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Video: How Garbage Trucks are Made


Garbage Truck Drivers Learn MoreIf you got rid of it, chances are a truck took it. (See what we did there?)

Modern garbage trucks don’t get the hype they deserve for being tough as nails, technological wonders.  They’ve been steadily improved for efficiency, fuel sipping, ride comfort (?) and safety since the first model appeared in 1938. It was manufactured by Garwin Industries.

By the late 1950s and early 1960s, the modern compacting garbage truck was on nearly every city street. Garwin moved further along by manufacturing industrial-strength compacting trucks. These trucks could handle larger objects and compacted better, allowing them a 25 percent larger load.

There have been many variations of the garbage truck since its invention. The most common style is the rear loader that requires one or two workers to pour garbage from cans into a low sitting opening. There’s also the front-loading truck that has a hopper in the front at about waist level to the workers. They load into the hopper and it takes the garbage up over the top of the truck and dumps it into the body. It is then compacted and this truck dumps the same as the rear loader. Some are side loaders in which the hoppers are on the sides and lift up into the truck. Some have separate hoppers for each type of recyclable material. There is even one type that has a robotic arm that grabs the can from the side of the street, goes up a conveyor, dumps the material and places the can back on the street.

New developments

The newest generation of garbage trucks are doing interesting things with fuel options. Some cities are trying out gas/electric hybrid trucks that can get better fuel economy (only about 4 mpg). There are also designs in the books for a completely electric garbage truck that can be recharged using electricity generated from the garbage it brings to a special plant.

Anyway, enough chatter – here’s how your standard hydraulic compressing garbage truck goes from a collection of parts to a single start.

We also apologize for the confusing ending of this segment.

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More videos from the “How It’s Made” TV Show on CDL Life.


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