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Why Dumpster and Port-a-Potty Rental Companies Need Asset Tracking Technology

by | May 16, 2022

We’ve all heard the saying that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. But one man’s trash receptacle can be another man’s treasure too. Waste management is big business. It’s possible to rake in tens of thousands of dollars each week renting out dumpsters, port-a-potties, and related waste handling equipment. The upfront investment isn’t anything to sneeze at, though. A single dumpster can cost tens of thousands of dollars on its own, not to mention the cost of trucks and trailers to haul it, as well as the personnel needed to transport and maintain it. If a dumpster is stolen from a customer site, the losses can quickly add up. 

Preventing theft isn’t the only challenge rental companies face. Waste management equipment often changes hands between customers and outsourced transportation providers. As the owner of the equipment, it’s difficult to gain visibility into where your assets are located without making phone calls or sending someone to track them down. Optimizing asset utilization is a constant juggling act. That’s where non-powered asset trackers come in. They’re discreet, cost-effective, and easy to maintain, all while  enabling you to monitor your valuable assets from anywhere. Read on to learn how.

Commercial Dumpster at Construction Site

Dumpster and port-a-potty theft isn’t uncommon

While it may seem unlikely that someone would want to steal waste handling equipment, it’s not an uncommon problem. Dumpsters and port-a-potties are often located in unsecured areas, and anyone with the right equipment and know-how can steal them. In fact, one Ft. Lauderdale company made it part of their business model. They stole dumpsters throughout Broward County, repainted them, and resold them in another county. They netted $75,000 before being caught by authorities. In Houston, one man stole 82 dumpsters  worth $375,000 over a three-year period.

A Mississippi plumbing company was surprised to find that one of its port-a-potties was stolen from a customer’s job site. The stall cost a little more than $600—not enough to warrant a serious investigation, but more than enough to put a dent in the business’ bottom line. And the costs add up quickly when multiple port-a-potties are stolen at once, like when enterprising thieves stole four trailers with eight port-a-potties on them from a California orchard

Row of Port-A-Potties

GPS tracking and geo-fencing aid in prevention and recovery

Authorities may only be able to offer limited help to track down dumpsters and port-a-potties once they’re stolen. You can help them out by pointing them in the right direction. In the case of the Houston dumpster thefts, the perpetrator was finally caught when one of the owners installed GPS trackers.

Asset tracking can also help with early intervention. Geo-fencing allows you to designate an area where your assets should be located. When they leave that designated area, you can be notified immediately, and send out personnel to investigate. 

Your assets aren’t always in your hands

Theft isn’t the only issue when it comes to managing waste handling equipment. It’s common to rely on transportation vendors to move dumpsters and port-a-potties from one site to another. When not in use, dumpsters are often stored in large yards. Plus, you have very little control over the conditions of the site where your assets are located. For example, residential construction sites and festival grounds usually don’t have security and fencing in place dedicated to protecting your equipment.

Keeping track of equipment when it’s out of your hands takes up valuable time and resources. And in the event that an item isn’t where it’s supposed to be, researching what went wrong is challenging and time consuming.

Commercial Dumpster Being Offloaded Onto a Street

Non-powered asset tracking gives you more control and visibility

Tracking technology gives you better visibility, regardless of whether your equipment is in a storage yard, new residential neighborhood, or fairgrounds, or on the back of a truck. Whether you want to get a comprehensive view of all of your assets, or empower field teams to hone in on the location of a single piece of equipment, trackers are an efficient way to improve visibility. 

Also, non-powered asset trackers are battery powered, and can be configured to tell you many things about your assets, not just their location. For example, with the built-in accelerometers on port-a-potties, you can be notified if they tip over. And to preserve battery life, you can set the trackers to send information at periodic intervals. Get pinged every six hours or once every 24 hours—whichever makes the most sense for your use case. They also require minimal human intervention.  The batteries are long-lasting, and some even use solar power, allowing you to dedicate your labor resources to other activities. 

Dispatch is complex and challenging

Dispatching requires careful coordination. You want to maximize the amount of time your equipment is in use, while minimizing the time it spends in transport between locations or sitting in storage. If you’re relying on outdated methods, managing this process can be a complicated puzzle. Managing multiple pickups and deliveries, identifying the ideal routes, and ensuring billing accuracy requires significant time and effort on the part of your administrative and operations staff.

Optimize utilization with asset tracking software

Asset tracking software makes it easy to make more informed decisions. Instead of having to guess where your equipment is, you can see its location in real-time. That allows you to make smarter decisions about when and where to position your assets, and be more confident in the commitments you make to your customers. Not only does it enable you to make more money off of each piece of equipment, but it also reduces your fuel costs and prevents billing errors.

A smarter, easier way to manage your waste handling equipment

Investing in asset tracking for your dumpsters and port-a-potties can help you increase your profit margins, work more effectively with vendors and partners, and deliver better service to your customers. Best of all, it’s easy to get up and running.

With HoloTrak as your partner, we’ll help you decide on the ideal configuration so you can start unlocking these benefits as quickly and easily as possible. And our user-friendly software allows anyone on your team to access the information they need.

Ready to get started? Get in touch with us to learn more about our solutions.

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