In today’s video Darl initially responds to a CHP call of a 40ft diesel pusher that had a front steer tire blowout causing it to crash into the center divider on the 10 freeway. Darl in the Landoll trailer attempted to winch the RV away from the center divider with no success due to the impact wedging the RV into the center divider. At this point, Darl called Trent Jr who so happened to be in the rotator already to respond to the scene to winch the RV back and away from the center. The rotator was perfect in this situation because we were able to work off the nose of the truck and not shut the highway down once.
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– – – – Frequently Asked Questions – – – –
Q:What camera do you use?
A: I use the Go Pro Hero 7 Black Edition primarily. Often times you will see auxillary cameras in use. Those cameras include The Go Pro Hero 6, Hero, and DJI Mavic Pro Platinum
Q: How big Is your rotator?
A: It is a 50 ton Miller Industries Vulcan 950
Q: Does the carriage slide back like Ron Pratt’s?
A: No, the carriage doesn’t slide back due to strict weight laws in California. The sliding carriage will make the truck to heavy in CA
Q: Why do you only have 3 winches on the rotator?
A: Comes down to weight again as stated above
Q: How many trucks Does Plaza Towing have?
A: Currently more than 30
Q: Why must the driveshaft be removed to tow a vehicle?
A: When vehicles are not running the transmission is not receiving circulating lubricant. If the driveshaft is left installed, the transmission, which is not receiving lubricant, is still spinning. This allows it to get very hot which eventually will cause major damage to the transmission. Therefore, removing the driveshaft completely eliminates the transmission from spinning. Simply leaving it in neutral is not sufficient since the transmission still spins in neutral.
Waste Management South Sound, located in Auburn, Washington, is home to a hauling site, transfer station, and the Pacific Northwest’s central maintenance shop. Because of the excellent fleet maintenance program here at Auburn, it is not uncommon to see many different garbage trucks from across WM’s Pacific Northwest sites here for repair. The man behind this program is Tom Repass, and with him and his amazing technicians, they are able to keep trucks from all over up and running.
We start the tour with with the pride of Auburn’s fleet – a 1982 International Cargostar Heil 4000 RL. I originally saw a picture of this truck in the annual Wenatchee Apple Blossom Festival. I was amazed at how good of a condition it was in, and so I spent the next few months trying to track it down. When I started my internship at WM in 2016, I was able to find out that this truck was registered to the Auburn yard. I reached out to the PNW Fleet Director, Ernie Christie, about this truck, and he put me in contact with Tom. The following morning, I received an email from Tom inviting me to come check out the truck if I’m ever in the area. Two months later, I finally got to see this beast in action along with Alan (West Coast Refuse Trucks). It originated from a company in Portland that got bought out in 2013. Because WM is contractually obligated to have a rear loader on site at Auburn, Tom decided to refurbish the entire truck and use it not only as a community clean up truck, but also as a show truck for other yards. Once in a while it even does bulky item pick ups! They did an amazing job with it, and the paint looks really good (Tom still wants to repaint the cab to make it perfect lol). We couldn’t leave without asking to see if they could fire the truck up, and thankfully, they were more than willing to show us the ins and outs of it. I’m fairly certain this is the oldest active garbage truck in all of WM’s fleet.
After the rear loader, Tom showed us his next project… a truck salvage program for the entire market area (9:38). Sitting inside a warehouse is about 50-60 cabs fully dismantled and parted out. The majority of them are Macks and Condors, most of which are from California. Because Condor parts are so hard to find, Tom is well known across the entire company and he said that if any site needs a part, they usually come to him for it. He’s personally overseen the dismantling of over 40 Condors.
Some other notable trucks in their fleet are the old school roll offs and tractors. Tom told us that the WhiteGMC WGs were bought from an Air Force base in Utah, and at the time, they were single axle tractors used for LTL trailers. They were in good condition so WM bought them, stretched out the chassis, and put roll off hoist on them. There are still many WhiteGMC WGs running daily here, as well as a few old Freightliners and Peterbilts, some of which are bleeding blue paint. I was also glad to see their Volvo WXLL Wittke Curotto Cans, both of which I found out run regularly. So despite the frontline trucks not being as unique, Auburn has still managed to keep things interesting between their fleet maintenance program and truck salvage yard.
A big thanks to Tom Repass for inviting us to come check out his awesome yard and another thanks to all his techs for their hard work! And thanks to Alan for tagging along – this trip wouldn’t have been possible without him!