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Londoners get soaked at 'Touch a Truck' event

Three-year-old Luca Laureano rides a tractor at the 'Touch A Truck' event at Earl Nichols Recreation Centre in London, Ont. on May 25, 2024. (Bryan Bicknell/CTV News London) Three-year-old Luca Laureano rides a tractor at the 'Touch A Truck' event at Earl Nichols Recreation Centre in London, Ont. on May 25, 2024. (Bryan Bicknell/CTV News London)
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On a rain-soaked Saturday morning, families with excited children filled the Earl Nichols Recreation Centre parking lot to learn all about trucks.

But the Touch a Truck event was about much more than just the trucks and equipment the City of London uses, it was also about getting to know the men and women who make up city works crews.

“It’s pretty wet, but we’re having a good time,” said mom Kelly Jansen, who was on hand with her three children. “We’re mostly here for their brother Leo, so we’re following him around, and he’s pretty excited to see real life trucks.”

Jansen’s daughter Olivia McPhee took a turn hoisting a log into the air using a so-called mechanical advantage five to one pulley system attached to a city truck.

The 10 year old made it look easy, walking backwards with a rope in her hands, as if winning at tug-of-war. She said she hardly used any strength at all to accomplish the feat.

“I thought it was cool,” said Olivia.

The Touch a Truck event marks National Public Works Week.

Families attend the 'Touch A Truck' event at Earl Nichols Recreation Centre in London, Ont. on May 25, 2024. (Bryan Bicknell/CTV News London)

More than 25 trucks were on display with dozens of city works staff fielding questions from the public about what they do and how they operate within the community.

According to the City of London, some of the trucks included:

  • A forestry operations bucket truck that helps crews trim and maintain trees and responds to tree damage after a storm
  • A snow plow that helps keep our streets clear in the winter
  • A water operations hydro excavator that helps dig holes for water pipe repairs
  • A waste collection truck that collects green bin materials and garbage from the curb and stores them in separate compartments

10-year-old Olivia McPhee hoisting a log using a mechanical advantage five to one pulley system at the 'Touch A Truck' event at Earl Nichols Recreation Centre in London, Ont. on May 25, 2024. (Bryan Bicknell/CTV News London)

Josh Self, engineer in training with the City of London Sewer and Water Operations Division, said they want to public to learn about how city works crews make the community more liveable.

“It’s all work that sometimes goes unnoticed, it’s just kind of in the background. It helps keep our infrastructure in good quality, and makes sure that everything’s running smoothly,” he said.

The London Food Bank was also on hand at the free event collecting donations.

Families attend the 'Touch A Truck' event at Earl Nichols Recreation Centre in London, Ont. on May 25, 2024. (Bryan Bicknell/CTV News London)

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