HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. — Wilfredo Cay’s mother tells him how he used to love watching the garbage truck go by his house as a kid.
"I used to say, I want to do that when I grow up," said Cay.
After retiring from 20 years in the U.S. Army, Cay is now doing what the little boy in him always wanted, but in a new and safer way.
Cay drives one of Republic Services' new automated trucks.
Cameras and mirrors allow the driver to see all around them and a joystick operates the robotic arm that picks up the bins.
One pickup takes about eight seconds, and saves the driver from lifting bags all day.
"They’re super heavy and this helps us a lot because we are not the ones lifting it," said Cay.
Cay says it's safer and faster, unless someone doesn’t follow instructions.
Cay says some customers put the bin too close to mailboxes or stack trash against the bins causing the drivers to have to stop and move bins over and over again adding hours to their routes.
"Its makes the job harder and wastes time," said Cay.
With the new "right side only" loading trucks, came all new routes.
District Manager Terrance Dotson says it’s been a learning curve for drivers and customers.
In this industry, it takes several months to settle down from a change like this.
Dotson says things have improved drastically and his team is committed to serving their customers in Hernando County.