Sanitation routes have had delays again this week due to ongoing mechanical issues with the trucks, and we wanted to provide an update about the status of new equipment and repairs.
The City of Galveston has 10 automated trucks and eight rear loaders in its sanitation fleet, though five of these automated trucks are older and need to be replaced. Sanitation crews run four routes throughout the week, Monday through Thursday servicing about 10,000 residents each day. The daily routes require nine automated side loaders and six rear loaders for completion. Because of the age of the five automated trucks and necessary repairs, there are frequently fewer trucks available than needed for the daily routes. Repairs and preventative maintenance is completed in house or at a dealership, though repairs have at times been delayed because of backorder parts.
As part of the Vehicle Replacement Program, the City of Galveston ordered six new automated trucks to replace the aging trucks. The City placed the first order for three trucks in mid-2021 with Council approval. Initially, the City of Galveston received an expected delivery date of early 2022 for its first order. The second order was placed in early-2022 with approval of Council. The delivery dates have been delayed and we haven’t received any trucks to date because of ongoing pandemic-related supply issues. The delays are not specific to the City of Galveston and are occurring across industries because of supply-chain issues.
The latest update from the manufacturer is one truck should arrive within the next month, with the two others in the first order arriving thereafter. The second order has an estimated arrival of January 2023. When the trucks arrive, the five older automated trucks will be retired. The other existing automated trucks will remain in operation, bringing the total to 11 automated trucks and eight rear loaders.
This issue has been discussed during multiple public meetings (City Council workshops and meetings); however, we recognize our residents may have missed these hearings and wanted to provide the additional update.
Please bear with us as we work through these ongoing challenges. We know that disruptions in service are unpleasant, and we are doing our best in the circumstances to avoid disruptions.