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Wastequip, demonstrates its support for inventors in honor of National Inventor’s Day by announcing their contributions to the industry.

National Inventor’s Day originated in 1983 by President Ronald Reagan to recognize the contributions that U.S. inventors make to the nation and the world. Wastequip holds a portfolio of over 40 patents and promotes a culture of creativity and a commitment to innovation.

MAKING THE DIFFERENCE

National Inventor’s Day

INSPIRING
INVENTORS

Todd Wright
Manager of Product Development

Years at Wastequip:   28
How many patents do you hold either individually or with others?  16
Hometown:  Hickory, NC
Facility:  Toter – Statesville, NC

How did one of your inventions improve the waste industry? 
The Advanced Rotational Molding ™ process and the Rugged Rim help Toter outlast our injection-molded competitors and opened the door for strong retail opportunities.

Where do you find the inspiration to invent? 
As a kid I was curious about how things worked. I would take things apart and I always liked finding new and better ways of doing things.

Any words of advice for aspiring inventors? 
Things do not always work on your first try. You have to fall to succeed most times. Just keep trying new things.

Nick Franiak
Vice President of Manufacturing Engineering and Quality

Years at Wastequip:   6
How many patents do you hold either individually or with others?  3 

(a few in process)
Hometown:  Valparaiso, Indiana
Facility:  Charlotte, NC

How did one of your inventions improve the waste industry? 
The AFX cable hoist invention is probably the most significant as this married the AF’s internal frame system (allowing for free side frame rail,  free side frame rail space for CNG, lift axles, etc.) along with the versatility of the U5 and its ability to accept ANSI and non-ANSI compliant containers, which benefits haulers who consume smaller legacy outfits that may have had an out of standard container fleet.

Where do you find the inspiration to invent? 
In everything, everywhere. All things show either opportunities or lessons in what could be done.

Any words of advice for aspiring inventors? 
Look at everything with the curiosity of a kid.

Tony Petzitillo
Intermodal Sales Manager

Years at Wastequip:   25
How many patents do you hold either individually or with others?  12 

(a few in process)
Hometown:  Williamstown, NJ
Facility:  Erial, NJ

How did one of your inventions improve the waste industry? 
The 12’ high container with the autolocking door and autolocking lid have become the industry standard for moving MSW via rail in the U.S. Our 25 yard container is recognized as the industry standard for the transportation of low level radioactive waste.

Where do you find the inspiration to invent? 
I love a challenge and get satisfaction when I can solve a problem in a fun and creative way.

Any words of advice for aspiring inventors? 
Don’t just go with the flow, keep your eyes open. There are opportunities for improvement all around you.

Marty Bryant, CEO of Wastequip, said, “We are proud to recognize our inventors for being forward-thinking in honor of National Inventors Day. By delivering industry-leading solutions, we are on the cutting edge of making a difference in sustainability, and the future of waste and recycling.”

Wastequip inventors share their stories, inspire others to make a difference and learn about innovation in the waste industry. 

Video Footage, Antti Kemppi, YouTube

© 2019 Wastequip, LLC

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John Downing
Engineering Manager

Years at Wastequip:   25
How many patents do you hold either individually or with others?  3
Hometown:  Pulaski, IN
Facility:  Winamac, IN

How did one of your inventions improve the waste industry? 
Our AF or Above Frame hoist allowed our customers the ability to mount a roll-off cable hoist with rod type life cylinders on a truck with a CNG fuel system. This allowed many companies to expand their fleet with what many regard as a more environmentally friendly type of fuel that is abundant, which promotes sustainability. Prior to the LCH, many companies operated their container handlers loaded with the front end load (FEL) or rear end load (REL) container hanging off the rear of the truck. This allows the weight to be distributed properly on the truck which greatly improves transportation safety.

Where do you find the inspiration to invent? 
Most invention inspirations come from a need or a requirement to do something that no one else can produce.

Any words of advice for aspiring inventors? 
Some of the greatest inventions were the most overlooked, it took the tenacity and determination of a few to uncover them.

