shred truck. In addition to regular
preventive maintenance, Kiely learned
the hard way that access to service is
imperative to keeping the business up
Two years ago when Kiely started
Centex Shred and was “doing it all,”
he was commissioned to clean out a
law firm storage facility. A tow chain in
one of the boxes wasn’t detected until
it was inside the shredder. At the time
though, the closest place to service his
shred truck was in Fort Worth, Texas.
“What hurt was that we were down
for three days. I had to drive the truck
to Fort Worth and fly back while they
ordered parts, which had to be overnighted from Canada,” he says.
an issue when servicing the Virginia
market, Shea sold the truck he was
using in D.C. He currently runs three
Regardless of the size of a secure
document destruction company’s
operating region, some issues always
remain, such as hiring and retaining
qualified drivers. While drivers with
CDLs (commercial driver’s licenses) are
plentiful, Shea says those with suitable
backgrounds for a security-based industry who are also safe drivers capable
of maneuvering large vehicles in tight
metro areas are hard to find.
PREPARING TO ACCELERATE
Mr. Shredder’s Van Kerrebroeck says
the major features he looks for in a
shred truck are durability, overall cost
of operation, speed of throughput and
However, not everyone’s needs are
the same, Van Kerrebroeck says. For a
new, struggling company with inexperienced operators and no CDLs, smaller
MAKING AN EXIT
When Zach Shea, owner of Kodiak
Shredding LLC started out three and
a half years ago servicing the state of
Virginia from his Lynchburg, Va., office, he operated a second location in
Washington, D.C., an area he says is
saturated with shredding companies.
“Price was a big factor, [and] service
and security [were] secondary considerations,” he says of the companies
operating in the D.C. area. “ We wanted
to be someplace where we could be the
dominant player. Our current market is
in a smaller community, without room
for a lot of operators, and parking is
not a big issue.”
Operating in downtown D.C.
was very cumbersome, says Shea, and
sometimes involved parking two blocks
away and walking to clients’ offices.
There was also the potential for parking tickets. Sitting on the beltway at
3 p.m. with an accident up ahead and
three more stops scheduled also had a
huge impact on the company’s operations, he says.
The contrast is marked, Shea says,
between the office park environment,
where all of the businesses have a
back door or supply entrance, and the
downtown area, where the unloading of
a semi-trailer limits accessibility to the
lone loading dock, causing a half-hour
wait and money out of pocket.
As Shea has explored expanding his
business, his focus has been on throughput. “The vast majority of customers
are looking for one-stop shopping: the
document management professional,
not just a guy with a shred truck.”
He has added baling to his operation
to increase its efficiency and to eliminate long waits at the recycler’s scale.
“Every morning I need to run with an
empty truck. That’s why people need to
bale their own material,” he says.
Because capacity is not as much of