Key factors to a profitable and successful portable toilet rental business are the planning and management of service routes. Below are helpful strategies to each aspect.
Effective Route Planning
Working with the driver, each service route can be planned in advance. Because drivers have an understanding of traffic patterns and driving distances, it is important to involve drivers in route planning. Since most units are serviced on a weekly basis, each driver is capable of handling 4 or 5 routes.Read More
To determine the most efficient routes, start with a map of the area and then use the following procedure:
- Plot the location of dumpsites
Every route should have at least one convenient dumpsite. The driver will dump at the end of the route and if possible, midway through the route. Dumping the truck more frequently:
- Increases fuel efficiency
- Allows the use of smaller vehicles
- Reduces truck maintenance costs
- Plot each unit (color code those units which need multiple servicing)
Routes should be selected to take advantage of unit placement density. The shorter the driving distance between service stops, the more profitable the route is.
- Identify major highways and streets
Good routes should avoid major traffic delays and rush hour congestion. The less time the driver spends between stops, the more profitable the route will be for you.
- Identify natural boundaries (rivers, lakes, mountains, etc.)
A good routes is designed with natural boundaries in mind. This helps minimize unnecessary driving time and delays.
- Determine maximum driving distance per day
150 miles per day should be the maximum driving distance per day to reduce driver fatigue and accidents.
- Determine the number of units that can be serviced without dumping
Normally a driver can service 30 to 50 units per day.
Draw route boundaries using different color rubber bands or yarn
There are two basic approaches to drawing routes:
- Wagon Wheel Approach: Driver leaves the shop and services all the way out to the furthest service point and then back to the shop.
- Chandelier Approach: Driver leaves the shop and drives directly to the service area without servicing along the way. The driver services the area and then returns.
With new deliveries and pick-ups every day, your routes will be constantly changing. Therefore, the following guidelines will help you manage your routes more effectively:Read More
- Assigning drivers to routes It's more efficient to have one person run the same route each week than it is to have a route randomly assigned. The driver becomes more familiar with the streets, detours and general driving conditions in the area.
- Determining the most efficient way to run a route It is always better to run routes in a circular pattern rather than a zig zag. However, you should be aware of trade-offs between distances in miles and distances in actual driving time. Be sure to take advantage of your driver's knowledge of actual driving time to pick the most efficient routes.
- Determining the number of drivers and routes The number of routes should be calculated based on the hours necessary to service all units. Sometimes, it's more efficient to pay an additional hour or two of overtime than add one more route or one more driver.
- Maintaining customer relations Customers want a trouble-free relationship with your business. This means consistent, high quality service with no "surprises". Therefore, each route should normally be serviced on the same day each week without exception. You need to have a contingency plan to make sure all units are serviced in the event of driver illness, truck breakdowns, holidays, etc.