(March 26, 2016)

    An interesting update to Unsolved Mystery #5 (The Mexican Mark III), and an addition to Refuse Body Database (Frink Canada). Patrick McGee is regional sales manager for Joe Johnson Equipment in Innisfil, Ontario. He commented recently to Classic Refuse Trucks about the truck shown above, an unidentified Colectomatic Mark III copy which appeared in a classified ad in Mexico:

"This body looks like a Frink built packer body and ejector blade, with a Heil Tailgate which were produced under license for the Canadian market from the 1960s onward till the mid-80s. The founder of the company I work for, Joe Johnson, would have worked for Frink at the time. Unfortunately, the only guys that could conclusively confirm that it's a Frink have passed on, but it is strikingly like some I encountered as very elderly packers twenty years ago when I started in garbage truck sales."

    While this truck has not yet been positively identified, it may indeed turn out to be a license-built Frink, or perhaps a different brand that was built in Mexico under a similar arrangement. Any further information about Frink packers will be published here if and when it becomes available.

This stub article has been added to the Frink album and Unsolved Mysteries #5

(February 21, 2016)
    Nothing could be finer than finding a working classic, and Scott Watson discovered an example of my personal favorite, a first generation Gar Wood LP-700 in Colorado. This is a 20-yarder on a '72 Chevy conventional, and the box may be of the same vintage; during 1972-1973, Gar Wood replaced these with the LP-700-9 series, but there would have been a good number of the original 700's still in dealer inventories in any case. Relax and enjoy this superb Gar Wood:

This video has been added to the LP-700 page in the Gar Wood album
See the REFUSE BODY DATABASE for more information

Click here to see a vintage 1968 Chevrolet/LP-700 advertisement

(January 16, 2016)
    Three excellent new pictures have been added, courtesy of Ronnie Keshishian, which I will post here now, as well as adding them to their respective albums.

    The Silencer was the trade name of a quiet-running hydraulic pump developed by Fred Smith for Gar Wood. The decibel levels on an LP-720 are being tested in this 1972 photo. This truck is probably one of the last original-style LP-700s, which were replaced by the LP-700-9 series soon thereafter. Truck is an International Cargostar. I once worked on truck exactly like this, except for the container kick-bar....wishing I had one like it today!

    Next is a Dempster Route King II working for BFI in 1985. From what I observed here in the Washington, DC area, Dempster was indeed "king" when it came to the national accounts. WMI, BFI and AAA Disposal had large fleets of them. BFI of Northern Virginia used the RK-II in 20-yard form on Ford F-850s converted to right-hand stand-up drive.

    This unusual-looking truck is one the earliest ASLs, a Rapid Rail Gruncher. This unit, mounted on a Chevrolet tilt-cab, was one of their first attempts at marketing a complete packer-loader assembly, and was featured in a 1978 advertisement. Rapid Rail's automated lift arm was mated to the Wayne Gruncher, which used a corkscrew compactor much like the Swedish Norba system. Wayne Engineering also sold a rear-load version of the Gruncher.

    Actually, there is no Rapid Rail page at CRT at this time. However, I've created a temporary "under-construction" page for this brand, so that it may be easier to reference.

(January 10, 2016)
    Still working on the Heil album, and in researching their conveyor-loader, I ran across the gem which is featured on the home page, the Automatic Truck Loader. I had been aware of the patents for this truck for some time, and while I suspected it had actually been built, no evidence had ever been found to support the hunch. These pictures definitively prove the existence of at least one example. They were digitized from photographs in the Library of the New York Academy of Medicine, which campaigned to improve public health in the 1920s and 1930s through modernizing the City's sanitation trucks. These photos show one of the earliest mechanized refuse trucks ever built in the United Sates. This truck was also the forefather of the New York City escalator-loader design which would arrive in 1937, and the similarities between the two are striking.

    This is indeed a rare treat, to uncover a refuse body design of such historical significance. Mack Truck fans will also take pride in knowing that it was a Bulldog pulling this pioneering wagon; how little some things change in the refuse industry! I won't go into more detail here, but instead refer you to a short article I have written on what is known of this truck and its inventor, one Joseph Goodman of New York. I believe the casual reader and enthusiast alike will enjoy this rare look at the "missing link" in the story of the escalator/conveyor loader, which was so pivotal in modernizing the way municipalities collected refuse.

The article has been added as an entry to the CRT Refuse Body Database

For previous news items, visit the CRT Archive

© 2016 Eric Voytko
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Photos from factory brochures/trade advertisements except as noted