For the last 20 years, the solid waste industry focused on improving productivity. That effort translated to larger and fewer collection routes, larger trucks and fleet-rightsizing. Given the current CDL driver shortage, however, one shoe does not fit all markets. Hauling operators are now seeing those trends begin to reverse. There is a willingness to expand fleets with smaller collection vehicles with hopes of expanding the labor pool and drawing candidates from groups not traditionally targeted by the nation’s waste haulers. New Way Trucks is poised to meet that need.
New Way’s Viper and Diamondback rear-end loaders (RELs) have been available for many years. More maneuverable than their larger counterparts, they also meet height restrictions in older municipalities. Not only are these perfect vehicles for training non-CDL operators, but they are also ideal for small-volume residential routes, valet-type collection, high-density areas, resorts, and park routes. These small REL models are adaptable to residential cart-tippers, have a low load-sill threshold, operate quietly, and the Diamondback even comes available in high-compaction models.
The New Way Mamba under-CDL satellite side-loader has also been available for years. With its slender body construction, the Mamba squeezes into places its larger, wider counterparts cannot and provides the freedom to load from either side. The Mamba can also transfer compacted waste into larger RELs. The Mamba features cart tipper and barrel dumper options, providing haulers the ability to customize their truck to meet their collection needs.
The industry’s continued shift to automation has extended the careers of aging workforce members while making the job gender neutral. Historically, solid waste has been male-dominated due to the heavy lifting requirements. However, technology has solved that problem. Automation does the heavy lifting, and equipment manufacturers are designing for employees of smaller stature, creating access to more commercial drivers in a time when driver shortages are widespread.
The nation-sweeping conversion to automated collection throughout the early 2000s has proven the safety and health benefits of automation in waste collection. Industry statistical data has shown that automated waste collection significantly reduces injuries and preserves an aging workforce by eliminating heavy lifting while keeping operators in a climate-controlled cab away from traffic. If your collection contracts are not already automated, just do it. The human health and safety aspects are the best reasons for converting, but there are long-term operational savings and waste diversion benefits of fixed-volume collection to consider.
As the manufacturer of the industry’s most popular automated side-loader (ASL) according to NWRA data, New Way Trucks is also going to reveal a mini ASL at this year’s WasteExpo, May 9-12 in Las Vegas. An under-CDL New Way ASL that has the same attributes of its larger sibling could be the game-changing training ground at the right time for a new breed of CDL waste collectors.