Learn the basics for keeping your fleet safe and compliant with FMCSA regulations
Choosing the right garbage truck manufacturer for your fleet is an important step in ensuring your trucks remain reliable and on the road. With so many options to choose from, it’s important to select a brand and model that fits your budget, and one that offers the parts and services your fleet will depend on.
Power and efficiency are other variables to consider as you weigh your options, since some trucks may struggle to do bulkier pickups.
As you begin your search for replacing your current fleet or adding existing trucks, we’ve compiled a list of 6 of the leading garbage truck manufacturers to consider. We’ll also break down a few top models to consider – whether you are looking for roll-off trucks, rear loaders, side loaders, or front loaders.
A couple of the largest garbage and refuse truck manufacturers in the world, like Heil are based in the United States, and have focused on creating these types of vehicles for several decades.
It comes down to your business model, the types of trucks you need, and your budget. While some trucks may cost less upfront than comparable competitors, finding parts or reliable service may be more difficult.
What to Know About Garbage and Refuse Truck Manufacturers
For companies that specialize in manufacturing garbage trucks, many of these companies start with chassis made by companies like Mack, Peterbilt, Freightliner Autocar, or another similar brand before adding their own components.
A few exceptions are Mack and Peterbilt, who do have garbage truck lines (in addition to dump trucks and others). Many of the suppliers of chassis (like Peterbilt) will also manufacture these trucks using engines made by Cummins or Paccar.
McNeilus offers a variety of options, ensuring that no matter what you’re looking for, you’ll find the perfect fit in their lineup. They also boast proudly that their designs require less maintenance than the competition, which will save you both time and money over the years.
McNeilus is part of the Oshkosh Corporation, with whom they are partners in engineering and innovation. Their customer support is also something that fleet managers and supervisors are satisfied with.
Justin Bradsher, Training Supervisor at Ace Environmental of South Carolina is one of their customers, and shared this testimonial:
“I’ve worked in the refuse industry for 21 years and had the opportunity to work with a lot of different trucks. Working with McNeilus, they’re by far the best trucks I’ve used. And, it’s not just the products but the service, too. If you call with a service question, within a few minutes you’ve got people from the company, around the country, telling you how to diagnose a problem and how to get yourself running again quickly.”
As part of the Dover Corporation and founded in Milwaukee Wisconsin, Heil provides their customers with a strong network of dealers and prides itself on exceptional customer service and high-quality vehicles. They’ve been around for more than a century and have built a strong reputation for quality and durability in the waste industry.
They are notorious for creating refuse truck bodies and supplying refuse and recycling equipment to many of the world’s largest waste collection agencies. Many other companies specializing in assembling custom garbage trucks will use bodies made by Heil.
Heil Environmental is the largest manufacturer of garbage, refuse vehicles and supplies in the world.
New Way is a family-owned company that has made an impressive name for itself over the last 49 years by offering a strong commitment to innovation, quality, and customer service. They blend economy with safety seamlessly to bring you the finest in waste management models.
As a key differentiator, New Way manufacturers some of the strongest front-loaders in the industry relative to weight, and are designed to comply with DOT weight regulations by using lighter, high-tensile steel.
Amrep prides itself in being one of the first garbage truck manufacturers in North America to use genuine Hardox wear plate steel in the entire body shell. Hardox steel extends the trucks’ usable life, saving their customers money on replacement parts.
Another big win for Amrep is that they have cooperative purchasing contracts to help simplify the buying process for many local governments.
A brand you likely are already somewhat familiar with, Peterbilt prides itself on forward-thinking, utilizing technology at every turn to make their trucks effective, efficient, and long-lasting. With features like automated transmissions, intelligent assistance, and advanced engine design, their trucks are meant to last.
The Peterbilt 520 is one of their customizable options for Peterbilt fans looking for a complete package.
Another company notorious for manufacturing all kinds of trucks, Mack is actually in the garbage truck space as well. While Mack does sell the traditional LR model, it is one of the few manufacturers releasing all-electric garbage trucks, like their LR Electric model.
McNeilus Heavy-Duty Rear Loader
This model was built to withstand time, tough roads, and the environment. It’s similar to the standard rear loader but provides more compaction strength for large loads.
It can crush up to 1,000 pounds of trash into the standard 3 cubic yard hopper, meaning fewer trips to the landfill between routes.
McNeilus Split Body
Trash pickup just got a lot easier. This model boasts of a 40/60 split, allowing you to operate each side independently of the other, a feature that comes in handy on rural routes, since you can pick up either side of the truck without having to turn around.
For fleet managers looking to reduce their carbon footprint, the split body is the perfect choice since it allows you to pick up recycling and waste in the same truck simultaneously.
Heil Powertrak Commercial Plus High Capacity Rear Loader
This beauty features a compaction rate of up to 1,200 pounds per cubic yard. Not only does it work hard, but it’s surprisingly quick, cycling through in as low as 21 seconds so your drivers are on their way to the next stop faster than ever. This truck beast tackles everything from construction to demolition and bulk waste without missing a beat. It’s a force to be reckoned with and should be on anyone’s list of top rear-loading models.
The Mammoth from New Way
Get out of the way. This stunning model maximizes efficiency across the board, featuring heavy-duty, single-piece constructed arms and an efficient pack-on-the-go feature that is nothing short of a game changer. To keep your workers and everyone around them safe, this model also comes equipped with two safety cameras, one looking into the hopper and another to help the driver back up.
Heil Half Pack with Odyssey Controls
Heil’s innovative Odyssey controls allows your drivers to operate the truck with a single, easy-to-use joystick that dramatically reduces the amount of effort needed to pick up trash effectively and efficiently. Drivers will also be more informed than ever due to Heil’s Insight Display.
This in-cab display provides truck drivers with real-time feedback and crucial information on the truck, and the personnel-advanced troubleshooting features help maintenance workers move quickly and efficiently when servicing the vehicle.
Amrep HX450 Automated Side Loader
This model makes the list for multiple reasons. It offers variety across the board with features such as the full push-out or hoist-to-dump ejection options.
The automated arm can also dump and return the container from any position without retracting the arm, making your driver’s job of picking up refuse easier than ever. This means your drivers get back to their routes in record time, ensuring they meet deadlines and excel in customer satisfaction.
McNeilus AutoReach Automated Side Loader
This side-loading model allows you to get up close and personal without doing any damage. It’s also one of the strongest side loaders on the market, with an arm that can lift up to 2000 pounds. If that wasn’t enough to convince you, its arm’s unique ability to move side-to-side as well as out should be a fast selling point.
325 Model from Peterbilt
Peterbilt’s 325 models provide drivers with the perfect customizable truck for roll off jobs. This model comes equipped with the lightweight PACCAR PX-7 engine, which delivers exceptional torque and horsepower while simultaneously being fuel efficient, which can save your company a fortune on fuel costs each year.
Peterbilt’s claim to be at the forefront of technology rings true with its impressive SmartNav features, which help drivers navigate easier over long distances. The SmartNav, a seven-inch full-color touch screen is more than an excellent navigational tool, it also controls the audio system and features voice-activated phone messaging for safe and easy communication.
Mack, Ford, and Freightliner are also popular options in the roll-off category.
Investing in a new fleet of vehicles is a critical aspect of any waste or recycling business, no matter if you have 5 or 50 trucks. With this investment comes the need to properly inspect and maintain these vehicles.
The best way to ensure drivers are doing proper pre-trip and post-trip inspections is with Whip Around, an app that dozens of waste and recycling fleets depend on every day. To learn more about the app, book a demo today to speak with a product specialist.