Lauderdale County supervisors are working to repair some broken vehicles and get them back on the road.
In a meeting Monday, the board approved spending $33,420 to replace an engine in a county dump truck and agreed to move forward with replacing broken pumps in the county’s asphalt emulsion truck, which is needed for paving projects.
Repairing the emulsion truck, also called a “tack truck,” is estimated to cost about $30,000. The county considered purchasing a new truck, however Road Manager Rush Mayatt said the cost would be about $150,000, and it would be about nine months before the truck would arrive.
The emulsion truck has been down for more than a month as the county worked to diagnose the problem and get the estimated costs for repairs. Without it, in-house paving projects cannot move forward.
“You’ve gotta have that,” Supervisor Josh Todd said.
In a work session Thursday, Road and Bridge Coordinator Ryan Mosley told the board the dump truck engine was another necessary expense. Lauderdale County is in the process of purchasing several new dump trucks, but it will be several months before they arrive.
“I don’t think we can get them here fast enough,” he said. “Maintenance on them is really hitting our pocket books."
The last two dump truck engines the county has had to replace, Mosely said, had less that 125,000 miles on them. Once the new trucks arrive, he said, the county plans to sell it’s more maintenance heavy vehicles.
Mosley said replacing the engine will also up the resale value of the truck. If the truck doesn’t run, he said, it wouldn’t be worth a lot.
“The way the used market is right now with dump trucks right now, or any kind of truck, you’re going to get a lot more for it with that engine in it versus no engine, parked in the bushes over there,” he said.
The Lauderdale County Road Department is also looking into purchasing an emulsion storage tank to keep surplus asphalt emulsion when it’s not being used. Todd said right now the county is buying the emulsion as needed but has no way to keep leftovers for future projects.
“Just say he orders 100 gallons of tack, if they only use 50 gallons of tack, it’s gone. You just wasted money on 50 gallons,” he said. “We have no way of taking it back, heating it up and storing it until the next time we need it.”
A storage tank for the emulsion would cost about $39,000, Todd said, which would pay for itself over time by eliminating wasted material. The county is working to get more detailed estimates on the costs before considering action on the purchase.