Catching the Eye

Getting your truck or equipment noticed will not only draw in potential customers, but could help your employees as well.

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I’ve been out of high school now for almost 20 years, so there isn’t much I remember about it these days. There is one lesson from my 10th grade English class that still sticks with me, though.

As part of a lesson on marketing and branding, we paged through newspapers and magazines and watched TV commercials. We had to pinpoint the “hooks” these companies were using to lure in viewers and readers: “Buy this product because it is No. 1,” or “Buy this product because someone famous uses it.”

I’m sure your company isn’t airing commercials showing Aaron Rodgers, Taylor Swift or Tiger Woods operating a hydrovac or directional drill, but you are probably still doing things to draw in customers.

Take, for example, M.L. Chartier Excavating, an environmental-services and road-building contractor featured in this issue. The Michigan-based company decided to make its hydrovacs and vacuum trucks noticeable to potential customers by making them bright red.

“Our trucks are different than most companies’ trucks because we don’t just order plain-Jane units,” says Malcolm Chartier (pronounced “shar-teer”), superintendent and son of owner Todd Chartier. “They’re fire-engine red and washed every day. We arrive on job sites to clean up things, so we want to show up with clean trucks. It’s our brand, our image.”

NCM Hydro Vac Services in Ottawa, Ontario, also profiled in this issue, doesn’t do a bold color on its trucks, but it makes them noticeable by blasting NCM Hydro Vac Services on the tanks in large, black lettering — easy to see from a distance.

So, as we’re nearing the end of warm-weather season and you start to look at ways to improve your business for next year already, why not consider a different color scheme to your trucks or making that lettering on your tank just a bit bigger?


Not only will those changes to your trucks potentially help you pull in more customers, but they could make your crews safer on job sites as they are easier to see.

This issue has a focus of education and safety. In our Product Focus feature, you’ll find several items that will help you keep your crews safe — items like gas monitors, shoring devices and wireless headsets.

We expand on wireless headsets more in our Safety First feature where we discuss the importance of hearing safety in the industry. It’s no secret that you are working around loud machines every single day. You wear hard hats, gloves, and safety glasses, but what about your hearing? It’s often overlooked, but it shouldn’t be.


Now that summer is behind us, how was it this year for your company? I’d like to hear about any tough or unique jobs you may have handled these past few months. Email me at or call 800-257-7222.

Also, if you happen to have a photo of your hydrovac, drill, or other work truck that stands out and want to share, send those to me as well.

Enjoy this issue!


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