Road Haulage Archive #5 - 'On The Dust'

Road Haulage Archive #5 - 'On The Dust'

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Road Haulage Archive

Issue #5 - Municipal Vehicles 'On the Dust'

This one is subtitled “A pictorial history of municipal vehicle development, refuse collectors, road sweepers and liquid waste tankers”. Author/compiler Malcolm Bates is certainly qualified for the job, as he spent many years as an illustrator/graphic designer at Shelvoke & Drewry, followed by as stint as Editor of trade title “Local Authority Plant & Vehicles”, and currently produces “Municipal Vehicle Operator & Plant Review” for the Chartered Institute of Waste Management.  

As you’d expect then, the book is extremely comprehensive, starting with the earliest days when internal combustion engines replaced horses, and then covering evolution to side loaders and the arrival of ‘dust less’ loaders and, from the early 1960s, the arrival of compactor-type collectors. Particularly impressive are the various well-illustrated accounts of how the latter work; there’s an awful lot more to these than might be imagined. Separate, dedicated chapters also cover road cleaning/sweeping and bulk transport of waste material, and there’s also a chapter entitled “Some Great Ideas and Some Less So” which doesn’t really need any further explanation! There’s also a section on present-day preservation. 

Clearly, refuse collection and street cleaning aren’t especially glamorous aspects of commercial vehicle operation, but they certainly aren’t without interest, and anyone who invests £8.95 in this publication is guaranteed to find plenty of fascinating stuff inside. 


Review by Peter Simpson, Classic & Vintage Commercials Magazine Editor


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