CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM
Meeting Date: August 12, 2003
Subject/Title: Approve the purchase of a new Solid Waste automated
collection truck from Golden Gate Truck Center and authorize the City
Manager to execute a purchase agreement not to exceed $203,965.36
Submitted by: Paul Zolfarelli, Director of Public Works/ Jon Carlson, Solid
Approved by: John Stevenson, City Manager
Approve the purchase of a new automated collection truck for the Solid Waste
Enterprise and authorize the City Manager to execute the agreement and
necessary documents to purchase a 2003 Freightliner/Labrie automated
collection truck in the amount not to exceed $203,965.36.
The purchase of this collection truck was approved through the adoption of
the 2003/04 Final Budget, Resolution No. 2893, June 10, 2003.
The City’s continued growth, along with the future inclusion of some
previously annexed areas, warrants the purchase of a new truck to
accommodate additional routes in our operation.
This purchase is in compliance with the Purchasing Policy adopted July 22,
2003, Resolution No. 2932.
Our current fleet of automated collection trucks has previously been a Heil-made
body on a Volvo chassis. These units have served us well, but there are some
drawbacks and some room for improved efficiencies. Staff has researched
automated trucks for the past nine months by talking with various dealers,
test driving various demo trucks on our routes, attending trade shows to see
the competition and gathering feedback from other communities and
Our research has concluded, the Labrie split-body (60/40 split) mounted on a
Freightliner chassis gives us a significant opportunity to improve
Listed below are some of the opportunities for operational improvement and
key differences between the current Heil body and the new Labrie split body:
• Maintenance costs on the Heil bodies are extremely high. These systems
were designed in the 1970’s and while state-of-the-art at the time, they
utilize 30-year old technology. The upside to maintaining the Heils is they
have not changed much in design over 30 years, so you do not have much
variation in parts. Unfortunately, they have not made significant
improvements to their design to reduce operating costs of these units.
Paddles, arms and cylinders frequently need repair and replacement. We go
through several arms and paddles in the life span of the truck (8 years). We
are spending $28,000 a year on maintenance on these units. The Labrie body
has a superior design approach and is better engineered than the Heil. The
Labrie has far fewer moving parts and a design that minimizes wear points
and other areas of failure. Labrie backs up their truck with an unequaled,
three (3) year warranty on the hydraulic pump, valves, cylinders and hoses.
Warranties from other companies are typically just for one (1) year.
• For many years, staff has been monitoring the development of split-body
units (a body with a divider that creates two chambers: one for garbage and
one for either recycling or yard waste). A split-body design allows us to
pass by a house only once per day, thereby reducing the number of miles
driven and cutting fuel costs significantly. Liability is reduced because
the number of cars we pass, basketball hoops avoided and courts maneuvered
are cut in half! Residents will enjoy hearing us come by their house only
once per day. Heil has recently rolled out a 50/50 split design to compete
with Labrie’s 60/40 split. Staff found that the 50/50 split is impractical
in our operation because our streams always vary on volume: one week
recycling would require more space than garbage, yet the next week, garbage
would need more than the yard waste. The varied sized chambers would provide
us a more efficient route performance as compared to the 50/50 split which
would tend to fill-up too fast on one commodity. In San Jose, the largest
residential market in the country, these two trucks are providing the data
to support staff’s assertion. Operating nearly side by side for a year, the
Labrie is picking up 10-15% more material each day per load.
• Further exacerbating the capacity issue is Heil’s paddle design, which
does not pack material very well. Heil’s paddle design has always excelled
at moving material out of the hopper fast, but its payload is only 8-9 tons
(for garbage), thus reducing the productivity by causing more trips to the
transfer station. The Labrie packing system is designed to hit up to our
12-ton legal payload!
• The main reason for the change to the Freightliner chassis from a Volvo is
the size of the cabin on the right side of the truck. The Labrie, because of
the design of its arm, must be driven from the right side of the truck
during operation for proper visibility. The City has one right-hand driver
truck now, but many of our drivers literally cannot fit in the right side of
the truck and safely and comfortably operate the truck for 8 hours a day.
The cabs, on the right side, are narrow and shallow. Knees of drivers over 6
feet tall, rub up against the dash. When you accelerate and brake thousands
of times per day, this can present problems. The reason for so little
attention to this issue is the fact that refuse sales account for less than
1% of total chassis sales in the U.S., so there is little motivation to make
adjustments to their cab design when right-hand drives are specified. They
simply move the steering assembly over to the smaller side of the cab,
without making many structural modifications to the seat, arm rests, etc.
Freightliner is one of the first manufacturers to make design changes to
improve both driver comfort and visibility from inside the cab. They add six
(6) inches to their chassis depth and expand the width of the cab as well.
Plus their visibility is exceptional, with broad glass surface and little
obstructions from inside the cab.
Staff sole-sourced this truck for the following reasons:
• As stated above, the Freightliner chassis was the only chassis in the
industry with right-hand drive and sufficient cab room.
• Labrie & Heil are the only two companies that produce a split-body design
that is field tested and proven. The Heil version failed to provide us the
operational improvement to justify the additional cost of the split body,
plus we would still have the same high maintenance costs associated with its
paddle and arm.
As a result of being a more modern design with the baffle in the hopper to
separate the two materials and the split body design, plus the addition of
some new features that staff has added including additional safety cameras,
an extra axle for additional payload capacity, a bigger transmission and a
larger engine to handle the additional weight, the price of the this truck
is $30,000 higher than what we have paid in the past for the single chamber
body. Staff is confident that lower maintenance costs and operation costs
will be realized over the eight (8) year life cycle of this truck.
Staff feels strongly that this truck should perform as we anticipate and we
would then begin adding more to our fleet as old vehicles are replaced
through our Vehicle Fleet Replacement Schedule. Just in the next two years
alone, we could have up to three in our system based on our budgeted
replacements and new purchases. Thereby, giving us an opportunity to keep
down maintenance and operational costs.
Expenditure will come from our approved 2003/04 Solid Waste Enterprise
budget as a new capital purchase. It is anticipated that maintenance costs
associated with this vehicle will be approximately 20-30% lower than current
costs. These lower maintenance costs can save as much as $8,400 a year and
$67,000 over the lifespan of the vehicle in maintenance alone.
A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BRENTWOOD AUTHORIZING THE
CITY MANAGER TO EXECUTE A PURCHASE AGREEMENT FOR A NEW SOLID WASTE AUTOMATED
COLLECTION TRUCK FROM GOLDEN GATE TRUCK CENTER NOT TO EXCEED $203,965.36.
WHEREAS, in the 2003/04 annual budget a new truck was budgeted for the Solid
Waste Division in order to keep up with the growth of the collection routes
for the City of Brentwood; and
WHEREAS, staff is sole-sourcing this chassis and body due to the lack of
competition for this specialized split-body truck meeting our
WHEREAS, staff is selecting the best truck for the City’s collection
operation, one that will offer significant improvement of the operations
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council of the City of Brentwood
hereby authorizes the City Manager to execute a purchase agreement for one
(1) solid waste automated truck from Golden Gate Truck Center at a cost not
to exceed $203,965.36.
PASSED, APPROVED AND ADOPTED by the City Council of the City of Brentwood at
a regular meeting held on the 12th day of August 2003 by the following vote: