Area 51: Topeka Fleet Services

#topekatweetalong this week was a tour of the City's three fleet service garages

  1. Let's start this entry with a staggering statistic: Topeka's fleet services department has 23 employees -- who maintain a fleet of about 1,000 vehicles. From the smallest weed eater, police vehicles and fire engines to our big Vac-Con trucks, grapple trucks and snow plows. Links are to previous tweet-a-longs, so you can see how many different departments fleet services touches.
  2. Mike Sloan, shop supervisor for the heavy duty garage, knows his shop isn't very visible, especially to the public. He's heard it referred to as Area 51 in the past. But check out his perspective:
  3. "When you think about what the fire department, the police department and public works do with the equipment we work on, there's a purpose here. We don't always get accolades, but we have to remember it ourselves. I tell my guys, 'Your job is as important as any one else's in the City.'"
  4. The fleet services crews do everything from oil changes and repairs...
  5. ...to maintaining 60,000 pound fire engines...(spoiler: the lift system in this garage is insane)
  6. and the complete overhaul necessary to retrofit our police vehicles for duty...(not sure when or why phone started autocorrecting Bigenwalt to Brigenwalt, but alas, they are the same person)
  7. Fleet services works on vehicles that range in age from 1930...
  8. ...to 2016
  9. They're also involved in police inspections after crashes. The guys had some pretty horrific stories to tell about taking apart vehicles that were involved in fatalities and drug busts.
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