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Rethinking Rental for Overall Refuse Fleet Growth

Ahead of WasteExpo, we sat down with Zach Martin of Big Truck Rental to discuss how the industry’s perceptions of rental are changing.

Historically, refuse haulers turned to rental only if their trucks were involved in an accident or tied up in maintenance. But Zach Martin, vice president of sales North America for Big Truck Rental (BTR), wants refuse fleets to rethink how they can effectively leverage rental within their overall fleet strategy to help their businesses grow, while also managing some of the swings in their operations—like unpredictable maintenance costs.

Ahead of this year’s WasteExpo, held May 6-9 in Las Vegas, Waste360 sat down with Martin, who is also a 2019 Waste360 40 Under 40 award recipient, for an exhibitor preview to discuss how BTR is educating haulers on how they can leverage rental as part of their overall fleet strategy. He also shares how haulers can utilize rental to improve customer service and how the perceptions of rental have changed over the years. Attendees can visit BTR at booth #816 during WasteExpo.

Waste360: What is Big Truck Rental’s main focus going into WasteExpo this year?

Zach Martin: Big Truck Rental is continuing its focus on how leveraging rental as part of an overall fleet management strategy can positively impact the business and bottom line. Additionally, we have launched a certification program for purchasing our off-rent trucks through our Route Ready Trucks division. Big Truck Rental sells our like-new vehicles within a couple of years of use, and these trucks can provide capital cost savings, lead-time benefits and are ready to hit the route running.

Waste360: What are some of the benefits haulers might see when leveraging rental?

Zach Martin: Haulers that are leveraging rental as part of their fleet strategy can expect to have reduced maintenance costs, minimal risk of large maintenance expenses that come with an aging fleet, optimal utilization of owned assets and a mechanism for capitalizing on growth opportunities.

Waste360: How can haulers leverage rental to improve customer service?

Zach Martin: Customer service is one way in which haulers differentiate from the competition, and having unplanned downtime is not an option. Our nationwide dealer support system allows us to get our like-new inventory to haulers quickly and provide them with reliable equipment to either service customers or get existing trucks into the shop to avoid downtime. 

Waste360: When haulers decide to rent trucks, who is responsible for the maintenance costs?

Zach Martin: Our customers are responsible for preventive maintenance and consumables, such as tires and fluids. Our like-new fleet is under warranty, and should major events occur, our team will jump into action to get the truck back up and running in no time.

Waste360: How have haulers’ perceptions of truck rental changed over the years?

Zach Martin: Historically, rental was viewed as being used when maintenance was a challenge or capital wasn’t available, but now it is being used to support growth through contract starts, acquisitions, optimal asset utilization, removing aging trucks from the fleet and as a vital part of a fleet management strategy.

Waste360: Please discuss your involvement with the Future Industry Leaders Alliance (FILA) and how you have seen the group evolve over time.

Zach Martin: I have been involved with FILA for nearly 10 years and have served as a board member, co-chair and currently as past co-chair. This group is made up of more than 70 future leaders from both the service and supplier side and has continued to evolve with a major focus on professional development with the launch of a leadership certificate program and twice-a-year formal training that covers many aspects of leadership in business. This group also provides a great opportunity for networking, and I encourage current leaders to give thought and consideration to recommending the next generation to join our group.

Waste360: What is a major area of focus right now for Big Truck Rental?

Zach Martin: Big Truck Rental is focusing on serving municipalities with rental offerings that will help meet their needs by getting them access to new equipment quickly, helping them improve customer service, reduce maintenance costs and retire aging, challenging trucks. We added Scott Smith as our director of municipal sales last July, and his expertise has been a great resource for the municipal community. We hope to see more and more municipalities participating in WasteExpo.  

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