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Popular service gets an upgrade

The City of Lake City has a new leaf vac truck.

It replaces an old unit that was built in 2000 on a 1994 chassis by Lake City Public Works, according to Public Works Director Scott Jensen.

The old leaf truck was becoming expensive to maintain and unreliable.

“We had growing breakdowns that kept elevating the cost,” Jensen said. “There were years where we put anywhere from $5,000 to $8,000 into it.”

The new truck comes from MacQueen Equipment and costs $209,000. It’s funded through compost and stormwater fees charged to city utility customers.

Like the old truck, it will be used to pick up leaves beginning probably in September and continuing weekly until the leaves are gone.

One thing the new truck will do that the old one didn’t is “clean out storm water catch basins, which often build up with leaves and other debris,” Jensen said.

He said the new truck will be more efficient and less noisy and dirty for operators.

“(T)he old unit required two people to operate, one driver and one strapped into a harness on the passenger side that manually moved the vacuum tube. The passenger side had no door so it was pretty dirty and noisy for both operators, which required hearing protection,” Jensen said. “The new unit can be operated by one person on the passenger (curb) side in a closed cab. The controls are hydraulic and it should be much more efficient and a huge ergonomic improvement for employees.


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