Bainbridge rig is in it for the long haul - hits 1 million-mile mark

No rest for the weary: Bainbridge Disposal’s 1 million-mile truck isn’t at the end of its road yet.   - Photo courtesy of Bainbridge Disposal
No rest for the weary: Bainbridge Disposal’s 1 million-mile truck isn’t at the end of its road yet.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Bainbridge Disposal

Semi-retirement is really going to stink for one of Bainbridge Island’s most seasoned road warriors.

Employees at Bainbridge Disposal recently celebrated a major career milestone for one of their workers: a 1991 International 9400 series truck. The 20-year-old, 18-speed rig recently passed its 1 million-mile mark on the odometer.

Not that the odometer goes that high, however.

“It rolled all the way to zeros,” said David Stanley, general manager at Bainbridge Disposal.

He noted that at last check, the odometer read 000,153.

Stanley said the truck was used to haul garbage in 30-, 40- and 50-yard containers. It took trash to Bremerton and recycled material to Tacoma.

Mostly, it stayed here on Bainbridge Island and Kitsap County.

“It’s run almost every day except for a few minor breaks. We drove it every day, seven days a week sometimes,” he said.

“It still runs good, that’s why I hung onto it,” Stanley added.

Stanley himself was behind the wheel for one of its longest road trips, back in September 1990.

“I picked it up at the factory, and then I drove it back to Bainbridge from Atlanta,” he said. “When we got it we had zero miles on it. There was nothing on the odometer.”

That trip home put more than 3,000 miles on the chassis.

The truck has had a few different folks in the driver’s seat since then.

“It’s gone through the drivers,” Stanley said.

One driver put about 400,000 miles on it, but the truck outlasted him.

“He retired and moved to Montana,” Stanley added.

Stanley couldn’t begin to estimate how many loads the truck has carried through the years. And despite being a familiar fixture around the yard at Bainbridge Disposal, no one ever got sentimental enough to give the old truck a nickname.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t any fondness for old Internationals like Stanley’s million-miler, which still chugs along without a fuss on a 400 Big Cam diesel engine.

Two other Internationals at Bainbridge Disposal are also getting a bit long in the tooth. Stanley has 1996 and 1997 trucks — both also 9400 series models — that have passed the 900,000-mile mark.

“Back then, they were good trucks. Today, they’re not as good as they used to be. Too much plastic,” he said.

“And everything has gone computerized now,” Stanley added.

Though its days of hauling garbage are over, Island Disposal’s most veteran rig won’t rest its wheels for long.

“It’s too good of a truck to get rid of,” he said.

“I’m thinking of making a septic tank pumping truck out of it,” Stanley said. “It still runs good.”


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