Tag Archives: Phoenix

Refuse Collection Vehicles

In February 1997 my boss Percy telephoned me to tell me that he had heard of a new type of refuse collection vehicle with impressive labour saving innovations that offered huge operational savings and that he was interested in finding out more.  He asked me if I would be prepared to visit the factory where they were manufactured and give him my opinion.  To be honest I had very little interest in bin carts or how they are made but fortunately, before I could decline, he happened to mention that the factory was in Phoenix, Arizona in the United States of America and as quick as a flash my lack of interest transformed into complete and total enthusiasm.  Did I want to visit Phoenix to see some dustcarts?  You bet I did!

I couldn’t believe my luck and enjoyed four days in the United States where as well as having to visit the Heil refuse collection truck factory, which quite frankly was a bit of a bore, I also got to visit the Grand Canyon and enjoy some top class hospitality.  This was a really good trip and on reflection I decided that refuse vehicle manufacture was actually rather interesting after all.  We posted the report of our visit (missing out the drinking bits of course) and offered our availability for any similar official trips in the future.

This was a good move because the following year I was sent to La Rochelle in France to look at Semat refuse trucks and later in the same year I went to Milan to see the Brivio factory.  It’s amazing how interesting refuse trucks can suddenly become when there is an all expenses overseas trip involved.  Later the Company set up a centralised purchasing unit under a greedy procurement manager who saved the best gigs for themselves and that was the end of the factory visits and the overseas travel but believe me I enjoyed it while it lasted.

The company never did buy a Heil sideloading refuse vehicle, they were absolutely useless for use in the United Kingdom, but I have to say that they were brilliant at hospitality.  Jack Allen folded and went out of business just a short while afterwards, which was a shame and the Heil Engineering Plant in Phoenix that had opened in 1990 was closed down in August 2003 and production was switched to Fort Payne in Alabama.

In June 1991 the company (Cory Environmental) made arrangements for all the managers to attend the conference and exhibition and we stayed at the Maycliffe Hotel in St Luke’s Road in Torquay.  I had already started to become accustomed to uncontrolled drinking bouts at the expense of the company whilst staying in hotels but the annual IWM conference was the equivalent of the FA Cup Final or the Eurovision Song Contest because at this event everyone went crazy.

Every June everyone in the waste management industry used to travel down to Paignton in Devon for the annual waste management conference and there were three nights of unlimited hospitality because all of the big supply companies were there and wanted to impress and sell and were prepared to pay for it.  The big event and the one everyone lusted to get a ticket for was the Dennis Eagle banquet because this promised good food and high class entertainment but there was also plenty of food and drink from their competitors Jack Allen and the street sweeping vehicle manufacturers Johnson and Scarab.  As well as the big events there were lots of fringe companies trying to impress, wheelie bin, plastic sacks, protective clothing and tyres and they all hospitality budgets that we were eager to help them spend.

All of that extravagance must have been a financial burden because as well as Jack Allen and Heil, Dennis Eagle went out of business on 11th December 2006.

Phoenix Arizona and The Rustler’s Rooste

On a business trip to Phoenix, Arizona in 1997 we went one night to a cowboy steakhouse restaurant called the Rustler’s Rooste.  According to legend the original site of the restaurant was on top of a butte in the foothills of South Mountain and it was a hideout for cattle rustlers and outlaws.   The South Mountain recreational area is claimed to be the largest municipal park in the world and it has a commanding position overlooking the city.  Mike parked the people carrier and we stood and admired the views over the city that was stretched in front and below us like a scene from that Robert DeNiro film Heat.

From the outside Rustler’s Rooste looked disappointingly functional and not especially exciting but inside things were really buzzing.  Through the doors we walked over an indoor waterfall and then to get to the dining room there were two options, the stairs were the traditional method of getting down, but there was also a slide that curved around a central stage area and which was both quicker and more exhilarating.  We took this option of course and one by one were deposited swiftly into the dining area that had two large plate glass windows that provided a magnificent view of the city lights.

Rustler’s Rooste served cowboy food and a sign on the door said ‘Better come hungry’; so it was a good job that we had Dave and his reliable appetite with us!  There was a fabulous menu with an extensive choice of food including rattlesnake as a starter.  None of us had ever had that before so we just had to have some but although it sounded dangerous and exotic I seem to remember that it tasted rather disappointingly like chicken.  After that we had the full cowboy meal that consisted of crispy shrimp, barbecued chicken, cowboy beans, seafood kebabs, fries, barbecued pork ribs, corn on the cob, and a big juicy beef steak.  It was all cooked perfectly and I suspect rather better than a simple cowpoke’s meal out on the open range and the cowboys wouldn’t have had the nine layer chocolate cake to finish either, I’m fairly certain!

