Recycling Product News Logo

This ad will close in 15 seconds

The five elements of fleet rental in waste and recycling

A well-balanced fleet needs to consider all costs, both direct and indirect, on the road to a more profitable business


Company info

675 Cochrane Dr. East Tower, 6th Floor
Markham, ON


Read more

Waste industry aside, the typical attitude toward renting equipment, vehicles and other assets has historically been negative, and in some cases, rental has been viewed as an alternative that can lead toward organizational failure. However, what used to be a last-effort solution, viewed as unorthodox or unattainable, has evolved and changed over time. For the waste industry, specifically, new challenges continue to present themselves daily for haulers of all sizes and for municipalities as well. The landscape of asset ownership in the industry is quickly changing. Some of the reasons for this stem from the industry's improved understanding of the benefits of rental, based on what we refer to as the five key elements of renting: financial flexibility, total cost of ownership, growth opportunities, equipment availability and, most importantly, improved fleet management. 

All of these attributes are contributors to the change occurring in how rentals are perceived within the waste industry. Still, depending on who you speak to or which resource you ask, many remain quick to dismiss renting from a financial perspective. Endless cost calculators have been created and numbers crunched, with the net benefits always pointing toward purchasing rather than renting. The remarkable fact is that most calculators and reasons simply do not address the five key elements, as below. 

Each of these five factors tell a compelling story that most rental versus purchase calculators simply cannot capture, and they typically apply to most companies running a fleet of vehicles, whether they are large or small haulers, public or private. 

1.) Financial Flexibility 
Renting provides a company with the ability to strategically save capital dollars while gaining the benefit of using equipment immediately. This can be done for a long period of time or can be used as a bridge into a new fiscal year. Renting additionally provides a company with predictable costs as the rent is consistent month-to-month, and with little maintenance costs, as the rental company is responsible for any major maintenance items related to warranty. 

Fleet rental can provide the benefits of financial flexibility, decreased total cost of ownership, growth opportunities, equipment availability and effective fleet management.

2.) Total Cost of Ownership 
There is a math equation that can be evaluated on a per company basis to determine how fleet rentals may be able to provide a lower total cost of ownership. This equation needs to factor in fleet age, fleet purchasing costs, maintenance costs, financing costs, downtime, lost opportunity and many others. Renting provides the opportunity to perform minimal maintenance, including both preventive maintenance and consumables, without the burden of large out-of-pocket expenses for replacing major maintenance items such as engines, transmissions and the labour or outsourcing costs that go along with material costs.

Industry leaders in the courier market such as UPS and FedEx, to many people's surprise, all have adopted renting as part of their business strategy. For an industry focused primarily on transportation and moving products, to adopt and embrace rental as it has, should give us all encouragement, especially in the waste industry. 

3.) Growth Opportunities 
When municipalities or other customers request contract start dates that are sooner than new equipment can be acquired, the current option is to typically not bid on the project, due to "asset setbacks." However, renting assets until equipment can be received can provide the bridge needed to capitalize on these otherwise difficult opportunities. In addition, a customer may request a contract length that is less than five years or shorter contracts with potential extensions, which may jeopardize attainable ROI, or make purchasing capital equipment burdensome to an organization facing a risk of what to do with equipment should business be lost. 

The waste industry has typically capitalized equipment over a seven to ten year period, making it difficult to pursue shorter contracts. Renting can provide equipment with no risk to the waste hauler, as trucks can be returned at any given time. Growing your business one truck at a time is challenging, especially when deciding on the right time to purchase the next piece of equipment while keeping the business sustainable. Renting can provide an option to add assets without the risk, as haulers work to maximize and expand routes before making the decision to purchase equipment. Also, opportunities for seasonal work or storm relief can be cost-prohibitive, again, because the equipment may only be used for a short period of time, thus forcing many waste haulers to forego these opportunities. 

Renting can provide equipment to the waste and recyclables hauler without financial risk as assets can be returned at any given time.

4.) Equipment Availability 
As both the economy and the waste and recycling industry continue to evolve and grow, the demand for refuse fleets is creating immense pressure and strong demand on the manufacturers of both refuse bodies and chassis. This growing demand in many cases has pushed truck delivery lead times in the marketplace to months, limiting the ability to have access to new equipment in a time frame that either supports growth or maintains a fleet replacement strategy. Renting can keep your strategy and plans intact as a suitable option to help mitigate wait time issues tied to new equipment deliveries. 

