Pumpers Exchange Information & Advice in ‘Overheard Online’

Rocky Mountain poster says winter jobs are few and far between, but they can be exciting.
Pumpers Exchange Information & Advice in ‘Overheard Online’
The poster sent this photo showing his truck with chains, after it backed up a steep grade to pump a septic tank.

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This feature in Pumper reports noteworthy conversations that take place at the Pumper Discussion Forum, an online forum for industry professionals found at www.pumper.com. Pumper Discussion enables exchange of information and ideas on septic and drainfield installation and maintenance, trucks and equipment, portable sanitation, chemical and additives and much more. Information and advice in “Overheard Online” is offered in good faith by industry professionals. However, readers should consult in depth with appropriate industry sources before applying such advice to a specific business situation.

Question:

I had to pump a ski chalet over at Powderhorn Mountain today, at the top of the hill. I had to put on the chains to back up the drive to get close enough to the tank. Winter is so much fun.
I went up the hill without a problem but left the chains on for the ride to the bottom. There was about 4 inches of snow pack on the roads with idiots in SUVs crowding the center. There’s not a lot of work this time of year but I had two customers today. Both paid cash and one even tipped.

Answers:

You’re a better man than me. I would have told [the customer] to plow it and salt it and I would be back. That’s customer service right there.

I wish plowing and salting would have worked but the driveway was also one way and with too much grade. Once you get used to the chains, it’s not too bad. And yes, I do charge extra for this kind of service. The customer was happy and even tipped.

You’ve got some long hoses on that truck. How many feet of hose do you carry? I only carry 200 feet.

You carry more than me. I carry four 33-foot hoses – 132 feet – and one shorter one, a little less than 30 feet. About 160 feet total. On this job, I only had out four hoses at about 120 feet.

Question:

I’m very interested to see what the guys did before computers for 2-, 3- and 4-year reminders. Individual note pads for even years and odd years? Separate log for annuals? Thousands of index cards for every individual? I enjoy not putting my whole life on a hard drive and I’m not concerned about notepads getting lost, etc., so what was the old school method?

Answers:

My folks did thousands of note cards.

I mail out reminder cards. If I do not get a call, I follow it up with a letter. This works out very well for me.

I actually wrote a service order dated three years from date of pumping. Then I would call them. I prefer personal calls compared to getting all these cards in mail. I do know most of my customers personally though.



Discussion

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