Last week, refuse truck manufacturer Autocar hosted a symposium on natural gas, bringing together some of the country’s top private and municipal refuse haulers with leading experts in the field of natural gas investment, exploration and technological innovation.
The first of what promises to be an annual gathering, the event was a meeting place for local and regional waste haulers from across the country.
The symposium’s presenters included Jim Arthurs, President of Cummins Westport, Inc., which engineered the ISLG natural gas engine in conjunction with Autocar; Michael E. Hoffman, Managing Director of Wunderlich Securities, which hosted the first annual Investor Summit at the 2013 Waste Expo in New Orleans; and Professor Gurcan Gulen of the University of Texas at Austin’s Bureau of Economic Geology, who is an expert on energy policy and the economics of alternative fuels.
Attendees representing organizations as diverse as Waste Industries, CleanScapes, Texas Disposal Systems, Chicago Disposal and the City of Charlotte, N.C. were treated to an intimate guided tour of Autocar’s streamlined production facility in nearby Hagerstown, Ind., as well as a series of presentations from industry experts.
In addition to networking opportunities, haulers were able to learn from each other by comparing stories and strategies in their respective markets. Space at the event was limited, and Autocar plans to expand next year’s event in order to accommodate those who wished to attend but were unable to do so.
“It was a great opportunity to meet other people across the industry,” says Hank Brown, Fleet Manager of Tidewater Fibre Corporation in Chesapeake, Va. “We see that early innovators take the time to do things right the first time. Others haven’t integrated CNG into their trucks properly, and a key critical component for us is integration. Some things aren’t done because people don’t demand it. But Autocar went out and asked us what we needed. They go the extra mile to help you.”