Last year’s snow storms showed how aged the city’s Public Works snow fighting equipment was DPW fleet, Public Works Garage Foreman Vincent Rodriguez proposed to DPW Commissioner Curtis Woods and Garage Superintendent John Moses that overhauling trucks in the aging fleet would be more cost effective for taxpayers than purchasing new vehicles which the city could not afford at the time. Moses knew the team had the skill to get the job done.
The conversion of 6 trucks from electric to hydraulic plowing systems included extensive body work and new lighting systems. Two trucks were retrofitted with all season bodies making them suitable for standard dump use, as well as winter snow and ice control. This work alone saved taxpayers approximately $1.5 million and cost approximately $75,ooo for supplies.
It took garage personnel four months to make the improvements while still performing their normal duties. The team additionally retrofitted 2 highway plows to street plows and plans to convert an additional 6 plows in the near future, providing a complete compliment of snow plows and backup machinery to clean city streets.
Auto mechanics Larry Renkismire, Edgar Torres, Ron Lyane, Steve Brown, Kevin Holder, John Fonseca performed all electrical and hydraulic modifications on the trucks and snow equipment. Welder Victor Holder did all of the metal fabrication work on trucks and snow equipment. Auto body mechanic Tim Price completed all of body work and painting. Tire man Tim Bates installed all the tires and chains on snow trucks.