Then and Now: A Look at How the Garbage Trucks have Evolved

If you trace back to the time in 1800 you would realize how the garbage trucks have evolved over the time suiting our own needs and preferences.

In the 1800s, the preferred method was horse-drawn carts, whose contents also carried human waste in the pre-sewer "night soil" days. But by the 20th century, they were replaced by pick-up style trucks which would fill their beds with trash and take it to the dump.

Right  from  the horse-drawn garbage collection cart and the dump truck bodies of the late 1800s to the trucks of today—equipped with cameras, telematics, on-board diagnostics and automated arms to make waste collection safer and more efficient than ever before; the garbage trucks have undergone a fascinating transformation!

However, there is no hiding of the fact that even though today, these garbage trucks are highly versatile and equipped with the latest technologies but they still lag in terms of management, safety and shortage of labors.

1911, was the first time when a truck was introduced. The very first garbage trucks were not really differentiated from a typical dump truck. The waste hauler picked up trash and threw it in the back. People realized pretty quickly that a typical dump body was not very well suited for waste because a lot of waste in those days was ash and it would leak out.

Thus, the company named Autocar began to build specialized vehicle bodies that were sealed in order to avoid anything from leaking. But, that didn’t come easily. One more problem faced by people was the fact that dumping trucks were way too bigger and taller. This would lead to the spilling of garbage as people would attempt to throw the waste in the truck.

We still had a long way to  go. First introduced in the form of the Heil Collecto, which hit the streets in 1929, this model had a bucket hopper on the side of the truck that would lift trash and dump it into the back of the truck through an opening in the top. This innovative new truck became one of the first standard trucks, which paved the way for our more modern trucks.

By the 1950s, the system evolved further into the front-loading commercial garbage trucks we still see everywhere today, the ones that lifts dumpsters up over the cab and unload the contents into the back.

As the times changed, a lot of changes are encountered by the garbage truck companies. The rising trend of organic waste collection is poised to once again change the face of the garbage truck, or at least the guts. New Way has developed a type of truck, called the Roto-Pak, that has gotten rid of the traditional hydraulic compacting blades and replaced them with a large auger that grinds the trash in the truck.

Garbage truck has a fair share of evolution right from the beginning of time. It goes without saying that the truck evolution has so much more to offer.