Buying group formed for vocational independents

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The newly formed Independent Haulers Alliance offers the benefits of group purchasing for owner-operators and small fleets in waste, dump and construction applications.

The group is the inspiration of Gary Juergens of Solid Waste Solutions in St. Clair, Mo., one of the largest independent waste haulers in the St. Louis area, said alliance spokesman Chris Keesey.

Plans for the alliance include forming an online community, creating a member-owned purchasing pool and getting group discounts for members, Keesey said. “Too many haulers are paying retail for everything,” he said. “When you have a one-truck operation, saving $1,000 a month is cash in your pocket.”

Keesey said the alliance is designed to emulate, not oppose, industry giants such as Waste Management Inc. “They are Goliath, but we are not David,” he said. “We’re not out to take them down. You don’t get to be an $11 billion company with a bad business plan, and we have a lot to learn from them. But we’ve worked for the big boys, and independent haulers are independent for a reason.”

The alliance also hopes to be a voice for owner-operators and small fleets to complement the lobbying efforts of broader, established groups such as the Solid Waste Association of North America, Keesey said.

The alliance’s initial membership goal is 500 members by WasteExpo 2005, May 2-5 in Las Vegas, Keesey said. “The idea has been very well received, and we’re very excited about 2005.”

Membership is $50 a month plus a one-time shareholders’ charge of $100, which entitles each member to dividends at year’s end. The first 500 members will receive Charter Member status, with additional perks.

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