The Surprising Ways Fleet Automation Can Save Your Waste Hauling Business Money


The Surprising Ways Fleet Automation Can Save Your Waste Hauling Business Money

Surprising Ways Fleet Automation Saves Your waste Hauling Business Money garbage trucks in line

In recent years waste hauling has evolved to a business driven by incremental price levers, each one activated to achieve both operational savings and increased revenue. One of the most effective technologies for identifying those levers has been fleet automation: a comprehensive system that tracks metrics over an entire fleet, allowing for seamless communication between dispatchers and drivers and that manages routes for ultimate productivity. A fleet automation system identifies areas of revenue leakage in a way no human ever could. You already know that fleet automation is a must-have when running a waste hauling business at scale. But did you also know about these surprising ways fleet automation can save your waste hauling business money?

Improve Customer Service with Service Verification

By implementing camera peripherals to a fleet automation system, a business has instant photographic evidence of anything impeding regular service. Whether the can was out (or not), if the can was blocked, if the can was overflowing and the customer had to be charged extra for it, and so on…a photograph provides irrefutable evidence of the situation. This reduces the he-said she-said nature of customer service calls and the time spent on the call. Billing is more accurate and situations in the field documented, which lead to fewer go-backs (and charging for said go-backs). Ultimately, photographic service verification leads to happier customers and a more efficient waste hauling business.

Charge for Extras Accurately

In addition to photographic evidence of extras, automatic logging and charging of extras is a huge time and money-saver for waste haulers. Think fleet automation is expensive? Think again. The cost savings realized from all of those areas of revenue leakage can pay for the system completely. For example, a company of 60 trucks was able to pay for the Routeware Premium system solely on the basis of charging for extras in the first year. The ability to log extras accurately with photographs, and with easy in-truck logging, means active management of driver behavior and more revenue captured for the business.

Reduce Your Piles of Paper

Before fleet automation every trash hauler had to print out daily route sheets in order to schedule and keep track of their entire fleet. (We know of one that was using 35 reams of paper per week!) The traditional waste hauling business model requires a large amount of paper, scheduling, and logistics in order to run their trucks efficiently. A fleet automation system is a far easier way to reduce reliance on paper, but still keep everyone on the same page. (And save a few filing cabinets, filing time, and small forests while you’re at it.)

Quickly Generate Efficient Helper Routes

With the variance and unpredictability of waste hauling routes (a truck breakdown, sudden bad weather, multiple landfill trips necessary due to more waste collected than usual on that day), helper routes are a challenging component to running a waste management business. Helper routes are often created at the last minute, but they’re necessary to ensure all pickups are completed. Generating helper routes manually on an ad hoc basis makes it easy to assign multiple trucks to the same route by mistake, or to completely overlook entire streets. Utilizing a fleet automation solution allows the business to make sure no one is missed – and that no helper routes are accidentally duplicated: a true competitive advantage over even the most organized paper route-based waste hauler.

Identify Non-Paying Customers at Point of Service

Just because a driver has been picking up from the same customer for years doesn’t mean that that customer is up to date on their bill. Drivers don’t necessarily know when someone has ended their service, moved, or is no longer paying their collection bills, and there isn’t always real-time communication from the back office. Using a fleet automation system with on-board computer tablets allows a clear representation of pickup vs. no pickup, so service tracks with payments. Don’t be that waste hauler picking up a non-paying customer for 5 years before implementing a fleet automation solution that caught the error!

Decrease Idle Time and Identify Revenue Leaks

Every minute that a truck is running, is money. Idle time (costing over $1/minute!) is one of the more difficult costs to accurately keep track of when using paper systems, and even more difficult to reign in. With a fleet automation system in place, dispatchers can easily identify wasted time and manage time expenditures more effectively. Essentially, a comprehensive digital system that tracks your trucks and categorizes behavior can help you identify areas of revenue leakage quickly and clearly. This allows businesses to plug those holes and realize more revenue from their operations overall.

Curtail Overtime at a Glance

Paying overtime for your drivers can be costly. Not only does it cost the business, but excessive overtime leads to USDOT logging requirements: more paperwork and hassle. A fleet automation system can provide an at-a-glance, color-coded display of drivers and how many hours they have worked at any given time, so you can curtail the behavior and reassign stops from one driver to another before going into overtime hours. Supervisors can also identify driver targets and habitual overtime users, so that drivers can be coached to better manage their day, saving you money in the long run.

Simple IFTA Compliance

IFTA compliance has always been a pain, relying on drivers to manually log odometer readouts over state lines and then convey them to the back office, which then had to generate the IFTA report and submit it to state jurisdiction. A fleet automation solution makes this process simple through geofencing in-state and out-of-state areas, logging accurate mileage driven in different geofenced targets. No more manual logging, no more errors, no more pushing around paper.

Overall there are a number of areas where waste hauling businesses are spending on-the-clock time, human capital, idling time, and paper resources to track and maintain. Plus, many  revenue-generating opportunities can fall through the cracks when trying to keep track of it all manually. It can be surprising for a business to self-assess and identify these areas of improvement. Wouldn’t it be easier to implement an automated system that manages these things for you?

We’re always ready to help you save time and money in managing your waste hauling business. Call 1-877-906-8550 to talk with a representative who can help do an audit of your business and find out how to save with Routeware.