Behold: Public works ingenuity at its finest. The Borough of Pitman, N.J., saved more than $100,000 by repairing and refurbishing two 20-year-old rear loaders instead of buying new garbage trucks. One’s used for brush and bulk collection and the other will provide many more years of service. The borough’s former public works manager has successfully MacGyvered other publicly owned vehicles, like the fire tanker he made into an anti-icing vehicle.
It’s good to be realistic about what your fleet technicians can and cannot do. Some repairs were cosmetic, but the small-town New Jersey public works department outsourced more extensive work to mechanics who specialize in garbage trucks.
Taking the truck to several shops with niche expertise took about nine months. That’s longer than refurbishing the 1990 rear-loader in-house would have taken but ensured high-quality, long-lasting repairs that wouldn’t exceed the project’s $90,000 budget.