Budgie Toys No.274
Issued 1962-66 Length 101mm
When looking for new model designs, it was a simple solution to adapt or use an existing one. For the Refuse Truck, Budgie turned to FJ (France Jouet) who made an approximate 1:50 scale model of the Berliet GAK Refuse Truck. However, as Berliet lorries were unknown in the UK at that time, a new cab was created based on the Ford Thames Trader.
The structure of the Refuse Truck was closely copied from the French model and was rather a complicated one. The cab and chassis were one casting with the tipping body attached at the rear by a straight crimped pin. To hold the Lift mechanism and to provide mudguards a separate section was rivetted onto the upper side of the chassis. The cab, which had no base, was fitted with clear windows.
The Thames Trader on which the Refuse Truck was based was not a particularly handsome vehicle but the tipping body which it carried was full of play value. At the rear an opening flap enabled access to the large inner space. By being hinged, the body was designed to be lifted (on early models by a copper wire handle) and tipped backwards which raised the long side arms and rear frame upwards. Underneath the body there was a little peg against which the Lift could rest.
It was an excellent design, the only weakness being that the first type lifting arm, which was copied from the FJ model, was not robust enough and could became bent. Before long Budgie improved this with a much stronger and simpler steel wire system.
For most of its production the Refuse Truck was coloured mid-blue and silver. The front headlights carried silver trim and on early models shield decals were attached to the sides of the tipping body. On later models the decals were omitted.
The wheels of the blue & silver Refuse Truck were quite varied. The first two issues had either silver plastic wheels or a type of unpainted metal wheels which were unique to this model. Both had knobbly tyres. When the Lift mechanism was upgraded, Budgie changed the wheels to domed or spun metal wheels with a shiny finish and altered the tyres to the treaded type. The final change was a switch to ridged metal with treaded tyres.
Towards the end of its life, a complete re-colouring of the Refuse Truck took place which brightened it up considerably. This time the cab and chassis were painted bright yellow, the mudguards & frame glossy black, and the tipping body metallic blue. There were no decals. The wheels were ridged metal with treaded tyres.
Only one type of box was used for the Refuse Truck which had 'Budgie Models' on the picture faces and large end-flap numbers (B1).
The Refuse Truck is not uncommon but because it had good play value, mint examples are not easy to find. The yellow version is scarce.
Budgie No.274 Refuse Truck
1) BLUE cab/chassis/mudguards SILVER body Shield decals Type 1 lift spw (knobbly tyres) B1 box
2) BLUE cab/chassis/mudguards SILVER body Shield decals Type 1 Lift umw (knobbly tyres) B1 box
3) BLUE cab/chassis/mudguards SILVER body with/without decals Type 2 Lift spun umw B1 box
4) BLUE cab/chassis/mudguards SILVER body No decals Type 2 lift ridged umw B1 box
5) YELLOW cab/chassis BLACK mudguards METALLIC BLUE body No decals Type 2 lift ridged umw B1 box