5.) Improved Fleet Management 
Typical management and ownership of a truck fleet within the waste industry over a 10-year period with a 10-1 spare ratio has become the representative standard. This standard strategy comes with some consistent challenges of increases in ongoing maintenance costs, downtime and spikes in capital needs as refuse fleet age within the public and private sector. Refuse and recycling trucks that have been moved from the active fleet to "spares" are usually transitioned for reasons related to age and reliability. 

Spare trucks, which have been retired due to age or reliability, present a very costly expense to most organizations, including licensing, higher than typical maintenance costs, taxes and many other factors, all while, in most cases, failing to provide a backup plan as a true fleet replacement when needed most. Renting can be a part of the answer to this, helping reduce the spare vehicle ratio size and ensuring uptime and customer service expectations are met when the need arises.  Do you find that your new trucks are over-used to make up for the challenges of an aging fleet? Double-timing use of newer trucks can be common, but causes long-term maintenance challenges, which can drive the fleet to age at a quicker pace, which may lead to additional capital needs earlier than expected. 

The use of rental trucks can help relieve this bottleneck and even be used to allow all trucks to more regularly receive their proper preventive maintenance, keeping the fleet up and running for longer. Regardless of a hauler's size, in either the private or public sector, the question of whether rental or ownership is a better strategy toward creating a well-balanced fleet, can be determined by examining the above five key elements - elements which truly drive the rental industry. Questions to ask include: Why rent? What drives your decision? What benefits do you see from adding rentals?  A well-balanced fleet typically considers all costs, both direct and indirect. All of our key customers have adopted this strategy, and it has allowed them to run more profitable businesses. As we continue our pursuit to help provide the waste industry with new and modern fleet options, every hauler, both public and private, should take the time to consider the option of renting to build their business and profitability. RPN

Jaksa Panic is director of Sales, Big Truck Rental Canada.

This article was originally published in the October 2018 edition of Recycling Product News, Volume 26, Number 7.

More from Collection & Hauling

New report from SWANA provides options for curbside recycling programs

An important new report issued by the Solid Waste Association of North America's (SWANA) Applied Research Foundation (ARF) provides a number of significant observations and insights regarding the impacts of China's National Sword Policy on curbside recycling programs in the United States and Canada, and the resets that can be made to address them.

Recycling Partnership offers online tool to help clarify recyclable materials messaging

The Recycling Partnership has announced the public beta launch of DIYSigns, the debut of a free online resource that anyone can use to help people know what to throw into their recycling bins. Whether at home, at the office, at school, at a sports stadium, or anywhere, education is needed to show what is recyclable and where.

Waste Connections names Worthing Jackman as President and CEO

 Waste Connections, Inc. has announced the appointment of Worthing F. Jackman, the Company's President, to President and Chief Executive Officer.  He has also joined Waste Connections' Board of Directors.  In addition, the company announced that Ronald J. Mittelstaedt has returned from his temporary leave of absence and assumed the role of Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors.  As Executive Chairman and as a continuing employee, Mr. Mittelstaedt will assist in several areas, including culture, strategy and mergers and acquisitions. 

Philippi-Hagenbuch rear eject bodies engineered to tackle sticky situations

Featuring safety, stability and increased productivity as hallmarks of its design, Philippi-Hagenbuch's patented line of Rear Eject Bodies offer the ideal solution for challenging hauling applications from general/road construction, waste and recycling, sand/gravel to mine reclamation and underground hauling situations where overhead barriers inhibit traditional dump bodies. 

Subscribe to our free newsletter

Get our newsletter

Learn more

Evolution of Waste Industry Exhibit unveiled at Mack Historical Museum

The Mack Trucks Historical Museum unveiled an all-new exhibit titled "Keeping America Clean: The Evolution of the Waste Industry." The exhibit, which features three antique Mack trucks and an interactive visitor education display, was made possible thanks to support from Mack Trucks and Republic Services, an industry leader in recycling and waste disposal and longtime Mack customer. A brief ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to officially open the exhibit.

