Looking to the Year Ahead
2017 Year Review
2017 is through and we’d like to thank you all for an awesome year. We made a lot of great moves forward and we feel like we ended the year on a high note. That’s a pretty nice feeling and we have you to thank for that. 2017 really was a lead up year to 2018 where we are planning to do even bigger and better things. We are still dead set on our mission to be the most family oriented, affordable, clean and timely waste hauler in the area. So, let’s take a look at what we did this last year to work toward that mission…
Added a new Mack Rear loader to our fleet.
- It had been quite a few years since we added a new rear loader to our fleet and it was certainly time we did. We found a 2015, but new, Mack that was already out fitted with a rear load body and brought it on board. The Mack rides rough, but it sure is a tough truck. Having a new truck as a daily driver helped to lower some of our repair and upkeep costs by letting us reduce the amount of time the old Sterling rear loaders spend on the road. It also helped us reduce the time the rear loader spends on routes throughout the week. Less time on route and less repair costs means more savings and the ability to continue having affordable prices for our service.
Purchased an entire truck load of 96 Gallon Carts
- Some would call purchasing an entire truck load of carts overkill or high hopes. We call it having goals. By the way, a truck load is 504 carts. We even got the new carts heat stamped with our logo instead of putting vinyl stickers on them, which, when paired with the large bulk order, lowered the cost per cart. Lowering the cost per cart is going to help us keep our cart service affordable in the long run which is a win-win for everyone. Not to mention the fact that these carts look great. Why buy your own trash can that’s going to wear out, break, and need replaced eventually, or that is going to blow away on a windy Pennsylvania day when you could have one of these beauties?
Added the Clean-Up Bags to our Service Line Up
- The day’s of small clean-up dumpsters are gone. It was great while it lasted, but it started to get way too expensive for everyone involved. Because of this, many waste haulers eliminated small clean-up services all together. We didn’t want to do that. We wanted to be able to provide small clean-up services to anyone in our service area, but do it at an affordable price. This lead us to the Clean-Up Bags. These had their own set of difficulties, but ultimately they were easy to use and eventually will be better priced than a clean-up container. More on these in the 2018 Section of this post!
Purchased New Roll-Off Containers
- We got SWAMPED with roll-off jobs this past Summer…and we plan on it happening again next Summer! In order to keep up with the high demand we had to purchase around six new 30 cubic yard containers and six new 15 cubic yard containers. Logan Run Welding did the container builds and they did an awesome job. It’s nice to have new, nice looking containers to give to people for larger clean-up projects. Having more containers also helps us be more timely with our deliveries and reduce the chances of having a long wait-list for incoming jobs.
Refurbished Countless Containers
- Over the years we had built up a large number of containers that needed repair. We repaired containers as needed but the pile of distressed containers never seemed to get any smaller. 2017 became the year of the container very quickly as the demand for new dumpsters rose with an increase in the number of deployed containers that needed replaced as well as an uptick in the number of commercial accounts starting service with us. Logan Run Welding repaired load after load of one, two, three, four, six, eight, fifteen and thirty yard containers leaving us with a pretty nice stockpile.
Upped our Online Game
- We want to connect with our customer base and interact with you on more than just your pick-up day. So, we decided it was time to join the online conversation for real. We’ve had a website and a Facebook for a few years now, but we wanted more than just an online presence. We wanted an online presence that gave us the ability to be more than just garbagemen. We wanted to be YOUR Garbagemen and add value to your daily online perusing. With the help of MRQT Ideation, LLC. we added an email newsletter, began doing more regular posts to our website and Facebook page, and we even added Instagram to our online presence (pictures of your garbagemen, OH BOY!!! Follow us HERE).
2018: Looking Ahead
Adding a New Western Star Roll-Off Truck to the Fleet
- This new truck will help us reduce down time and help to make our roll-off routes more efficient and timely. The new truck is also different from our other roll-off trucks because it is going to be a tri-axle. This will allow us to provide better service to some of our customers who, previously, had to watch how full they made a container due to the weight. Our Sterling Roll-Off Truck and it’s accomplice, the ’89 Ford L-9000, are soon to be retired from the daily grind and replaced by a shiny new Western Star all in the name of better trash hauling! Watch for the new truck around March of this year!
Re-Pricing the Clean-Up Bags and Refining Distribution
- Now that we understand more about how the work flow of the Clean-Up Bags operates from the 2017 beta test, we can begin to adjust. We have learned that our distribution strategy is weak, disorganized, and not very customer friendly. We have also learned that we started them off at too high of a price point. For 2018 we have two goals for the Clean-Up Bags. One is to re-work our distribution strategy, the other is to lower the price of the bags. How we are going to re-work the distribution and what the new pricing will be we aren’t sure of yet, however we are going to find a solution. If we can make the bags more affordable, we may be able to utilize some type of courier service to deliver the bags to those who cannot come to our office or one of our pick-up locations to get one. That would be cool! Time will tell what the true solution is…
Refurbishing More Containers
- As of mid-January Logan Run Welding will have yet another load of refurbished containers, mainly one yarders, for us. We are planning to continue this monthly container refurbishing trend throughout 2018. We are on a mission to have the best looking and cleanest containers in the area.
Faster Response to Past Due Accounts to reduce lapse in service
- I’ll be the first to admit our previous process for handling past due accounts was disorganized. This disorganization developed a number of bad habits. We began spending more time trying to handle past due accounts than we did trying to find new ways to provide high quality services to those who always paid their bill on time. This seemed unfair to us, so in 2018 we are reigning in our past due account process. Some may not like this, but part of being family oriented and treating our customers like family is being fair. Fair is not always equal. Everyone hits a tough spot every once in a while and we always do our best to be understanding and work with those who try to work with us, even through money issues. We respect that and we’ll honor that. However, some seem to disregard the due date completely which is rather uncool. So, in order to respect those who do pay on time, and those who contact us and work with us to keep their accounts current, we will be routinizing our past due account response. We will have more information on why and how we will be doing this in the near future as the program comes into full-swing. We just wanted to be transparent as we make this transition.
Can Deodorizer to keep the stink down and the cleanliness up
- This is going to sound really garbageman nerdy, but we got this really great smelling deodorizer for containers that we are extremely excited to try out. In the past, we have tried a few deodorizers that didn’t work very well. They either didn’t work at all or they just mixed with the trash smell and made a citrus and trash blend which was worse than just the trash alone. We heard good things about this new stuff so we shall see!
Optimized truck maintenance plan to reduce down time
- With a mix between a new and aging fleet we need to be on our toes and keep up with maintenance. We are going to be putting in a new fleet maintenance plan so that we can streamline all of our preventative maintenance work and reduce downtime. The major part of this is proper scheduling for trucks to get in and out of the shop at the optimal time. In the long run this should get trucks back onto the road faster, and reduce downtime for unexpected repairs.
We have some other projects in the mix, but these are the big ones we know of as of now!
“If you think it’s expensive to hire a good garbageman, try hiring a bad one…” ~ Unknown
Happy New Year!
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