NEW ORLEANS, LA – New Orleans City workers have been test driving a new tow truck that Public Works Director Robert Mendoza said will help streamline the removal of illegally parked vehicles, according to www.neworleanscitybusiness.com.
Samson Lift Technologies of Boca Raton, Fla., sent an SLVR (side loading vehicle retriever) truck to New Orleans to aid in removing cars from the congested, narrow streets of the French Quarter.
Mendoza said 50 to 60 vehicles were towed from the neighborhood during peak days of Carnival 2007. The city towed more than 14,000 vehicles last year.
The trucks can pull alongside a vehicle, parked on either side of the street, and raise it like a forklift. The driver can remove a vehicle within two minutes without having to leave the truck’s cab.
Mendoza said the SLVR model the city is considering costs just under $100,000, compared with $75,000 to $80,000 for a standard tow truck. He hopes to gradually replace the city’s towing fleet of nine trucks that date back before Hurricane Katrina, starting with two trucks this year.
David Anderson, Samson vice president, said the loaner truck will stay in New Orleans through the National Basketball Association All-Star Game and probably return for the North American Summit in April. By that time, he hopes the city will be ready to purchase a vehicle.