Multi-Stream Recycling Stations allow fast and easy source separation of recycling streams

Paris Site Furnishings introduces the MSRS series Multi-Stream Recycling Station for the fast and easy source separation of recycling streams.   Available with 3 - 23 gallon-per-stream containers, or 2-34 gallon-per-stream containers, these user-friendly recycling stations feature a large graphics area above each container opening to clearly identify its intended contents.  A recessed plastic pull handle on the front panel allows quick access to the durable plastic containers for servicing, while gas assist dampers are included for assisted door opening.  Well suited for high-traffic areas indoors or outside, Multi-Stream Recycling Stations are ideal for collection of recycling streams in parks and recreational areas, streetscapes, public areas, corporate campus settings, retail/mall environments, schools and institutions, sports venues, hotels/motels, and other environmentally friendly areas.    

Autocar's new DC-64R achieves breakthrough in body integration

According to Autocar, the newly introduced DC-64R severe-duty conventional truck has achieved a new breakthrough in chassis-body integration. Autocar has announced that it is mounting roll-off hoist bodies directly on the Autocar DC truck production line. This is an unprecedented change to the model of refuse truck production, bringing together the two main components - the chassis and the body -- and treating the truck as one complete tool. Autocar calls this process the Ultimate Power of Oneand says refuse truck operators will experience several significant benefits from this innovation.

Amrep partners with leading electric vehicle company BYD to deliver first electric refuse truck in residential service

Amrep, a Wastequip brand, recently partnered with leading commercial electric vehicle manufacturer, BYD (Build Your Dreams) to develop and deliver the waste industry's first-ever commercially-sold all-electric refuse truck in residential refuse operation, according to the company. The Class 8R automated side-loader (ASL) all electric truck will be used by Waste Resources, Inc., a subsidiary of Waste Resource Technologies, Inc. ("WRT") to serve the City of Carson, California.

Mack Trucks unveils Fully Electric Mack LR at Waste Expo

Mack Trucks has unveiled it's highly anticipated Mack LR battery electric vehicle (BEV) at WasteExpo 2019. Combining the refuse industry-leading design of the Mack LR model with a fully electric Mack drivetrain, the demonstration model will begin real-world testing in 2020 in the demanding operations of the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY).

FleetMind and ITA Dynamics to release a fully integrated financial & route management system to the waste & recycling community

FleetMind Solutions, Inc., the specialist in "smart truck" solutions for solid waste management, and ITADynamics, the leading provider of Microsoft Dynamics-based billing solutions for the waste and recycling industry, have announced that they have integrated their two products in order to provide North American waste management and recycling companies with a seamlessly integrated "all-in-one" solution for billing, route management, and service verification. Both companies will be on hand at Waste Expo 2019 in Las Vegas, May 6-9.

Freightliner to showcase new EconicSD featuring next-level safety technology at WasteExpo

The new Freightliner® EconicSD, the only cab-over-engine refuse truck in North America that features a collision mitigation system, will be on full display this year at WasteExpo 2019. The innovative, low-entry waste collection truck will be showcased in the Freightliner booth (#1402) along with an array of work truck solutions for the waste collection industry.

Subscribe to our free magazine

Get Our Magazine

Paper or Digital delivered monthly to you

Subscribe or Renew Learn more

​Coretex to present upgraded Smart Waste Solution for cities and waste haulers at Waste Expo

Coretex, a specialist in fleet management and compliance solutions based in New Zealand, will present its upgraded Smart Waste solution at WasteExpo 2019, the largest waste and recycling conference in North America. During the event, Coretex will be demonstrating its complete Smart Waste solution in Booth #4803 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. 

Fully electric Mack LR to take centre stage at WasteExpo 2019

The highly anticipated Mack LR battery electric vehicle (BEV) will grab the spotlight in Mack Trucks' booth at WasteExpo 2019, May 6-9 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Built to meet the demanding needs of the New York City Department of Sanitation, the fully electric LR demonstrator will begin testing and evaluation later this year.

