The Leach Co, of Oshkosh Wisconsin, introduced the Packmaster in 1950 as the Model 1-R. This became another workhorse of the rubbish collection industry. At the heart of the Packmaster was a "bulldozer" type blade which appears to have been a single blade compactor. The earliest Packmasters tipped like a conventional dump truck to empty their load, and later, were built with an ejection blade to eliminate this need.
Shown here what looks like a 60's version of a Leach Packmaster on a White chassis, and a 1976 15 yard model on a Cargostar International chassis. Except for perhaps the cu. yard size, notice how little the truck's body has changed. This first truck was photographed working in Ohio - the second truck served its "time" at the Oregon State Penitentiary. I wonder how many criminals might have been crushed by trying to hide in the compactor in order to escape prison? It's fun to imagine.
A close-up of the manufacturer's name plate is shown for the '76 15 yard model. You can see it on the front left section of the body in the above photos. It reveals Leach Co's patents on the Packmaster, as well as the obvious model and serial numbers. Instructions of operation are also specified on the plate.
Here we see a close-up view of the Packmaster's compactor. Here we have an excellent close up view of the "bulldozer" blade. It rotates on a hinge, and it is guided down tracks on both sides in order to scoop the contents out of the hopper. As you can see, it is attached to a chassis, rather than a packer panel as with most conventional rear loaders. From this view we can also see clearly inside the truck - at the rear is the ejection panel. Finally the other side of the ejector is shown in the truck's body. Unfortunately the hydraulic cylinders are not clearly visible.
The compacting cycle begins with the blade rotating outwards towards the tailgate. It it then lowered to the bottom of the track. covering the rubbish in the hopper. The blade then rotates inwards, scooping the trash out of the hopper. Then in the final step it is raised along the guided track lifting the scooped trash into the track. Thus the single blade acts as both the sweeper and compactor. The chassis above the panel contains the hydraulic cylinders necessary to operate the blade.
Incidentally this truck has appeared on eBay, and we have crystallized the auction here for everybody to enjoy. As you can see this entire truck, though not functioning, sold for under $500 (!). For a little fun, and to imagine owning it, I have replaced the actual high bidder with my eBay id :-) Seriously, too bad I wasn't closer to Oregon, or I might have bought it! What a fun way to get into the trash collection business or something similar. I have interesting ideas for this truck, such as using it to pick up scrap metal like tin cans and rusty license plates. However as a scrap metal collector I fear the compactor on such an old truck might eventually jam, not to mention how carefully I'd have to drive it down the Interstate! It's sort of fun to imagine a truck full of scrap, with a West Virginia license plate and Oregon State Seal, pull up to the loading dock of Weirton Steel to dump its load. Maybe I should have actually bought this cute little truck - I'm already aware of a few sources for scrap metal.
Anyway, the high bidder told me he was going to convert it over to a flatbed for hauling timber as he was not in the rubbish business. Well, at least the truck will be incarnated, though not as a garbage truck *sniff*.
In 1959, Leach introduced a heavy duty machine capable of handling demolition material and industrial waste. This model, the 2RII could handle the toughest assignments. Here we see it in action below:
This heavy duty Leach truck (operated by C.D. & A.F. Marangi Municipal and Industrial Disposal Services of Paterson, NJ) was no doubt capable of that, and more.
One doesn't need to guess what's going to happen next to that old washing machine.
Tthe 2RII, like the Packmaster, remained unchanged for years. Recognizable by it's huge 3.5 yard tear-shaped hopper. Besides accepting waste directly it was also designed to empty containers. You can still see many Leach trucks like this in operation today.
76 Packmaster photos courtesy
of Nole Bullock of Oregon State Surplus
Leach 2RII from Cities Service Ad, from "Fleet Owner", October 1963