Depending on your location and season, garbage companies across the country are faced with climate challenges every day. The weather plays a major role in our industry and is something that should not go overlooked. The weather can affect safety, maintenance, disposal and profitability—all of these affect the bottom line dramatically.
Weather and Safety
No matter if it is rain, sleet, snow or heat, climate affects safety every day. Depending on where you are located, you must be able to adapt your employees and your fleet to work the safest and most reliably by preparing them for the challenges they may face. Take for example, wintertime in central Florida. On Monday, the temperature was 35 degrees and raining, today it is 85 and clear skies. Talk about a change in a matter of 12 hours; being able to adapt is a must to work safe. Monday, our employees were all outfitted with cold weather PPE; Tuesday, they were outfitted with summertime PPE. PPE is important to notify the public of your presence and allow the employees to be properly protected in any form of weather. A nice safety tip to remember is that no matter the season, it is important for all employees to stay properly hydrated. Even if employees do not feel they are thirsty in colder weather, it is important that they monitor their fluids and continue to stay hydrated.
The maintenance department must be able to adapt to the different climates as well. Let’s break down a few climates and some basic challenges the maintenance department will be faced with:
Disposal and Profitability
As I alluded to earlier, just these few examples multiplied on a daily basis depending on the size of your fleet can have a major impact on the bottom line. Let’s also not forget the most obvious, take rain/snow and a front loader for example. When FEL containers soak up a weeks’ worth of rain/snow, that disposal per container is going to increase. In Florida, it is typical to see a significant increase in tonnage per load in comparison to if it were dry. I encourage you to replace broken lids on containers, encourage your drivers to make sure they are closed before returning to their enclosure, and keep in mind when pricing that these factors will increase some hidden costs through the year depending on where you live. The same holds true for residential disposal. Moving forward, make sure that you take the weather into account when routing and daily planning of your fleet. Hopefully, now you can have a better understanding of many basic cost and factors that oftentimes go overlooked. | WA
John Paglia, III is a 4th generation garbage man. Before he climbed the ranks to become Florida Express Environmental’s (Ocala, FL) General Manager, he had a successful career in college and professional athletics. John has been around the garbage industry since his car seat days. Currently, John is focused on growing his company and offering the highest level of customer service and prolonging the world we live in today. John wakes up every day knowing the impact professional haulers have on their community is far greater than most realize. He can be reached at (352) 629-4349, e-mail John3@floridaexpress. us or visit www.floridaexpress.us.