The best thing about the Rustler’s Rooste was the entertainment because there was live music playing all night as two bands took it in turn to play good old country music which had people line dancing and playing cowboy in between the courses.  My favourite part of the evening was when a man brought a live snake into the room and then, in a carefully rehearsed way, dropped it and it slithered about the floor scattering diners in all directions.  We were assured later that it was not a venomous variety and perfectly harmless of course but it did scare the pants off an awful lot of people at the time.  It turned out that Mike lived out of town on the open range and he knew an awful lot about rattle snakes and he amused us with serpent stories all the way back to the motel.

http://www.rustlersrooste.com/

Arizona and the Rustler’s Rooste Restaurant

On the 14th February 1912 Arizona became the 48th state of the Union.

Before I moved to Lincolnshire I used to work for a French waste management company called Onyx UK that was attempting to take over refuse collection services in the UK and I worked at a depot in Maidenhead in Berkshire and managed the Windsor contract.   One day in February 1997 the Managing Director, a man called Percy Powell, telephoned me to tell me that he had heard of a new type of refuse collection vehicle with impressive labour saving innovations that offered huge operational savings and that he was interested in finding out more.  He asked me if I would be prepared to visit the factory where they were manufactured and give him my opinion.  To be honest I had very little interest in bincarts or how they are made but fortunately, before I could decline, he happened to mention that the factory was in Phoenix, Arizona in the United States of America and as quick as a flash of lightening my lack of interest transformed into complete and total enthusiasm.  Did I want to visit Phoenix to see some dustcarts?  You bet I did!

We had to do some business of course and visit a boring factory but one of the highlights of the trip was a night out to an iconic Phoenix restaurant.  We waited in the bar for our host Mike to pick us up and after a couple of beers he arrived and drove us south for a short distance out of the city to a cowboy steakhouse restaurant called the Rustler’s Rooste.  According to legend the original site of the restaurant was on top of a butte in the foothills of South Mountain and it was a hideout for cattle rustlers and outlaws.   The South Mountain recreational area is claimed to be the largest municipal park in the world and it has a commanding position overlooking the city.  Mike parked the people carrier and we stood and admired the views over the city that was stretched in front and below us like a scene from that Robert DeNiro film Heat.

From the outside Rustler’s Rooste looked disappointingly functional and not especially exciting but inside things were really buzzing.  Through the doors we walked over an indoor waterfall and then to get to the dining room there were two options, the stairs were the traditional method of getting down, but there was also a slide that curved around a central stage area and which was both quicker and more exhilarating.  We took this option of course and one by one were deposited swiftly into the dining area that had two large plate glass windows that provided a magnificent view of the city lights.

Rustler’s Rooste served cowboy food and a sign on the door said ‘Better come hungry’; so it was a good job that we had Dave and his reliable appetite with us!  There was a fabulous menu with an extensive choice of food including rattlesnake as a starter.  None of us had ever had that before so we just had to have some but although it sounded dangerous and exotic I seem to remember that it tasted rather disappointingly like chicken.  After that we had the full cowboy meal that consisted of crispy shrimp, barbecued chicken, cowboy beans, seafood kebabs, fries, barbecued pork ribs, corn on the cob, and a big juicy beef steak.  It was all cooked perfectly and I suspect rather better than a simple cowpokes meal out on the open range and the cowboys wouldn’t have had the nine layer chocolate cake to finish either, I’m certain!

The best thing about the Rustler’s Rooste was the entertainment because there was live music playing all night as two bands took it in turn to play good old country music which had people line dancing and playing cowboy in between the courses.  My favourite part of the evening was when a man brought a live snake into the room and then, in a carefully rehearsed way, dropped it and it slithered about the floor scattering diners in all directions.  We were assured later that it was not a venomous variety and perfectly harmless of course but it did scare the shit out of an awful lot of people at the time.  It turned out that Mike lived out of town on the open range and he knew an awful lot about rattle snakes and he amused us with serpent stories all the way back to the motel.

