How do you choose the right roll-off dumpster?

Construction projects of all sizes have one thing in common – you’re going to need a roll-off dumpster. Dumpsters are one of the first services you schedule when you establish a construction site. They come in several sizes, and the right one will depend on your project size, budget, and what you’ll be hauling away.

Roll-off vs. front load

If you’re new to the world of dumpster rentals, you might not know the difference between a roll-off dumpster and a front-load dumpster.

What’s an easy way to tell the difference? Roll-offs have an open top and are loaded on a truck (think “rolling off” a truck), while front-load dumpsters are the covered trash bins typically found behind restaurants, strip malls and apartment complexes. They’re called “front load” because a truck lifts them from the front of a garbage truck to dump the contents inside.

A roll-off is the way to go for clean-outs, renovations and any size construction site. With its open top and multiple size options, debris can easily be managed. Regular pick-ups also make it easy to haul off demolition and construction debris over longer periods of time.

Roll-off dumpster sizes

Roll-off dumpsters come in standard sizes, including 10-yard, 20-yard, 30-yard and 40-yard options. Not sure which size is right for your project? We put together an illustrated guide.

In a nutshell, a 10-yard dumpster holds the equivalent of about three pickup truck loads. Multiply those numbers to estimate the storage space of each size dumpster.

For small renovation projects, a 10-yard rental is enough space to haul off small amounts of piping, reflooring and renovation debris. It’s also a good size for disposing of concrete, dirt and other heavy materials because the sides are short enough to prevent overweight penalties.

On the other end of the spectrum, a 40-yard dumpster is the largest dumpster available and holds up to six tons of weight. It’s a good size for large construction sites. Before you book a dumpster this size, make sure you have enough site space and clearance for a truck to safely drop off and load a full dumpster.

National roll-off pricing

Dumpster prices vary widely across the country. And budget is a key consideration when choosing a roll-off. Areas with a lot of roll-offs available typically have lower prices. High-growth areas may be more likely to have high demand and high cost. Partnering with a reputable broker can usually help you find the best value and service options for your project.

Availability isn’t the only factor. There are also areas with higher waste fees and other pricing considerations. Again, this is where it helps to work with someone who knows the market.

When you see a rental quote with “flat pricing,” make sure you ask what fees are included. You might think you’re getting a great deal, only to find out there were hundreds of dollars in “extra” fees tacked on the final bill. What kind of fees? Weight limit fees, time limit fees, or fees for certain types of debris (usually heavy construction items), just to name a few.

By the same token, don’t think you can bypass paying for weight overages or other required fees. Pay close attention to what’s included in your rental contract. Overloading your dumpster or trying to throw out tires, batteries or hazardous materials will no doubt raise your bill. Have questions about what’s included in a “flat” quote? Find out before you rent.

Extra considerations

Before you book your roll-off dumpster rental, it pays to keep a few last things in mind. First, most areas have restrictions on dumping things like yard waste, flammable materials, and it’s almost universally true that you can’t dump mattresses without incurring extra fees.

Check with your rental company or broker before you commit. Otherwise, you could end up with unexpected fees.

Next, check on any local permits and parking regulations at your site. The last thing you want is a bill from the city because you don’t have the right permit for your dumpster. This is especially true if you might block a public access way.

Finally, make sure you set a pick-up date that gives you enough time to complete the job. When you don’t plan your timeline, you either end up with a dumpster sitting on your site too long or you pay additional fees for having to extend your time.

When planning a construction job, you’ll coordinate more than just your dumpsters. Site services like portable toilets, temporary fencing and even portable storage units and office trailers can all make your site run more efficiently.

Many site managers struggle with multiple vendors for each service. At ZTERS, we can bundle your site services and coordinate delivery and servicing of more than just your dumpsters. Give us a call and talk with one of our dedicated account managers to get a free quote on roll-offs and more.