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Final utility truck made in Janesville hits auction block – The Daily Reporter – WI Construction News & Bids – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 2021-05-31 08:08:25 –

Neil Johnson
Janesville Gazette

Janesville, Wisconsin (AP) — The large yellow GMC truck initially operated as a snowplow on the streets of Janesville. Then, for many years, it became an asphalt mule for the maintenance of urban streets.

The 19-year-old Janesville public works truck, the diesel-powered GMC C8500 dump truck, is now retired and will be auctioned in June.

It’s not just a truck. This is the last heavy-duty GMC utility truck ever manufactured in Janesville. The absolute last heavy-duty truck that rolled the assembly floor of a local factory before GM permanently closed its medium-sized production line in Janesville.

The black grease pen scratches on the underside of the GMC hood are the names of the people who worked on the Janesville assembly line on June 26, 2002, when the truck was completed. Janesville Gazette reports that these names have faded under the stigma of years of business activity, but remain visible.

Do you know? Perhaps one of those workers will buy a truck. They can try if they want.

The city of Janesville is currently accepting sealed bid offers for trucks. Surplus and scrap car auctions are usually held throughout the state in the city, according to Maggie Dar, the city’s head of operations. However, she said the city was initially soliciting bids for GMC trucks locally. Until at least June 6, it will only accept bids by mail or by hand to the City Service Center.

“The goal is to limit exposure a bit more, which could put it in the hands of someone local who has a local connection with GM. It’s part of local history,” Dar said. It was.

Travis Kelsey, a clerk leader at the city’s service center, said the city’s purchase, which turned out to be the last GMC dump truck shipped from the Janesville assembly line, was the result of pure coincidence.

When the truck was used from snow removal to urban blacktop work, it was only five years old and only hundreds of hours worked.

According to Kelsey, most city workers knew that the big GMC was the last of its kind. Some even wondered if historically famous trucks should be subject to asphalt obligations.

“The black top guys appreciated the truck, but there’s a give and take. Some others were sad to see it used that way. But for others, it’s a truck. In any case, we used it as a truck and for that purpose. It may have erased part of history, “Kelsey said.

GM officially closed its Janesville assembly plant in 2009 during the Great Recession amid a huge shift in the automotive industry. The last vehicle manufactured at the Janesville plant wasn’t a truck such as the city’s big GMC, but the closure of the medium-duty truck production line in 2002 was seen as a turning point for GM. Employer.

At its peak in 1977, the GM plant employed approximately 7,100 employees in Janesville, producing 274,286 passenger cars and 114,681 trucks. By 2008, employment there had dropped to 1,300.

Michael Cobert, a former GM employee of a medium-duty truck, remembers writing his name on the back of the truck’s 300-pound bumper with a yellow grease pen, which he installed the morning off the line. Told Gazette. ..

Covert, like his father, worked for many years at the GM factory. He is now working in food packaging. Covert said he remembers hearing the engine start on the first revolution of the key the day the big yellow truck was completed.

“When that happened, you always saw it as a good omen,” Cobert said.

About 20 years later, in the city’s garage parking lot, Kelsey again tried to ignite the truck’s large caterpillar diesel engine. It came alive with the first click. When Kelsey touched the accelerator pedal, the track shook with a stable roar.

“That’s the GMC sound,” Kelsey said. “Real diesel”



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