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Report: vehicle maintenance issues plague sanitation companies

Under a bill currently being considered in New York City, private sanitation companies would have the exclusive right to collect trash in established zones. The idea behind the legislation is to make the city’s oversight of sanitation trucks easier. Oversight is a particular problem with respect to sanitation truck maintenance.

Evidence of the problem can be seen in a recent report which found that most of the safety violations involving private sanitation companies in New York amount to maintenance failures. According to the report, almost half of all private sanitation trucks from New York City’s top 20 sanitation companies, had to be put out of service for maintenance problems over a two year period. In one case, a company’s out-of-service rate was 86 percent. 

According to some in the industry, employers in sanitation work are failing to maintain their fleets and are thereby putting their workers and other motorists at risk. When it comes to maintenance, problems can pop up in a number of areas, from balding tires to nonfunctional brakes to broken or missing lights or windshield wipers.  Depending on the traffic and weather conditions, such maintenance errors can create deadly circumstances.

It goes without saying that ongoing maintenance is an important duty for commercial motor vehicle drivers and their employers. Vehicle maintenance is regulated at both the federal and state level, and it can be important for an accident vehicle to have a basic understanding of the rules when seeking compensation from a negligent trucker or employer. We’ll continue this discussion in our next post.

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