A Life in a Year – 11th December, Refuse Collection Vehicles

In February 1997 my boss Percy telephoned me to tell me that he had heard of a new type of refuse collection vehicle with impressive labour saving innovations that offered huge operational savings and that he was interested in finding out more.  He asked me if I would be prepared to visit the factory where they were manufactured and give him my opinion.  To be honest I had very little interest in bin carts or how they are made but fortunately, before I could decline, he happened to mention that the factory was in Phoenix, Arizona in the United States of America and as quick as a flash my lack of interest transformed into complete and total enthusiasm.  Did I want to visit Phoenix to see some dustcarts?  You bet I did!

I couldn’t believe my luck and enjoyed four days in the United States where as well as having to visit the Heil refuse collection truck factory, which quite frankly was a bit of a bore, I also got to visit the Grand Canyon and enjoy some top class hospitality.  This was a really good trip and on reflection I decided that refuse vehicle manufacture was actually rather interesting after all.  We posted the report of our visit (missing out the drinking bits of course) and offered our availability for any similar official trips in the future. 

This was a good move because the following year I was sent to La Rochelle in France to look at Semat refuse trucks and later in the same year I went to Milan to see the Brivio factory.  It’s amazing how interesting refuse trucks can suddenly become when there is an all expenses overseas trip involved.  Later the Company set up a centralised purchasing unit under a greedy procurement manager who saved the best gigs for themselves and that was the end of the factory visits and the overseas travel but believe me I enjoyed it while it lasted.

The company never did buy a Heil sideloading refuse vehicle, they were absolutely useless for use in the United Kingdom, but I have to say that they were brilliant at hospitality.  Jack Allen folded and went out of business just a short while afterwards, which was a shame and the Heil Engineering Plant in Phoenix that had opened in 1990 was closed down in August 2003 and production was switched to Fort Payne in Alabama.

In June 1991 the company (Cory Environmental) made arrangements for all the managers to attend the conference and exhibition and we stayed at the Maycliffe Hotel in St Luke’s Road in Torquay.  I had already started to become accustomed to uncontrolled drinking bouts at the expense of the company whilst staying in hotels but the annual IWM conference was the equivalent of the FA Cup Final or the Eurovision Song Contest because at this event everyone went crazy.

Every June everyone in the waste management industry used to travel down to Paignton in Devon for the annual waste management conference and there were three nights of unlimited hospitality because all of the big supply companies were there and wanted to impress and sell and were prepared to pay for it.  The big event and the one everyone lusted to get a ticket for was the Dennis Eagle banquet because this promised good food and high class entertainment but there was also plenty of food and drink from their competitors Jack Allen and the street sweeping vehicle manufacturers Johnson and Scarab.  As well as the big events there were lots of fringe companies trying to impress, wheelie bin, plastic sacks, protective clothing and tyres and they all hospitality budgets that we were eager to help them spend.

All of that extravagance must have been a financial burden because as well as Jack Allen and Heil, Dennis Eagle went out of business on 11th December 2006.

A Life in a Year – 27th October, Phoenix Arizona and The Rustler’s Rooste

 

On a business trip to Phoenix, Arizona in 1997 we went one night to a cowboy steakhouse restaurant called the Rustler’s Rooste.  According to legend the original site of the restaurant was on top of a butte in the foothills of South Mountain and it was a hideout for cattle rustlers and outlaws.   The South Mountain recreational area is claimed to be the largest municipal park in the world and it has a commanding position overlooking the city.  Mike parked the people carrier and we stood and admired the views over the city that was stretched in front and below us like a scene from that Robert DeNiro film Heat.

From the outside Rustler’s Rooste looked disappointingly functional and not especially exciting but inside things were really buzzing.  Through the doors we walked over an indoor waterfall and then to get to the dining room there were two options, the stairs were the traditional method of getting down, but there was also a slide that curved around a central stage area and which was both quicker and more exhilarating.  We took this option of course and one by one were deposited swiftly into the dining area that had two large plate glass windows that provided a magnificent view of the city lights.

