Oregon’s Deschutes County Department of Solid Waste is tasked with managing the municipal solid waste (MSW) of approximately 181,000 residents. In 2016, this equated to 240,800 tons of garbage, all of which was sent to the Knott Landfill Recycling and Transfer Facility in Bend, Oregon. To help transport this incoming waste, operators rely on WALKING FLOOR® technology from Keith Manufacturing Co. to increase efficiency and promote safety.

According to Deschutes County Solid Waste Operations Manager Chad Centola, the county contracts for the hauling of MSW from its network of rural transfer stations to Knott Landfill with a private company that utilizes a fleet of 21 WALKING FLOOR® trailers.

In addition, Deschutes County operates an on-site transfer station at Knott Landfill and has its own fleet of four WALKING FLOOR® trailers that are used to transfer public self-haul MSW from the transfer station to the landfill roughly one mile away.

When plans for constructing the on-site transfer station were being formulated around 2004, Centola says the private transfer contractor and the county made the joint decision to use WALKING FLOOR® unloaders instead of a tipper system for easier and safer unloading.

“The other option if we didn’t implement the WALKING FLOOR® trailers was to use a tipper system, which meant accommodating two different unloading systems at the site as well as having to worry about purchasing, owning and maintaining the tippers,” Centola says. “The WALKING FLOOR® system appears to be a safer method for unloading. Another safety—and efficiency—factor we considered is there is no need to have a near vertical wall for unloading with the WALKING FLOOR® technology, whereas a tipper requires a grade separation for the unloading process.”

Centola says that the durability of the WALKING FLOOR® system is paramount thanks to the volume its trailers are tasked with transporting each day.

The county’s self-haul customers first unload their waste on a concrete floor in an enclosed building and operators use a loader and excavator to top-load the MSW into the county’s fleet of Steco- and Wilkens Industries-manufactured trailers, which are parked below the building.

“Where the rural site transfer trailers might be loaded once a day at the most, we reload our on-site trailers six to eight times per day,” Centola says. “The wear and tear the floors need to be able to absorb is substantial.”

"We like the WALKING FLOOR® trailers. When the working face is busy, they can position closer to each other without compromising safety, which also helps with operating efficiency at the landfill.” – Chad Centola, Operations Manager, Deschutes County Solid Waste

Centola says that the county is currently in the process of replacing its existing aluminum floor trailers that were purchased in 2006 with Keith’s V-9 Series steel floors for added durability.

“We are currently in a replacement cycle for the 2006 trailers,” he says. “We replaced one trailer in 2018 with a steel V-9 floor and are currently out to bid for a second trailer with a steel V-9 floor. The last two trailers will be replaced in our 2019-’20 fiscal year. I believe the V-9 floors will better suit our conditions.”

Centola says that he is confident the renewed investment in WALKING FLOOR® technology will continue to allow the county to meet its waste management needs in the years to come by giving operators the versatility they need to effectively manage the waste of area residents.

“We like the WALKING FLOOR® trailers,” he says. “When the working face is busy, they can position closer to each other without compromising safety, which also helps with operating efficiency at the landfill.”

More information on made-in-the-U.S.A. Keith WALKING FLOOR® systems, including the many applications in which Keith’s 60,000 units can be found globally, can be obtained by visiting keithwalkingfloor.com or by calling (800) 547-6161.