As Dick Martin of the1960s TV show, Laugh-In, would have said, “You bet your sweet bippy.”
Now I have never known what a bippy was, nor do I particularly care, other than to guess you would not bet it on anything but a sure thing … and that about sums up my impression of this year’s WasteExpo in Dallas.
Never mind that at 90 degrees it was well past my threshold of pain, or that Thor decided to throw some of his very best hammers one evening just to let folks know that he was pretty excited by the event. WasteExpo 2011 was a far cry from its two predecessors.
Why this was so when I have yet to see clear evidence that the economic worm has turned (perhaps that reserve is a California thing) is a mystery to me, but of the several hundreds of people with whom I spoke, only a mere handful were in a grumpy mood. The rest were enjoying the exhibits, presentations, and festivities with enough enthusiasm to make me ask “… what worm?”
According to the event’s organizers, this was the largest number of exhibitors ever, and while I’ll wait for the statistics, it was clear to me the attendance was better than it’s been for the last couple of years.
What made this year’s show particularly exciting to me was the number of new exhibitors, and the fact that they, along with a number of the veterans, pulled the wraps off some new stuff. Consider three of my favorites:
1. Leading this parade were several fleet management telematics packages whose features we will be exploring in our September/October issue, but suffice it to say at this juncture, they herald a technology revolution in a wide variety of waste management operations.
2. For pure attendee interest, perhaps the most arresting of all the exhibits was the appearance of a tube-shaped aluminum-bodied automated collection truck, whose highly polished exterior contained a novel rail mounted compaction system.
3. My selection for the simplicity award goes to a hydraulic accumulator system that, rather than using braking regen to boost the vehicle back into motion (hydraulic launch assist), instead applies it to lift arm and compaction activities.
These are merely the tip of the iceberg, and for those of you who weren’t at WasteExpo, my guess is that these and many other exciting exhibits will grace the exhibit area at this year’s WASTECON in Nashville, August 22nd to 25th.