Top Five Mistakes Haulers Make When Growing Their Business

Every business has blind spots that end up costing money, and hauling operations are no different.

What if you could see what you’re missing?

Over the last 20 years, haulers have shared with us the most expensive mistakes they’ve made while growing their businesses — and how they have successfully addressed those issues with technology. Here are their top five:

Mistake #1: Not tracking go-backs

Your driver missed a stop. Or did they? A customer called with a complaint, and you can’t provide evidence from the collection point to show them what happened. Did the driver stop or drive by? Was the cart out or blocked?

Without seeing what’s happening at the curb, you can’t reduce go-backs — or charge for extras.

The solution: Haulers like Gaeta Green Environmental Services in Staten Island, New York, rely on truck cameras that gather photos and video at every stop — in tandem with onboard computers that keep drivers and office staff in constant communication. This empowers drivers to skip non-compliant collections and gives customer service representatives the irrefutable evidence they need to push back on expensive go-backs (or charge for them).

Plus, photos from the curb allow managers to see what’s happening there so they can properly address problems before they escalate.

Mistake #2: Picking up extras — for free

An extra bag of yard debris here, a Christmas tree there, and an oversized item down the street. When haulers feel the pinch of increased collections but see diminishing returns, it’s often because logging extras on paper is a tedious and unreliable method that leads to providing additional services for free.

The solution: Haulers that leverage in-cab computers make it easy for drivers to log extras by tapping a button and selecting the type of “extra” from a customized list. Direct integration with their billing systems allows these charges to be automatically added to a customer’s invoice. When used in conjunction with smart truck features like photo and video functionality, haulers have proof of services rendered, which eliminates potential customer disputes, too.

Mistake #3: Running extra trucks

Fleet costs are always on the rise. Trucks aren’t cheap – not to buy, lease, insure, or maintain — and increasing a fleet’s size without increasing overall workload or efficiency creates waste.

The solution: Haulers like American Refuse in Wasco, California that rely on an integrated system that includes smart truck features, onboard devices and back-office software are able to track data that reveals how routes can be made more efficient.

In one case, data showed that each driver could take on 10% more stops without increasing hours worked, thereby allowing the hauler to reduce 10% of its fleet without reducing services.

Mistake # 4: Providing service without payment

Without real-time account information visible inside the truck, drivers don’t know which customers to serve and which to skip. And so, in the spirit of providing excellent service, many times those whose bills haven’t been paid receive collection when a suspension would be in order.

The solution: In-cab computers let drivers know, in real time, which collections to skip and why. Oftentimes, a skipped collection begets prompt payment!

Mistake #5: Losing great drivers

The ongoing driver shortage continues to plague hauling businesses. Yet without information about drivers’ individual performance behind the wheel, it’s impossible to coach struggling drivers or reward successful ones. This lack of information leads to employee churn and subsequent increased recruitment and training costs.

The solution: Forward-thinking haulers like Pride Disposal in Beaverton, Oregon are using fleet automation tools and insights to quickly train new drivers, help those who need it, and reward those who are doing an excellent job.

Without proven tools that help identify and remedy revenue leaks, haulers struggle to maintain profitability and grow their business. Modern haulers need integrated fleet technologies that make it easier to capture lost revenue, stay ahead of the competition, and contribute to profitability long-term.

Learn more. It’s time to empower drivers with digital tools — and equip trucks with smart features — to plug leaks and boost revenue. Let’s talk!

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