With a motto of “Less Pollution is the Best Solution”, Hoffman Sanitation Services has not only been focused on growing the company, serving their communities efficiently, and opening a state-of-the-art transfer station, but the company’s continuing mission is also to provide a way for all customers to dispose of their refuse in the most environmentally friendly way possible.
As a family owned and operated business dedicated to providing customers with the very best in refuse and trash collection services, Hoffman Sanitation Services (HSS) is well known for their outstanding reputation of providing a cleaner environment and dependable service. With a motto of “Less Pollution is the Best Solution”, their goal is to provide a way for all customers, commercial or residential to dispose of their refuse in the most efficient and environmentally friendly way possible.
After working for Blackburn Environmental for two years, Stewart Hoffman purchased the company in April 2020 and renamed it Hoffman Sanitation Services. Growing exponentially since that time and currently employing just under 40 individuals, the company now services more than 10,000 residential and commercial customers weekly—handling municipal solid waste for residential and commercial establishments, construction and demolition debris, roll-offs, portable toilets, and septic pumping.
With more than 400 roll-off containers, and 37 vehicles in the fleet, including 13 rear-load trash trucks, six cable pull roll-off trucks, four portable toilet trucks, one septic pump truck, and delivery and shop trucks, HSS serves Bryan, Marshall, Atoka, Choctaw, Johnston, Carter, Love, Cole, and Leflore counties in Oklahoma, which includes four municipalities as well as Grayson, Collin, and Fannin counties in Texas.
According to Hoffman, the company is currently dealing with rising costs on consumables, which, in turn, has caused HSS to become better at fleet management because they are unable to acquire trucks for replacement and expansion. “We did this by optimizing routes to make them more efficient,” said Hoffman. “We also sourced other places to find the consumables we needed, such has paper products for portables. We attempted to remove a layer in the supply chain in buying direct.”
Another obstacle has been rising fuel costs, which HSS has combatted by making routes more efficient and doing bulk fuel purchases. “We use CRO software for our routing system. It works well for finding the best route, fastest route, or manual route. It is very user friendly; the software will show you how much time is saved on a route when optimized. We have reduced route costs by 6 percent, which does not sound like much, but it adds up,” says Hoffman.
However, Hoffman says that the biggest challenge faced by the company and the industry alike is a depleted labor pool, specifically CDL drivers. “We have been experiencing a depleted labor pool due to the area growing and other non-competing businesses coming in. And we have experienced issues with competing companies many of whom were operating based on revenue costs from several years ago and unwilling to raise rates. HSS has responded to this issue by purchasing companies and, therefore, eliminating the issue of competing with lower rates.”
HSS mainly uses word of mouth for employee recruiting. “Unfortunately, anytime we have run ads or done employment fairs, we end up with people that don’t stay employed very long. We do everything in our power to pay our employees the top wages in order to keep them. When we think of employee retention, we have added benefits like insurance, ability for retirement, and our most recent is an incentive program,” Hoffman emphasizes. “The incentive program pays the driver of trash trucks a specific dollar amount per day as long as 1) they have no call ins for the day, 2) do not have any missed trash pickups, or 3) no damage to trucks or customer property. So far it has been very successful. While we still have a few missed trash stops, we have cut it by more than 50 percent.”
A Safe Operation
HSS’ training program prides itself on being mostly hands on by putting new drivers with experienced drivers to learn the trucks and the routes. Training lasts at least a week or longer if needed, but drivers are released on their own as soon as they show competence in the truck they are driving and the other activities required for the safe operation of the truck (backing up to dumpsters, picking up and emptying roll-offs, etc). “Some pieces of equipment skid steers, excavators, compactors (all at the transfer station) require more in-depth training that is done with a third-party training group, Mays Safety Training,” says Hoffman.
For their safety program, Hoffman is a CSP (certified safety professional) and he approaches safety with a common sense outlook. “This is what my first career was in, so our safety program is solid. Our outlook is ‘what will happen if?’ Then, we drill down the answers to find the most effective and safe operation.”
HSS is also very supportive of their community. Not only are they involved at a community level as far as being present at community functions and events, but they also give to all the local and surrounding schools, athletic teams and other non-profit organizations.
Headed for Growth
Hoffman is most proud of their exponential company growth within a very short period of time. In 2020 when HSS purchased Blackburn Environmental, there were 3,500 residential and commercial trash customers. Currently there are approximately 10,000 customers. Explains Hoffman, “There were 200 roll-offs for rent and there are now 400. As for portable toilets, there were 250 at time of purchase and currently the number is between 450 and 500. Septic pumping revenue has grown 200 percent during this timeframe and overall revenue is up 103 percent from 2020 to year end 2022.”
Another very exciting achievement for HSS is the opening of their state-of-the-art waste transfer station, which will save not only 80 man hours per week, but also a considerable amount of cost for fuel and vehicle wear and tear. In addition, the transfer station will bring increased revenue from outside haulers. The transfer station was previously open for HSS’ use only in October 2022 and is now open to the public. “This is HSS’ first transfer station and was a two-year project that included planning, permitting, and building. The COVID shutdown pushed the work out some because the people from the state that needed to come and do site visits were required to work from home only,” explains Hoffman. “The equipment that was installed was the most recent design from Texoma MFG. One of the bays is a normal compactor with an 11-yard bin. One side is used for MSW and will load a 65-ton trailer in about 20 minutes. The other side is a compactor paired with a pre-crusher in an 8-yard bin that is used mainly for C&D waste, but can also be used for MSW. The precrusher works exactly how it sounds—waste is placed in the bin and can be crushed to 1,800 psi prior to being loaded into the transfer trailer. This is used to break up large pieces of debris to eliminate damage to the trailers as well as get more waste into the trailer.”
Throughout the last few years, Hoffman has been focused on growing the company and is proud of HSS’ progress and its continuing mission to serve their communities efficiently. “Our goal at Hoffman Sanitation Services is to continue to grow and be profitable, while being a company that is considered a great place to work and a leader in the industry.” | WA
For more information, contact Stewart Hoffman at [email protected].