Rustler’s Rooste served cowboy food and a sign on the door said ‘Better come hungry’; so it was a good job that we had Dave and his reliable appetite with us!  There was a fabulous menu with an extensive choice of food including rattlesnake as a starter.  None of us had ever had that before so we just had to have some but although it sounded dangerous and exotic I seem to remember that it tasted rather disappointingly like chicken.  After that we had the full cowboy meal that consisted of crispy shrimp, barbecued chicken, cowboy beans, seafood kebabs, fries, barbecued pork ribs, corn on the cob, and a big juicy beef steak.  It was all cooked perfectly and I suspect rather better than a simple cowpoke’s meal out on the open range and the cowboys wouldn’t have had the nine layer chocolate cake to finish either, I’m fairly certain!

The best thing about the Rustler’s Rooste was the entertainment because there was live music playing all night as two bands took it in turn to play good old country music which had people line dancing and playing cowboy in between the courses.  My favourite part of the evening was when a man brought a live snake into the room and then, in a carefully rehearsed way, dropped it and it slithered about the floor scattering diners in all directions.  We were assured later that it was not a venomous variety and perfectly harmless of course but it did scare the pants off an awful lot of people at the time.  It turned out that Mike lived out of town on the open range and he knew an awful lot about rattle snakes and he amused us with serpent stories all the way back to the motel.

http://www.rustlersrooste.com/

A Life in a Year – 14th February, Arizona and the Rustler’s Rooste

On the 14th February 1912 Arizona became the 48th state of the Union.

Before I moved to Lincolnshire I used to work for a French waste management company called Onyx UK that was attempting to take over refuse collection services in the UK and I worked at a depot in Maidenhead in Berkshire and managed the Windsor contract.   One day in February 1997 the Managing Director, a man called Percy Powell, telephoned me to tell me that he had heard of a new type of refuse collection vehicle with impressive labour saving innovations that offered huge operational savings and that he was interested in finding out more.  He asked me if I would be prepared to visit the factory where they were manufactured and give him my opinion.  To be honest I had very little interest in bincarts or how they are made but fortunately, before I could decline, he happened to mention that the factory was in Phoenix, Arizona in the United States of America and as quick as a flash of lightening my lack of interest transformed into complete and total enthusiasm.  Did I want to visit Phoenix to see some dustcarts?  You bet I did!

We had to do some business of course and visit a boring factory but one of the highlights of the trip was a night out to an iconic Phoenix restaurant.  We waited in the bar for our host Mike to pick us up and after a couple of beers he arrived and drove us south for a short distance out of the city to a cowboy steakhouse restaurant called the Rustler’s Rooste.  According to legend the original site of the restaurant was on top of a butte in the foothills of South Mountain and it was a hideout for cattle rustlers and outlaws.   The South Mountain recreational area is claimed to be the largest municipal park in the world and it has a commanding position overlooking the city.  Mike parked the people carrier and we stood and admired the views over the city that was stretched in front and below us like a scene from that Robert DeNiro film Heat.

From the outside Rustler’s Rooste looked disappointingly functional and not especially exciting but inside things were really buzzing.  Through the doors we walked over an indoor waterfall and then to get to the dining room there were two options, the stairs were the traditional method of getting down, but there was also a slide that curved around a central stage area and which was both quicker and more exhilarating.  We took this option of course and one by one were deposited swiftly into the dining area that had two large plate glass windows that provided a magnificent view of the city lights.

Rustler’s Rooste served cowboy food and a sign on the door said ‘Better come hungry’; so it was a good job that we had Dave and his reliable appetite with us!  There was a fabulous menu with an extensive choice of food including rattlesnake as a starter.  None of us had ever had that before so we just had to have some but although it sounded dangerous and exotic I seem to remember that it tasted rather disappointingly like chicken.  After that we had the full cowboy meal that consisted of crispy shrimp, barbecued chicken, cowboy beans, seafood kebabs, fries, barbecued pork ribs, corn on the cob, and a big juicy beef steak.  It was all cooked perfectly and I suspect rather better than a simple cowpokes meal out on the open range and the cowboys wouldn’t have had the nine layer chocolate cake to finish either, I’m certain!

The best thing about the Rustler’s Rooste was the entertainment because there was live music playing all night as two bands took it in turn to play good old country music which had people line dancing and playing cowboy in between the courses.  My favourite part of the evening was when a man brought a live snake into the room and then, in a carefully rehearsed way, dropped it and it slithered about the floor scattering diners in all directions.  We were assured later that it was not a venomous variety and perfectly harmless of course but it did scare the shit out of an awful lot of people at the time.  It turned out that Mike lived out of town on the open range and he knew an awful lot about rattle snakes and he amused us with serpent stories all the way back to the motel.