Airdrie.

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