For the last 15 years, Martin Mattsson has worked with the Volvo Group and Volvo Construction Equipment in North America to develop a wide range of products for various industries, including the waste and recycling industry. Now solely focused on the waste and recycling industry, Mattsson is helping to ensure that equipment offerings are specifically designed to keep up with the ever-changing needs and demands of the industry.
Currently, Mattsson is helping lead Volvo’s testing of a new refuse truck and a new hybrid wheel loader, which are both expected to hit the commercial market in the future. These two product offerings will further extend Volvo’s portfolio of transfer station, materials recovery facility (MRFs) and landfill applications.
Waste360 recently spoke with the Waste360 40 Under 40 award recipient about his role as director of key accounts, the testing of Volvo’s new refuse truck and new hybrid wheel loader and how he’s seen equipment change over the years.
Waste360: When did you launch your career in the waste and recycling industry?
Martin Mattsson: I started working with the Volvo Group and Volvo Construction Equipment in North America more than 15 years ago. Since then, I have worked in various product application and commercial roles.
Early in my career with Volvo, I helped develop the purpose-built machine that we now offer to the waste and recycling industry. And for the last four years, I have been directly responsible for Volvo’s product offerings for the waste and recycling industry.
Waste360: Tell us about what your role as director of key accounts for Volvo Construction Equipment entails.
Martin Mattsson: I am responsible for our national accounts as well as our strategic accounts for the waste and recycling space. In addition, I am responsible for all of the equipment that’s used for disposal in transfer stations, MRFs and landfills. I also work closely with our dealer organization to ensure that the right equipment is offered at the right price and delivered to the right location.
Internally at Volvo Construction Equipment, I am the one who makes sure that we have the right models and the right options for our customers in the waste and recycling space. I take the feedback that we get from customers and make sure that changes are implemented for future products, as needed. When it comes to product development and new offerings, everything is funneled through me and then back into the company.
Waste360: You also serve on the Supplier Board of Governors for the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) and on the auction committee of Environmental Research and Education Foundation (EREF) as the vice chairman. Tell us a little about those roles.
Martin Mattsson: Working closely with both NWRA and EREF is a sure way to make sure that our voice gets heard. EREF’s mission is perfectly in line with what the Volvo Group does, and we enjoy partnering with the foundation to make sure that funds are going directly to research and environmental care. In addition, NWRA provides us with endless networking opportunities so that we can keep up with the trends and changes going on within the industry.
Waste360: Volvo is testing a new refuse truck and a new hybrid wheel loader. Tell us a little bit about that.
Martin Mattsson: We are typically very secretive when it comes to new models, equipment and technology, and this is the first time ever that we have made products public before they are available for purchase.
A couple years ago, Volvo Construction Equipment put together a project with Waste Management, and we recently presented field test results for our LX1 prototype electric hybrid wheel loader.
The wheel loader was tested for six months, and during that time, we gathered data from hundreds of hours of real work in two applications at Waste Management facilities in California. The first phase of testing is now complete, and we will move on to the second phase soon.
In addition to that, we partnered with Swedish waste and recycling firm Renova to test an autonomous refuse truck that has the potential to be used in urban settings. With the project, we are looking at how automation can contribute to enhanced traffic safety, improved working conditions and lower environmental impact.
In projects like these, we like to introduce the customers to the products early on in the project process to make sure that we are going down the right path for the products to become commercial solutions.
Waste360: How have you helped enhance Volvo’s portfolio of transfer station, MRF and landfill applications.
Martin Mattsson: About 50 years ago, we made a decision that the waste and recycling industry was an industry that we wanted to go after. And over the years, we have realized that when it comes to heavy equipment and off-road equipment, the industry is one of the toughest applications to put equipment into.
As a company, we like the challenge, and we are one of the few manufacturers that create purpose-built waste handling equipment for the industry. We make sure that all of our equipment is built so that it’s ready to go to work in the waste and recycling arena as soon as customers receive their products.
This process has helped us enhance our portfolio because we are catering to the ever-changing needs and wants of the industry. Since everything is specifically designed for the industry and made in-house, our products can change as the industry changes.
Waste360: Since joining the industry, how have you seen equipment change and how do you expect it to change in the future?
Martin Mattsson: Technology plays a key role in how equipment is changing. We have a lot of telematics and active machine monitoring, and we have staff members dedicated to monitoring customers’ fleets so that they can actively service the equipment if there’s an issue that arises. Technology is continuing to evolve and continuing to provide us with more opportunities to make our equipment smarter.
When it comes to safety, we are making changes like painting handrails orange, making three points of contact more apparent, incorporating ground-level fueling, adding additional lights and LED cameras to equipment, adding scales to equipment so customers know how much they are loading out, etc.
Waste360: What advice would you give to someone looking to get into the equipment side of the waste and recycling industry?
Martin Mattsson: Build up your knowledge of applications and dealer operations and learn how various pieces of equipment work. When it comes to heavy equipment, everything is done through a dealer network so you need to be informed on how dealer operations are run.
In addition, the waste and recycling industry is an industry that changes daily so you need to be able to keep up with those changes in order to succeed and grow with the industry.