Elizabethton Street & Sanitation provides ‘Touch a Truck’ for Hunter Elementary students

Published 3:32 pm Tuesday, May 9, 2023

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It was a “truckiffic” day at Hunter Elementary School recently as the Elizabethton Street & Sanitation Department brought three sparkling, clean trucks to the facility as part of the “Touch a Truck” day that tied into a careers day for the school.

Danny Hilbert, Manager of the Street & Sanitation Department, along with employees Tim McInturff, Jamie Tolley and Mitchell Waycaster, brought a knuckle-boom truck, a bucket truck, and a street sweeper to put on display for the students.

One group of students who were particularly impressed by the display were the Kindergarten classes of Ms. Jessica Dameron and Ms. Katie Taylor.

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Before each demonstration, McInturff would give the students a little education on what the role of the truck was, how it was used, and finally turned the operators loose much to the delight of the young students.

Waycaster, who has been with the department for a total of 38 years with the last 36 operating the knuckle boom, lifted a large section of pipe from the bed of the truck and placed it on the ground to the squeals of the classes.

After placing the pipe back into the vehicle, Waycaster showed his expertise by picking up a roughly seven square inch piece of concrete block from the ground. Making it even more challenging a small ball the size of a golf ball was placed onto the top of the concrete block which Waycaster managed to scoop up with little effort.

“I have worn out five of these trucks in my time with the department,” said Waycaster with a big grin after the demonstration.

It was then Tolley’s turn to put on a show for the classes as he climbed into the bucket truck and rose to elevations of 10, 20, 30, and a final elevation of 40 feet in the air as the children cried out for Tolley to keep going higher at each stop.

Finally, it was McInturff’s turn to get into the action as he fired up the sweeper and showed how water could be sprayed onto the road way before the stiff bristles of the brooms swept the loose debris in line to be sucked up by the powerful vacuum.

Hilbert said the event was a great opportunity to show the students the trucks and hopefully make some impressions.

“You never know what seeing this could do to help a kid decide they might like to operate the equipment when they get older,” said Hilbert.