A Beast, Some Leaves and A Box…Oh My!
A Message from Ron Hirth, Village Administrator
Update (11/20/2018): We are happy to announce that the Box has arrived. The Maintenance crew is installing and testing the equipment today with the expectation it will be out on the street tomorrow (Wednesday 11/21/18).
GOLF MANOR (11/18/2018) – Way back in the year 1996, Golf Manor purchased a huge yellow dump truck that I fondly referred to as “the Beast.” The Beast served as our primary road salt, snow plow, and leaf collection truck for over 22 years, and she served us well.
Well, until the last couple of years when she started to really show her age. Pull open the hood and you’d find various components that were rusting from the inside-out. She was having reliability issues with starters, alternators, holes, hoses, rust and hard-to-get parts. Just a host of headaches that you never knew if she was going to be ready to work or not.
The decision was made last year to retire the Ms. Beast and fortify our Fall and Winter operation with a bright, shiny, new, white Ford F550 in 2018. The purchasing process required a lot of coordination with dealers, vendors, banks and making sure we had the right funding model and we made good, solid decisions with the hopes and promise that we’d be ready to roll come Fall leaf season.
As you know, best laid out plans many times don’t work out. And we faced that inevitability this Fall when the Beast replacement came to us three months later than promised. The new truck arrived in late-October, and we were helped along by Mother Nature and her fickle ability the last couple of years to not let go of the leaves until well into November and the cold weather season.
However, add to that our order of a metal leaf collection box that is interchangeable with both of our dump trucks, with a long-term guarantee of service life that takes our maintenance crew out of the box building business pretty much for the life of the truck. It has taken on a life of its own. We call it, “The Box.” The Box was to be delivered in August, then September, then October. Then we got into November and the leaves started to Fall. Panic time. What do we do?
What DO we do?
We decided to wait it out. Building yet another plywood box that would last just a couple of seasons was not a practical financial decision. It would have added another couple of thousand dollars in expense that we didn’t want to lay out this year. Plus drilling holes in that brand new truck. Not acceptable.
The biggest frustration we encountered was that there is one manufacturer in the U.S. that builds the Box and they were very uncooperative with timing and the general process of keeping us informed about when this thing would be delivered.
So…after many phone calls, threats to cancel, and drafting plans to just build another plywood box, it was finally shipped to us last Friday (11/16/2018). They have promised delivery on Tuesday (11/20/2018). It’s being trucked here from Richmond, VA. Batavia is getting one too.
As residents start to rake leaves to the front of their yards in the past week, our plan is to have the maintenance crew begin picking them up manually starting on Monday (11/19/2018) weather permitting. The Box should be here Tuesday and installed for use on Wednesday. We do apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate patience, but rest assured that we are considering the best use of your tax dollars and we will pick up every leaf that Mother Nature allows us to capture during December.
P.S. – Ms. Beast has retired comfortably to a farm in Butler County where she is doing light summer farming duty and we presume sleeping in during the Winter. We should all be so lucky.