They go out every night to empty rubbish containers in towns and cities all over the world; day after day, our streets look cleaner thanks to them but, do you know how garbage trucks are washed? Let’s begin the year with a subject which is likely to make you curious, observant CarLover. Let’s talk about waste collection vehicles.
Unlike what some of you may think, garbage trucks can actually be washed; in fact, they are washed a lot because they get dirty every day. With a very distinctive shape, garbage trucks are part of refuse vehicle fleets used by councils for urban cleaning. These vehicles can either have a front loading unit or a rear loader. The system picks up and empties rubbish containers into the lorry; the garbage is then compacted with the help of a packer blade so as to reduce the volume of the waste collected.
All these pieces of equipment make the truck have an awkward shape which varies across countries. Therefore, the most suitable washing method for this type of vehicle is high pressure without brushes, as these would not be able to reach all the gaps, grooves and recesses of the complex bodywork. With small fleets, a touchless rollover can be used, including chemical spraying and high pressure on sides, roof and rocker panel. The rollover moves along the vehicle in several passes lasting about 12 minutes altogether.
However, for fleets with more than 15 trucks to be washed daily -which is the most usual case- a drive-through system is used: it is the truck that moves slowly along a washing lane. This washing lane is fitted with different wash systems: the rocker panel area is washed, a foamy chemical is sprayed completely covering the vehicle, high pressure water is applied by a wash arch consisting of rotator nozzles, and then a final rinse is performed. All this is done in just one and a half minutes.
Rotating high pressure has proved to be the best system when it comes to performing really quick and frequent washes. A garbage truck is usually washed every 3 days; most commonly, they are washed after the night shift, once the vehicle is back at the car park. This way, garbage trucks are clean and ready to do their job the following day.
Using this type of system ensures optimum maintenance with reduced water consumption if compared to manual washing. In fact, our equipment can use recycled water during the application of high pressure. Being environmentally friendly is a key requirement that also applies to garbage trucks. In the near future, these vehicles will be electric, which makes sense given the focus on sustainability of urban waste management.
So there you go. One more thing you probably didn’t know about. Now you know how garbage trucks are washed. It seems we can wash all vehicle types! We do! If you like large vehicles and you want to know more about how they are washed, don’t miss our feature how are trains washed? You can also have a look at these pictures in which large commercial vehicles are washed with our machines.