Prime Mover Magazine


Skipping Along

Skipping Along

Waste management has become a big business where a smart smaller operator can still achieve success.

Business coaches often spout the mantra of ‘Do it, Delegate it or Dump it’. Paul Torbay, of Orange Skip Bins in Sydney, is able to take on board the ‘doing’, ‘delegation’ and ‘dumping’ roles for an increasing number of clients by providing professional and personalised solutions to their occasional and also regular waste management requirements.

In a very competitive market segment where cost pressures can typically result in ageing and sometimes, questioningly maintained trucks, the equipment at Orange Skip Bins is a stand out and Paul recently added two Scania 6x2 P360s as skip bin carriers, with these latest acquisitions joining a Scania R440 8x4 which is dedicated as a hooklift moving the larger bins.

“We aim to offer the best service using the smartest looking trucks without losing sight of the hard fact that customers are on a budget,” says Paul.
That philosophy has proven successful since Paul established Orange Skip Bins in 2004 in the suburb of Padstow with the aim to provide waste management services to commercial and residential customers in and around the wider Sydney region.

To provide flexibility across a variety of customers’ requirements Orange Skip Bins has an extensive range of bin sizes from two cubic metres to 13 cubic metres, as well as the larger hook bins ranging from 10 cubic metres to a massive 30 cubic metres. With exception of the smallest two cubic metre size, every skip bin has been engineered with a simple drop-down door mechanism which facilitates easier and safer loading.

The implementation of the Scania commercial vehicles as skip bin trucks may seem rather innovative in an industry sector which typically utilises Japanese brands.

“I know the Scania is a heavier truck than the Japanese, but the trade-off is a better ride, quieter cab and greater driver comfort, as well as excellent durability,” Paul says. “I am driving one of these trucks every day, so comfort is important to me for every trip.”

Safety and compliance are core values at Orange Skip Bins. The Scanias are equipped with on-board weight scales to avoid any possibility of being overloaded and the bin lifting mechanisms are operated by hand held remote controls which improve safety and ensure accurate placement of empty bins on the ground and also full bins onto the trucks.

Understanding the environment and consequences of unsafe practices is a priority at Orange Skip Bins.

“We have built our reputation on exceeding customer expectations with exceptional service and safe work practices,” says Paul. “All our personnel here at Orange Skip Bins undergo regular training in the safe operation of the various pieces of equipment and bins as well as the safe pickup, removal and disposal of hazardous materials including asbestos and any other contaminated waste products”.

The bins used to collect and transport hazardous waste such as asbestos are lined with heavy duty builders’ plastic sheeting prior to delivery to the client’s site and once collected are sealed and then directly transported to specialised accredited disposal facilities.

Paul readily acknowledges he could have bought lighter and possibly less expensive trucks than the new Scanias but says he looks beyond price for factors including value, service and a meaningful relationship with his vehicle supplier.

As Paul says: “rubbish isn’t cheap,” and that applies as much to the professional removal of waste products as it does to the concept of buying a good vehicle product initially to avoid costly repairs down the track because of purchasing what seems at the time to be a less expensive truck.

“I already had the 8x4 Scania hooklift, so I made contact with my local dealer and the Scania team at Prestons couldn’t do enough for me,” he says. “They answered all my questions and came up with a specification that suited me and my operation.”

Much of the skip bin work is focused on demolition, excavation, building and rubbish removal from residential and business premises as well as building sites. When considering the new trucks factors such as visibility, manoeuvrability, and being able to cope with congested streets were included in Paul’s key buying criteria.

“We can do six to eight bin movements per day, so easy cab access, driving comfort and safety are very important. Also, the air suspension allows the truck to be positioned safely and level for bin movement. The new Scanias tick all the boxes for me: air suspension all round, disc brakes, plenty of power for the job and the comfortable cab. Some days we can be headed as far south as Wollongong or Nowra, on other days as far west as Katoomba. The Scania’s are a pleasure to drive and I’m always happy to go the extra hour for a good customer and they, in turn, appreciate the effort,” Paul says.

Most bins are left on the client’s site for seven days, with shorter or extended arrangements also available.

An increasing area of the business is the provision of smaller sized bins to households and small industrial units in coincidence of the occupiers moving out to new premises, a situation that can be challenging and sometimes chaotic.

More people are discovering the convenience of having an appropriate size skip on hand as a receptacle for items which have sometimes been accrued over a long period of time and are not worth the effort of packing and transporting. Often people make the potentially expensive mistake of relocating things they do not need or even want in their new home. 

“Clients will have an easier time relocating when they do not need to be concerned about what will happen to their waste,” says Paul. The Orange Skip Bin hire team aims to make waste removal simple and easy.

Presentation is another core value of Orange Skip Bins and Paul regards his trucks as mobile billboards for the business.

The orange wrap has a strong visual impact and the polished Durabrite wheels complement the truck’s professional image and offer a distinct contrast from the often, poor appearance of some of the competition’s vehicles. The trucks and bins are washed regularly to assist in maintaining their appearance as they travel throughout their area of operations.

“We don’t advertise, so the trucks are our calling card,” Paul explains. “We do get a lot of cold calls for work and I expect that must be from the visual impact of the trucks driving around all day”.

Orange Skip Bins has developed its business to meet the needs of the market and at the same time to address any concerns for the environment by, wherever possible, minimising materials unnecessarily going into landfill sites.

Non-hazardous waste is sorted and recycled at the state-of-the art facility at the Padstow depot and the various components are then sent to specialist manufacturers to be re-processed.

This procedure minimises the amount of waste sent to landfill sites which reduces the burden on the environment and helps to minimise clients’ waste disposal costs.

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