By Carmen K. Sisson | Randall-Reilly Publishing/Mack Trucks
As more communities pass “green” legislation, more service providers are finding a niche in helping those companies meet their environmental goals while improving their bottom line. Mack trucks power many of those providers, including Waste Masters Solutions, a regional commercial waste and recycling business in Delaware, Pennsylvania and Maryland. It is a partnership with long bloodlines and deep roots, says owner Brian Simmons.
Waste Masters serves commercial and industrial customers, collecting solid waste and recyclables both onsite and in-plant. Twelve front-loading Mack TerraPros perform the heavy lifting, operating six days a week, 10 hours a day, and together averaging a staggering 43,200 lifts per month.
The TerraPros are spec’d with 11-liter Mack MP7 355 hp engines, Allison 4500 Rugged Duty transmissions and 1,260 lb.-ft of torque.
Simmons recently ordered two additional Mack TerraPros, citing the benefits of durability, maneuverability and driver comfort.
“The Macks do great at our operation, from maintenance to safety,” Simmons says. “We could not ask for a better piece of equipment. They’re very efficient and easy to get around, with a tight turning radius in and out of alleys and container enclosures — that makes a big difference for us.”
Drivers are also pleased with the newer models, which offer more legroom, and they appreciate the forward-facing visibility, though Simmons admits he would like to see increased side visibility.
“If we can operate safely and efficiently, that’s what the drivers like,” he says. “And I, as an owner, like that as well.”
He also appreciates the durability and low maintenance associated with the TerraPros. Waste Masters handles the majority of its own maintenance, and the fleet seldom requires anything beyond routine upkeep.
“These trucks get abused on a daily basis, and they take it and run,” Simmons says. “The power is good. We have no complaints.”
The company is well-known in the community and has several marquee accounts, including the Philadelphia Eagles football team and Dover International Speedway. The Eagles generate an average of 850 tons of waste per year, but with Waste Masters’ help, and through a concerted effort to recycle and compost, they have been able to divert 99 percent of that waste from landfills. At Dover, Waste Masters Solutions introduced color-coded recycling bins, making it easier for the speedway, hotel and casino patrons to recycle.
Though Waste Masters is not the cheapest among its competitors, the companys specializes in being a true service provider.
“We pride ourself on being the industry leader for service,” Simmons says. “That’s how we grew, and that’s how we continue to grow. We stay busy with work. We haven’t seen a downturn in a while. We don’t have any problem (with the economy), because we’re constantly growing.”
Waste Masters takes customer service and satisfaction to a different level, and having heavy-duty, reliable equipment helps them meet their goals, says Joe Jacoby, business development manager at Bergey’s Truck Centers. Uptime is a critical component in the company’s success.
“You can’t kill a Mack truck; they’re pretty bulletproof, with very few problems from that specific Allison transmission,” Jacoby says. “Keeping the durability aspect plays a lot into Waste Masters’ fleet maintenance program. Any issue with the trucks is taken care of immediately. They’re first class. They truly care and see a sense of value in keeping the fleet what it is and what it has become.”
“Bergey’s is a great support system for us, from their sales department to their maintenance and parts departments,” Simmons says. “We have a great relationship with them, from top to bottom. They do a very good job servicing our account.”
Waste Masters’ pride in the fleet is evident, from keeping the black and viper red trucks clean to showing them off in photos on their social media pages. One such photo, uploaded by in-plant services director Michael Alamorian, was posted on Facebook and created such a stir that Alamorian decided to enter it into Mack’s calendar contest. To his surprise, the photo won.
“Social media was pretty much benign to me in the past — I wasn’t too involved in it,” he says. “This calendar contest was the catalyst that really got me rolling. I got a lot of friends, family, customers and Waste Masters associates to vote, and then one day, boom, I got a phone call saying we were chosen.”
Both Simmons and Alamorian have a longstanding affection and loyalty to the Mack brand.
Simmons’ father ran a Mack fleet in his waste management business, and he learned to drive a front-loader in the driver’s seat of one of his father’s 1979 MB Macks.
“I started out on the back of the trash truck, working in the shop, washing the trucks and changing tires,” Simmons said. “I learned my way from the back of the truck to under the truck to the driver’s seat. I was comfortable with them, I knew the reliability of them and we still experience that today. Once you go Mack, you’ll never go back.”
Alamorian, too, has had a fascination with Macks since childhood. There was a trucking company in his neighborhood, and he used to ride his bicycle there every day to see the trucks. Eventually, he was offered a job washing, waxing and polishing the all-Mack fleet. He progressed to driving a Mack and never looked back. Now, he’s eager to enter the calendar contest again with a new Mack.
“We’re excited that Mack’s coming out with a new highway tractor,” Alamorian said. “That’s something we’re looking forward to.”