Amwaste leverages Mack® LR for efficient refuse management

Waste removal customer service satisfaction depends on safe and on-time pick up, professional drivers and trucks with extreme uptime. For Amwaste, a full-service waste and recycling company with operations in Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana, measuring its customer satisfaction guides their business philosophy as they continue to expand into new markets.

Jason Zepp, vice president of operations, says the company’s 35-40% growth over the last four years is the result of founder Chip Russell’s vision to create a modern version of a hardworking roll-off and landfill operation that offers a wide range of services for everything from residential garbage collection and recycling to portable toilets and holding tanks along with owning transfer stations and landfills.

With more than 500 employees servicing 300,000 customers per week, productivity and profitability require reliable, safe and versatile trucks that are easily configured for the wide variety of operations and services they offer.

That’s why Amwaste’s fleet of more than 100 Mack® trucks continue to generate positive reviews from customers, drivers and management. Their fleet includes Mack LR, Granite® and Terrapro® models powered by Mack MP®7 engines along with Cummins Westport L9N natural gas engines. The trucks are configured for a variety of standup and seated options, rear and front loaders for residential and commercial applications, and automated side loaders (ASL) for residential and curbside pickup, all designed for easy body installation.

Residential refuse

In the labor-intensive segment of residential refuse collection, Zepp, says his ideal chassis/body configuration is the Mack LR model with an ASL body that offers safe, fast cycles and touchless collection. He says the LR’s low entry level and flexible body configuration is his top choice for safety and productivity reasons.

“The body and chassis allow for a smooth, tight-turning radius to operate within cul-de-sac neighborhoods,” he says. And he explains that the cab gives drivers a panoramic view of the surroundings, including the ability to see behind the cab while servicing a neighborhood, which improves safety. His drivers say the large mirrors and abundant window glass allow them to see pedestrians and other vehicles while they are working. Other features he points out include the low cab floor for easy ingress and egress, easy-to-reach controls and the tilt and telescopic steering wheel. Drivers give thumbs up on the seats’ comfort and ergonomics and say it’s a smooth ride with everything they need conveniently placed.

Data driven results

Zepp is not just pleased with the Mack LR with the side-loader body combination, he also has the data to support its productivity.

In January 2023, Amwaste completed a yearlong customer satisfaction survey for the city of Newnan, Georgia, using a fleet of ASL Mack LRs. The results were collected by an independent group and found 99.98% customer satisfaction with their residential refuse collection. Equally remarkable was the zero driver turnover during that period, something Zepp attributes to several factors, such as highly competitive pay and benefits packages and the comfortable productive Mack trucks they operate. Uptime and professional drivers directly affect customer satisfaction. Good drivers and reliable productive trucks are also necessary for regular schedules designed for the least disruption to neighborhoods.

Those Newnan, Georgia, retention rates are not outliers: recent retention data from 2024 Q1 as compared to 2023 Q1 showed a 45% reduction in turnover for the whole company.

“When talking about recruiting and retaining drivers and creating a driver-centered culture, the trucks' comfort, safety and productivity is a huge advantage,” Zepp says.

Partners in growth

Amwaste has their own maintenance shops in their various locations, but they also rely on their Mack dealers for more complex repairs, parts and services. Because uptime is a crucial part of their business — equipment failure leads to uncollected trash and customer complaints — the Mack LRs are a valuable and dependable workhorse.

Chuck Choate, Amwaste’s Mack sales representative for Georgia-based Nextran Truck Centers, says their working relationship is a partnership that goes beyond transactions. “We are positioned to assist Amwaste’s growth by offering the new and used trucks they need along with customized service solutions,” Choate says. The dealership provides services such as mobile and embedded certified technicians, on-demand parts and services delivered to their locations and maintenance troubleshooting as needed. “They are a valued customer and our goals for their growth are strategically aligned,” Choate says.

Expanding markets

Zepp says that the benefit of owning transfer stations and/or landfills means they can maximize efficiency and profits well beyond just a pick-up service company, and the assets give them crucial leverage as they continue to expand into new markets.

Zepp says they are fortunate to have the availability of Mack and their body manufacturers, which gives the company the flexibility to fulfill a wide range of municipal contracts.

Brandon Weems, vice president of strategic development says Amwaste is on a journey to become the world-class leader in the waste industry. He says they want their people and the communities they serve to thrive and be better for having partnered with Amwaste. “We are working to change the landscape of how waste is collected and repurposed in the future. Mack gives our people the best-in-class equipment to help us achieve our goal on our journey.”

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