Wastequip to debut Ultra Heavy-Duty RockBox roll-off container line at WasteExpo

Wastequip is set to launch RockBox, a new ultra-heavy-duty roll-off container that combines extreme toughness and durability in a lighter-weight container. Made from wear resistant Hardox steel, the new roll-off containers are four times stronger than ordinary mild steel grades, while weighing 20 percent less and lasting twice as long as traditional heavy-duty roll-off containers. Wastequip's new hard and tough roll-off containers will be the first of their kind in the United States to be made of the innovative Hardox material.  Wastequip is also a certified member of the Hardox In My Body program. 
Wastequip will debut the products May 6-9 at Waste Expo 2019, booth #523. 

Waste Management subsidiary to acquire Advanced Disposal Services

Waste Management, Inc. and Advanced Disposal Services, Inc. announced April 15th that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which a subsidiary of Waste Management will acquire all outstanding shares of Advanced Disposal for $33.15 per share in cash, representing a total enterprise value of $4.9 billion when including approximately $1.9 billion of Advanced Disposal's net debt. 

Subscribe to our free newsletter

Get our newsletter

Learn more

Mack adds third Certified Uptime Dealer location in Quebec

Mack Trucks has named Montreal-based Mack Laval its third Mack Certified Uptime Dealer in the province of Quebec, and third French-language location. The accreditation confirms the dealer has met stringent requirements to amplify customer service and uptime. Mack made the announcement April 11 during ExpoCam at Place Bonaventure, Montreal.

​Philippi-Hagenbuch introduces positive seal tailgate for truck bodies and containers

Philippi-Hagenbuch Inc., (PHIL) a specialist in off-highway truck customization, has invented a new version of their Autogate Tailgate specifically for off-highway trucks and roll-off containers that require a 100 percent positive seal. This new design can be paired with PHIL's proprietary fluidic seal material to create a water-tight seal that contains liquid materials within an off-highway truck body or roll-off container when environmental regulations or local laws make even slight spillage undesirable.

Compology’s in-dumpster cameras and Contamination Score provide path to sustainable, efficient waste collection

Compology, based in San Francisco, got its start in the fall of 2013, with its first camera-based container monitoring system deployed in 2014 at the University of California in Santa Cruz. The system is designed to monitor container fullness and automate the process of container pickups between waste generators and haulers. Today, about a fifth of Compology's business is in Canada, with the remainder in the U.S.

AMCS acquires Recy Systems

AMCS, based out of Ireland and one of the world's leading suppliers of integrated software and vehicle technology for the waste and recycling sector, has announced the acquisition of Germany's leading recycling and waste management software specialist, Recy Systems (Recy).

Portable vehicle scales​ help heavy-haul carriers stay compliant

Heavy-haul carriers transport oversized objects using public roadways. While these loads may weigh hundreds of thousands of pounds, operators must still comply with permitted limits, while also completing their job safely. Intercomp has a variety of options to fill this unique application for a range of applications including construction, oil & gas, waste and recycling, heavy-haul transportation and electrical utility.

​Galbreath's new Work Truck Series Cable Hoists to address light-duty applications

Galbreath recently launched its new WT-1216/X and WT-2018/X work truck series cable hoists. Combining all the toughness and durability Galbreath hoists are known for in a more compact and lighter-weight package, the new models were designed to offer a lighter-duty option to Galbreath's original 8-inch main frame single axle cable hoist, making them perfect for landscapers, general contractors and private waste haulers who need less power and easier maneuverability.

Calculating true capacity before buying your next trailer

Long before a single load is booked or any wheels turn, someone - usually a fleet manager - needs to determine exactly what is going to separate the road and the load. There's a lot riding on this decision because, as much as some would like to think otherwise, a trailer is never just a trailer. It can be manufactured to many different specifications, with multiple raw material options, dozens of load and geographical considerations, various top speed requirements and hundreds of possible axle configurations coming into play. And it all comes down to one objective - the ideal trailer for an operation's specific loads.

​Improving asset efficiency with predictive maintenance for the waste & recycling industry

Equipment manufacturers, engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) companies, and power and process plant owners and operators for waste and recrycling commonly face the challenge of keeping their fleet, machinery, and other assets working efficiently, while also reducing the cost of maintenance and time-sensitive repairs. 

Subscribe to our free magazine

Get Our Magazine

Paper or Digital delivered monthly to you

Subscribe or Renew Learn more