by Dan Neil
WHEN MACK Truck’s press people invited me to drive their electric trash truck at its headquarters in Greensboro, N.C., I was just so there. The very phrase sounded magical. Electric Trash Truck could be the name of my ’60s art-rock band. They also offered to let me use the side-loader’s grabber arm to fling bins into the air. It’s harder than it looks.
But mostly I accepted because of a particular trash truck I used to hate in my old neighborhood in Los Angeles. About 5 a.m. this thing would come up our street, bawling like a calving moose, air brakes squealing and hissing every 30 seconds. At the end of the street the crew would run the compactor, or “packer,” which sounded like they were about to launch a mobile missile. Now there’s a product category ripe for innovation, I thought, before drinking myself back to sleep.
With no engine rumble or barking brakes, Mack’s LR Electric rolls like a mute-button version of its diesel equivalent.
Last week, full of hope, I climbed into the springy seat of the Mack LR Electric, a battery-powered version of the company’s best-selling and noisiest trash truck. Built around components shared with parent-company Volvo Group (not the car company), the LR Electric is a low-cab-forward design, with windshields like Elton John glasses. The side-loader body, built by Heil, wore the livery of refuse giant Republic Services, which is testing the prototype in Hickory, N.C.
Read entire article in the Wall Street Journal: https://www.wsj.com/articles/electric-trash-trucks-are-coming-quietly-to-your-town-11602098620