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Garbage truck problems hit city

By Staff
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
Hartselle's automated garbage and yard waste pickup service dodged a bullet last week after two of three 2005 model one-man operated trucks went down and had to be sent to a warranty repair center in Birmingham for repairs.
Mayor Dwight Tankersley said one of the trucks was pulled from service March 15 after it broke down with what he described as a drive train malfunction. The second one broke down a week later with what is believed to be an electronics problem. Both were undergoing repairs at the Cummings Warranty Center earlier this week.
With only one automated truck in operation for a day and a half, a backhoe and a dump truck and their drivers and two helpers were pressed into service as a backup crew. They were pulled off the streets on Thursday after Ingram Equipment Co. of Birmingham provided a loaner truck.
"Public Works Foreman Glenn Hollingsworth did an excellent job of improvising when we got down to one truck," Tankersley said. "Not only were we able to pick up the garbage on schedule but the yard waste as well. This is especially significant when you take into consideration that Public Works Superintendent Byron Turney was on vacation at the time.
"I think this shows the ability and determination of Pubic Works personnel to provide garbage pickup service on a timely basis regardless of the adversities they may face," he pointed out.
As for the breakdowns on new trucks Tankersley said it could happen at any time regardless of age.
"I'm thankful the trucks are new and under warranty," he said. "We'll have them back in service soon at no cost to the city."
Most of the comments I've received about automated garbage pickup have been positive," he added. "They like it because they want to have a clean city."
He reminded residents that containers should be placed at street side with handles and wheels facing away from the street. Also, residents with trash other than tree limbs to be picked up should notify Public Works prior to putting it out.