GLEN RIDGE, NJ — Probably the most popular vehicle at the annual Touch-a-Truck event held on the Glen on Saturday, Oct. 12, was the front-end loader, a huge motorized shovel on wheels, and the reason for that was simple enough. According to a Glen Ridge Public Library volunteer working the show, it was because front-end loaders are also made as toys for racing around the kitchen floor and table tops, so kids were having the chance to see the real McCoy. But there were plenty of other industrial-sized movers and shakers to climb aboard, and get behind the wheel or levers. There was a wood-chipper connected to a box truck, a dump truck pulling a leaf loader; and the smaller stump grinder and grass cutter.
The event was hosted by the library and the Department of Public Works, which also supplied volunteers to explain the machinery and keep an eye on the kids. And it was not just the DPW workers telling kids how the vehicles from their garage work. Librarian Sydney Young seemed to have picked up on how to run a stump grinder and offered her knowledge, too.
“This is the emergency stop,” she said, pointing to a lever.
Young said the library and the EMS host Touch-a-Truck on alternate years.
“It’s a great program that brings people out,” she said. “And it’s a nice community service to meet the town workers.”