Reduce Garbage Truck Fleet Maintenance Costs with Rent-To-Purchase

Garbage truck fleet maintenance is among the top concerns of waste hauling companies looking toward the future. Clearly, regular routine maintenance is preferable to waiting until something major breaks down on a vehicle. Yet it can be very costly to keep up with one garbage truck’s ongoing needs, let alone the requirements of the entire fleet. A rent-to-purchase agreement through Big Truck Rental is one of the popular ways to reduce garbage truck fleet maintenance costs.

Strategies for Lowering Garbage Truck Maintenance Costs

Next to labor, maintaining refuse trucks is the largest operational cost for waste haulers. It can be difficult to find that “sweet spot” for maintenance – just enough investment to prevent expensive headaches, but not so much that you are throwing money away.

  • Rebuild: In the past, rebuilding the body and chassis was one of the ways waste haulers were able to save money over the purchase of a new vehicle. They could outfit the trucks with new wires, hoses, and refurbished subsystems to save tens of thousands of dollars over the price of a new truck. Feasibly, one could rebuild a side loader after five years and a front loader after seven years. Some trucks could then be converted – from a front loader to a roll-off truck, for instance – if the need called for it.
  • Maintain: At Burrtec Waste Industries in Fontana, CA, a comprehensive maintenance and rebuild program has pushed the life expectancy of vehicles to 15 years – three times the normal useful life expectancy. Each vehicle comes into the bay every two weeks for a full lube and air filter change and inspection. Every six weeks, the oil is completely drained and replaced. Every six months, the transmission oil and differential grease is switched out. They use a combination of salvaged and new parts to rebuild packed blades, hopper guides, and other components every three years. When the frame breaks, they scrap it out. The differentials, radiators, and engines generally remain robust, but the rest is continually scrapped and replaced. The program costs $1,500 per month for each vehicle. Without preventative maintenance, the company doesn’t believe they’d be able to keep up with business demands.
  • Short-Sale: Equipment leasing allows another way to offset the cost of new trucks and save money on taxes. Municipalities who rent are able to spread out the equipment acquisition costs over a period of time or even acquire vehicles they could not afford to buy brand new.

How Much Does It Cost to Maintain a Fleet of Garbage Trucks?

The Recession resulted in many waste management companies making fewer new vehicle purchases during that time. As a result, we have more aging fleets on the road in need of replacement and exorbitant costs associated with repairs when they arise. For instance, one internal audit of the Consolidated Government of Columbus, Georgia’s waste management fleet found that 55 of their 83 refuse trucks exceeded their useful life. The annual repair costs escalated from $600,000 a year to more than $2 million!

According to auditors, one highly specialized truck had a useful lifespan of about 10 years, but the other trucks should be phased out around seven years. They recommended that the city rent new trucks, rather than buy them. This way, “costs are reasonably consistent from one year to the next and fees are simpler and more accurately calculated,” the auditor wrote.

Reduce Garbage Truck Fleet Maintenance Costs with Rent-To-Purchase Agreement

With the increase in upfront truck prices and taxes, renting makes a lot of sense for waste management companies.

  • No down-payment & lower monthly expense: Renting reduces the cost of acquisition, negating the need for a down-payment and spreading out the costs over the life of the rental term.
  • Minimal upgrade & maintenance costs: With rent-to-purchase, you can opt to have someone else take care of the major maintenance work. Renting is the cheapest way to ensure fleet mechanics are up-to-speed on new technology and able to maintain top resale value.
  • More flexible capital: With a rental agreement, you only pay for the use of the equipment over the rental term, rather than paying for the full value of the vehicle and eating the cost of depreciation. Renting saves capital for facility and technology improvements that boost business profitability.

Offset Your Garbage Truck Maintenance Costs with Big Truck Rental

Big Truck Rental operates from coast-to-coast in North America, with offices in Markham, Ontario and Tampa, Florida. We can get you the specialized refuse trucks within 48 hours in most cases. Our stock of front loaders, side loaders, and roll-offs are built by top brands in the industry, such as Heil, McNeilus, Peterbilt, and Mack. With flexible terms and responsive customer service, a partnership with Big Truck Rental frees your cash and helps you maintain your fleet, recoup on the cost of used vehicles, and keep operating at peak efficiency over the long haul. Contact us to discuss your options.

More info on reducing garbage truck fleet maintenance costs:

1. Government Fleet – Audit: Refuse Fleet Needs Replacement,  
2. Municipal Solid Waste Management – The Refuse Fleet Maintenance Challenge: Managing Trucks As Capital Assets,
3. Government Fleet – Managing Refuse Fleet Maintenance,
4. Waste 360 – Waste Maintenance Saves Money,