If you are looking to maximize productivity, the best way to do that is to be proactive in terms of fleet maintenance. Stay one step ahead of your equipment and feel confident knowing that you are prepared for any issues that may come your way.
By Adam Oppermann

As a waste management company, trucks are your business. When that is the case, unexpected repairs to your fleet can be catastrophic. Depending on the severity of the issue, it can take significant time to get your fleet back in action—and let’s face it, time is money. So, what can you do to be prepared for the worst-case scenario? It is time to expect the unexpected. Waste management companies can greatly increase productivity by being proactive with fleet maintenance.

Performing maintenance by checking the fluid levels on the chassis. Photos courtesy of

In some areas of the U.S., it is not uncommon to be an hour or more away from the nearest specialty repair shop that has the capabilities to repair your broken-down trash truck. In addition to time lost, the extra cost of towing a truck of that size can be a burden. To ensure your trash truck is back in action as quickly as possible, consider adding a fully equipped mechanic truck to your fleet that can quickly fix common issues onsite.

Mechanic trucks can be custom built to fit your needs, so it is important to fully understand what you are looking for before investing in a truck. Knowing what common issues your fleet faces on a regular basis can help you equip the right truck for your fleet. Some examples of what can be included in your mechanic truck are: compressors, welders, generators, fuel tanks, lube systems, and so much more.

Much like your trash trucks, your mechanic truck will also need occasional maintenance so that it can be at-the-ready whenever demanded. Below are a few tips to ensure your mechanic truck is well maintained, so that you can focus your time and energy on the trash trucks that are doing the tough work day in and day out.

Greasing the cylinder pivot point on a Stellar Industries 7630 crane.

#1: Service Your Truck Regularly
Productivity is all about uptime, and when it comes to waste management, sticking to a schedule is essential. There is nothing worse than having a piece of equipment down when there is a job to be done, and your mechanic truck should be treated no differently. That is why it is important to stick to the preventative maintenance and inspection schedules. Regular maintenance not only improves longevity, but it also ensures that your equipment is always running at peak performance.

Regular maintenance check-ups are easy to integrate daily. Something as simple as a quick walkaround can provide you with the confidence that your truck is operating to its full potential. Additionally, following the recommended maintenance schedule for oil changes and filter checks is also important when it comes to your mechanic truck. When you follow a preventative maintenance routine, you control the schedule—do not risk your mechanic truck breaking down when you need it most.

#2: Consider an Aluminum Body
When choosing a body for your mechanic truck, consider the use of an aluminum body to reduce the overall weight. With a lighter body in use, you are able to put those extra pounds to work for you by adding the tools and parts you need to get the job done. Along with careful payload management, a lighter body will limit the wear and strain on the truck. Aluminum is also a great option to reduce rust and corrosion. This will help your truck last longer whether you have harsh winter conditions, ocean-side climates, or work in a more corrosive environment.

In addition to aluminum bodies, consider equipping your fleet with aluminum work truck accessories like aluminum lube skids and
aluminum storage systems. Additional aluminum accessories will also assist in reducing weight and increasing the longevity of the truck.

Checking and inflating tires on a Stellar Industries TMAX 1 truck.

#3: Consider an Efficient Power Source
You may want to consider using an auxiliary power unit (APU) with an integrated compressor to help increase efficiency on your mechanic truck. In addition to an integrated compressor, these APUs often have a welder, generator, and even a hydraulic pump.

Instead of running an individual air compressor, welder, and generator, consider upfitting your truck with an engine-driven, integrated solution. Not only are these systems more efficient than their modular counterparts, but they can also help with maintenance and fuel savings as they do not require the truck to run, using their own small engine in place of the standard PTO-driven air compressor configurations found on most work trucks.

For example, a Hybrid Power Source (HPS) is a self-contained hydraulic power source that uses automotive-grade lithium-ion technology to provide a system that is low-voltage, anti-idle compliant and quiet during operation. HPS users can reduce their carbon footprint by operating their hydraulic equipment without the use of the chassis engine. When using the HPS, the system allows for 100 percent emission-free operation, reduced fuel consumption, decreased engine maintenance costs, quiet operation, and compliance with idle mitigation requirements.

Stay One Step Ahead
If you are looking to maximize productivity, the best way to do that is to be proactive in terms of fleet maintenance. Adding a mechanic truck to your toolbox means that you no longer need to worry about towing a trash truck to a repair shop and losing out on daylight. A well-maintained mechanic truck allows you to stay on schedule and keep more money in your pockets. Stay one step ahead of your equipment and feel confident knowing that you are prepared for any issues that may come your way. | WA

Adam Oppermann is Product Manager for Stellar Industries. Stellar was founded in 1990 in Garner, IA, and has since expanded operations to multiple U.S. locations. Stellar is an employee-owned and operated manufacturer of high-quality work trucks and trailers, in addition to service truck and van accessories. Through the innovative, growing product line and an expanding distribution network, the company has gained an international presence and become the number one productivity choice in many markets. For more information, visit www.stellarindustries.com.