Fleet & Plant Management

Changeover of Waste Trucks

  • 1.  Changeover of Waste Trucks

    Posted 26 January 2017 22:02
    Good day

    Can anyone please provide some information / guidance regarding the changeover of Waste Trucks? We currently replace ours after 7 years however it seems that some Councils replace theirs after 5 to 6 years. What would be the reason for replacing these trucks earlier.

    Feedback would be much appreciated.

    Kind Regards


    Marius Vermeulen
    Manager Asset Management
    City of Armadale

  • 2.  RE: Changeover of Waste Trucks

    Posted 30 January 2017 18:35

    We replace ours at 6 years, this being the lowest life cost age for our use of 1500 hrs/yr.  Each application would be different depending on use, that is why a lowest life cost calc is done.

    Also note that private users may replace on contract length, i.e. if 7yr contract they start with new and patch them until the end and they are scrapped.

    Michael Borg
    Co-ordinator Fleet Services
    Rockhampton Regional Council


  • 3.  RE: Changeover of Waste Trucks

    Posted 05 February 2017 18:36
    Hi Marius,

    In a former role, I analysed the life costs of side loader waste compactor trucks servicing domestic or recycling waste collections. By comparing the change in maintenance cost and truck value over time, an optimum replacement time was identified at around the 10,000 hour mark. 

    The process to analyse this requires:
    • Purchase cost and known market values as the trucks age (in hours and years). Plot this ownership cost as a declining curve of the ownership cost per hour of truck operation (y) for the truck hours of use (x).
    • Maintenance cost per hour as the truck ages (in hours). Plot this as an increasing curve over time, using average cost for a number of similar usage fleet items. Average cost per hour (y) is plotted for truck hours of use (x).
    • By showing these two curves together and adding them, you will get a classic bathtub curve which identifies an optimum replacement point for your fleet.  

    Some further explanation: this fleet was an inner city fleet, so hours of use was significantly more important than kilometers. 
    All servicing and maintenance required the recording of usage in hours, so it was possible to plot actual cost per hour of truck use, and to see how this increased as each truck aged, and likewise as similar format and usage vehicles aged. 
    Increasing costs arise as larger more complex components wear and fail, such as lift arms, compaction paddles, engines and transmissions, and even the waste body itself. 
    Working backwards, if you run a truck for 2,000 hours a year with a replacement optimised at 10,000 hours then you need to be replacing at 5 years. If this is not acceptable to your organisation then you need to work on one or all of:  reducing operational impacts on maintenance costs (operators), improving maintenance strategy (workshop), or reducing usage hours per year (resourcing).


    Doug Bartlett
    Coordinator Asset Management
    City of Mandurah
    Mandurah WA