Dec. 09–QUEENSBURY — The town of Queensbury is following Washington County’s lead on truck purchases.
The wealthy town may start selling its highway department trucks after a few years, rather than keeping them until they fall apart.
That’s what Washington County has decided to do, under the advice of the new Public Works superintendent. She advised keeping trucks for seven years.
Queensbury Highway Superintendent Dave Duell likes the idea.
“You can’t run ’em into the ground until they’re worth nothing,” he said.
He also thinks older trucks cost too much.
“With the downtime, the cost of repairs,” he said. “It’s running throughout the summer in the heat, running throughout the winter, things get tired. The maintenance when they break down, it causes tremendous issues.”
Supervisor John Strough would like to keep trucks for a much shorter period of time than Washington County’s proposed seven years.
“In western New York, this is standard procedure … use it for three years and then sell,” he said.
Strough speculated that the town could sell trucks for about what they cost to buy, if they were sold after three years. That’s because municipalities buy trucks for less than the general public.
“It tends to be a whole lot cheaper on bid,” Strough said.
Trucks are expensive, costing about $200,000 each. But if they are only a couple years old, some appear to sell for nearly the same amount. The town bought a 2016 International plow truck in November for $184,971.
But older trucks do not sell for much. On GovDeals.com, where Queensbury sells its surplus equipment, a 2001 International truck went for $3,700 on Friday.
Duell agreed with Strough’s calculation of nearly breaking even by selling trucks after a few years.
“I want to get that program going in town,” he said.
He plans to submit a formal recommendation to the Town Board.
Strough plans to support the recommendation.
“We need that policy,” he said. “The traditional way of thinking is you buy a truck and run it into the ground. Maybe the traditional way of thinking isn’t the best for the taxpayers.”
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