In 1990, Tony decided to move the operation out to Texas and opened up shop in Bridgeport with the few pieces of metal fabrication equipment he brought with him. Operating as Bridgeport Refuse Trucks, Tony built his first front loader for Portland Disposal Company in Portland, Oregon. This truck had smooth sides and lacked the 2x2 ribs common on their previous front loaders because they didn’t bring the machine to form the rib! However this worked out for best because the industry was moving away from ribbed bodies and toward smooth sided trucks. Matt decided to remain in California, run their western sales division and maintain relations with their West Coast customer base.
Ed moved out to Texas with Tony and his daughter Philomena, who had joined the company as the office manager. Even with failing eyesight and declining health, Ed made sure he lived close to the production floor where you would often find him involved in the construction and design of the trucks. Tony continued to refine his automated arm design and with Ed’s help, saw growth in their new market.
Ed passed away in 1997 surrounded by family and friends. From the very beginning, he had helped shape the face of the commercial waste industry and some of his design innovations are still used on trucks made today. The Kouri family has been building garbage trucks for more than 65 years and hold the record for being the longest family owned builder in the United States. You can find their trucks coast to coast which is a testament to the vision Ed had in California more than 50 years ago.