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The Village strives to do more with less, and to make maximum use of our limited resources and staffing. So when we looked to expand our Public Works fleet a few years ago, we had a number of needs. We needed a large snowplow to clear more roadways faster and with less manpower. We needed a large dump truck to handle public works duties. We needed a flatbed to be able to handle material hauling, and a rolloff truck to be able to handle refuse and debris from Village projects. Through the innovative approach of our Public Works crew and with the support of our Village Board, the Village purchased a swaploader truck. While the cost of the swaploader was a bit more than a standard snowplow, the truck serves the purpose of 3-4 different trucks and thus greatly reduces our fleet costs.
As a snowplow truck, the swaploader is equipped with both a front plow and a wing-plow (guided by a laser line projected to show how far the plow extends when in use). This enables one pass of the truck to clear nearly twice as much area as a plow truck not equipped with a wing, which makes clearing our larger streets much faster and more efficient. The truck is also equipped with a stainless steel spreader body that can apply a uniform spread of deicing material without having to raise the box up in the air.
At the tip of a hat, the spreader body can be removed and swapped out for a durable, solid-steel dump body for use in hauling gravel, aggregate, dirt or other materials, enabling the truck to convert from snowplow to dump truck in a matter of less than 5 minutes.
When not needed as a dump truck, the dump body can be dropped off and replaced with a garbage rolloff container. The rolloff can be used to haul waste or construction debris, building supplies, or a host of other items. Because the swaploader can pick up and set down the rolloff from level ground, the Village can even load equipment, such as skid-steers or forklifts, into the rolloff and haul them wherever they are needed. Thanks to the Village’s partnership with Flood Brothers waste hauling, the Village enjoys cooperative use of a Flood Brothers rolloff container for Village needs.
The swaploader will have a service life of well over a decade, and will serve the Village in a variety of roles during that period. Because of its capability and flexibility, it can replace multiple separate vehicles and function effectively in each role. It is a jack of all trades, and master of each, and a great example of how the Village Board’s careful planning results in well-conceived capital purchases that enhance our efficiency.