A truck rumbles to the working face of the North Central Landfill in Polk County, Florida, and dumps 18 cubic yards of trash. Another truck follows, and then another approximately every minute. At day’s end, 1,800 tons of garbage is disposed at the land- fill. This happens every day of the year, except Sundays and major holidays.
Polk County employees—and those at numerous other landfills nationwide that face the challenge of compacting and covering tons of waste material every day—count on their equipment to keep pace with the vast amounts of trash.
Of course, the work is tough on machines, and equipment uptime is critical to staying ahead of the seemingly endless line of trash trucks.
In August 2010, Polk County signed a Preventive Maintenance and Repair Contract with local Cat® Dealer Ring Power Cat that has improved fleet uptime, and saves the county $200,000 annually.
Under the terms of the contract, the dealership pro- vides preventive maintenance and repairs for all equip- ment and vehicles at the landfill (heavy equipment and on-road vehicles). “Basically, they take care of anything that has an engine,” said Kimberly Byer, Operations Manager, Polk County Waste Resource Management Division.
Five Ring Power employees—four technicians and a manager—work full-time at the landfill. “They report here, and are an extension of our staff,” Byer said. “They provide total fleet maintenance.”
The crew has met uptime requirements specified in the agreement, and prevented penalties for not meeting the requirements. “They’ve done a great job,” said Byer.
Privatizing fleet maintenance has reduced yearly equipment expenses by $200,000. “We were looking for ways to reduce costs without compromising service, and one of our biggest costs was fleet maintenance. To drive the costs down, we developed an RFP seeking fleet maintenance service providers, and after careful consideration selected Ring Power,” Byer said.
Excellent parts availability has also improved uptime.
“The dealer is local, and response time is great. We want as much uptime and running time as possible, so receiving parts and service in a timely manner is very important,” Byer said. “Pushing with the Cat D8s and compacting with the 836Hs never stops. The trash keeps coming. We can’t close the gate at the landfill.”
Cat equipment in the landfill fleet includes: two 836H Landfill Compactors, three D8T Track- type Tractors, D6R Track-type Tractor, D6N Track- type Tractor, three 740 Articulated Trucks, 330D Hydraulic Excavator, 623 Water Truck, and an IT62H Integrated Tool Carrier.
The Ring Power Second Life Rebuild Program has also improved fleet performance, and cut costs. Using the program, seven machines have been rebuilt since 2009.
Polk County began rebuilding machines—which cost approximately 40 percent of the price of new equipment— rather than buying new models every three years in 2010. The cost of rebuilding versus purchasing new has saved the county approximately $2.3 million.
“They’re working without a glitch. We found that in most cases, the rebuild is as good as new,” said Byer. “And our power train warranty with the rebuilds is five years, 10,000 hours.”
With recycling on the rise in Polk County, the waste stream is expected to shrink in the future. That will reduce available funding at the landfill.
“We have to position ourselves for the future by reducing our fleet costs. That’s what we’re trying to do,” said Byer. “Ring Power is able to help us be a cost-effective and efficient fleet. They make sure our equipment budget stretches further, and we’re getting the best equipment and preventive maintenance for the money we invest.”
As the trucks continue their seemingly endless stream, Byer and her team seek additional opportunities for delivering cost-efficiencies at the North Central Landfill.