Innovation, Efficiencies, and Tax Savings – Turning Ideas into Reality

The City of Calgary is transforming its single-use heavy-duty vehicles into year-round work horses thanks to an innovative design solution that’s also saving money.

This innovation is helping turn existing specialized seasonal vehicles into a fleet of multi-purpose year-round trucks, saving more than $4.5 million in capital and operating costs.

Borne out of the desire to reduce the number of single-purpose sanders, anti-icers, asphalt carriers, dust suppression spreaders and construction vehicles used for seasonal road maintenance, City staff put thought into action to design, develop and manufacture multi-purpose vehicle components in-house.

 “With all the roads maintenance we’re doing year-round, we were noticing an increased need for more single-purpose sanders, anti-icers, street cleaners and asphalt carriers. The question became: how could The City reduce its fleet size and still accommodate road maintenance needs?” said Sharon Fleming, Director of Fleet Services.

“We knew we could come up with a solution,” said Fleming.

The City’s innovative step to transform a standard dump truck into a multi-purpose truck has reduced the number of trucks sitting unused in the off season, increasing the usefulness of its fleet. By redesigning a standard truck’s chassis, City staff are now able to switch a spring/summer asphalt carrier or dust suppression carrier to a wintertime sand spreader or anti-icer within 20 minutes.

“Making it simple for truck operators to reload materials or switch use quickly has led to cost savings of approximately $4.5 million, reduced the number of idle trucks and increased the utilization of The City’s fleet,” said Fleming.

In June 2018, The City received a patent for one of the components, a slip-in asphalt carrier capable of turning used asphalt into new overnight.

City crews simply scrape up old material off Calgary streets into the carrier, plug it in overnight and then reuse the same asphalt to fill potholes the next morning. By re-using asphalt The City is diverting more than 8,500 tons of waste each summer from the landfills.

“We are very proud to have received a patent for the multi-purpose architecture and asphalt carrier. Not only is this unique product saving The City in operating and efficiency costs, it is an example of how The City is becoming an innovative leader in municipal fleet management,” said Fleming.

The City is beginning sales and marketing of the multi-purpose architecture and asphalt carrier this fall. The first sale has already been made to the City of Airdrie, which purchased a multi-purpose truck with two components – the slip-in asphalt carrier/recycler and stainless-steel sander spreader.