Preserved Leach Packmaster (circa 1950s)
A super rare first generation Leach Packmaster body, owned by Ankeny Sanitation of Ankeny, Iowa
Special thanks to Anthony Ricchio of GarbageGuru.net for sharing these excellent photographs with CRT
The body currently resides on a much older truck.
The retired Leach still comes out for the occasional parade, and is believed to functional.
We don't often get to look at the packer blade of an early Packmaster, since this version has not been built for over fifty years. These original models shared no components with the revised series which debuted in 1955.
Close up shows one of the the spring biased-rollers. Also note the track riser which is holding the roller shaft inward.
Packer blade control lever and rod. Note the seven small holes in the sidewall; At the dump, the operator would release the tailgate clamps, and then start the packer. Once the blade was visible through these holes, he knew to then operate the tailgate raise lever. Since these early Packmasters were originally fitted with automatic hopper doors (interconnected to the packer control linkage), operators were unable to see the packer through the rear opening during the first half of the cycle. Like most examples, the door on this truck has been removed at some point during its existence.
A rare look at the packer blade face, as viewed from inside the body.
Inside the body, vent holes in roof allow air to escape from compacted load.
Prior to 1963, all Leach tailgate lift cylinders were inside the body as seen here
As with many early refuse packers, the plumbing and hydraulics were in places exposed to the refuse
The I.D. plate reveals the model number to be the same as the body size. Leach had built 5,300 total refuse bodies by 1956. Based on known production data, and if all serial numbers are consecutive, this one (4179) would likely be from 1954-55
© 2009 Eric Voytko
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All photos courtesy of GarbageGuru.net