TOWNSEND — The town is saving over $100,000 thanks to one Highway Department worker’s creation made from the retired Fire Department Engine One and pieces of another old work truck.
Foreman Keith Letourneau found a way to strip Engine One and rebuild it to become Townsend’s new catch basin-cleaner truck, a vehicle sorely needed by the department.
Letourneau looked at the old fire truck and knew there was a way to make a retrofitted vehicle for cleaning out catch basins without costing the town a lot of money, said Highway Department Superintendent Edward Kukkula.
”The front of the truck is still the cab of the fire truck, so it does look like a fire engine is coming down the road, but once you see the side of it you know it’s not a fire truck at all,” said Kukkula.
Letourneau has the knowledge to work on hydraulics as well as to make the heavy equipment fit on the chassis, he said. It is an odd looking vehicle, but gets the job done.
”He worked on this for about a month, and the basin truck works just fine,” said Kukkula.
”The fire truck only has 12,000 miles on it, so it is relatively young in engine years. The truck part of this will outlive most of us,” Kukkula said. “We will need to get a newer basin cleaner part, but that’s a lot less expensive than getting an entire new truck. The body of the truck needs some work because it has some rust on it, but we can fix that ourselves.”
Letourneau took the box off another truck and bolted it on the back of the stripped down chassis. The box is where the basin cleaner puts the debris it collects.
”If it were a purchased basin cleaner truck, the spacing of the cleaner part and the box part would not be spaced the way they are, but he worked with the size of the fire truck to make it all fit together,” said Kukkula. “It’s a different looking basin cleaner than what other towns have, but either way, we got the piece of equipment we needed.”