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How to Know When It's Time to Retire Your Equipment

Do you have a truck that’s entering its senior years or a hose that isn’t what it used to be? Retiring your equipment can be a tough decision, both operationally and financially, in the portable sanitation industry where your inventory is your most important asset.  

This can lead to PROs holding on to what they have. Some think of the old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But that’s not always true for equipment. So, how do you know when it’s time to scrap or sell something? Let’s investigate.

How Many Times Have You Repaired It?

If you find yourself at the mechanic shop on a regular basis, it’s probably time to shop around for a new truck, especially if the cost of repairs is creeping closer to the cost of a new vehicle.

Is Safety an Issue?

An unsafe piece of equipment is an accident waiting to happen. Don’t take your chances. If something is dangerously faulty, swallow the costs and retire it. Hospital bills and accident-at-work claims are a lot worse.

Are Your Vehicles Roadworthy?

Vehicular laws have changed in recent years. In California, for example, emissions laws have become much stricter and many PROs are having to retire their trucks to make them compliant. Don’t get caught out; find out the laws that apply to you on the EPA website and get your trucks tested. Otherwise, you could end up with hefty fines.

What About Units?

Because of the nature of their work, portable restroom units are made to withstand extremely harsh conditions and can remain serviceable for 20-30 years. That said, many units fall by the wayside early due to vandalism, accidents, or poor maintenance. Check your individual units regularly to see if they meet the standards you want associated with your business. If a unit is working but is extremely worn, it might be worth replacing it. Remember, your units represent your company more than anything else.

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Keep What’s Good & Throw Away the Rest

Some PROs might keep a truck chugging along just because the tank is still in great shape. It would be much more efficient to remove the tank, retire the truck, and refit the tank to your new replacement truck. Be smart about equipment and don’t throw out everything unless you have to.

Case-by-Case Basis

There is really no standard for retiring equipment. It’s up to you at the end of the day. Some companies might have the first truck they ever bought back in the 1980s still in their fleet because it’s never let them down, whereas newer trucks might have been replaced years ago.

Know your inventory and what shape it’s in. Adapt, repair, and only retire when needed but don’t wait so long that an out-of-date piece of equipment becomes unsafe, unroadworthy, or a burden on your wallet and productivity.

Looking to Take Your Portable Restroom Business to the NEXT LEVEL? Download our FREE Guide: “Your Guide to Operating A Portable Restroom Business.”

Thinking About GETTING INTO the Portable Restroom Industry? Download our FREE Guide: “Your Guide to Starting A Portable Restroom Business.”

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