Home News Local news New Bucket Trucks Should Help Prevent Outages, WAPA Official Says

New Bucket Trucks Should Help Prevent Outages, WAPA Official Says

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Nov. 3, 2006 — The V.I. Water and Power Authority unveiled two new state-of-the-art bucket trucks on St. Croix Friday. The trucks will immediately be put to use, concentrating on preventive maintenance.
WAPA spent more than $750,000 to purchase the four trucks for the territory. Two were placed on St. Croix, while two more are in the St. Thomas/St. John area. WAPA Executive Director Alberto Bruno-Vega said the trucks on each island only vary in the way they are driven.
"The trucks on St. Croix are automatic, but workers on St. Thomas requested standard vehicles," Bruno-Vega said, adding that the terrain on St. Thomas made it necessary for workers to use lower gears to maneuver through the steep hills.
Irving Francis, a WAPA superintendent on St. Croix, said the trucks would help keep lines functioning. "Preventative maintenance is lacking on our lines," Francis said. "The new trucks will help us prevent more outages."
The extra large, blue-and-yellow trucks have a 60-foot crane and a dual cab to seat a total crew of five. Francis said that in the past heavy rains delayed many teams from acting on trouble calls quickly because some members had to sit on the back of the truck. Now that all the crew can be seated safely inside the cab, weather-related delays are no longer a concern.
The 60-foot crane on the new trucks is longer than others in use currently and will allow WAPA crews to easily maneuver to the top of the 55-foot poles currently on the island.
Hopefully, the new trucks will also reduce the amount of overall maintenance — and therefore downtime — required by the current trucks in WAPA's fleet, many of which are more than 10 years old.
"This is the beginning of a new undertaking for WAPA," said Bruno-Vega, adding that the authority would consider purchasing more vehicles in the near future.
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