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Fleet Services Technicians Worked 24/7 to Keep City Plow & Salt Trucks on the Road 24/7 
When the snow kept falling, and falling, and City salt and plow trucks were steadily rolling into the Heavy Shop, Eric Armstrong’s team was a little like a NASCAR pit crew.

Except that, instead of racecars, they were servicing the heavy-duty 30,000- to 60,000-pound Freightliners.

“It was a team effort, and a little bit of a mad dash at times,” says Armstrong, a second-shift Equipment Technician who’s been with the City for 1½ years. “There wasn’t much down time.

“The main goal – whether it’s a leaf truck or a salt truck – is always to get it back out there so it can do its job. 

“So during the storm, when you finally look outside, and there are no trucks in line – they’re all out on the streets, plowing and spreading salt – that’s a good feeling. It’s fulfilling.”

Eric Armstrong was one of the Fleet Services technicians who kept plow and salt trucks rolling 24/7 during the January 2024 snowstorms.

Plenty of City departments and individuals put in long hours and made herculean efforts to help Knoxville residents recover from the mid-January record snowstorm. The Fleet Services technicians were right there with them, from the very beginning.

Everyone extended to 12-hour shifts, so the shop was never closed, Armstrong says. The 24/7 Public Service snow crews needed Fleet Service’s 24/7 support.

Each time a truck came back to the Public Service salt sheds for another load, they’d swing by the Heavy Shop for a safety check. 

Armstrong said the ice would get chunked up into the trucks’ wheel wells and undercarriages, so his team would crawl underneath and chisel out the ice build-up.

Like the NASCAR pit crews, his team would jump on a truck as soon as it pulled in. Typically, any servicing issues would be addressed and the truck back out in 30 minutes, tops.

Armstrong says the City’s routine, steady, year-round proactive maintenance pays dividends during storms, when the trucks and their crews undergo a rigorous stress test.

“All that careful preparation really helps,” he says. “It means there’s not so much of a scramble. If you inspect and service regularly, it saves time and money in the end.”
Posted by evreeland On 08 February, 2024 at 7:56 AM