Bram Chappell
Vice President of Operations

Years at Wastequip:   22
How many patents do you hold either individually or with others?  1
Hometown:  San Antonio, TX
Facility:  Toter – Statesville, NC

How did one of your inventions improve the waste industry? 
I invented an anti-lock system for the lid of grease containers. The lock system provides the hauler with protection from theft of the products and the hauler time and effort compared to other systems on the market.

Where do you find the inspiration to invent? 
Through the voice of the customer. Customers wanted a solution to the theft of their products.

Any words of advice for aspiring inventors? 
If you see or hear of a customer problem, be passionate about working to resolve their issues. If you can think of it, it can be done.

Todd Fowler
Engineering Project Manager

Years at Wastequip:   22
How many patents do you hold either individually or with others?  9
Hometown:  Washington Township, NJ
Facility:  Erial, NJ

How did one of your inventions improve the waste industry? 
I believe the biggest change and improvement was the development of the autolocking lid and door technology. This revolutionized the speed in which intermodal containers can be loaded and dumped.

Where do you find the inspiration to invent? 
My biggest inspiration is my mentor, Tony Petzitillo. He presents problems that need solutions, and my wheels start spinning! I really enjoy the brainstorming and creation of new things, or methods.

Any words of advice for aspiring inventors? 
Brainstorming is key. No idea is too crazy. List all ideas that come to mind, explore them, and pan for that gold!

Kirk Warren
Director of Product Management

Years at Wastequip:   25
How many patents do you hold either individually or with others?  12
Hometown:  Cherry Hill, NJ
Facility:  Erial, NJ

How did one of your inventions improve the waste industry? 
The Backpack container designed to promote food waste recycling. Food waste is very heavy and odor control is a major concern. The Backpack’s ideal height and odor control option using Biobin Filtration System solve those concerns.

Where do you find the inspiration to invent? 
Through observations and listening to the users of the equipment such as drivers, helpers, service technicians, dealers, and sales personnel.

Any words of advice for aspiring inventors? 
The best advice that I learned was to make sure that your idea solves a problem and to avoid solutions in search of a problem.

David Grant
Product Development Engineer

Years at Wastequip:   5
How many patents do you hold either individually or with others?  1
Hometown:  Chester, PA
Facility:  Erial, NJ

How did one of your inventions improve the waste industry? 
I made compactors easier to clean out.

Where do you find the inspiration to invent? 
In a previous compactor design, an engineer at Wastequip made a similar improvement and I believed it would be of value to extend it to other product lines and incorporate them into the scope of the patent.

Any words of advice for aspiring inventors? 
Understand what we do and how we do it, but never believe that there is not a better way. Find pain points for our coworkers or customers and look for ways to remove/reduce those. Whenever possible, back up and take a larger view before getting caught up in the details.

Geoff Trueman
Mechanical Engineer

Years at Wastequip:   5
How many patents do you hold either individually or with others?  1
Hometown:  Saint John, New Brunswick, CA
Facility:  Richmond Hill

How did one of your inventions improve the waste industry? 
The tank lock down system we developed allowed Cusco's ASME-coded tanks to be in compliance with current Canadian and upcoming American highway safety laws. It prevents the waste tank from separating from the truck during accidents, preventing the potentially dangerous payload from spilling. This law came into effect in Canada in 2015 and will be adopted by the USDOT in the near future.

Where do you find the inspiration to invent? 
Anywhere I find an interesting new or old technology. I have very diverse experience, including the aerospace industry, mining, industrial equipment, and motion simulator rides. All of this, and a healthy obsession with old-timey machines from the steam and sail era, provide me with a lot of ideas when facing a new design problem.

Any words of advice for aspiring inventors? 
Talk to the customers. Find out what the end-users want. When I see a vacuum truck working along the street outside I'll ask the operators what they like about their truck, and what they can't stand. Usually they are very happy to talk at length about their jobs and equipment, providing a wealth of new ideas.