Concrete driveways can crack under the stress of a heavy dumpster or the big trucks that transport them.
Learn the four simple tips to minimize the risk of damaging your driveway or property during the dumpster rental process.
This quick guide will show you how to reduce the risk of driveway and property damage caused by roll-off containers or heavy trucks, as well as how to handle the rare situations where damage does occur.
The risk of property damage caused by an experienced and reputable dumpster rental provider is extremely low.
I have been in the roll-off business for over 14 years, and I can count on my fingers how many driveways have been damaged by a roll-off dumpster over the years. That’s not many when you consider how many thousands of containers we deliver.
Though property damage is uncommon in the dumpster rental business, we recommend lowering the risk even further by following the tips below.
1. Place plywood or boards under the dumpster.
This is the best way to avoid driveway damage.
Some dumpster rental companies will do this for you, but not all, so always ask.
Using plywood beneath the steel feet or wheels of the dumpster provides a cushion between the dumpster and the driveway, preventing driveway scratches and cracks.
2. Avoid over-filling the dumpster, especially with heavy debris.
Abide by the dumpster rental provider’s recommendations of how high to fill the dumpster based on the type of debris.
This is critical when loading heavy debris, such as concrete, dirt, brick, or roofing shingles.
Exceeding the fill-height recommendation can quickly add thousands of pounds of weight, which puts a strain on your driveway.
Picking up the dumpster is also a process that can cause damage if the dumpster is exceedingly overweight.
3. Have the rental company place the dumpster in the street.
This may or may not be permitted in your city or town.
If it is allowed, it’s likely you would need to obtain a dumpster permit since the container would be placed in the public right-of-way.
Ask your dumpster provider if this is an option.
4. Choose a rubber-wheeled trailer dumpster rather than a traditional roll-off container.
Common roll-off dumpsters feature steel wheels and feet, but trailer dumpsters have driveway-friendly rubber tires rather than steel.
This provides a softer platform for loading heavy debris with less risk of damaging the driveway or yard.
Just remember to place wood under the tongue of the trailer at the point of contact with the ground.
What To Do If Your Property Is Damaged by a Dumpster or Roll-Off Truck
Ideally, you chose a rental company that is properly licensed and that carries insurance to cover situations like property damage.
In this situation, when the damage is clearly caused by the dumpster rental company, they should be willing to work out a resolution.
However, review your dumpster rental agreement or invoice closely.
It may state something along the lines of “ABC Dumpster Rental is not responsible for damage caused by the customer's negligence during the drop-off, filling period, or pick-up of the container.”
In other words, any damage caused by the customer using the dumpster in a way they shouldn't, like overfilling it, would absolve the company of responsibility; they would not be legally obligated to pay for damages at this point.
A disclaimer like the one above takes much of the responsibility out of the hands of the rental provider.
The key is following the loading and usage rules of the dumpster rental provider.
If the rental provider refuses to negotiate a resolution, the next step is to contact your homeowner’s insurance.
Your insurance will likely cover the damage.
Take photos and/or video of the damage, and collect documentation of the rental, including the invoice, rental agreement, etc.
Take before and after photos of your property, driveway, or other location where the dumpster is placed to prove damage was caused by the dumpster or truck.
Ensure the photos/videos are timestamped.
What about if you’d rather leave your homeowner’s insurance out of it, or the damage is excessively expensive?
Another option is to sue the rental provider for damages.
Obviously, this is not the most desirable path, but it could be worth pursuing in extraordinary cases.
Check with a lawyer to go over your options.
The good news is that property damage is very rare in the dumpster rental business, so you’ll likely never have to deal with any of these situations.