That well-known Canal Zone figure, "the macheteman," will soon be almost a thing of the past. Instead of whacking away at the edges of lawns, stubborn undergrowth, or simply a few blades of grass, most of them will be riding or guiding one of the Housing and Grounds Division's fancy new machines, doing the same jobs a lot faster and without having to stop every few minutes to sharpen a machete.
Already in use on both sides of the Canal Zone is such new equipment as edgers, lawn sweepers, hedge shears, and power mowers of a type never seen here before, together with a lot of other specialized pieces which will make the care of grounds a lot quicker and more thorough operation.
All of the 14 types of new grasscutting, lawn-cleaning, and general tidying-up machines are being used on a trial basis. So is a new vacuum street-cleaner, different from the street-cleaning machine which was tried here some years ago and did not prove particularly successful. When the Housing and Grounds personnel have decided which machine does which job the most effieciently, they will recommend the purchase of more machines of the most satisfactory kind.
The adoption of a mechanized system for keeping the Canal Zone's grassy hair cut and combed is in line with the efforts of the Canal administration in many other fields to economize by a more efficient use of its manpower.
Officials of the Housing and Grounds Division have high hopes for their planned mechanization. With all of the new kinds of machinery available, they see no reason why the Canal Zone cannot always be neat and tidy, even at times of year like the present, when leaves are falling from the deciduous trees.