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5 Ways to Extend the Life of a Container

Posted by Paul Reidy, Impact VP of Marketing on Jun 8th 2020

In today’s economic climate, extending the life of a container and lowering your total cost of ownership has never been more important.With constraints on capital spend, purchasing new containers isn’t always an option for large and small haulers alike.Here are Impact’s top 5 ways to extend the life of a container – many of which you are likely practicing today.



Extend the life of a container by 3X for half the cost of a new container.

What do you get when you combine moisture and steel over an extended period of time?Rust, corrosion and an otherwise functioning container in need of serious repair.The harshest conditions inside a container are near the bottom, where liquid and moisture collect over time.Culprits are often leaking refuse, continual pooling under and around the container or most concerning, storm-water contamination, which can lead to pollution in the form of metal leaching.Other external conditions, such as exposure to salt water air, can also lead to premature deterioration of a container bottom. In lieu of scrapping a corroded container, installing a pre-fabricated replacement bottom can easily remedy the issue, while not sacrificing any capacity in the container itself.The cost of replacing a bottom in material and labor is roughly half the cost of a new container and can be repeated on the same container.We’ve seen cost-conscious Haulers replace a bottom 3 times or more on the same container to keep it in the field generating income. Lastly buying a ready-to-install pre-fabricated bottom has proven less expensive for Haulers versus making bottoms in their own facility.


Reduce the need for costly custom size replacement bottoms.

Just like us humans, containers come in a variety of sizes and shapes. And just like us, most containers need some repair from time to time.The most daunting part of repairing your own container bottoms, is managing the repair of odd sized containers, particularly in depth.Most waste supply partners, including Impact, offer a series of standard size pre-fabricated bottoms,But in reality, standard sizes typically cover only 60% of the containers in a yard. For the other 40%, Haulers need to order custom size bottoms to repair those containers.Custom bottoms cost more than standard bottoms and are made-to-order resulting in a 7-10 day lead time, during which that container sits, generating zero revenue.A great alternative to custom bottoms are adjustable slider bottoms.These are two piece bottoms that telescope together to give you the exact depth you need on your odd size container. Slider bottoms on average are $40 less expensive than custom bottoms and are stock items, so typically ship same day.


Reduce replacement costs and protect your container.

A lid is a lid, right?On the surface it may seem that way, but selecting the right lid for your container and application can save money in the long run. The lid is subject to use and abuse over time from weather exposure, garbage trucks and the end users themselves.The ideal lid has enough strength and rigidity to withstand the dumping action of a front load truck and support weight over time, usually in the form of wet snow.At the same time, the lid must be flexible and resilient so if crushed, it can return to its original form.Impact puts our lids through the national hauler test requirements, as well as our own proprietary crush tests seen here.Customers who have switched to Impact lids have seen up to a 50% reduction in replacement costs.The other aspect that makes lid selection so important is to protect the container itself.For customers that see unusually high container corrosion, we often recommend a one-piece lid, which spans the length of container and eliminates the seam between two lids that can allow storm-water in.A one-piece lid also reduces the chance of the lid being rotated back completely and left open, exposing the inside of the container to the elements.For added security, we offer a single piece lid with trap door, when used in combination with an automatic lock, is a great method to keep the inside of the container dry and while still giving end users regular access.


Selecting the right caster for the appropriate conditions saves you on necessary replacement costs and can protect your container.

Casters are a regularly replaced item on a container.And while you can buy some time with a malfunctioning lid or a corroding bottom – a caster that doesn’t roll or worse a broken wheel or rig, needs immediate repair.To reduce replacement caster costs, ensure you are buying quality casters that meet the needs of the container environment.The choice between Poly-O, Phenolic, Mold-on Rubber and Steel should align with how and where the container is being used.Each have attributes to address temperature extremes, load capacity and exposure to harsh chemicals, as well as reinforced rigging for extra durability.Also take into consideration, whether you buy imported or USA made casters.Don’t be fooled by a low price tag, as you end up paying more in the long run.Impact’s USA made Poly-O outperforms its imported counterpart time and time again. For a quick guide to the differences and advantages of each caster type, read Caster 101.Choosing to use casters on your container in general, can save money in repair costs. If a container continually is exposed to pooling water or moist conditions, getting the container bottom off the ground with casters can prevent premature deterioration of the bottom.


Tracking your assets and manage repair costs.

With containers spread across your territory, it can be difficult to track repair costs on individual containers, especially with everything else you are managing each month.There are a few apps available to easily track and manage inventory and give you a true measure of the total cost of ownership of each container.Impact offers our BinTracker app that allows you to log all repair needs and costs for each container.Over time, you can understand monthly and annual repair costs and identify any ‘problem’ containers or parts that need to be replaced.

For more information on extending the life of a container and understanding total cost of ownership, Impact offers onsite and virtual consultations, training and demos.