Specialized trash trucks operated by a single employee now dominate the government waste removal industry for obvious reasons. The machines can empty over 400 barrels per day in large public beach areas, and save money by repositioning the workforce and eliminating injuries. With those kinds of benefits, city leaders are now deploying the equipment in inland parks, hiking trails and sports facilities.

Large public areas like parks and athletic fields have long been a challenge for sanitation departments. Sprawling acreage gives visitors plenty of space to recreate, but also becomes a high-volume dumping ground that is difficult to service efficiently. Add lengthy hiking trails to the mix and municipalities face a common dilemma: clean up the mess fast while staying within a budget — or expect complaints.

Michael Schaber, parks and forestry operations manager for Rochester, Minn., knows this all too well. His crew must remove trash from 107 parks that total about 3,000 acres. The land area includes hiking trails and sports complexes.

“In the past, we’d send out a couple guys in pickup trucks with a dumpster attached to the rear. They’d have to get out of the truck, lift and empty the trash barrel, and then get back in the truck. It took forever,” he says.

Now, he sends out one man who easily finishes the complex task within two 8-hour working days – even in winter when the vehicles must traverse through deep snow.

Schaber uses a Broyhill Load-And-Pack refuse collection vehicle to get the job done. The vehicle is fitted with tires that can easily handle snow, soft sand and mud. The unit offers a four-wheel drive capability and a hydraulic front-lifting arm. The arm grabs, hoists and empties containers up to 90 gallons and 500 pounds; the cycle per container is about five seconds.

The specialized off-road vehicles are suited for large land parcels with long distances to traverse. The vehicle travels on hiking trails and the grass in Rochester’s soccer and baseball fields without harming delicate surfaces.

Maintenance of the Load-And-Pack is routine, even though the unit constantly runs in sand and salt air and other harsh conditions. The vehicle has a two-part urethane paint surface that resists chemicals and salt water.

“It didn’t take long to convince us,” Schaber says. “And it was easy to win approval because we would save money by reducing paid time and avoiding employee injuries.”  

Click here to learn more about Broyhill.


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