A Look Back in History: The Modernization of San Francisco Water Department’s Fleet

A memo dated February 7, 1967 from the General Manager and Chief Engineer of the San Francisco Water Department at the time, Arthur H. Frye, Jr. shows discussion of modernizing the Water Department’s fleet.

The General Manager of the Water Department appeared to be pleased with the various innovations inherent in the design factors of the new fleet vehicles. Safety seemed to be paramount then as it is now.

A Memo to the General Manager of Public Utilities – February 1967.

The General Manager led off his review with commentary on the visual design of the vehicles, citing the expansive white detailing in the paint application to promote night-time visibility of the vehicles. Also pertinent to the visual design, he pointed out the “zebra striping” on the rear of vehicles.

This striping is most visible in the photo montage, in the fourth photo in the middle row and in the final photo which also features the “self-contained” hoist.

A photo montage of the “new fleet vehicles”.

Once again safety was called out as it was noted that the hoist was intended to reduce injury as well as create efficiencies.

The old SFPUC logo was a simple one, with a white silhouette of the Pulgas Water Temple in white on a yellow background. Frye proposed another visual upgrade for the trucks – a new logo. Or, as he put it, “an emblem, prepared in decal form.”