As winter in Cedar Falls (hopefully) winds down, we thank our City Public Works team for their tireless dedication to keeping our streets safe and clear of snow. However, there is one crew that may fly under the radar when it comes to public recognition. These resolute, behind-the-scene employees are a key component to the functionality and security of our community.
The Cedar Falls Fleet Maintenance staff is responsible for maintaining all City vehicles including police and fire, snow removal equipment, City cars, refuse trucks, and more. According to Dustin Rawdon, Fleet Maintenance Supervisor, snow removal alone requires the team to oversee approximately 52 pieces of equipment. Due to this, they must always be on alert when winter weather is in the forecast.
"During snow events where the street department is only cleaning the priority streets, our staff is normally not working. However, they are always on-call if something were to break down and be unable to drive back to the shop. The maintenance shop is responsible for maintaining the larger snow removal equipment all the way down to walk-behind snow blowers."
"During full-plow operations, the shop staff is called in to assist with getting the operators and equipment going as crews start the snow removal. This process usually goes smoothly as we normally have time to prepare the day prior. Mechanics then stay for the duration of the snow removal process to ensure equipment failures are promptly addressed. Mechanics also clear snow from around the Public Works complex and repair other equipment during the snow event."
Typical repairs during a snow event are hydraulic components, which includes the lines that operate the snow plow and the rear salt spreader, as well as the cylinders that operate the plow. Another common breakdown is broken components on the plow itself which occasionally requires staff to weld parts back together.
"During the full-plow event, we are typically utilizing our complete fleet of equipment and have only a couple of backup plow trucks," says Rawdon. "This means that repairs on this equipment during the snow event are vital to getting the snow removed from the street in a timely manner."
We thank the Fleet Maintenance team for all they do to keep Cedar Falls running smoothly year-round!