• Invest in good containers
Containers follow the same rule as carts. Containers are a long-term investment and should be built to last for many years. Steel containers are preferred by many haulers, but plastic is a viable and increasingly popular alternative for many operators. While all steel containers will eventually start to rust out, they are incredibly strong and durable. Plastic front-end loaders make sense for organic waste or in areas where moisture or noise are concerns. Given their lighter weight and easier maneuverability, they are a good choice for safety reasons if the driver is likely to have to get out of the truck and move the container.
Whether steel or plastic, quality craftsmanship and durable materials will ensure that your containers have a much longer service life and are easy to haul. Choosing containers that have funnels and gussets on the lifting sleeve to help guide the fork into the pocket save time and make dumping easier, which can lead to greater speed. The ability to go faster will drive how much work you can do and how much revenue you can collect.
• Container handlers are not just for large operations
While container handlers are a staple of large hauling operations, they are also perfect for small waste handling companies that have contracts with small businesses or restaurants. Investing in a container handler early on increases efficiency, enables haulers to seek lucrative private contracts and provides the option to expand into larger operations as needed without an additional required investment.
Key features and options like rotators that allow haulers to pick up and dump a container, if the need arises, can save significant time, which, for haulers, equals money. Look for container handlers that have hydraulically adjustable fork assemblies that enable users to easily handle and haul containers, including front-end and rear-end loaders (up to 10 cubic yards), with wide variations in pocket and trunnion bar heights to give yourself more flexibility. Finally, opt for handlers that are compatible with other types of equipment, including salt spreaders, to increase hauler revenue opportunities.
• Be green
Sustainability has never been more important to consumers, businesses and municipalities. Most have a need or even a requirement for recycling and organics pick up in their contracts. Smart haulers will invest in organics and recycling bins, carts and loaders at the onset to give themselves the best chance of winning these lucrative contracts.
• Consider roll-off and compaction
Deciding to do roll-off work can yield huge benefits. Most roll-off work typically does not involve a contract, may be more seasonal in nature (especially in fields like construction) and requires finding customers using open top containers. It also requires investing in the heaviest duty equipment, which can be significantly more expensive. However, roll-off capability can add new revenue streams, especially in being able to haul compacted loads, which can be scheduled and quite lucrative.
Similarly, although many haulers shy away from compaction, largely due to the upfront cost of buying a compactor, compaction is an excellent add-on service that can generate predictable revenue. While many haulers can be a little daunted by the idea of compaction, those who invest in these tools as their business grows never regret it.