3 Ways to Destroy a Dumpster

Your crew might think that roll-off on your worksite is indestructible, but it’s easier than you think to destroy a dumpster. And if your crew damages a roll-off rental, you could see thousands of dollars in damage and replacement fees. Before you get dinged with unexpected damage fees, here are the three most common ways people destroy dumpsters on a jobsite. They may be made of steel and capable of hauling tons of weight (literally), but it’s actually pretty easy to do permanent damage to a roll-off. Here’s what to watch out for.

#1: Add too much weight.

Let’s say you rent a dumpster that can hold 10 cubic yards of waste. But you didn’t mention to the hauler that you’re throwing out concrete and brick, so they didn’t factor in the extra weight of the materials. Heavy materials like concrete and brick require special consideration due to the load’s added weight. If you don’t factor in the weight, it can’t be loaded on the truck it because it’s too heavy. Worse yet, it’s possible the dumpster’s sides and door will warp from the weight. This can cause the latch to break, so it can’t be latched onto the truck.

The best-case scenario here is you can manually empty the dumpster to create smaller batches. Worst-case scenario, the dumpster will bend, deform, and potentially be irreparably damaged if you attempt to move it. Any time you have heavy materials like concrete, bricks or dirt, make sure you tell your hauler and choose the right size.    

#2: Use a forklift.

So many people think this moving a dumpster with a forklift is a good idea, and it never is. Make sure everyone in the crew hears this message: Do not move a dumpster with a forklift. It doesn’t matter how small the dumpster is. It doesn’t matter how skilled the forklift driver is. It doesn’t matter how many people swear they’ve successfully moved a dumpster with a forklift, and it worked out fine. Do yourself a favor and don’t risk the damage.

More often than not, when people try to move dumpsters with forklifts, they end up poking holes into the side of the dumpster. It’s easier to do than you think. And once the dumpster has holes, it has to be welded or replaced. Welding can cost up to a thousand dollars, and replacement will usually be triple that (or more). If you need your roll-off moved after it’s been delivered, just give your hauler a call. They can safely move it with the right equipment, and a relocation fee is a lot less expensive than replacing the whole dumpster.

#3: Don’t prepare.

This one might seem obvious, but if it was, people wouldn’t have dumpsters stuck in the mud for six weeks during rainy season. Before your dumpster arrives, properly prepare the installation space. Ideally, the dumpster should sit on a level paved or hard surface that will be easy for the roll-off delivery truck to access. Don’t put it in a field on the bare ground. No matter how dry or level it seems, all it takes is one moderate rainstorm and the dumpster will sink into mud. A truck won’t be able to pull it out until everything is fully dry, which could take days or weeks. You’ll get stuck paying for the extra rental time, and the dumpster could be damaged if you try to move it too soon.

What if your jobsite is in a rural area where there are no roads or paved surfaces? Create a dumpster “place mat” with plywood or gravel (grate), or both, to give the dumpster some elevation from potential mud. This will also help with traction when delivering and servicing the dumpster.

Damaging or destroying a dumpster can cost you several thousand dollars in repair or replacement fees. Play it safe and avoid these common pitfalls with your next rental. If you have questions about renting and placing dumpsters on your jobsite, give us a call. We’re here to help you get the most out of your dumpster rentals.