Back to the Future

A Connecticut town breathes new life into its Vac-Con catch basin cleaner

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Back to the Future
After a complete refurbishment, the Town of Glastonbury’s Vac-Con catch basin cleaner performs like a new machine.

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The Town of Glastonbury, Conn., recently decided completely refurbishing their 1998 Vac-Con catch basin cleaner would be more suitable — and more cost effective — than purchasing a new unit. The unit was delivered to the Vac-Con facility in Green Cove Springs, Fla., to receive a “Gold Seal Refurb” package, which provides a total front-to-back rebuild. 

The machine was totally disassembled, steam cleaned and checked for worn or damaged components.

In addition to replacing or rebuilding every component, the machine was fitted with some updated components, such as the higher capacity hydrostatic drive system for the vacuum compressor.

Of course, the entire unit was completely refinished, including the cab, and even the cab interior was freshened, with new floor mat and seat upholstery. Upon completion, it was delivered to Glastonbury. 

Chuck Mahan, Glastonbury physical services operations manager, says a local Vac-Con dealer got the town thinking about refurbishment. 

“We thought about this option, rather than buying a new machine, but really were not convinced until our local dealer, New England Municipal Equipment Co. (NEMCO) came by for a visit to explain it to us,” Mahan says.

“The local connection is very important, and Dave Berube of NEMCO was able to identify the value in this idea. We essentially doubled the life of the machine for about half the price of a new one. That’s a great value for us, especially in times when budgets are tight. 

“We were aware of Vac-Con’s claims that higher capacity hydrostatic drive systems would reduce engine rpm and ultimately fuel consumption; I guess we’re always a little skeptical until we see for ourselves. With the new system, we’re using half the fuel we were before the machine was reconditioned and updated.

"The fuel savings are real. Of course we understand that it’s a simple formula: running the machine slower means using less fuel, but I guess the industry is going through a metamorphosis, and we have to change the way we think about operating this equipment; it’s no longer necessary to run at full throttle to do a thorough job.” 

Based on the Town of Glastonbury’s positive experience, refurbishment can be an attractive alternative to purchasing a new or used machine. A complete overhaul can turn an older unit into more than just a like-new machine, it also can turn into one that performs like the newest machines. 


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