Nature's Way Resources delivers its products in bulk all over the 12 counties around Houston. Customers can place an order by telephone or drop in and place an order.
Nature's Way Resources sizes the truck used based on the needs of our customers. We have trucks ranging from small 18 cy (cubic yard) dump trucks to very large (100 cy) walking floor trailers.
The cost of labor, trucks, fuel, insurance, etc. is the same for all companies. The only way these charges can be hidden (free delivery) is if the company has low quality products at a very large mark-up. NWR does not believe this is fair, so our charges are based on what a customer uses (i.e. the time and distance required to make a delivery). This way customers who live close by are not penalized by averaging costs with a customer who lives farther away.
Large trucks cost more to purchase and operate than smaller trucks hence they cost more. The benefit is that the cost per cubic yard of material goes down with larger trucks. For example a medium size truck can delivery 35 cy of material in one trip while a smaller dump truck would require two trips.
The type and amount of material that is delivered is regulated by state law. The maximum load in most cases is 25 tons of material. However, compost, mulch and soils are sold and used by the cubic yard. Additionally, different materials have other restrictions. Heavy materials like sand, gravel, rock, etc. can only be loaded as high as the side of the truck (no heaping) and cannot exceed the weight limit that the truck is permitted for. Lighter materials like compost and mulch are allowed to be heaped. For example a truck with an 18 cy capacity level full could carry about 12 cy of sand (weight limit), 18 cy of a blended soil, or sometimes 22 cy of compost or mulch since it can be heaped.
We need to remember that included in the delivery charge is the time the truck is loading and unloading, as well as the travel distance involved. It can easily take 10-15 minutes to load the truck, collect the paper work, get delivery directions, etc. Another 10-15 minutes to unload the truck and collect payment, a couple of minutes to study a map and figure out where the delivery is, etc. Often cars or other obstacles block the area where the delivery is to be made and this requires additional time, etc. (the drive time from the facility to the customer is often the smallest time requirement).
Truck drivers are also forbidden to travel certain roadways by local, state and municipal ordinances and have to travel different routes. Also some subdivisions require trucks to stop at the gate house and wait for authorization to enter and dump material. As a result, the costs to deliver to a customer one mile away are almost the same as a customer 7 or 8 miles away. For safety reasons, loaded trucks do not drive as fast as passenger cars hence more time is required to cover the same distance. On longer distances the drive time starts to play a larger factor in the cost. Additionally, many local municipalities have ordinances against heaping of materials. While we might be able to deliver 22 cy out in the county, we can often only deliver 18 cy on a small truck in a city.
Delivery time is another issue. We schedule our deliveries with the customers needs as best as possible and we always call the customer before the truck leaves the facility. However, many factors affect arrival times. If there is road construction, a lot of stop signs, signal lights, turns along the route, heavy traffic, etc. even a short distance may take over an hour. As a result, most companies have a minimum charge to allow for these factors. Other factors affecting delivery rates and time are: the time of the year, weather (rain or shine), wrecks and traffic jams on our roads, road construction delays, even an occasional breakdown. Also trucks are required to stop and wait at roadside truck inspections by local law enforcement personnel, which can delay trucks for a long period of time. Many of these factors are beyond our control but we work with our customers to ensure a timely delivery, and we try and call our customers if a problem develops. While these delays rarely occur, they do happen.
When ordering mulch or soils for delivery, the most popular or requested times are on Fridays and weekends. If you need delivery on these days it is best to call on a Monday to ensure a reasonable chance of getting the time slot you prefer. Soil and mulch suppliers also experience “seasonality” in their sales. Depending on the weather, mid-February through May and late September through Thanksgiving are the busy season, with December through January, and July through August, being the off or slow season. During the busy season you need to order early in the week to ensure a weekend delivery. In the slow season less notice is required.
If you require the product to be dumped at more than one location or in difficult locations, expect to pay extra for the extra service and time required.
It is the customer’s responsibility to give the delivery truck a safe place to dump.
A few items for the customer to consider are:
- Can the truck get into and out of the delivery area, enough room to turn around as dump trucks are much larger than passenger cars?
- Are there overhead tree limbs, power lines, etc. that may interfere with the dumping (the larger the truck then the higher the bed of the truck reaches when the bed is raised up for dumping)?
- Loaded dump trucks are very heavy and need extra consideration when deciding where to dump. If going across open ground to dump, several items to consider are:
- Trucks often have difficulty crossing ditches.
- Trucks can tear up grass especially if it has recently been wet which occurs after a rain or watering the yard when the soil is much softer.
- Are there sprinkler heads in the lawn that can easily be broken by driving over?
- Often in the county or on older homes the driveway is not built to modern specifications hence may be weaker and break from the weight.
- Often older driveways over culverts are much weaker and may not support the weight of the truck if they are not built to the correct specifications.
- Is the soil or grass firm enough to support the weight of the truck? After a rain the surface of the soil dries out and feels firm to walk on but the soil is still wet and soft underneath what is called crusting. The dump truck may break through the crust and get stuck. It is the customer’s responsibility to pay for the wrecker to pull the truck out and any repair damages to the yard.